The breathtaking backwaters of Alleppey can mesmerize you with its awesome beauty. Here in Alleppey, the blue waters merge with the greenery of the coastline. Houseboats float lazily on the waters, coconut palms sway along the coast, and the quaint villages look picturesque in the colors of the setting sun. But Alleppey is much more than its backwaters and houseboats. Look beyond the waters, and you may be surprised at the activities which wait impatiently in the various parts of Alleppey. Let us then discover more about the exciting things to do in Alleppey.
20 Outstanding Things to do in Alleppey
1. Luxury Houseboat Cruise
Nothing can be more relaxing in Alleppey than to go on a luxury houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Alleppey. You can spend around 1-2 days in this luxury houseboat, and enjoy a supreme relaxation time. Watch the passing greenery as the houseboat makes its way quietly through the serene waters. These rides are available on Pallathuruthy River and also in Pukaitha River to Champakulam.
2. Kayaking Tour
While the houseboat cruise is all about comfort, the kayaking tour of Alleppey backwaters is all about exploration. You can go to the deeper parts of the backwaters and find new places or chose to be close to the shore and see the quaint villages pass by. Wherever you go you are surrounded by the most stunning landscapes of Kerala. Along with the scenery, you also get to spot birds.
3. Relaxing Ayurvedic Spa Therapy
Almost all resorts and hotels in Kerala offer holistic Ayurvedic spa therapies, massages, and other treatment. Trained masseur will rejuvenate your body and free it from toxins using herbal oils, steam bath, full body massage, Panchkarma, and others.
4. Scenic Kuttanad
Kuttanad can charm you with its lush greenery and captivating rural life. Here, you are surrounded by lush green paddy fields, coconut trees, backwaters, and rustic villages. Farming is done 4-10 feet below sea level, which is very surprising. While here, enjoy interacting with the rural community, tasting the local cuisine, see duck farming and spice cultivation.
5. Go Bird Watching
A vast expanse of coastal waters, with greenery all around, is a haven for birds. Equip yourself with binoculars or a DSLR, and start to capture the amazing bird life found here. Apart from endemic birds, migratory birds come in large numbers in the backwaters of Alleppey. You can spot Throated Kingfishers, Black Drongo, White-breasted Waterhen and other birds.
6. Sunset at Marari Beach
Marari beach may not have the typical beach shacks or water sports but is very idyllic. You can relax in rented beach chairs and just soak in the sunset views. There are not many people around, so you can be assured of less noise. If you are done with relaxing, enjoy long beach walks on this beach.
7. Swimming in Pozhiyoram Beach
This beach may be small but is perfect for swimming or to capture breathtaking sunsets through your lens. You will not find water sports or many people around, but the serenity of the place is spell-binding. You can even see the river merge with the sea. There are rocks around, where the waves can be very fierce. Avoid them and stay in the safer zones of the beach.
8. Elephant Training Camp
Kattoor, 10 km north of Alleppey, is where you would find the Elephant Training Camp. Here, you can feed the elephants, see them play around in the water, watch the mahouts bathe them and clean them. You can also ride one if you are lucky. Do take a local with you as the mahouts speak only Malayalam.
9. Sunset from the Lighthouse
Sunsets, when viewed from the Alappuzha Lighthouse can be really stunning. The lighthouse was built in 1862 and is a major tourist attraction of Alleppey. Along with the lighthouse, visit the museum in the lighthouse, or shop for coir products on the beach. The place is rich in architectural beauty and special for lazy evening time.
10. Visiting Ambalapuzha Temple
The oldest temple of Alleppey, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, is a must-visit in Alleppey. It has beautiful paintings and a pond. The ‘aarti’ in the evenings at the temple is a spectacular tradition of this temple. After the ‘aarti’, so accept the ‘paal payasam’, a very delicious offering of milk porridge.
