Kovalam Tourism

Kovalam Tourism

Kovalam Info

  • State: Kerala
  • Famous for/as: Beach
  • District: Thiruvananthapuram
The town of Kovalam is situated along the Malabar Coast in the state of Kerala in South India. Kovalam is a famous beach destination visited by Indian and international tourists all round the year. It is 15 km from the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram.

History of Kovalam

The word ‘Kovalam’ in Malayalam stands for ‘a groove of coconut trees’. Kovalam was a cluster of small fishing villages during the pre-Independence era that belonged to the state of Travancore. The earlier history of Kovalam is very obscure. The town of Kovalam came to the lime light during the reign of the Maharaja of Travancore in the 1930s. The Maharaja of Travancore was so impressed by the beauty of the place that he spent a lot of his leisure time on the beaches of Kovalam. He also invited his European friends over to this place and they made the place popular.

People & Culture of Kovalam

Kovalam shot to fame during the 1970s, during the era of the hippies. The town witnessed a heavy influx of hippies taken in by the beauty of the place. Since then, Kovalam became famous among international tourists. Some small fishing villages still exist in Kovalam which are at a distance of 4 km from the beachfront. Kovalam enjoys a languid lifestyle. Characterised by beaches, it has a huge population of fishermen and locals whose culture is regarded as susegad. Also, tourists visiting the destination tend to relax on beaches, eat and make merry, which is why Kovalam attracts a large number of international tourists till date.

Things to do in Kovalam

Kovalam consists of crescent shaped sandy beaches. The three beaches of Kovalam – Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach, and Hawa Beach (Eve's beach) – are separated from each other by rocky shores. A shallow-water-stretch that extends to about 1 km from the land makes it ideal for swimming. All the beaches have steep coconut-palm fringed highlands and shining sandy beaches that contain a great amount of minerals like ilmenite and thoracite.

With the rise in tourism, there has been a great development in the infrastructure and hospitality industry at Kovalam. The healthcare industry has also greatly flourished in the region with special reference to a branch in natural therapy, Ayurveda. Visiting Ayurvedic clinics and hospitals for relaxation, rejuvenation and treatments has become a popular activity in Kovalam.

Tourists visiting Kovalam can opt for sunbathing, swimming and other marine activities or just sign up for Kovalam holiday packages that provide travellers a chance to explore the beach town in a more organised fashion. Also, visitors can also take excursions to nearby destinations like Ponmudi, Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), Vizhinjam, etc.

Food & Shopping in Kovalam

Kovalam is a food lover’s delight, especially seafood lovers. Almost all restaurants have a generous offering of seafood. The beach front restaurants on Lighthouse Beach have displays of fresh fish, lobster, crab, mussels, tiger prawns and others. Depending upon the customer’s selection, the fish is weighed and then cooked according to the desired style. However, service can be slow and the food a bit pricey.

Since Kovalam sees a lot of international tourists, the food menu in the restaurants is also quite varied. From German bakeries to the traditional Kerala-style restaurants, there’s something for every palette. There are some good options for vegetarians as well.  There is not much to shop for in Kovalam. The main beaches in the town have street shops that sell hats, sarongs and other beachwear. Tourists can also buy souvenirs from local shops or jewellery made by locals. A few bookstores in the main town sell international editions of books in various languages.

Travelling to Kovalam

Kovalam is at a distance of about 14 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Buses, taxis and auto rickshaws are available from Thiruvananthapuram to Kovalam. Taxis can cost around INR 400-500 for the 20 minute journey while auto rickshaws may charge anywhere between INR 150-170. Buses, on the other hand, take nearly 30-40 minutes. If staying at Hawah Beach, passengers need to get down at the promontory, which separates Hawah and Kovalam beaches.

The nearest airport to Kovalam is Trivandrum International Airport which is connected to many cities in India as well abroad. Taxis and buses are available from the airport to reach Kovalam. The nearest rail station is Trivandrum Central railway station, which is about 15 km away from Kovalam. This railway station is well connected to major cities in India.

Travelling within Kovalam

Tourists visiting Kovalam can hire bikes or bicycles, either from Thiruvananthapuram or from Kovalam itself. These modes of transport make it easy for travellers to explore the town at their own pace. However, there is also the more expensive option of hiring a private taxi where the drivers, sometimes, also double up as guides and take tourists to visit all attractions of the town.

