Much of Kerala's exotic appeal is centered in the highland area of the Western Ghats. Rising to an average height of 1520 m, the tropical forests of the ghats house rich flora and fauna. Not to speak of expansive, loamy plantations of tea, coffee, rubber and fragrant cardamom.
Idukki : A landlocked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. The high ranges and wooded valleys are girded by three main rivers- Periyar, Thalayar and Thodupuzhayar- and their tributaries. The river pamba also has its origin here. As a tourist destination, idukki offers diverse attractions like wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, spice plantation tours, mountain treks, elephant rides etc. Idukki has a large tribal population who has unique customs and beliefs and maintains an ethos which is distinctly different from that of the mainstream culture.
Munnar : 55 km from idukki town, Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams. 1600 m above sea level, this hill station was the summer resort of the British government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture - book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station Neelakurinji is the flower which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi - which towers over 2695 mts. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Mattupetty : Situated at a height of 1700 m. Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm - the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over a 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. The Mattupetty Lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.
Devikulam : 7 kms from Munnar, this idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
Wagamon : 65 km from Idukki town, situated at an elevation of 110 m above sea level, this hill station is a trekker's delight. Wagamon is surrounded by beautiful meadows, valleys and tea gardens.
Nellyampathy : 52 km south of Nemmara, this fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1572 m above sea level. At least 10 hairpin bends have to be negotiated on the ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya ranges. Seethakundu at Nellyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one third of Palakkad district.
Vythiri : 100 km from Kozhikode, tucked away at the north eastern tip of kerala, the quaint little hill station about 1300 m above sea level is renowned for its coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber plantations. Mist capped mountains and breathtaking scenery dominate other tourist attraction.
Lakkidi : 55 km east of Kozhikode / 5 km south of Vythiri, Lakkidi the gateway to Wayanad, is situated 700 m above mean sea level. At the crest of the thamarasseri ghat passes. Lofty peaks, gurgling streams and forests add magic to the journey up the winding roads to this hill
Peruvannamuzhi : 60 km from Kozhikode, the Peruvannamuzhi dam site set amid hills is a beautiful picnic spot. The reservoir here provides facilities for speedboat and row boat cruises. Uninhabited Island, a bird sanctuary and a crocodile farm add to the charm of the place.
Ponmudi : A mere one and a half hour's road journey separates the beaches of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) from the invigorating climate of Ponmudi Hills. The name Ponmudi, a hill station so close to the sea, in Malayalam means golden crown. On the way to Ponmudi, the thick tropical forest greets one at the foot of the Ponmudi hill range. The road passes under a canopy of thickly matted foliage. The forest recedes gradually giving way to neatly clipped tea bushes.