The easiest way is to arrive at one of the Kerala airports, from overseas as well as from distant North Indian cities such as Delhi.
From Delhi, the train service Kerala Express takes about 50 hrs to reach its destination, Trivandrum. Not everybody has that much time or desire to stay 2 days and nights confined in a train compartment.
The airports in Kerala are Cochin, Calicut and Trivandrum. They all operate domestic and international services.
Millions of Keralites work overseas, mostly in places such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia etc. Those who work and live in Europe, U.S, Australia, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore also add up to a significant number.
So there are regular flights operating between Gulf countries and Kerala. Kerala airports also operate services to Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Male.
There no direct flights from Europe or U.S to Kerala. However, with carriers such as Emirates, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways and Ithihad and so on, it is possible to reach Cochin via one of the Middle East transit points.
From the Far East, you could take a connection flight to Cochin from Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur airport) or Singapore.
Air India operates flights to Delhi and Mumbai from most important cities of the world. So you could reach Delhi and have a glimpse of North India before heading south to Kerala.
Cochin airport (COK)
The most important airport in Kerala in terms of size and passenger volume is Cochin.
Cochin airport is located in the village of Nedumbassery, about 35 kms from Cochin. So the airport is also called Nedumbassery airport.
Most tourists arrive at Cochin since it is convenient. Cochin the port town is also an important tourism destination. It is a convenient hub for further travel to the backwaters of Alappuzha and the hill station of Munnar and many other tourist locations.
The airport operated by private public partnership is one of the cleanest and well maintained airports in India, a country where most airports lag miserably in terms of cleanliness and efficiency.
Flights connect Cochin to several countries. While most international services are to Middle East locations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Muscat, and Riyadh and so on, there are also flights to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.
Domestic and International terminals are adjacent to each other and only walking distance in between.
Domestic services include regular services to major Indian cities such as Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. There are also flights to regional towns such as Trichy, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Calicut and Goa.
Departures and arrivals adding up to about 70 services per day, it is one of the busy airports in the country.
Trivandrum Airport (TRV)
Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala.
Trivandrum airport is the choice if you want to explore the southern part of Kerala. Famous tourist destinations such as Kovalam and Varkala belong to here.
The airport is in the outskirts of the city, near Shangumugham beach. The distance to the city is only about 4 kms.
Trivandrum airport operates flights to domestic and international destinations. Gulf countries, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Male are connected by services.
Kozhikode airport (CCJ)
Located at Karippur, about 26 kms from Calicut City is the third Kerala airport. It is not as big as the other two, however operates a few international flights in addition to several domestic services.
This airport is the choice for those who want to visit places in North Kerala such as Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur.
Kasaragod travelers may be better of arriving at Mangalore airport, located in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.