Accommodation options in Kovalam

There are numerous hotel options in Kovalam for tourists, which range from budget to high-end, which even include staying options on the beach. The beach town also has a few resorts that offer traditional Ayurvedic massages.  

Summers in Kovalam are hot with temperatures going over 30⁰ Celsius. The rainy months of June, July and August see a lot of heavy downpours and thunderstorms. However, the festival of Onam is held during August and is a great time to witness the festivities and cultural events associated with it. The Snake Boat Race is also held during this time.

The best time to visit Kovalam is from September to March. The beaches of Kovalam also deck up for Christmas and New Year, which is another reason to visit Kovalam during this time of the year.

Best time to visit Kovalam in the next six months

  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Kovalam Traveller Reviews

Read 175 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.9/7, 1
out of 5521 Kovalam reviews 175
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Gowtham Sundararajan

  • Tourist
  • Gowtham Sundararajan
  • Lives in Gurgaon
  • 2 Reviews
  •  21 readers

"Awesome place to visit" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Very close to resort hardly 3mt. Variety of fresh sea foods at its traditional Kerala style is available. A excellent place to spend with family. Atmosphere was electric and could hear the lapping of sea waves. During the night it was incredible. Need to feel it to enjoy.
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Nettikadan Biju

  • Explorer
  • Nettikadan Biju
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Salem
  • 33 photos
  • 12 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  2854 readers

"Weekend Getaway" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
We started our journey from Salem, Tamil Nadu on 24th June for a weekend and didn't have a perfect plan as we were travelling to a new location never been so we didn't not have any choice. We first drove down to Thenmala a beautiful landmark of God's own country. After seeing that we did not have another option but to find another place close enough to get so we found Ponmudi an hill station this is another landmark of God's own country. A beautiful creation now after visiting two places in a day we had to a break for our journey so finding the nearest and good location we started our journey to the most talk able beaches of Kerala. We reached Kovalam and took a resort very close to the beach. The rooms are good, has a vegetarian restaurant, no room service but still good and has a beautiful swimming pool. The cottages were reasonable and affordable we spent our Saturday evening went to the beach on Sunday morning spent our day till after noon before heading to Salem.
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Niju Nichuzz

  • Tourist
  • Niju Nichuzz
  • Lives in Kovalam
  • 1 Review
  •  92 readers

"Its a amazing place of peace and beauty"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
We all have go to many beaches in India and other nations. But one of the best in the world is Kovalam beach. Its have a amazing factor. Their have lot of facilities. When ever anybody want a full day of enjoyment should come to Kovalam. Because its a good and amazing place
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Deve kumar

  • Tourist
  • Deve kumar
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 2 Reviews
  •  535 readers

"Family holiday destination"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Kovalam is calm and hustle free beach. All kind of hotels available on the beach. Room rent having a wide range starting from Rs. 800 per day for two people. Various sea food is good to try around the beach area. Local veg-food is also good, but it's better to try on off beach area. Ayurvedic massage must try for relaxing after long traveling. Nearby place to visit is Poovar, best known for backwaters. It's good for boating activities and watching golden sand beach. Best time to visit here in mid December to mid January.
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  • Tourist
  • Vishnu
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1280 readers

"Relaxing place"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Kovalam beach is really nice. Clean water and beach is clean. Eating outlets even though very expensive, are neatly organised but was unable to locate any stall for light snacks. You can relax at Kovalam beach in the evening or go in morning but month of March is not suitable to visit this location.
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Thomas Kuruvilla

  • Scout
  • Thomas Kuruvilla
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 16 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1777 readers

"Picturesque Beach of Kerala"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Mar 31, 2016
A great place to visit, sea is cool blue - it has all the ingredients of a perfect beach a sunny weather, clean yellow sand, clear cool blue sea water, rock outcropping and to add it to all this a light house. The local people out there are quite friendly and helpful. It will be good if you visit near a full moon as the water from sea will be gushing to the shores with roars - the high tides.

