The journey to India is just the beginning of your adventure. Once you arrive in Kerala, the culture, climate, food, natural environment and, of course, the people will ensure that it is a trip you'll never forget.
Arriving at Bethsaida Hermitage is exciting in itself. The drive from the airport is about 30 minutes by taxi - and as you pass through the gates, the magic of our hermitage begins. The smell of jasmine, beautiful and romantic lighting, smiling faces, winding pathways, the sound of the waves lapping on the sand and the many palm leaves swaying in the breeze give you a sense of belonging and you will know that its going to be an adventure to remember.
Kerala's many attractions include serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. From enchanting art forms and magical festivals, to historic and cultural monuments there really is something for everyone. Restaurants, tailors, pashmina shops, Indian artefact shops and supermarkets, small souvenir shops, a surfing beach are all just a 'tuk-tuk' ride away from Bethsaida.
Here is a taster of what is on offer right at our doorstep:
1. BACKWATERS OF KERALA
The renowned backwaters are just around the corner and you can take a houseboat to explore the palm-fringed, peaceful waters which are full of exotic wildlife and plant species. House boats are symbols of Kerala and Kerala itself is often called the "Venice of India" because of the beauty of these waterway cruises. Cruising on a house-boat is a magical experience and might just be one of the most romantic trips you'll ever experience.
Duration of the trip: approx. 8 hours (with lunch and tea).
2. KOVALAM BEACH
Popular with tourists since the 1930s, Kovalam Beach is only a 10-minute ‘tuk-tuk’ ride away from Bethsaida and is a great place to pick up supplies. a ‘tuk-tuk’ is basically a motorbike with a shell on it’s back for passengers to ride in, making it a fun, breezy and inexpensive way to get around. Stretching one kilometer starting from the iconic white and red lighthouse, the beach is home to dozens of bars, cafes, shops and Ayurvedic facilities making this coconut lined beach a must-see destination for those visiting Kerala.
Duration of the trip: approx. 4 hours.
3. TRIVANDRUM (THIRUVANANTHAPURAM)
Trivandrum is the closest major city to Bethsaida. There are shopping opportunities galore here if you are interested in Indian fabrics, gold/ platinum jewellery, cultural artefacts, rugs, sculptures, wood carvings and anything else Indian you can think of! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to advise you of the best places to find what you are looking for. With so many shops, people and choices, shopping trips are a city explorer's dream! Trivandrum is also home to many temples, palaces and markets and, once again, we’ll advise you where to find the best ones.
Duration of the trip: approx. 4 hours 30 mins.
4. RESERVE - LAKE - YOGA ASHRAM
This trip includes visits to the reserve Neyyar Dam, which is just one example of the tropical India described by Kipling. There is a crocodile farm, a lion enclosure and an elephant rehabilitation centre, where you can feed, ride and bathe them. You can also visit the ashram of Shivananda, a Hatha Yoga centre extremely popular with Europeans. It is located right on the shore of the picturesque lake.
Duration of the trip: approx. 6 hours.
We would also recommend taking a day trip to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, where three major bodies of water meet - the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is also home to the beautiful, pink Ghandi temple, which gives a history of Ghandi’s work and pays tribute to his life. It is also a bustling and interesting town to hang out in with its colourful markets, fortune tellers and many small shops selling intricately-made Indian artefacts.
Duration of the trip: approx. 9 hours
Don't forget that we also have a range of cultural, games and sports activities at Bethsaida Hermitage open to all guests. This includes badminton, volleyball, water polo, table tennis, board games, pottery painting classes, cookery classes, yoga, meditation and more. We hope to create a sense of community and friendship with our guests joining together in play. Again, please inquire at reception for the current program.
BETHSAIDA HERMITAGE - Location of our resort.
BACKWATERS OF KERALA - 10 mins away.
KOVALAM BEACH - 12 min away.
TRIVANDRUM - 30 mins away.
RESERVE - LAKE - YOGA ASHRAM - 1 hr 10 mins away.
KANYAKUMARI - 1 hr 50 min away.