The name Kerala means ‘Land of coconuts’ and indeed the palm trees are ubiquitous, providing welcome shade from the tropical sun.

Along the coast perfect, sandy beaches stretch, inviting to relax. The picture perfect beaches and coves at Kovalam are some of the most popular beaches in Kerala. But there is a wide choice of different beaches, from deserted, palm lined beaches that seem to stretch endlessly along the coast, to bird sanctuaries and fishing bays. How about some history at Kappad Beach: Vasco da Gama landed here in 1498 with three ships.

Further in the country the hills are covered by endless, green spice and tea plantations. For wildlife lovers the palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala will be a paradise, offering great possibilities for wildlife – especially bird – watching. Kerala boasts different types of landscapes, from beaches over a great network of streams to mountains and deep valleys.

The cities of Kerala display an exciting mix of architectural styles: For centuries visitors from China, Portugal, Arabia and other parts of the world have left traces of their cultures. Take your time to let the buildings tell you their tales and savour the blend of influences from all over the world and ancient traditions from Kerala.

Kerala’s history is closely linked to the spice trade, for centuries the most important industry of Kerala. It is known as the Spice Coast of India, and attracted traders from all over the world for its pepper, cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, but also coffee, tea, cocoa and cashew nuts. Today, Kerala is South Asia’s model state, with the highest literacy rates and education and health levels similar to Western countries.

Kerala is also known for its varied art forms, particularly dancing. Most famous is the Kathakali, a classical story-dance with colourful costumes, but there are plenty of other dances you should not miss to see while travelling in Kerala.