I enjoyed the sun, mostly spent my time in between Hawah and light house beach, we can just sit on the shore enjoy the sea the fresh air, mild air and horizon. Speed boating is available during day and is quite good. Local Guys teach to surf and surfing boards are available on rent too. There are lifeguards who have marked the risk areas near the rocks and often seen whistling people who cross the limit of risk in water and even seen police patrolling at night so on the whole it's quite a safe place to be. To get an overview of entire area from above the best place to visit is the Light house. There are many small shops selling handicrafts.

For evening tea or coffee the best place is Rock Cafe Restaurant, which is on the beach itself they have the best masala tea and coffee served. Food we can find ample options and most of them are good.

I took the train route to reach the destination - got down at Kochuveli railway station and from there the beach is around 20 kms, there are A/C government buses to the beach from West fort, so you have to take rickshaw to west fort and from there bus to beach or you can directly book an ola (its available) or a direct rickshaw to the beach. Don't forget to take your sunscreen.
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Ankush Gupta

  • Tourist
  • Ankush Gupta
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1476 readers

"Place of Beach, Kovalam"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Mar 1, 2016
Kovalam is a place which is basically famous for Beaches. But seriously speaking some of the places of Kovalam are pretty good but some places like Kovalam Beach is nice to visit. Lets talk about gentry, local gentry is overcrowded on Kovalam beach that makes visitor a bit uncomfortable but beach makes me feel happy as some of the hotness is there. Hence I can say Kovalam is a place you must visit if you are in Kerala.
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Seema Malhotra

  • Tourist
  • Seema Malhotra
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  741 readers

"Beach destination!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 28, 2016
Excellent beach, if your on a visit to Kerala. First be sure you want a beach holiday or hills as a destination. Just enjoy one site with prolonged stay. Kovlem beach and samudra beach are side by side. Beach light house is excellent. Evening walk and window shopping late night on the shores of beach is memorable. Put tons of sun-scream else it might damage your skin.
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Saheen Ahzan

  • Tourist
  • Saheen Ahzan
  • 13 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  4107 readers

"Kovalam - A must visit destination"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 14, 2016
At Kovalam, the first thing I noticed where the happy smiling faces around. Hawa beach and the Lighthouse beach are the best with tourists all around the world. The Samudra beach takes us to relaxation mode. Kovalam is known to hippies and backpackers around the world and can see a lot of them in and around the beaches.

At Kovalam, surfing board's are available for rent at a price of 100 and 200. Scuba diving and other marine activities can be experienced as well. Rooms are available from Rs. 600 to seven star facilities. Chain of restaurants and bakeries are set-up on the beach's stretch, from French to kerala style cuisine. The locals are quite friendly as well.

Happy backpacking to Kovalam!
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Shivam Doshi

  • Tourist
  • Shivam Doshi
  • 2 photos
  • 9 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  3193 readers

"Dont miss this place, a must go destination"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Feb 3, 2016
Kovalam is going to be one of the most beautiful beaches you have ever been in your life. The clear water, the calm waves and the evening light make up for the perfect combination a beach lover could ask for.

Kovalam has a narrow street running parallel to the two beaches(Hawa beach and lighthouse beach). This street is lined up with expensive resorts, restaurants and artefact shops. If you are a budget traveller(like me) you will find it a little over the top.

The accommodation on this street overlooking the ocean is extremely overpriced and as the beach is highly commercialized you'll have a hard time bargaining. The hack here is to look for narrow streets going in between restaurants. The prices in hotels in these streets are 20-30% of the ones on the main street. Keep going into these streets and you'll find a labyrinth of streets behind the main street all filled with better cafes, better and peaceful accommodation, better shopping options and the best part is they are all cheaper than their counterparts on the main street.

A major attraction here is the lighthouse from where you can get an amazing panoramic view and if you have the patience you can even get an amazing photosphere. Apart from this, you can just keep walking in the labyrinth of narrow streets which is in itself an amazing adventure as you come across cafes with beautiful and different ambiences, colourful shops and friendly people. There are places around the corner of the beaches from where you'll get amazing lighting to click photographs and selfies (I don't recommend). It is fairly easy to reach here as it is just a half hour drive from Thiruvananthapuram. You can even take an auto up to there. Enjoy your stay at one of India's most famous beaches. Cheers :)
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Usmangani Shah Ramakanth sharma Chidambaram Usmangani, Shah, Ramakanth sharma and 8879 other people have been to Kovalam.
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