Located 310 km from Kochi
and 92 km from
, Kannur is a small town with a strong historical background. At present it is the headquarters of Kannur District
. Earlier, it was the capital of Kolathiri Rajas. It was also a premier port for spices trade across the
. Marco Polo has referred Kannur as a great emporia of spice trade. With the arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century, the town got political prominence.
Major landmarks of Kannur are the St Angelo Fort built by the first Portuguese Viceroy in 1505 and the Thalassery Fort. The town was the site of many pre-independent struggles. The central prison at Pallikunnu, 3 km from the town, is historically important. Payyambalam beach (2 km), Muzhapilangad Beach (15 km), Valapattanam Beach (7 km), Pythal Mala (65 km) and
(50 km) are the tourist destinations. Parassinikkadavu Temple, 18 km north of Kannur on the banks of the Valapattanam River, is a famous religious center and an attractive tourist spot.
Kannur is accessible by road from other towns and cities in the state. Calicut International Airport is located 93 km from the town.
Kannur Railway Station, an important railhead of
Southern Railways, offers rail services to all major cities.