God’s Own Country is coined supposedly for its uniqueness, and so are the best places to visit in Kovalam. This coastal town objectifies every aspect of tourism in Kerala, including leisure, watersports, religion, eco-tourism, and more! Plan a trip to India’s First Tourist Enclave, Kovalam, to dig the convincing reasons that persuaded the Her Highness, The Queen of Travancore Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai, to build a royal castle on the hill near the Kovalam Beach for royal gatherings in the 1920s.
A visit to the best places at Kovalam is not restricted to the beaches only as there are temples, art galleries, luxury Ayurvedic resorts flanked around the city. The actual boom in Kovalam Tourism ignited with the advent of the 1970s when hippies on their trail to Ceylon or Sri Lanka discovered the potential of the Kovalam Beach for its shallow waters and low tidal waves.
11 Best Places to Visit in Kovalam (For Sunbathing, Temple Hopping, Ayurvedic Massage)
Put on your reading glasses to learn everything about the 11 best tourist places to visit in Kovalam:
- Hawa Beach
- Lighthouse Beach
- Samudra Beach
- Vellayani Lake
- Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
- Karamana River
- Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
- Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium
- Kovalam Art Gallery
- German Bakery
- Chowara Beach
1. Hawa Beach
Sunbathing, catamaran rides, and herbal massage on the Ayurveda beach resorts are the USP of Hawa Beach. This beach is sandwiched between the Lighthouse and Samudra Beach crescent and is one of the best places to visit in Kovalam in the evening. Locals and tourists alike wander on the beach’s shoreline during the evening, and thus, it is often known as Eve’s Beach.
If you are a fan of sunbathing, Hawa Beach is for you! On the flip side, swimming is not suggested at Hawa Beach due to strong undercurrents. Instead, you will see fishermen arranging water rides for the tourists in the evening. Plus, the palm-fringed backdrop setting is the icing to the cake if you want to capture the blues of the Arabian Sea in your frame.
Finding accommodation ranging from luxury to budget along with cafes and shopping markets around Hawa Beach is not a concern since the shoreline of Hawa Beach got you covered with everything!
- Best Restaurants Near Hawa Beach: Kingfisher Restaurants, WWW Restrobar, Ocean Breeze Grill House
- Best Hotels Near Hawa Beach: Turtle On The Beach, Turtle on the Beach, Annexe, Thushara Hotel
- Best Shopping Places Near Hawa Beach: Shalimar Shop, Kovalam Mall
2. Lighthouse Beach
Watch the sea gushes after the three to four waves and allow yourself to get drenched and feel pleasant. We must say that Lighthouse Beach in the southernmost tip of Kovalam Beach is one of the best places to visit in Kovalam for couples. The water is really blue, and you can indulge in swimming in the beach’s shallow waters in the presence of the lifeguards that always remain attentive.
Lighthouse Beach has watersports, including surfing, boating, parasailing. There is one 118 feet (approx.) red and white band color Lighthouse is also positioned where you can climb the spiral staircase to unlock the bird’s eye’s views of the Arabian Sea Coastline.
If you are looking for the best places to visit at Kovalam after sunset, you will be stunned to see the lighthouse decorated or emitting lights that get their reflection in the sapphire blue waters. The best Ayurvedic resorts in Kovalam and the luxury ones are dotted around the shoreline of the Lighthouse Beach. Foreigners flock here the most to perform beach yoga in tranquil surroundings.
- Best Restaurants Near Lighthouse Beach: German Bakery, Black Cat Restaurant, Beatles Cafe & Grill House
- Best Hotels Near Lighthouse Beach: Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Unwind Hotels and Resorts, Little Elephant Beach Resort
- Best Sopping Places Near Lighthouse Beach: Joseph and Sons, Kovalam Mall
Also Read: Best Beaches in South India
3. Samudra Beach
Simply irresistible experience awaits you at less touristy Samudra Beach on the northern part of Kovalam Beach. The bluish-green waters like the Maldives of the Samudra Resort make it one of the secluded tourist attractions in Kovalam. Here you can sit and enjoy the calming breeze and watch the soft waves crashing gently against the rocks. The fishermen and a handful of tourists, mainly couples, flock to this part of Kovalam Beach because of its scenic setting.
