Deriving its name from the long coastline and the numerous palm trees, Kovalam is a paradise for anyone who is looking for a relaxing vacation. Its numerous beaches, good eateries and a laid-back vibe is for the beach lover in you. If you are still wondering what to do in Kovalam, there are many worthwhile places to visit in Kovalam which includes enticing attractions such as beach activities, walk through the heritage places, and the mesmerising architecture of the old castles, temples, churches and towers.
How to reach Kovalam
- By Air: Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram is 15 km away from the city. There are private cabs and public transportation available for tourists to reach the city comfortably.
- By Rail: If you are planning to take a train, you need to reach Trivandrum Central Railway which is 12 km from the city. You can take private cabs or public transport to reach the city safely and comfortably. The railway station is perfectly connected to all the main cities of Kerala.
- By Road: Kerala and Karnataka State Transportation has luxurious and comfortable buses from Kerala, Karnataka and nearby states. These buses are easily available at a reasonable rate for the tourists to reach Kovalam. You can also drive from Bangalore and nearby cities.
Best Time to Visit
- November to February: Winter season is the best time to visit Kovalam if you are looking for a warm-weather winter vacation. The minimum temperature during this season is 16-degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is 30-degree Celsius. This is the peak season for visiting Kovalam.
- June to August: Monsoon season is another best time to visit Kovalam because of the lush greenery of the place. In this season, you can enjoy the flora and fauna of Kovalam. It is perfect weather for sightseeing in Kovalam.
How long to stay
- 4-5 days: If you are planning to stay for 4 nights and 5 days trip to Kovalam, you can enjoy the true essence of Kovalam. You can relax and bask in the beautiful blue beaches, stunning nature, fresh backwaters and lush green mountains. The place has more to offer than just beaches, there are many things to do in Kovalam such as, adventure sports and Ayurvedic therapies that can relax your mind, body and soul.
- 2-3 days: A 2-nights and 3-days trip will be a short but a memorable one. On day 1, you can visit the main beaches of Kovalam. The next day can be reserved for the temples and evening can be relaxing with a spa session. On the final day, you can do a little bit of shopping and visit the museum and art gallery.
For a comfortable stay, book Treebo Hotels in Kovalam.
In this blog, we have discussed the top places to visit in Kovalam for a romantic getaway, an adventurous experience, off-beat attractions, and to experience the cultural heritage of the town. Find out some fun things to do in Kovalam.
A Romantic Getaway in God’s Own Country
1. Lighthouse Beach- For All the Beach Activities You Always Dreamed of
Lighthouse beach is one of the largest and most happening beaches in Kovalam. As the name suggests, it has a lighthouse offering a panoramic view of the beach from the top. The lighthouse is located on a hill called Kurumakal and is open for public viewing. Standing with your partner and enjoying the view of the beach can be perfect on a romantic getaway.
- Things to do: Enjoy a stroll or a ride a bicycle on the beach, enjoy a hearty meal near the beach, or indulge in beach activities such as parasailing, paragliding, swimming, and surfing.
- Tips: Carry a swimming costume and keep your phones and camera charged for beautiful photo ops.
- Timings: The lighthouse is open every day except on Monday from 10 am to 5:45 pm. It is closed from 12:45 pm – 2 pm.
2. Hawa Beach- For Stress-Free Sand Walk
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.
- Things to do: Enjoy a breathtaking sunrise with your partner at Hawa Beach. Take a stroll through the coastline and enjoy the natural beauty of the place. You can also go for a catamaran ride.
- Tips: Avoid swimming in the water as the water current is strong here. You can carry your sunglasses, beach hats and bikini for a sunbath.
- Timings: The beach is open 24 hours but the tourists are allowed from 7 am to 9 pm.
Check out: 37 Best Beaches in South India
3. Edakallu- For a Perfect Polaroid Moment
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 for you and your partner.
- Things to do: As Edakallu is the popular sunset point in Kovalam, you can plan your day accordingly and enjoy a breathtaking sunset with your partner.
