Families come in all shapes and sizes with different interests and hobbies but there’s nothing quite like a family holiday for spending quality time together. If you have ever considered taking a family holiday in India, then seeing the wonders of South India and Kerala is probably easier than you might first imagine. The area offers something for everyone with an amazing selection of accommodation, things to do and places to see. Voted India’s Best Family Destination in 2018, Kerala is particularly family friendly.
At Authentic India Tours, we believe this area is particularly well suited for teenage children as it will engage them in a different culture and give them the opportunity to explore alternative lifestyles, see ancient monuments, discover wonderful landscapes, go on a jeep safari and experience animals in the wild, try out new sporting activities and taste new culinary delights … whilst at the same time India is a forward looking country with contemporary hotels offering modern amenities including private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, swimming pools, games rooms and Western food.
Kerala is a wonderful place to visit, however, with monsoon season taking place between June to September, we advise visiting between September to March, when the weather is at its best so perfect for Christmas, Easter and half term holidays. You may also choose to take a look at our essential guide for information about visas and health precautions.
Below is a snippet of what you can do as a family, and with all our holidays being completely tailor made you can choose exactly what your dream family holiday looks like.
Enjoy a sunset cruise on Vembanad Lake and get a glimpse of local village life, take a trip on the Arabian Sea, sail past the historic Chinese fishing nets on a trip from cosmpolitan Cochin or discover the wildlife in their natural environment with an adventure on Lake Periyar.
Spend an evening being entertained by the Kathakali dancers which tells ancient stories and involve hand and face gestures. If you arrive early, you will be able to have a talk from one of the dancers about their makeup and its significance.
Revel in the local festivals and events including the Aranmula Boat Race on the River Pamba and Swathi Sangeetholsavam Music Festival. The family will enjoy the region of Kerala for its diverse culture and celebrations.
Jump on a bike and see the sights whilst travelling at your own pace. For the more adventurous this can be a key feature of your holiday touring the beautiful coast and hill stations or for a more leisurely option hire a bike for an hour or two and cruise the local area. Most hotels offer bike hire.
Explore the local markets that the area has to offer which is a perfect opportunity for you and your family to buy souvenirs for friends and family, whilst also learning about local delicious produce and delicacies.
If you love elephants as much as we do, then why not spend some time with Lakshmi the elephant at the Serenity resort, where you will have the time to bathe and feed her (and possibly get splashed by her!).
Find your Zen, and visit one of the gorgeous spas and wellness retreats, where relaxation is the main priority. Enjoy a comforting massage which will release stress and tension or try some yoga overlooking the peaceful surroundings.
Hiring your own private houseboat is a magical experience. Weave your way through the Kerala Backwaters and enjoy a slower pace as you observe local village life. The houseboats are fully crewed and are a great option for overnight stays or a longer trip.
Whether you enjoy strolling along the shore or want to take each other on in a family sporting tournament, Kerala has some great beaches where you can enjoy beachside living and the warmth of the Indian sun. Larger resorts offer motorised and non motorised sports.
Your trip does not need to be filled with lots of activities, so why not take a day off and just relax at your hotel. India has wonderful resort hotels offering swimming pools, games rooms and a host of activities for the young and old.
Something you must experience as a family is the Ooty Toy Train to either Mettupalayam or Coonoor. Sit back and see the greenery to the mountains which pass you by whilst smelling the enticing tea and eucalyptus.
Take an early morning trekking or jeep safari through a national park. Watch out and hopefully you will see animals siuch as elephants and Nilgiri tahr and maybe an elusive tiger. It can be a little chilly first thing, so don’t forget your jumpers.
Start the family bonding by trying bamboo rafting. This is the ultimate test for any family who do not want to fall in. Set in the Periyar Tiger Reserve which means that you can catch a glimpse of elephants, sambar and gaurs.
Try a culinary lesson in local cuisines with an experience local chef who can show you and your family, Indian dishes which can be made back home. If you want your children to start making you meals at home, this is definitely worth a try.
Wake up to smell the tea by talking a trip to Munnar’s tea plantations, where you and your family can learn about the process of tea making. Watch the tea pickers working hard or have a go yourself, and even sample it your brew.
Get back to nature without a mobile phone in sight and try camping in the mountains. Enjoy the early sunrise by taking a walk around the tranquil area in the some wildlife, before returning and enjoying a hearty breakfast above the clouds.
Experience native South India tribes and start to understand what tribal life is like. Visit areas such as Wayanad District and see how the family members live and start to understand the concept of simple living.
Challenge each other by taking on a trek through the Western Ghats. Savour the beautiful surroundings and maybe spot some local wildlife. With the flexibility of our tours, you can either make this a small part or the centre of your trip.
Forget the school run chaos or the misery of delayed trains and take a more relaxed mode of transport with a traditional ride on a bullock and cart. Perfect for a trip to the local market or spice plantation.
Indian people are incredibly welcoming and there are wonderful opportunities to stay on farms and in homestays. With a tailor made itinerary you could try it out for a night or two.