Allepey is a small Keralan market town best known as the starting point for short and long rice boat trips into the surrounding backwaters of Vembanad Lake on the town’s north and eastern fringes.

Alleppey is at the centre of a network of criss-crossing canals, backwaters and lagoons. In its heyday, Alleppey was the main British trading post on the Malabar Coast from where spices, coffee, tea, cashews, coir and other produce were transported to the sea ports via these canals.

Today, not much remains of its heyday except the old quarter where the narrow streets are lined with colonial-era houses. The lively markets with their numerous silk shops, and the long beach are perfect places to unwind and while away an evening enroute to your rice boat cruise.

Should you be lucky to be in town on the second Saturday of an August in the middle of the monsoon, Allepey comes alive for one of Kerala’s major spectacles – the Nehru Trophy snake boat race. Think of the Cambridge-Oxford boat race, amplify the noise tenfold, throw in tropical sunshine and all the colours of the rainbow.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)