South India Travel Destinations

Updated: Sep 28

Traveling to India in the summer, especially the south, may sound insane, but travel writer Abinaya Kannan shows us eight exclusive travel destinations in South India where we can not only beat the heat, but also chill out.





“There is a common misconception among folks that South India is one of the hottest places during the summer season. But there are many amazing places in South India, which are the perfect spots to chill during the months of summer.”

1. Kodaikanal

It is a well-known fact that Kodaikanal is one of the coolest destinations on Earth. It is a beautiful hill station in Palani Hills, Tamil Nadu. Rightly called as the Princess of Hill Stations, Kodaikanal charms tourists with its panoramic natural attractions. It has well-connected road and air transport system.


If you are a nature enthusiast, then your next summer retreat should be definitely Kodaikanal. With a pleasant climate, chill breeze, gushing waterfalls, and breathtaking lakes, it is surely alluring. The best months to visit Kodaikanal are November to February or April to June.


The places of interest are the Coaker’s Walk, Bryant Park, Kodaikanal Lake, Berijam Lake, Silver Cascade Falls, and the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory. If you are looking for accommodations, there are many good hotels in Kodaikanal which you can book at modest rates.

2. Varkala

If you are into beaches, then you must head to Varkala in Kerala. It is also an excellent backpacker hangout in South India. Varkala is an ideal destination to swim, sleep and relax. The best time to visit this place is from December to March.


Despite its party vibe, it is actually a temple town, and the beautiful Papanasam Beach is a divine place where offerings are made for passed loved ones. The main attractions in Varkala are Sivagiri Mutt, Vaishnavaite Temple, Varkala Beach, and Varkala Tunnel.


When you are in Varkala, enjoy the sunset with yummy seafood from the local cliff-top restaurants. There are many budget-friendly accommodations in Varkala where you can stay at cheap prices.


3. Coorg

Rightly called the Scotland of South India, Coorg is one of the best summer destinations in South India. It is attracting tourists with captivating scenery and pleasant weather. The lush tea and coffee plantations are a visual treat for sore eyes.


It is the best place for adventure sports like camping, trekking, and hiking. The chief attraction spots in Coorg are Abbey Falls, Brahmagiri, Dubare Elephant Camp, Namdroling Monastery, Nagarhole National Park and Raja’s Seat.


Other than the scenic tourist places, Coorg is famous for its people and unique culture. If you are looking for a place to stay within your budget, there are many hotels in Coorg with best amenities and services.


4. Papi Hills

Papi Hills (also known as Papi Kondalu) is a beautiful canyon situated in the border conflux of the River Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. It is enclosed by scenic jungle and is one of the must-visit tourist spots in the summer season. It is a secluded vacation destination with limited mobile connectivity.


It is the apt place for vacationers who want to spend private time with family and friends. It can be easily reached from main towns by tour boats called Launches. The main places of attractions are Gandipochamma Shrine, Devipatnam, Perantalapalli, Kolluru, Pamaleru Wagu and Polavaram Dam.


The beauty of this place is often compared with that of Kashmir because of its quaint backdrop. The best thing about Papi Hills is its unique bamboo huts (Kolluru) along the picturesque hill range.


5. Yelagiri

Yelagiri is a small hill station perched at an altitude of 1110.6 meters above sea level in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. It has gained popularity in the recent times because of the adventure activities organized here like rock climbing, paragliding, and trekking.


It is a less known tourist spot in Tamil Nadu and is rarely flocked by guests. It makes an ideal summer destination spot where you can spend a quality time with your loved ones. You can stay at budget-friendly hotels in Yelagiri.


6. Ooty

Ooty is the most famous hill station in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. The scenic nature and soothing climate make this place one of the best summer retreats in South India. The entire land is sprinkled with lofty peaks, lush jungles, and exotic tea plantations.

You should try trekking, mountain biking and the hand gliding organized every year in Ooty. It is one of the picturesque spots in India, which is ideal for photography freaks.

The places to visit in Ooty are Nilgiris Mountain Train, Ooty Lake, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden & Boating. If you are on a budget cut, there are many hotels in Ooty available at cheap prices.


7. Horsley Hills

Horsley Hills is one of the best summer vacation spots in Andhra Pradesh. It is an enticing and beautiful little hill station attracting a multitude of trippers each year. It is situated at a distance of 144 Km from Tirupathi.


It is a land of exotic and rich flora and fauna and the climate is pleasant throughout the year. The main tourist places are Mallamma Temple, Gurramkonda Fort, Governer’s House and Kaundiya Wild Life Sanctuary. The best time to visit Horsley Hills is from December to March.


You can indulge in adventure sports like rappelling, trekking, mountain climbing and swimming. There are many resorts in Horsley Hills, which offers comfortable stays at good prices. It is advisable to book the rooms in advance during peak seasons.


8. Kolli Hills

Nestled at an altitude of 1300m from the sea level, Kolli Hills is one of the popular summer travel destinations in Tamil Nadu. It is one such tourist spot which is best for all sorts of vacationers like honeymooners, family, solo, and group.


It is known for its flourishing greenery, majestic peaks, and serene setting. The main attractions are Agaya Ganggai Falls, Arapaleeshwarar Temple, Botanical Gardens, Ettukkai Amman Temple and Masila Falls.


There are only a few options when it comes to accommodations and dining in Kolli Hills. But, there are some fine resorts in Kolli Hills, which you can book in advance through travel websites.


About the Author

Abinaya Kannan is a travel writer from India. She loves traveling and to write about Travel & Leisure in her home country.



If you are thinking of travelling to India, we highly recommend following these 30 tips for safe and easy travel.

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