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South India 2 Week Itinerary: Varkala to Patnam

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Travelling South India for 2 weeks was great fun, and this itinerary is perfect for those of you who want to experience our favourite sites as well. Hopefully, you’ve read part one of this journey, where we travelled around North India, but if you haven’t, the links are below.

South India is perfect for sun worshippers thanks to a more tropical vibe than the north and is home to some fantastic beaches like Patnam in Goa. It’s also great for nature lovers thanks to mountainous regions like those in Munnar.

We thought of a lot of places to add to our two-week South India itinerary and cherry-picked the absolute best. Here’s everywhere you can’t miss on your trip to South India!


Uncover Our South India 2-week Itinerary For An epic journey.

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: Varkala beach in the Kerala state

Travel South India for 2 weeks is our 2-week itinerary backpacking across the south of the country from the red cliffs of Varkala to the serene beaches of Goa. If you are looking for inspiration for a possible trip, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this.

🌟 Guess what ->> As travel experts, our experiences have led us to be great at planning travel itineraries, so much so that I offer a bespoke travel itinerary service to all my readers. Interested? See what it’s all about here on my custom itinerary page.


South India 2 week Itienrary: Varkala (days 18-21)

We continue south after making haste from Varanasi, a place we weren’t too keen on, by taking the earliest flight and train to Varkala. The town is in Kerala State, and we made it there before the day’s end. We also fell in love with Varkala. 

We wanted the sea, beach, and good vibes… and we found it there.

What an adventure we had getting there, though. The flight was fine, although we couldn’t leave from Varanasi. We had to catch a bus to Lucknow and fly to Kochi in the South. The train to Varkala from Kochi was great; however, we realised we would be coming back on ourselves later. 

A rushed exit is never a good idea! Find out why we decided to cut our trip to North India short.

The Red Cliffs Of Varkala

Red cliffs of Varkala in South India

We reached Varkala with great relief after a long journey. As we walked around the village, we stumbled upon the Bamboo Village, which we decided to stay at without any prior booking. It seems like the hotel isn’t available any longer.

There is a range of accommodation options available to suit all budgets, from £9 a night for a dorm room at Standard Stay (rated 8.8 on Booking), £15 for a double room at Jickys Nest (rated 8.1 on Booking), £23 for a double at the Lost Hostel (rated 8.4 on Booking), and £54 for a double room with balcony at Happy Buddha S4 (rated 9.4 on Booking).

Pro tip >> If you’re planning a trip to Varkala, I highly recommend visiting the place for some downtime and beach fun, as well as dining at the cliff-top restaurants that offer breathtaking views.

The path along the cliffside is dotted with restaurants, bars, and shops, and you’ll find markets selling everything from clothes to books and trinkets. It’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, and soak up the sun.

During your stay in Varkala, I suggest signing up for an Ayurveda massage and a cooking class to experience the best of Keralan cuisine. The place is known for its delicious and nutritious food, and you’ll have a chance to learn how to cook some of the local dishes.

Cooking classes are a must on your itinerary during your 2 weeks in South India!

South India 2 week Itinerary: Amritapuri Ashram (days 21-23)

I don’t think any South India itinerary is complete without a meditation and yoga stop, so during our 2-weeks, we decided to add a visit to Amritapuri Ashram.

It’s super easy to get to from Varkala, so it makes a great stop as you head west. For us, we did have to do a little re-organising as it wasn’t part of our original plan, but within no time, we were able to catch a bus directly to the Ashram.

Amritapuri Ashram

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: Amritapuri Ashram

We decided to stay at the Amritapuri Ashram for three days and two nights. Our stay was filled with activities such as morning meditation and afternoon yoga classes, which left us feeling rejuvenated and peaceful. 

We also had the opportunity to explore the Ashram and the nearby beach on the river, which was a serene and beautiful experience. Although the room we stayed in was on the smaller side, and the beds were not the most comfortable, the overall experience was incredible and well worth it. 

Abi sits inside the room at the Ashram in South India

In the evenings, we attended a meditation class on the beach, which was a truly wonderful experience. We were also provided with three delicious meals a day, which were both satisfying and nourishing.

We were also given the chance to contribute to the community by helping make some decorations for an upcoming ceremony, which was a great way to connect with the local culture. 

⭐ Pro tip >> Overall, a great addition to your itinerary if you’re looking for a unique and fulfilling experience.