Swimming is pretty safe at Samudra Beach protected shoreline under the presence of the lifeguards. This beach is after the main Kovalam Lighthouse Beach. The sea wall serves as an excellent sitting area dotted with restaurants that serve lip-smacking food. Watch the fishermen bringing in their daily catch followed by an epic sunset encounter. You can take speedboat tours at Samudra Beach and stay at some luxe hotels that dotted its shoreline.
- Best Restaurants Near Samudra Beach: Sea Gull Restaurant, Natesh Cafe, Jasmine Bay Restaurant
- Best Hotels Near Samudra Beach: Hotel Samudra (KTDC), Taj Green Cove Resort & Spa, Little Paradise Homestay 3
- Best Shopping Places Near Samudra Beach: The Lounge, Shalimar Collection, Kovalam Mall
Want to be pampered like a royal on your Kerala honeymoon tour at Kovalam? Would you mind weaving your romantic tales in the erstwhile royal gathering playground of Travancore Royals? If this sounds enticing, then plan a staycation for a few days at Halcyon Castle, aka Kovalam Palace, to experience how a honeymoon feels like in the Queen and King Castle. Under the Her Royal Highness reign, the Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, Halcyon Castle was the pride of the Travancore Kingdom.
If you are traveling with family, you can also visit Halcyon Castle as a heritage site on a day trip free of cost. However, keep alert of the restricted zones of the castle that are now part of the luxury 5-star hotel. Those who don’t have the cash to splash a royal staycation experience can surely cherish a royal meal experience at the opulent restaurants inside the palace featuring chandeliers and royal carpets.
4. Vellayani Lake
Lace-up your sneakers, pack your binoculars and charge your DSLR for bird watching activity at Vellayani Lake. This is the same Lake where the popular Snake Boat Race is held annually at Onam Festival. Famed as a large freshwater body of Kerala, Vellayani Lake bills itself in the list of famous attractions in Kovalam because of its sprawling greenery. If you are traveling to Kovalam with family, an evening boat ride in this lake is suggested with kids.
You will hardly find any vendor around Vellayani Lake except 2-3 small ice-cream vendors. But that is the uniqueness of this place because the remoteness and not-so-touristy surrounding are the USP of visiting Vellayani Lake on a trip to Kovalam. Therefore, we suggest you book a village stay here at the homestays around Vellayani Lake to experience the village life of Kerala as there are no luxury hotels dotted around the lake. Instead, you will find modern facilities and accommodations in the main town of Kovalam.
- Best Restaurants Near Vellayani Lake: Anitha’s Bistro & Cafe, Ustad Hotel, ABC Cafe & Restaurant
- Best Hotels Near Vellayani Lake: Park International, Soma PalmShore Beach Resort, Sea Flower Beach Resort
- Best Shopping Places Near Vellayani Lake: Kerala Antiques, Antique Home Decor
5. Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Coming back home from God’s Own Country without seeking blessings at the temples is like saying went to Goa but returned without beach moments. According to Forbes, Shri Padmanasbhaswamy Temple in the Thiruvananthapuram district is the richest place for worship in the world. This place of worship in Kovalam is known to be one of the 108 holy temples associated with Vaishavishm in India. Theories of temples reveal that the vaults of this chamber hold enough fortunes to eradicate poverty and all the issues from the entire world, but anyone who dares to touch the vaults are punished with the ancient curse.
Chera style and the Dravidian style architecture on the temple walls and its pillars highlight Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The beauty and grandeur of this worship place in Kovalam is admired by tourists across India because the deity here is Lord Vishnu! Inside the temple, the deity sits on the reclined posture of eternal Yoga (Anantha Shayana Posture). You must visit this temple on your Kovalam trip during the Alphashy Festival when the festival becomes the religious ground of hordes of tourists.
