Here are some tips for a great weekend around Kochi. It’s a perfect getaway to escape Chennai for a weekend.
A weekend in Kochi and around
There are many things to do from Kochi and in Kerala. For a weekend you have to choose between backwaters, beach and / or tea plantations, for example. Finally I decided to do the backwaters and i have absolutely no regrets, it was super relaxing and really amazing landscapes!
In order not to lose a minute, I tried to organize everything in advance:
– Backwaters Cruise – 1250 rupees a day
– Day with driver from Kochi to Kochi airport through Marari Beach and Allepey (Backwater) – around 40 euros per day with driver
It was perfect because i still had some time to get into Kochi on Saturday night and on Sunday morning to take a tuk tuk ride before leaving for the day trip. Kochi is not very big so it is enough and especially on Sunday when almost everything is closed.
Backwater cruise from Kochi
My big doubt before leaving was to know if it was better to do the backwater cruise from Allepey or if it was also possible from Kochi.
After a lot of research, I found Indo World Tours agency in Kochi which offer day/ half day trip to the backwaters. A mini bus picked me up at 8:00 am directly at my hotel to take our group to the starting point, Murinjapuzha.
The highlight of this daytrip was that the boat was non-motorized and there was almost no other boats in the canals. It’s really a luxury when then you see the boat traffic in the surroundings of Allepey. The boat was very nice with rattan seats and it was not too big which allowed us to go to smaller canals. It was perfect, I totally recommend this excursion.
It was possible to do only in the morning and return around 15h to Kochi or full day with 5h cruise and arrival at 16:30 in Kochi.
Fort Kochi is not big but worth the trip to see the famous Chinese nets, beautiful at sunset, but also to wander the small streets full of souvenirs shops and nice restaurants.
Marari Beach – Mararikulam
Marrari beach is only about 40 kilometers from Kochi and the coast road that leads to it is absolutely beautiful! There are colorful boats, village decorations and Chinese fishing nets.
The beach of Marari itself is quite touristy but just going a bit away and you’ll be by yourself. There are some bar/ restaurant that offer deckchairs with umbrella for a few rupees. It is very pleasant to chill on this beach.
My big question was to know whether or not i could wear my bikini. I did not do it because there were often Indians who came to ask for a selfie and it would only attract them more. But I saw a lot of Europeans doing it and no problems. The best thing to do is to be a little out of the way to avoid getting too much attention.
After this first stop at the beach, we drove to Allepey. I was very excited to discover the Vembanad lake and do again a boat ride in the backwaters.
The driver drops me off at the harbor where all the boats are for excursions in Shikara (typical small motorboat). Here I am offered prices per hour and I manage to “negotiate” 900 Rupees for 2 hours. No a very good price i think…
It’s beautiful for sure but really disappointing compared to previous excursion near Kochi. The channels are huge and very very dirty … It’s seems to be the trash of the inhabitants of the banks. Really sad to see such a nice place dirty. And additionally, it’s way too much houseboats driving around. It is because the channels are very wide, it was to my taste much too much.
I will not say that it’s ugly and to be avoided, the landscape is incredible. But it is even more incredible in areas still preserved from all this traffic.
Where to eat/ have a drink in Fort Kochi?
Located in a beautiful colonial house next to the Chinese nets, Old Harbor is ideal to cool off by the pool. Prices are a bit high for India but remain affordable.
The manager is super nice! He gave me a lot of hints on the places not to be missed, the ideal spots for the sunset, restaurant, etc …
Cafe / restaurant europeanized and well decorated in a small street also near the nets. They have a nice menu with a lot of European dishes (but still very spicy!).
It was very good and the service pleasant.