Deriving its name from the long coastline and the numerous palm trees it has, Kovalam is paradise for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation. Its numerous beaches, good eateries and a laid-back vibe, this one is for the beach lover in you. With a few, but worthwhile places to see in Kovalam, you will not be out of options.
Beaches, Rivers, Sunset Points – Popular Tourist Places to Visit in Kovalam
Some of the best places to visit in Kovalam are its beaches. With a variety of options to pick from, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to catching breath-taking sunsets.
1. Lighthouse Beach
Lighthouse beach is the largest beach in Kovalam and has, as its name suggests, a large lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on a hill called Kurumakal. Apart from offering panoramic views of the beach, the surrounding areas are perfect for a little stroll or a ride on your bicycle.
2. Hawa Beach
Famous for being the first and one of the few topless beaches in India, Hawa beach today does not allow topless sunbathing. However, this almost untouched beach is perfect for enjoying long strolls on the sandy shores or even wading into the waters for a refreshing dip.
If all you want to do is catch the sunset and take pictures without being on the beach, Edakallu is the place for you. Lying between the Lighthouse beach and Eve’s beach, this spot offers the best views of the sunset that make for perfect polaroid moments. Another spot that offers good photo-ops is the Valliyathur pier.
4. Karamana River
Even though beaches are the most famous places in Kovalam, it is worthwhile to take a boating trip down the Karamana river. The river starts its journey in the Western Ghats and flows through this region to ultimately empty out into the Arabian sea.
A trip down this river will give you a view of the lush greenery that ‘God’s own country’ is known for. Be sure to visit the Boat club to avail of the various options for boating, kayaking, canoe rides and houseboat cruises.
5. Off-Shore Coral Reef
Offering free entry, a trip to India’s first ever off-shore coral reef is a must do. This artificial reef was made by the Government of Kerala in association with the Department of Harbour Engineering with a view of improving the marine ecosystem off the coast of the light house beach.
The reef preserves and improves the marine ecosystem as well as prevents erosion of the shoreline. The availability of surfing opportunities at the site makes this one a must-visit.
6. Kovalam Art Gallery
For the art buff in you, a visit to the Kovalam Art Gallery is a visual treat comprising ancient Indian paintings.
Off-Beat Tourist Attractions in Kovalam
Kovalam has a lot to offer. From rock-cut temples to castles to picnic spots, there are many off-beat tourist attractions in Kovalam.
7. Veli Tourist Village
Charging a small entry fee, Veli Tourist Village is a treat for kids and adults alike. Close to Tiruvananthapuram, it provides the best location for a picnic and for boating. Popular among locals, this is a spot you must visit at least once.
8. Aruvikkara dam
Aruvikkara dam is perfect picnic spot. It is built across the Karamana River and provides water to the city of Thiruvananthapuram. The picturesque location makes it a popular option for people seeking a quiet evening stroll.
9. Vizhinjam Rock-Cut Temple
The Vizhinjam rock cut temple is famous for its unfinished sculptures of Lord Shiva and Parvathy and the unique architecture. Remember to visit between Tuesday- Sunday because Mondays are holidays.
10. Halcyon Castle
Halcyon castle, also known as Kovalam Palace, was built in 1932 using traditional Kerala architecture and boasts of expansive and well-maintained lawns.
11. Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Open only to Hindus, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is an architectural delight to view from the outside. It is famed for the untold treasures it hides away in its mysterious locked vaults.
12. Vellayani Lake
If you happen to be visiting during the festival of Onam, be sure to visit the Vellayani lake for a view of the famous boat races that take place there.
As most of these places are steeped in history, it makes sense to hire a guide who is well-versed with the background and various aspects of these sites.
While you soak in the beauty of Kovalam, do not forget to visit an ayurvedic centre for authentic treatments and massages. Also, enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine on offer in any of the small or big restaurants located all over Kovalam.
If you happen to be in the mood for a short road trip from Kovalam, you can visit Varkala. Around 50 km from Kovalam, Varkala is known for its golden, sandy beaches. Explore the town of Kovalam, and do share your experiences with us.