Homestays on Munroe Island are a relatively new thing in the past few years.
But it does seem like it’s gaining popularity, and you’ll come across travelers now and then who have made the Munroe Island backwaters a part of their trip to Kerala.
What’s a homestay on Munroe Island?
The term “homestay” is used loosely in most parts of India.
In other countries, a homestay might mean you are literally staying in someone’s home.
While surely it’s possible to find homestays in India in which you are staying in someone’s family home, this typically isn’t the case in Munroe Island (and other parts of Kerala).
But that’s okay!
It basically just means that you can expect a more homely atmosphere, and not just a formal hotel experience.
Typically you’ll have the chance for plenty of interaction with the owner of the homestay, as well as possibly the family and friends.
How to get to Munroe Island
Whether you’re coming from Alleppey or Varkala, it’s easy to get to Munroe Island by train.
Although, not being on the route of long distance trains, the frequency of trains is less.
You can take that as a sign that Munroe Island really is in a quieter part of Kerala!
Direct trains to Munroe Island:
The main big city near Munroe Island is Kollam.
If you arrive by train to Kollam or by ferry to Kollam (on the Alleppey to Kollam ferry!), the easiest would be to get a rickshaw to Munroe Island. That will probably be around 500 rupees (US$7).
The most convenient option would likely be to find a train direct to Munroe Island though.
If you don’t mind taking general class, it’ll be a cheap ride too!
Once you get to the Munroe Island train station, a rickshaw to your Munroe Island homestay of choice will probably be around 50 rupees (less than US$1).
5 things to do on Munroe Island that will make it so you have the BEST homestay experience
These are things to do in Munroe Island that you may want to look for when selecting your own homestay accommodation.
1. Eat Kerala FOOD!
To me, this really is the #1 reason that makes a Munroe Island homestay the best.
I LOVED pretty much all the homestay food that was served.
There was one meal that was a bit too spicy for me, so then after that they kept it mild. But besides that, it was so good.
I might go back just for the food.
And it was basically all you can eat too.
The meals were NOT included in the price of accommodation.
The price for food was around 100-150 rupees (US$2) per meal for vegetarian food. Seafood was around an extra 100 rupees.
The place I stayed was a short 30 second or so walk from the kitchen and dining area, so there’s no need to go in search of a restaurant during your stay. I ate all my meals here.
If you want beer, your homestay owner will likely be happy to go and buy you some as long as you ask for it ahead of time. You can expect a premium charge for this “service” though.
2. Stay in a cute place right on the backwaters
You make a trip to the Munroe Island backwaters for the atmosphere.
So it’s only fitting that you find a place that’s right along the water!
Not all homestays will be on the water, but if this sounds good to you, be sure to look for it!
3. Go cycling around the island
If you want to take a break from just sitting and enjoying the views of the waters from the front porch, you can also get in some cycling on Munroe Island!
This can be a bike ride of 1-2 hours on the quiet roads of the island.
The ride can include roads that are inland, as well as roads that run right along the Kerala backwaters.
The place I stayed offered free bicycle rental.
4. Go for a quiet sunrise canoe tour
If this is your first Kerala backwaters tour, you will probably love this canoe ride.
The canoe tour got started off early, around 6am, which meant most of the ride was through quiet canals and in a wide open channel that was also pretty empty.
There were some village people who were working on the waters bright and early, but other than that, it was pretty tranquil.
Being at sunrise and going through lots of trees in the canals though, there were mosquitoes around, so bug spray or mosquito repellent cream could be a good idea! (You can buy this in India for cheap.)
The Munroe Island canoe tour was another extra cost. Mine was 500 rupees (US$7) for the 2-hour canoe ride.
If you won’t be staying on Munroe Island but are interested in a canoe tour, you can try contacting a homestay and then ask if they offer canoe tours.
Chances are that if they offer it to guests, they will offer it to non-guests too!
5. Go for a village walk
So I was staying at this Alleppey Beach guesthouse, and a girl was talking about how much she loved her Munroe Island homestay.
She mentioned the village walk as one of her favorite activities on Munroe Island, and I got a little jealous. 😉
My homestay didn’t come with the free village tour to learn more about local life like hers did.
So if a village walk sounds good to you, you may just want to look into seeing if it’s something that’s offered at the accommodation you’re looking at.
Where to find your perfect Munroe Island homestay
There are affiliate links below. You should totally check out the homestay reviews.
Okay, so now that you know that you want to go to Munroe Island, where to stay?!
Have a look at these top-rated Munroe Island homestays
- Munroe Nest homestay
- Green Chromide homestay
- Munroe Days homestay
- Munroe Heritage Inn
- Villagio Munroe
More Munroe Island accommodation
Similar to homestays, lower your expectation about the definition of a “resort” on Munroe Island!
And even more places to stay
Put in your travel dates below and it will show you the prices of hotels in Munroe Island on the map!
Munroe Island homestays on airbnb
You can also find some homestays on airbnb.
If it’s your first time booking on airbnb, use my referral link to get up to US$40 off an airbnb booking. Typically there’s a minimum price requirement, so if you’re not able to use it for Munroe Island accommodation, you can save it for another future airbnb booking.
You can also always show up on Munroe Island and have a walk around to see what you like.
But this may not be the best option since accommodation options in general tend to be more spread out here.
Or taking a rickshaw around the island to explore your options may work too if you want to see before you stay.
HAPPY HOMELY STAY ON THE MUNROE ISLAND BACKWATERS!
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.
There are affiliate links on this page that lead to partner websites.
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!