Traveling to Kerala in the south of India? Here are a few things you definitely should not miss…

1. A boat ride through Kerala’s backwaters

– check the gorgeous scenery, a swim in the lake, bits of birdwatching – more than one publication has listed the experience of spending a night on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala as one of the must-do things before you die. We’ve done it and we can only agree. This is nature at its best and easily one of the most romantic ways to spend time.

2. Going for an Ayurvedic spa day

– ladies: forget heavy backpacks, stressed emails from work or any other problems you may encounter and treat yourself to one or several of the many Ayurvedic treatments offered in various locations in fort cochin. The Cochin Ayurvedic Centre on Santa Cruy School Road and other Lonely Planet recommendations are good but don’t come too cheaply. if you’re traveling low-budget and still would like a time out with oil massages and facials try the Agastyatheeram Ayurvedic Centre on Peter Celi street. a 50 minute whole body massage here costs only 400 rupees ( ~ 6 euros)

3. Hang out at Teapot enjoying a tasty ‘death of chocolate’

– almost as therapeutic as a massage is backpacker favorite “Teapot”, a cafe decorated with much attention to detail, serving up a range of international teas and treats such as home made cakes and pancakes as well as Indian goodies. “death of chocolate” is a mouth-watering cake which receives much praise from everyone who’s tried it.

4. A South Indian food cooking class
– chef Gigi from “Talk of the Town” (the travel booking office, not the restaurant further down the road) teaches you wonderful recipes from mango-fish curry to chapatti. And after you make it, you eat it all. A yummy treat and a valuable lesson from just 350 rupees per person.

5. Mixing your own perfume fragrance

– step in the footsteps of J-Lo, Liz Taylor & co., and create your own perfume. At Kerala Fragrance on Kalvati road in Fort Cochin you can test the various fragrances and mix whatever you like to create you own note. A small bottle of your creations can cost as little as 100 rupees (1,40 euros) and makes a great souvenir for friends and family at home.

a boatsman in the backwaters of Kerala

inside view on a houseboat in Kerala

Jaichy in Kerala Fragrance, a perfume store that lets you mix your own perfume

South Indian cooking class: learn how to make a mango-fish-curry in Gigi’s kitchen

Kerala at its best