Kozhikode is 146km (91 miles) NW of Kochi; Kannur is 92km (57 miles) NW of Kozhikode

Even though northern Kerala's history as a major spice-trade destination is well documented, it remains relatively untouched by tourism. This is largely because of the 8-hour drive it takes to get here from Kerala's better-favored (and more rigorously developed) beaches and backwaters in the south. Nevertheless, this can be a wonderful region to explore if you are looking to get away from the tourist crowds, and have time to spare. Certainly if you're traveling overland from Mysore, Karnataka, to Kerala, it makes excellent sense to spend a day or two exploring this relatively untouched part of the subcontinent, particularly the Wyanad Hills, which remains one of India's last true wilderness areas. Malabar's far northern coastal region, stretching from Kannur all the way up to Bekal, just before the state's border with Karnartaka, has also begun to undergo its evolution into a tourist destination, albeit one for a more laid-back and crowd-free experience. The area now boasts one of the loveliest places to stay in all Kerala, and the beaches here are virgin territory. A warning, though: While this remains an excellent place for travelers keen to escape the predictable tourist hot spots, the area is gearing up to see a big increase in visitors.