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Plantation Highlands & Hill Stations of South India

by Holxo Travel Specialist


The hill stations of South India carry their own charm and aura, which invites visitors from all across the world, to dwell in their emerald beauty. One of the many reasons for their massive popularity is the incredible plantation highlands that grow in abundance in this part of the country.

From tea to coffee to cardamom, the very sight of any of these plantations can literally take your breath away for a moment or two. Perhaps it is for the best to visit South India and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed and that’s a promise.

Well, for now, allow us to bring your attention to some of the best plantation highlands of South India. Read about them, picture them and then, visit them and you will fall in love with each one of them individually and all at once!

Most popular hill stations and plantation getaways in South India are:

Coorg, Karnataka (2500-3500 ft asl)

Coorg is a coffee plantation area renowned for its plantation retreats / homestays, superb drives and pleasant climate all through the year. This has made this breath-taking place quite a favourite destination for honeymooners and holiday travellers. 

The plantation trails of Coorg are definitely worth exploring, especially for those who will be visiting the place for the first time. The aroma of coffee that fills the environment with super good vibe is what we are talking about. Additionally, the beautiful cottages, adventure activities, infinity pools and mesmerizing views of the entire estate will be enough for you to never want to leave this place ever.

Ama Plantations, The Tamara, and Misty Woods Resort are some of the properties that offer stunning tours of coffee plantations of Coorg.

Plantations around Coorg
Plantations around Coorg

Munnar, Kerala (4500-6000 ft asl)

Munnar is renowned for its tea plantations, apart from spectacular drives, misty weather and a wide range of holiday resorts. Munnar is popular for summer travellers looking for a few days of cool climate, superb views and an easy paced relaxed holiday. 

We are all aware of the fact that tea produced in Munnar is of the highest quality and is available in a wide variety and flavours. Most of the tea plantations estates were established in the 80s and 90s and even earlier. Thus, this makes the high plantations of Munnar not only beautiful but also epoch. The emerald meadows backed by the Sahya mountain range makes the view simply irresistible.

Some of the must-visit tea plantations of Munnar include Pallivasal Tea Garden, Photo Point, and Kolukkumalai tea Estate.

Munnar Tea Plantations
Munnar Tea Plantations

Thekkady, Kerala (2500-3000 ft asl)

Thekkady is renowned for its spice plantations, holiday resorts and wide-ranging activities around the Periyar reserve (plantation walk, elephant ride, boating in Periyar, full-day eco- tourism programme, walking / trekking / bamboo rafting in Periyar reserve) along with shopping (spices).

The winding pathways among the plantations constantly bring the whiff of the spices and herbs that strikes all your senses in a good way. The smell lingers on for a while before your nose gets used to it. The walk in the misty weather of Thekkady and amongst the green gardens of spices is simply beautiful. Some of the popular spices that grow in Thekkady include cardamom, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is considered to be the best place for visiting/viewing the spice plantations in Thekkady.

Inside Periyar Reserve
Inside Periyar Reserve

Wayanad, Kerala (2500-3500 ft asl)

The best thing about Wayanad is that it is home to both tea and coffee plantations. One of the most popular travel destinations of South India, Wayanad is renowned for waterfalls, getaway resorts / homestays and cool weather all through the year. If you are a traveller and a nature lover, this place is perfect for your weekend getaway.

The activities here include bird watching, nature walks, cycling, bamboo rafting, boating along with wide-ranging sightseeing (viewpoints, museum, bamboo craft centre) and shopping (spices).

However, none of the above activities as well as adventures can match the stunning high plantations of tea and coffee in this alluring town.

The plantations in Wayanad are of high-altitude and offer captivating vistas of the mountain ranges in hindsight. The lush green landscapes add even more beauty to the high plantations of tea and coffee. Some of the popular tea plantations in Wayanad include Tea Town, Vythiri, Ripon Tea Factory and Priyadarshini Tea Estate. Some of the best coffee plantations in Wayanad include Coffee Acres Plantation, Planet Green Plantation Resort, and Wayanad Coffee Trail Resort.

Kuravadweep Bamboo Rafting
Kuravadweep Bamboo Rafting

Ooty, Tamil Nadu (6500+ ft asl)

Ooty, officially known as Udagamandalam, is a colonial era hill station, renowned for its cool summer climate, heritage hotels and wide-ranging sightseeing / activities for holiday travellers.

Ooty is where you can beat the heat while indulging in some astounding touristy experiences (boating, viewpoints, gardens, waterfall visit, etc.)

However, your visit to Ooty shall not be complete without a stroll in the high tea plantations of the hill station. The whiff of the homegrown tea of the estates will simply heal your soul. This is why it is recommended to book your stay in one of the plantation resorts in Ooty.

During your stay, you will also get a chance to learn how to pick tea leaves and even, brew some a cup of aromatic tea yourself. Some of the best places to stay in Ooty to get the experience include Tenerife Hill, Tea Nest, O’land Plantation Stay, Destiny Farm Stay and Sunshine Bungalow.

Boating at Ooty Lake
Boating at Ooty Lake

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu (7000+ ft asl)

If you love travelling, then, you must have already visited or heard about the beauty of Kodaikanal. It is a popular hill station in South India, renowned for its quiet lakeside character. Kodaikanal has been a honeymooners’ favourite where summer travellers come to spend a few days amidst cool climate and experience some easy paced activities / things to do (boating, gardens, viewpoints, etc.).

The distinct flavour and taste of the tea grown in Kodaikanal makes it quite popular amongst tourists. No wonder the sale of tea sky rockets during the seasons of high tourism. The vistas of these plantations are so high that one can easily spot the plantations of Munnar hill station.

The serenity accompanied by the freshness of the aroma of tea leaves is simply mesmerizing. In fact, the simplicity of Kodaikanal backed by the godly beauty of high plantations is reason enough for you to visit.

Some of the must-visit tea plantations of Kodaikanal include Nilgiri Tea Plantations, Saffron Stays Kurinji Estate, Sterling Kodai Valley, and Kodai Resort.

Most of these estates/resorts also arrange for Tea plantations tour for their customers. You can enquire about the same with the staff of the estate or resort.

Kodaikanal Lake Views
Kodaikanal Lake Views


Now that you know about these remarkable high plantations of South India, it is recommended that you visit them once and really soak in the amazing vibe they give off. South India is all about travel and food and thus, your trip will not remain limited to exploring these plantations but get the best out of this part of the country. So, pack your bags, get a tour booked with Holxo Holidays and get going!


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