South India 2 week Itinerary: Alleppey Backwaters (days 23-25)

We decided we would head to Alleppey afterwards and rent one of the houseboats everyone was telling us about. The plan was to cruise around the backwaters for a few days before heading to Munnar. Again, it was not part of the trip, but it turned out well.

The journey was rather exciting. Having been told a few ways to get there, we decided on the quickest route. We caught a taxi from the Ashram to the train station, a train to Alleppey and another taxi to the Punnamada Jetty, which is where you’ll need to go.

Pro tip >> By skipping the buses, we saved a few hours. Having been told to get there early if we hadn’t pre-booked a boat, which we hadn’t, we felt it necessary to ensure the best deal!

Booking The Houseboat

The river in South India near Alleppey

We spent around half an hour walking along the jetty and haggling over prices before we decided on a houseboat to rent for the night. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what price we agreed on, but doing it this way is more affordable than pre-booking.

Tour Suggestions

That said, we had plenty of time to wait around, which I know isn’t the case for all of you. If you’re on a schedule and prefer to pre-book, I’ve found a selection of tours you might be interested in.

🌟 My top pick >> Experience an overnight stay on a deluxe houseboat on this private 2-day tour from Kochi. Join a small group and admire the beautiful scenery of paddy fields and coconut palms as you cruise along the backwaters, an area known as the “Venice of the East”.

Here are some other top-rated tours you might be interested in:

Our Houseboat Experience

Abi and Claire sitting on the front deck of a houseboat in Alleppey

This excursion was an absolute highlight of our two weeks in South India, and we enjoyed every moment of it. The experience was truly incredible, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to explore the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.

As we set off from the jetty, we sailed into the river and were treated to a breathtaking sunset. The view was truly stunning, and we felt so lucky to be able to witness it from the comfort of the houseboat.

Pro tip >> Over the course of two nights on the boat, we were incredibly well taken care of. All of our meals and drinks were included. We had a fantastic cook onboard who prepared delicious meals for us throughout our stay. You won’t need to spend any additional money during these days.

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: Abi and Claire sit on a canoe in Alleppey backwaters

In addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery and fantastic food, we also had the opportunity to explore the smaller canals by canoe. Having a chance to see this beautiful part of India from a different perspective was a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Back at the jetty, we jumped into a taxi, which took us to Kochi bus station. This was about a one-and-a-half-hour journey, but we had agreed on a cost before leaving. We found the buses around the Punnamada Jetty area were not often, and we didn’t want to wait around. And since the taxis were cheap, we agreed it was the best way. 


South India 2 week Itinerary: Munnar (days 25-28)

We reached the wonderful rolling hills of Munnar by the evening. There was a street parade happening as we arrived, which was a nice welcome, and it was relatively easy to find our hostel. 

Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats mountain range, which means there are a lot of hills and tea plantations, which is why we visited. There were also many shops selling natural beauty products and remedies using ayurvedic herbs and teachings.

Pro tip >> Adding a stop to Munnar to your 2-week South India itinerary makes a nice change from the coast. You’ll be surrounded by nature and get to experience beautiful contrasting landscapes.

The Tea Plantations

Abi and Claire are standing in front of a tea plantation in Munnar, South India

Another highlight of our trip was visiting the town’s lush green tea plantations. We took a guided tour and learned about the tea-making process, from the initial plucking of the tea leaves to the final packaging of the tea bags. It was fascinating to see the workers’ precision and dedication to their craft.

⭐ Pro tip >> Munnar is beautiful, and there are a handful of other tours you might be interested in, such as a half-day trekking experience and the chance to see wild elephants; included is a waterfall visit, too!

South India in 2 weeks itinerary:  Abi and Claire are among the tea shrubs in a plantation valley in Munnar.

Mattupetty Dam

On another day, we decided to visit the nearby Mattupetty dam. It’s a perfect place to unwind and relax, surrounded by nature. The dam is known for its abundant wildlife, and we were lucky enough to spot some exotic birds and butterflies during our visit.

There were also several food stalls where we indulged in some local delicacies. We took a leisurely stroll on the walking paths around the dam and even went for a boat ride to experience the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Pro tip >> The dam is located just 30 minutes away from Munnar by taxi, and it’s definitely worth a visit!


