3 x One Month South India Itinerary | Best Places to Visit in South India!

February 6, 2019

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1 Month in South India is a good amount of time if you are travelling around India. South India is very diverse with many different places to visit so how do you know where to visit in South India in one month and which are the best places to visit in South India?

Well out of my 4 months in India, I spent 2 months travelling South India covering the West Coast, the East Coast and the section in between. I visited the beautiful beaches of Goa, the famous Backwaters of Kerala, went Hiking and saw wild Elephants in Kerala, saw a former French side of India in Pondicherry and Auroville, and hit up some big Cities like Chennai, Mysore and Bangalore.

I think that South India is much less visited overall than North India and I found it hard to work out the best itinerary for South India and to do a route around South India that meant I didn’t have to go back on myself a lot.

I also found South India harder to plan as when I was searching for trains between places, no options were coming up! Once there I found that a lot of South India needs to be travelled by local bus!

Here are my 3 recommended South India travel itineraries with the best places to visit in South India which you can pick and choose from depending on what your priorities are and which tourist places in South India you want to visit.

I’ve added a map because when I was researching the best places to visit in India I found that I was seeing all of these City names but had no idea where they were! The maps will help you get a grip on exactly where the 1 month South India itinerary will take you!


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Remember you need a visa to enter India. Luckily, these day’s the visa for India can be applied for online and they give you a 1-year visa straight away! Here’s my step by step easy guide on how to apply for an e-visa for India.

South India Itinerary!

Best Places to Visit in South India.

1) Goa to Kerala Itinerary – Goa Beaches, inland Karnataka & Kerala!

Beaches of Goa – 10 Nights – Buses or Taxi’s Between Beaches

Day Train

Hampi – 2 Nights

Day Train

Bangalore – 2 Nights

Overnight Bus

Ooty – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Munnar – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Kochi – 3 Nights

Day Train

Alleppey – 2 Nights

Day Train

Varkala – 3 Nights

Day Train

Trivandrum – 1/2 Nights

= 30/31 Nights

Pro’s of the itinerary:

If you’re visiting South India to visit the holiday destinations in South India or need to relax after travelling North India it will be nice to spend a good amount of time to start with in Goa either on the same beach or a few different beaches.

Despite staying mainly on the West Coast you’ll still be visiting 4 different states – Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu all states are very different which will be good to see.

You’ll see beaches but also a nice bit of inland Southern India like the Hill Stations of Ooty and Munnar, a big city like Bangalore and a unique places in South India like Hampi.

Trivandrum isn’t that popular for tourism but it has an International Airport so you can get flights out of India from there, or make your way back to Kochi after Varkala or to Madurai as they have main airports too.

Con’s of the itinerary: 

I have listed a lot of places here with just 3 or 2 nights, this means you’ll be moving on fast but that’s because these places do have minimal tourism and after 2 or 3 days there is not much else to do in them.

A couple of buses are needed in this India travel itinerary including local day buses which do make travel days longer but South India lacks in train lines so this is the only option apart from getting a taxi / private driver.

2) Goa to Bangalore Itinerary – Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka!

Goa – 7 Nights

Overnight Train

Alleppey – 2 Nights

Day Train

Kochi – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Munnar – 2 Nights

Day Bus

Thekkady – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Madurai – 2 Nights

Day Train

Pondicherry – 3 Nights

Chennai – 2 Nights

Day Train

Mysore – 3 Nights

Day Train

Bangalore – 2 Nights

= 30 Days

Pro’s of the itinerary:

All 4 major states in South India will be seen Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka showing a huge part of the Country and lots of different areas including beaches, the backwaters, a hill station, a national park and some big cities.

You’ll get a really good feel of South India travel after seeing all of these places and each place is very different.

Con’s of the itinerary: 

The itinerary ends very city heavy. If you would rather start with the cities and end on the beaches of Goa reversing this itinerary would work well so you can see the best tourist places in South India.

I have listed a lot of places here with just 3 or 2 nights, this means you’ll be moving on fast but that’s because these places do have minimal tourism and after 2 or 3 days there is not much else to do in them.

A couple of buses are needed in this itinerary including local day buses which do make travel days longer but South India lacks in train lines so this is the only option apart from getting a taxi / private driver.


3) Chennai to Bangalore Itinerary – Off the Path in Tamil Nadu & Karnataka!

Chennai – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Kanchipuram – 2 Nights

Day Bus

Pondicherry – 2 Nights

Tuk Tuk / Moped

Auroville – 2 Nights

Day Bus

Chidambaram – 2 Nights

Day Train

Madurai – 3 Nights

Day Train

Coimbatore – 3 Nights

Day Bus

Ooty – 4 Nights

Day Bus or Taxi

Mysore – 3 Nights

Day Train

Mangalore – 3 Nights

Day Train

Bangalore – 3 Nights

= 30 Nights

Pro’s of the itinerary:

This itinerary features some really unique and different places in South India that not as many tourists visits. You’ll really get a feel for the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Con’s of the itinerary: 

Many of these places are not for everyone, I have not been to a number of these locations including Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Coimbatore and Mangalore as they did not take my fancy but if you really want to see a unique and different side of South India especially if you have been to Goa and Kerala before, this would be great.