- Dress Code of Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple: White/off-white dhoti and angavastram
- Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Festivals: Painkuni (in March/April) and Alpasi (in October/November)
- What You Must Know: Photography and videography is strictly prohibited
6. Karamana River
As the name suggests, this is the river that originates from the Southern point of the Western Ghats at Agasthyarkoodam and merges in the Arabian Sea near Kovalam, flowing through the Trivandrum district. Karamana River is located around 8 kilometers from the main city center and is one of the best places near Kovalam. The river banks area provides a picturesque setting for the lush greenery lovers and photographers because the river banks are dotted with palm grooves of the coconuts and paddy fields.
You can enjoy boating in the backwaters to unlock rejuvenation and leisure on a day trip. Karamana River is one of the best places to visit near Kovalam within 2 days, where the Thiruvallam Boat House provides kayaking excursions, canoe rides, and even stay at the houseboats.
Timings of the Boat Club: 10 AM – 6 PM
Ideal Duration: 3-4 hours (approx.)
7. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
Vizhinjam is a seaside hamlet near Kovalam Junction and is one of the lesser-explored tourist attractions in Kovalam. If you are coming to Kovalam via train, ask the locals about the place, or furthermore, the main city of Trivandrum is around 17 kilometers (approx.) from this hamlet. Vizhinjam village is famous for Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple, whose history dates to the 8th century AD.
If you plan to explore the places to visit at Kovalam with family, bookmark your visit to this rock-cut cave temple. The temple has a remarkable statue of Dakshinamurthy and its rock carvings of Indian God Lord Shiva and his wife, Parvati. A getaway to mythological stories in God’s Own Country is one of the best aspects of enjoying the best Kerala trip.
Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM, closed on Mondays
8. Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium
Bewitch your mind with marine life in the same village of Vizhinjam by planning a visit to Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium. It is one of the best tourist places in Kovalam for kids to learn about unique marine species like triggerfish, angelfish, seahorses, cowfish, and piranhas.
This unique museum in Kerala is officially known as Sagarika Marine Research Aquarium, which is managed and administered by Central Marine Fisheries Institute. But, not just for kids, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium is a year-round tourist place in Kovalam for all age groups interested in marine life.
Timings: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Entry Ticket: 10 INR for kids and 20 INR for adults
Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours (approx.)
9. Kovalam Art Gallery
A feast for the eyes of artists who are eager to appreciate traditional Indian art, Kovalam Art Gallery bills itself in the list of the best places to visit in Kovalam in 2 days. Kovalam Art Gallery is a must-visit tourist spot in Kovalam near Eve’s Beach (Hawa Beach) on the Samudra Beach Road and is an absolute abode of traditional Indian art.
Moreover, as this attraction is an indoor setting, you can visit Kovalam Art Gallery to see the extensive collections of the sculptures and paintings of the Indians as well as some renowned western artists, including Noclas Roerich and Raja Ravi. Guides are also available at additional cost if you want to sneak peek into the sculptures and artifacts at Kovalam Art Gallery.
Timings: 10 AM – 4 PM
Entry Ticket: Free for all
Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours (approx.)
10. German Bakery
A trip to Kovalam with your near or dear ones includes satiating your cravings with drool-worthy food! Isn’t it true? If this resonates with you, visit German Bakery in Kovalam to binge on all kinds of yummy delicacies, including a range of exquisite food. Locals and tourists alike have a rewarding eating experience as this place to eat in Kovalam on the Lighthouse Beach serves lunch, dinner, and evening snacks for over a decade with views of the sapphire blue sea and the calming water sounds.
If you are looking for romantic places to visit in Kovalam for couples, make a point to stop at German Bakery after a romantic evening well spent at Lighthouse Beach. Don’t forget to relish pancakes, German Sausages. Furthermore, this seaside restaurant has an open-air setting where you can make smoke rings with your friends. It goes without saying that German Bakery is the best place to visit in Kovalam with friends also! \
Timings: 7:30 AM – 11 PM
Average Meal Cost for Two: 1000 INR – 1500 INR (approx.)
Ideal Duration: 1-2 hours (approx.)
