You should totally consider getting from Alleppey to Munnar (or Munnar to Alleppey) on the Kottayam ferry when you are following a one week in Kerala itinerary!
Munnar is a destination in the hills of the Western Ghats, a mountain range that’s older than the Himalayas. It’s famous for tea plantations.
You’ll start to get a glimpse of this on the road to Munnar, and you can take it further by going for a Munnar tea plantation trek.
Munnar is also an access point to get to the base of the Meesapulimala Trek for overnight camping followed by a day hike to the second highest peak in Kerala.
You will love the scenery with the tea plantations, just as you’ve seen in pictures!
So, when you’re trying to get from Alleppey to Munnar, is getting there by ferry a good option when it comes to public transportation in Kerala?!
As with all things, it depends on your priorities!
So, let’s first take a look at your different public transportation options to get from Alleppey to Munnar!
For the best things to do in Alleppey and the Kerala backwaters on a budget, see canoe, kayaking, more ferry rides (with options for Varkala and Thekkady similar to Munnar), and more about travel to Alleppey.
If your travels will take you to other parts of India too, also see the guide to backpacking 2 weeks in North India.
How to get to Munnar from Alleppey
- Alleppey to Munnar taxi: 5 hours
- Alleppey to Munnar train: not an option
- Alleppey to Munnar bus: 6-8 hours
- Alleppey to Munnar via Kottayam ferry + bus: 10 hours possible
Alleppey to Munnar by taxi
Time: Around 5 hours
If you don’t mind spending a little bit of extra money and you want to go for convenience, it’s also an option to go from Alleppey to Munnar by taxi.
It’s a thing for tourists to hire a car with driver to get from place to place even when the drive is several hours long.
In the case of getting to Munnar from Alleppey, the drive will probably be around 5 hours.
According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2019, the cost of a taxi from Alleppey to Munnar is probably around 4,500 rupees (US$65).
Alleppey to Munnar by train
NOT an option
There is no train station near Munnar.
So going by train to Munnar from Alleppey by train isn’t really an option.
Alleppey to Munnar by direct bus
Time on bus: 6-7 hours
According to the aanavandi website, there are a few timings for direct buses that you can take from Alleppey to Munnar.
These timings are meant to give you an idea, and shouldn’t be used as an absolute!
These are the listed Alleppey to Munnar bus timings:
If you are going in the opposite direction there are some timings for direct buses from Munnar to Alleppey too.
These are the listed Munnar to Alleppey bus timings:
Note that these are local government buses so they do make a number of stops, but these buses wouldn’t require a transfer. Get on the bus at Alleppey, and then get off in Munnar!
Now… the BEST way to get to Munnar from Alleppey by public transportation…
Alleppey to Munnar via the Kerala backwaters!
Why would you want to spend a possible 10 hours to get to Munnar when you can get there in 7 hours?!
Because… when in Kerala!
Kerala is most famous for the backwaters, and Alleppey is the most famous hub for the backwaters. So it’s only fitting that you leave Alleppey (or arrive to Alleppey) by way of the backwaters! 😉
How to get to Munnar from Alleppey via ferry
- Take a ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam (2.5-3 hours)
- Take a bus from Kottayam to Munnar (5-6 hours)
- Take a rickshaw from the Munnar bus station to your Munnar guesthouse!
1. Take the ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam (3 hours)
These are the Alleppey to Kottayam ferry timings:
While this boat schedule is listed on the government waterways website, it can also be a good idea to confirm the boat timings with the guesthouse that you are staying at.
Now, here’s a look at what your day might look like on the ferry!
Get on the ferry to Kottayam at the main Alleppey ferry station
Find a seat that will give you some great views!
Take in the backwaters!
Take in some more backwaters!
Arrive at the Kottayam ferry station!
2. Take the bus from Kottayam to Munnar (5-6 hours)
Kottayam to Munnar by bus
The Kottayam bus station is about a 15 minute walk from the ferry station. You’ll also likely find rickshaws waiting for you at the ferry station too. Depending on the time you arrive at the ferry station and the possible time of the bus to Munnar, you may not want to be taking your sweet time to get to the bus station!
Once again, looking at the aanavandi website to get an idea, there are frequent enough buses from Kottayam to Munnar to make this a pretty reliable option.
These are the listed Kottayam to Munnar bus timings:
Here’s the Alleppey to Kottayam boat schedule for the morning once again.
This time it’s listed with possible buses to Munnar that you can take from Kottayam:
- 7:15am ferry – 10:20am bus?! or 12:30pm bus
- 9:35am ferry – 12:30pm bus?! or 1:50pm bus
- 11:30am ferry – 3:35pm bus
With the Kottayam ferry typically being nearly 3 hours long, it might be tight to make it to the earlier of the listed bus timings.
BUT, this is going based strictly on the schedule listed on the aanavandi website.
Remember that buses can be delayed, and there could be more buses that aren’t mentioned on the website. Once again, the point is to give you an idea that it IS possible! This is India, so just be prepared to be flexible. 😉
When you get to the Kottayam bus station, head straight for the “station master” office or ticket counter. This is where you will get a reliable answer about when the next bus to Munnar will be.
Next, wait for the bus that you need to take!
Buses in Kerala tend to not have English signs on them, so you may have to ask around about which bus to take. Although, with Munnar being a popular tourist destination, a bus to Munnar might have a sign in English too.
Then, once your bus comes, enjoy your ride to Munnar!
3. Get a rickshaw from the Munnar station to your Munnar guesthouse (or walk if you are ambitious)
Once at the Munnar bus station, you will likely be ready to get to your guesthouse after a long day!
There will likely be plenty of rickshaws waiting for you at the Munnar bus station ready and willing to take you to your guesthouse!
How to get to Alleppey from Munnar via ferry
If you are going in the opposite direction from Munnar to Alleppey, you may consider:
- Take a bus from Munnar to Kottayam (5-6 hours)
- Take a ferry from Kottayam to Alleppey (2.5-3 hours)
- Take a rickshaw from the Alleppey ferry station to your Alleppey guesthouse! (Go for a beachside guesthouse!)
These are some of the Munnar to Kottayam bus timings in the morning:
These are the possible Kottayam to Alleppey ferry timings:
HAPPY ALLEPPEY TO MUNNAR TRIP PLANNING!
To have the BEST time in Alleppey, be sure to take a look at the best of Alleppey travel guide!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!