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A coffeelicious vacation

This monsoon, head to the hills of South India to enjoy the beauty of coffee plantations in their full bloom

travel Updated: Jul 24, 2012 18:20 IST

Sipping a hot cup of strong coffee on a drizzling monsoon day is blissful. But how about making this experience even more heady? Head to the hills of South India and soak up the rich flavours of Arabica and Robusta amid the lush green coffee plantations. After all, monsoon is the time when coffee plantations are in full bloom. We've shortlisted a few places you could visit. As for your stay, you could opt for a resort amid the picturesque plantations to make your vacation more fun. So, pack your bags for a relaxing coffeelicious weekend.

Wayanad


Wayanad in Kerala, surrounded by acres of coffee and tea plantations, makes for a unique and peaceful holiday experience. Karipur International airport in Kozikhode, 100 km away, is the nearest airport. "The rain transforms the place into a pristine green paradise which looks mesmerising in its full monsoon glory," says Mohit Gupta, chief business officer, holidays, MakeMyTrip. For a rejuvenating vacation, you can opt for Hills & Blues, a rain country resort, and indulge in soft trekking, nature walks, and ayurvedic therapies. Vythiri, a wildflower resort and spa, is another good option. Sit and relax over endless cups of filter coffee, or head for a walk down the coffee estates. Couple accommodation packages for two nights and three days in resorts here start from Rs. 12,000 onwards.

Yercaud


An enchanting hill station with abundance of coffee and citrus fruits, Yercaud in Tamil Nadu is situated on the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. It's about 355 km from Chennai, and just 38 km from Salem airport. "The best way to explore the coffee farms is to wake up early and walk down the farms with the smell of fresh coffee pods filling the air. One can also walk into the forest to spot bisons and birds," says Sandeep Singh Sandhar of Roads Less Travelled, a travel firm. Surrounded by lush green coffee plants, pepper bushes and orange trees, the Grange resort that offers an all terrain vehicle (ATV) ride into the forest, is the perfect place to explore the natural beauty of the place and the wild life. You can also opt for the Fair Holme Bungalow or the Lake Forest resort for a full view of the Yercaud lake. Most resorts offer food prepared from fresh handpicked produce grown in theirprivate farms, so you can expect a healthy and hearty meal too. Couple accommodation packages for two nights and three days in resorts here start from Rs. 13,000.

Coorg and Chikmagalur


The splendour of nature is at its best in the monsoon at these two towns of Karnataka. While the nearest airport to Coorg is Mysore (120km), Mangalore airport is closest to Chikmagalur (170km). You can even drive down to both these towns from Bangalore in about five hours. Built in the traditional architecture style of the ayn mane (Coorg house), Club Mahindra's Kodagu Valley resorts are a great choice for stay in Coorg. At Chikmagalur, you can opt for Tata Coffee's Plantation Trails that's surrounded with flora and fauna and gushing waterfalls. Wake up to a refreshing morning amid the lush greens, go for fun jeep safaris in the plantations and guided bird watching tours in the nearby forests, or simply relax with a relishing cup of steaming hot coffee and enjoy the air, loaded with the rich fragrance of coffee beans. Room rates begin from R5000 onwards on twin sharing basis at most of the resorts in this valley.

What not to miss...

At Yercaud, don't forget to visit the Yercaud lake and the Lady's Seat with winding ghat roads, as they make for a picturesque view.When in Coorg, do visit the milky white Abbey falls -- a scenic waterfall, 5km from the city centre.The Bylakuppe monastery in Coorg is also a lovely place to spend some tranquil moments. Do not be surprised to find little monks in crimson robes selling fresh Coorgi coffee at this venue. Buy some for your friends and self. In fact, when you visit these plantations -- do buy this exclusive dark roasted coffee powder made of Arabica and Robusta coffee and chicory beans. But, remember that this type of coffee has to be brewed in a coffee filter before drinking.