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LGBTQ+ couples' guide to getaways that help in unwinding in Kerala

LGBTQ+ couples' guide to getaways that help in unwinding in Kerala

By Aquib Nawab

05 Jun, 2024

It’s hard for LGBTQ+ couples to find a romantic getaway destination that is truly welcoming and safe.

Fortunately, the Indian state of Kerala is an oasis of tolerance and natural beauty, which makes it an ideal location for LGBTQ+ travelers who are looking for a relaxing break. In 2018, Kerala stood up against the law that criminalized homosexuality, which was a big deal! They even had their first Pride parade that year. It shows how Kerala is all about being inclusive and welcoming.

The landscapes are breathtaking: backwaters that stretch out as far as the eyes can see, pristine beaches with white sands, stunning hill stations covered in dense vegetation, and a vibrant culture throughout the region.

This article highlights some of the most LGBTQ+ friendly places to visit in Kerala with every place promising an amazing experience.

1. Kochi (Cochin): The cosmopolitan charmer

Starting point of your journey should be Kochi – the historical port city where different cultures blend in architecture. Fort Kochi has an array of attractions including streets with colonial buildings, Chinese Fishing nets and vibrant food scene in general.

When at Kochi never miss Mattancherry Palace also called Dutch Palace and Paradesi Synagogue these are historic places showing the rich cultural tapestry of this city.

With a good number of accommodations for all sorts of travellers available as well as a thriving LGBTQ community living in the city, Cochin just exudes an atmosphere of inclusiveness. Some of these homestays or boutique hotels are classified as LGBTQ+ friendly making your stay here an interesting experience on its own.

The Hosteller effortlessly strikes a balance between style and comfort, welcoming all the guests, including those who identify themselves as LGBTQ+. 

Kochi Beach (Credits: Canva)

2. Munnar: Tea estates and misty magic

Leave behind the hot coastal sun and enter into nature’s arms with Munnar being among picturesque hill stations located in Western Ghats. Here you can find serenity among vast tea farms stretching over misty valleys whose beauty makes Munnar a great place for couples seeking romance within nature’s touch.

You are advised to start with visits to the Tea Museum where history or cultivation can be learned at same time; Eravikulam National Park is home to Nilgiri Tahr, a rare animal species, and is located nearby. Hike across the tea fields or just sit back in your comfortable room that offers you breathtaking views.

Munnar tea garden (Credits: Canva) 

3. Varkala: Boho beach bliss

If you are craving for sun-drenched beaches then choose Varkala for your next vacation. This beautiful coastal town features cliffs along its shoreline as well as amazing beaches fringed by palm trees overhanging into the ocean waves of Arabian Sea. Artists, backpackers and peace lovers have found solace here due to its relaxed nature and bohemian feel.

By day go laze on the golden Papanasam Beach (also referred to as Varkala Beach) that has some natural spring water; while there, be pampered at one of their health centers with Ayurvedic treatments. Nearby the beach is Janardana Swami Temple – a 2000-year old temple. All-in-all it is a blend of fun and culture served on one plate. 

Varkala beach (Credits: Canva)

4. Kumarakom: Backwater paradise

For a truly peaceful and romantic escape, Kumarakom is an ideal place to visit, which is a calm village situated on the iconic backwaters of Kerala. The tranquil beauty of this sanctuary is widely known; it has green fields with palm trees and quiet channels that resemble paintings.

You can also sail leisurely on houseboats across the lagoons while exploring the natural beauty of God’s Own Country in your own floating hotel room. Bird lovers and nature enthusiasts should visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. 

Kumarakom beach (Credits: Canva)

5. Thekkady: Into the wild

Go into the wilderness of Thekkady in Kerala where Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of India’s most famous national parks, is located. This exceptional destination combines its natural beauty and cultural richness, making it perfect for adventurous LGBTQ+ couples who want to soak themselves in local life.

However, you may go trekking under expert guides through this reserve spotting grand elephants, elusive tigers or different species of plants as well as animals. An alternative would be taking restful bamboo rafting along the calm Periyar Lake surrounded by luxuriant landscapes within this reserve. Visit Spice Plantations to know more about the spice legacy of the area and even take part in a spice walk tour.  

Thekkady river (Credits: Canva)

Summing up

This beautiful state provides several queer-friendly places in almost every couple’s mood - whether one wants peace in backwaters or refreshing hill stations or energetic coastal towns of Kerala.

A beautiful place full of history, nature and hospitality; here is where you should have a getaway if you want it to be unforgettable as well as inclusive for LGBTQ+ couples who wish to escape together.

The Hosteller is one among the best accommodation chains for individuals who would like to travel through Kerala on vacation, especially those who identify themselves as LGBTQ+.

Located in various cities, The Hosteller features a wide selection of elegant guest houses that will make your heart melt while taking you right into the center of God’s Own Country.

Group of friends enjoying bonfire (Credits: The Hosteller)

What to do now?

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