South India 2 week Itinerary: Hampi (days 29-31)

We left for Hampi the next day. We had to change buses and decided to stop at Bengaluru on the way. The journey had taken around 10 hours, and we hadn’t booked anywhere to stay; we also arrived pretty late. 

However, as always, we found a hostel, although I would recommend a little more forward planning, especially if arriving somewhere late at night. It did take us a while to find somewhere, and there were some shifty-looking characters around.

The next bus to Hampi was a bumpy ride with few toilet stops and took around 5 hours. 

Exploring Hampi

Abi and Claire are sitting atop a rock formation at Matanga Hill in Hampi, South India.

The magical Hampi; both Claire and I agree that this was such a wonderful place to visit. Hampi is a truly hidden gem in the heart of South India.

It was not part of our planned trip; you’ve probably noticed we didn’t have much of a plan for South India apart from Goa and Alleppey. If you’re in South India for 2 weeks, I highly suggest adding Hampi to your itinerary!

Hampi is an ancient village dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. There is a river running through its centre, with giant boulders creating breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Pro tip >> Join this private day tour of Hampi and explore the World Heritage site with a professional guide. Visit all the famous sites such as Virupaksha Temple, Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple and Vijaya Vittala Temple.

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: Hampi Oasis/Landscape

On the south bank of the River Tungabhadra is the 7th-century Hindu Virupaksha Temple, near the revived Hampi Bazaar. A carved stone chariot stands in front of the huge Vittala Temple site.

Pro tip >> While here, make sure you add a visit to the Hampi Archeological Ruins, Matanga Hill, Sasivekalu Ganesha temple and walk around the ruins of the Soolai Bazaar to your daily plans. 

Hindu Virupaksha Temple, Hampi.

Pro tip >> This is also an excellent spot for an Indian head massage. I had one which was sensational! There are many restaurants, cafes, and little souvenir shops to wander around in as well. Hampi is another fantastic place for relaxation.


South India 2 week Itinerary: Anjuna & Patnam (days 31-35)

After Hampi, we beelined for Goa to end our travels on the beaches, cocktail in hand!

Anjuna

Claire sits at a cafe in Anjuna, Goa.

Located in North Goa, Anjuna is probably one of the more well-known regions of India. It is a hub for backpackers with its long sandy beaches, rich culture, electronic trance parties and the famous flea market.

You’ll want to visit the flea market in Anjuna; it’s pretty fantastic! Think of a winding maze of stalls stuffed full of clothes, jewellery, crystals, leather and anything else you can imagine. But there are loads of attractions in Goa, from Catholic churches in Panjim to Hindu temples and Portuguese architecture to spice plantations.

🌟 My top pick >> A popular tour is the Fontainhas Heritage Walk, where you can learn more about Panaji’s history and culture on a two-hour walking tour of the Fontainhas neighbourhood. You might also enjoy a cultural and historical immersion day or a food-tasting tour!

There are plenty of food and drink stalls on the beachfront, with lots of accommodations. You’ll find affordable hostels and beach huts to hotel resorts.

Pro tip >> Although Anjuna was great, keep in mind it is very busy. There was constant loud music playing throughout the night. We made the decision to move south to the more quiet and less busy beach of Patnam in Canacona. 

Patnam

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: The perfect beach hut to end the holiday in Patnam.

Patnam is a perfect little beach where you will find a much more chilled vibe. We stayed in a little hut on the beachfront and luckily got a really good deal as it was quieter. 

At the end of our 2 weeks in South India, we spent the rest of our trip chilling at various beach bars and sunbathing, which I think was a great way to end this itinerary. The both of us enjoyed a visit to Palolem beach as well, a little further north.

When it was time to leave, we caught the train back to Mumbai to board our flight home.

South India in 2 weeks itinerary: Final sunset in Goa with a glass of wine.

Resources For India

Is it your first time visiting India? We’ve written lots of useful posts to help you plan your trip. You can check them all out on our India Page herebut below are some of our most popular articles:


In Summary: 2 weeks South India Itinerary

The whole trip around India was an incredible experience, and we really had an amazing time. I would recommend it time and time again as a fantastic holiday destination!

Two weeks in South India is a good amount of time to visit the sites I mentioned and get a feel for the country. That being said, India is huge, so if you have more time, then there are endless things to add to your 2 week South India itinerary.

Personally, I preferred the south to north India, but only because I love the sea and beach. North India is architecturally stunning and has some incredible temples to explore!

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Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, shoot me a message.