11. Learn Kalaripayattu
Watching martial artists demonstrate the ancient martial art of Kalaripayattu is a fascinating thing to watch in Alleppey. You can drop into any training center and even learn this ancient technique. And if you feel, take the Kalaripayat treatment, which is a whole-body massage given to the martial artists.
12. Visiting Krishnapuram Palace
Visiting this 18th-century palace is among the most exciting things you can do in Alleppey. This historical palace is a marvel of Kerala architecture and is a treat for history buffs, and lovers of architecture. It now is a museum, having priceless sculptures, bronze antiques, canvas paintings, and other relics.
13. Snake Boat Festival
Alleppey has its very own version of adventure sports in the form of Snake Boat Race. It is a visually rich spectacle to watch the long boats racing through the waters of the Punnamada Lake. The tremendous muscle power of oarsmen who furiously swipe at the oar is to be seen to be believed.
At least 20-50 such participants are in each of these boats. The event takes place around the time of Onam, in August.
14. Shopping at the Floating Triveni
The spectacular supermarket in Alleppey actually floats on water. It is a visual treat as well as an exciting shopping experience you should get in Alleppey. The boats sell rice, vegetables, refrigerators, televisions at affordable rates. There are many outlets in Alleppey where you can go and shop.
15. Visit the Coir Museum
The International Coir Museum in Alleppey is where you see various products made from dried coconut husk. There are bags, ornaments, wall hangings, birds, animals and a lot more. You can also watch how coir is processed and how coir is shaped to give interesting shapes and designs. You can shop for souvenirs, handicrafts at the souvenir shop.
16. Visiting Karumadikuttan Statue
In Kalamadi village in Alleppey, there is a 10th century Buddha statue. It is made of granite and is a popular tourist attraction in Alleppey. Morning is the best time to visit the site. Although you can only see half of the statue, it is the very few signs of Buddhism in Kerala.
17. Swarovski Crystal Collection at Revi Karunakaran Museum
Visiting this unique museum in Alleppey can fill you with awe and wonder. This museum showcases rare items collected by the Revi Karunakaran family. There is a priceless collection of Swarovski crystals and crystal ware. Besides this, there are Tanjore paintings, ivory works, antique furniture, porcelain ware, mural paintings, and other rare and vintage artworks.
18. Home Cooked Seafood
Being a coastal city, Alleppey has a flourishing seafood cooking tradition. You can only expect authentic seafood delicacies, while you are in Alleppey. The food is cooked with home-ground spices and fresh ingredients. Every bite gives you flavorful taste and aromas.
You should try prawns, shrimps, fish curry, squids, along with other non-veg dishes like Fish Molly, Crab Roast, Duck Curry, Chilli Beef, Chicken Roast etc. Fresh banana chips are also not to be missed.
19. Uduppi Breakfast
The mouth-watering cuisine of Kerala can be seen in all its beauty in the fascinating dishes of Alleppey. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are made fresh and ooze with flavors and aromas. Breakfast in various Udupi hotels in Alleppey is the best thing to do here.
The food is served on a banana leaf and has some amazing items like Puttu Kadalla, a Kerala style curry, vada, appam and other traditional Kerala foods. The foods have coconut in one form or another.
20. Shopping in Markets
Shopping can be a unique experience in Alleppey. There are many shopping complexes, small stores, and street-side stalls. The maritime items are very popular with visitors. But the things that you are most likely to buy here are spices, handicrafts, South Indian jewelry, coir products, textiles, trinkets, souvenirs, and carpets.
Honestly, we were just as surprised as you were, after getting to know these activities. They are the best things you can do in Alleppey. So if you are in Alleppey and reading this, or if you are planning to go to Alleppey, then look beyond the backwater cruises. Explore the land, its villages, find off-beat adventures for yourself, and bring excitement back into your tour of Alleppey.
We would like to know of your experiences in Alleppey and certainly would like to know of things not mentioned in this list. So in the comments section below, drop your comments, to enable others to discover more in Alleppey.