11. Chowara Beach
This is another popular beach of Kovalam in its southern part and is the mecca for serenity lovers because of its sparkling white waters and arced palm groves. Here you will also see the hawkers selling snacks on the shoreline and the fishermen with their nets. Unlike the other beaches of Kovalam, Chowara Beach is surrounded by temples and churches, and the prayer sounds are a retreat for your weary soul. Swimming is not a suggested activity because of large thunderous waves, but sunsets and sunrise at Chowara Beach compensate for this.
The surroundings of Chowara Beach is dotted with high-end Ayurvedic resorts where you can unlock rejuvenation to its core. Moreover, a few luxury resorts on the Chowara Beach shoreline provide sunbeds, and walking a few meters up to the street will introduce you to souvenir shops where you can indulge in a shopping spree.
- Best Restaurants Near Chowara Beach: ButterFly, The Bonfire Seafood Restaurant, Annam Pure Veg Restaurant
- Best Hotels Near Chowara Beach: Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village, Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village, Pebble Coast Resort
- Best Shopping Places Near Chowara Beach: Azzurra, Shalimar Shop, Kovalam Mall
What Else is Enticing About Kovalam Tourism
Kovalam is the local native language translated to “Groove of coconut trees” and has plenty of leisure places for day picnics like Aruvikkara Dam, Valiyathura Pier, Neyyar Dam, and Kovalam Juma Masjid. Being a religiously diverse coastal town, you will find churches, temples, and mosques located a stone’s throw distance from each other.
Kovalam is also called the Bohemian backpacker’s paradise and is considered a replica of Goa where swim, surf, sand and chic cafes are the highlight that attracts European and Israelis travelers. If you have explored Goa before, engulf yourself in the coastal vibes of Kovalam near Trivandrum.
Although, backpackers are not much in Kovalam compared to the tourists of the age group between 40 to 60 years (approx.). These are tourists who seek pampering and mind, body, and soul bliss. Therefore, Kovalam Tourism is known to boost authentic Ayurveda resorts that provide holistic treatment for the revitalization of the mind.
Which place in Kovalam has impressed you the most and why? Tell us in the comments. Also, if you think we have missed something important regarding the Kovalam trip, feel free to drop your suggestions down!
Tell Me More About Tourism in Kovalam
Kovalam is a beach town near the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum and is famous for three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. Lighthouse Beach, the Hawah Beach and the Samudra Beach beaches are the three separate parts of the 17 kilometers of a long stretch of Kovalam Beach running along the Malabar Coast that forms the crescent shape.
You will find the sand of Kovalam Beach slightly colored black due to the presence of rare earth elements. Touted to give solid competition to Kerala’s most developed beach resort Varkala, Kovalam Beach recently got blue flag certification for its bathing water quality and public control safety measures in September 2021.
Best Accommodation in Kovalam
|Best Honeymoon Resorts in Kovalam||Best Family Resorts in Kovalam|
|Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra||Taj Green Cove Resort & Spa Kovalam|
|The Raviz Kovalam||Gokulam Grand Turtle on the Beach|
Best Restaurants in Kovalam
|Best Restaurants in Kovalam||Must-Try Food in Kovalam|
|Kerala Appam||Puttu and Kadala Curry|
|The Crow’s Nest Cafe||Sanjeevini Restaurant|
How to Reach Kovalam
Located close to the capital town of Kerala, reaching Kovalam from the regions in and around Kerala or long-distance locations both domestic and overseas is not a hefty task. Road travel to Kovalam from the state of Karnataka and its towns is one of the best experiences to indulge in Kovalam. Here is how you can reach Kovalam via flight and railway:
|Nearest Airport With Distance (approx.)||Nearest Railway Station With Distance|
|Trivandrum International Airport (14 km/22 minutes)||Trivandrum Junction (16 km/30 minutes)|
Best Season, Climate, and Weather in Kovalam
|Season||Months||Avg. Min Temp||Avg. Max Temp|
|Summer||March to July||26°C||36°C|
|Monsoon||June to September||19°C||30°C|
|Winter||October to February||15°C||26°C|
Popular Events and Festivals in Kovalam
- Kalpathy Chariot Festival
- Elephant Festival