I have listed a lot of places here with just 3 or 2 nights, this means you’ll be moving on fast but that’s because these places do have minimal tourism and after 2 or 3 days there is not much else to do in them.

A couple of buses are needed in this itinerary including local day buses which do make travel days longer but South India lacks in train lines so this is the only option apart from getting a taxi / private driver.

My Related Blog Posts

Here are my blog posts from the places I have mentioned above in India to help you plan backpacking India trip and know what to do in each place in India:

8 Things you need to know before travelling South India.

Alleppey – Cruising the Backwaters of Kerala from Alleppey! & 5 Ways to See the Backwaters of Kerala from Alleppey.

Auroville – Visiting Auroville on a Day Trip from Pondicherry.

Chennai – Why Chennai is a Good Place to Visit for Your First Stop in India!

GoaA Guide to Palolem Beach for BackpackersMy Magic Yoga Holiday in Goa at Earth Yoga Village!

Madurai – What To Do in Madurai, Tamil Nadu in Just One Day!

Munnar – Hiking in the Tea Plantations of Munnar, Kerala!

Pondicherry – 10 Things To Do in Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu!

VarkalaA Guide to Varkala Beach for Backpackers.

How to Book a Train in India as a Foreigner.

How to Take a Local Bus in India and What they are like.

General Backpacking Posts: 

My 10 Most Useful Travel Items!

What To Look For When Choosing and Buying A Backpack For Travelling!

Website’s and App’s to Help Plan Your India Trip!

AccommodationBooking.com – I’ve used Booking.com to book all of my hostels and hotels in India. I love it because of the flexible cancellation and amendment options in case my plans change. 

Buses12GO Asia – Whilst train travel is the best way to get around India, buses are popular and common too. If you can’t see the right option for a train, or if it’s just a short journey, check out the buses too!

FlightsKiwi – I tend to use Skyscanner to book my flights but in India the cheapest option is always Kiwi through Skyscanner so why not head there first. Sometimes it is easier and still very cheap to fly internally in India so if it’s a long journey always check out flights to compare!

Organised Tours – Although it is very possible to travel around India by yourself it does take some planning and it does take time too. If you are on a short timeframe or you’d rather travel with people, there are plenty of organised tours around India. From some research that I did I found that Intrepid Tours are really popular tours around India.

TrainsIRCTC – This is the official site to book trains in India, it can be tricky to work out how to use it but once you’ve got a log in and made a booking it’s easy to use and it’s the best way to book trains in India as it’s direct. This is how Indian’s book their trains, no commission from travel agents needed! To book trains without registering in a complicated way you can use 12GO Asia to book trains in India too!

TrainsTrainman – Once you have booked your train, the day before / the day of your booking, get onto Trainman to check its status (on time or delayed), platform number, carriage number and seat number using the helpful map!

Travel Advice – I have created a second website purely about India to help travellers visit, for more tips and advice check out India By Backpack.

Travel Cards – I have been using a WESWAP card whilst travelling around India. I’ve loved it because I top it up with money via the app which helps me keep track of what I’m spending and keeps my money safe if I lose the card. I’ve had zero issues with getting money out of ATM’s with it too which is a big plus when travelling as using general bank cards can be so much hassle! (That’s actually a lie, I have had issues but that’s because of the tempermentual Indian ATM’s not because of the card.)  When you sign up, use the promo code THEWAN10 and you’ll get £10.00 credit when you top up by £50.00.

Travel Insurance – World Nomad’s – You must have travel insurance for India! I am covered by World Nomad’s and they offer such a great cover including the fact that you do not need proof of going home after your trip which a lot of companies want however is impossible for long term travellers to prove, and you can start and renew a cover with them whilst travelling, you do not need to be at home. If you haven’t got insurance yet, get a quote and get it sorted now whilst you think of it.

I know this was a lot of information but I hope it has helped you, I feel like this is the blog post I wish I had had when planning my backpacking trip around India! Be sure to bookmark it so you can keep referring back to it as you go through the stages of planning your India trip!

Remember if you want some ideas for your North India trip, here are my one month itineraries and how much I spent in North India.

Do you watch YouTube? If so, be sure to subscribe to my channel and have a binge watch of my vlogs to see what India is all about!

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Ellie Quinn The Wandering Quinn Profile Photo

I’m Ellie Quinn!

I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!

I created this blog to share my best travel tips with you to help you travel better, save money and visit some hidden gems! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and you can read more about me here!




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