- Tips: Keep your phones and camera charged for beautiful photo ops. As a lot of tourists flock to this place during sunset, reach early to ensure the best view.
- Timings: Edakallu is open daily from sunrise to sunset for the tourists to visit.
Also, read: What to do in Kovalam at Night?
4. Karamana River- To Enjoy a Moonlit Boat Ride
Even though beaches are the most famous places in Kovalam, it is worthwhile to take a boating trip down the Karamana river. A trip down this river will give you a view of the lush greenery of Kovalam. There are many boat clubs on the banks of the river for booking such as boating, kayaking, canoe rides and houseboat cruises.
- Things to do: Go for a canoe ride, kayaking, houseboat cruises, or spend a night in the boathouse with your partner.
- Tips: There are very few but some good boat clubs available near the river. Be sure to carry an extra pair of clothes if you are planning to go for a swim.
- Timings: Open 24 hours but canoe rides are open from morning till afternoon. Enjoy a moonlight boat ride at night.
Read more: 25 Best Honeymoon Places in India
To Add Some Thrill and Adventure to Your Trip
5. Off-Shore Coral Reef – To Take a Dive or Surf
A trip to India’s first-ever off-shore coral reef is a must-do for the people who are visiting Kovalam for the first time. 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 Lighthouse beach. The reef preserves and improves the marine ecosystem as well as prevents erosion of the shoreline.
- Things to do: You can go for an underwater diving guided by an instructor or go surfing.
- Tips: Wear comfortable clothing if you are visiting during the summer. Carry protective gears if you are planning to go for surfing. You will be provided with a proper outfit for diving.
- Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
6. Scuba Diving in Kovalam – Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
You don’t need to be a swimmer to have this breathtaking underwater experience of scuba diving. The dive instructor will give you a proper training session and a safety demonstration. There will be some underwater photo opportunities included in your package for you to remember the experience for the rest of your life.
- Things to do: Scuba Cochin Dive Centre in Kovalam offers scuba diving to the tourists. They provide all the safety gears and equipment as well. The package starts from Rs. 6000.
- Tips: Carry an extra pair of clothes, sunscreen, camera and flipflops along with you.
- Timings: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Some Off-Beat Ways to Enjoy Kovalam
7. Veli Tourist Village – Go for Boating with Your Family
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.
- Things to do: You can book pedal boats or paddle boats for boating or enjoy a speedboat ride across the water.
- Tips: If you are planning to visit this place, have a good 3-4 hours time in hand to enjoy the beauty of nature.
- Timings: 8 AM to 6.30 PM
- Ticket Rates: Rs. 20 (for Adult above 12 years), Rs. 5 (for children between 5 to12 years) and Rs. 40 (for a family of 2 Adults and 2 Children).
8. Aruvikkara Dam – For a Lazy Day Out with Your Family
Aruvikkara dam is a 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.
- Things to do: It is a perfect location to bask in the peaceful beauty of nature. You can also enjoy boating here.
- Tips: Weekends are usually crowded here so weekdays are the best time to visit Aruvikkara dam.
- Timings: Open from sunrise to sunset.
9. Kovalam Art Gallery- a Walk Through the Artistic Tradition of India
For the art buff in you, a visit to the Kovalam Art Gallery is a visual treat comprising ancient Indian paintings. The gallery houses some of the beautiful sculptures and paintings that represent the ancient Indian traditions. The art gallery is heavily visited by international visitors to this part of the country.
- Things to do: Check out the age-old art representing the artistic traditions of the country.
- Tips: Confirm the gallery timing and opening days before visiting the place.
- Timings: 10 AM to 4 PM.
10. Enjoy Ayurvedic massages – Every Trip Needs Mind and Body Relaxation
A spa session is must if you are visiting Kerala for the first time. As therapeutic and wellness Ayurveda is a part of Kerala’s legacy, there are a lot of renowned spa centres. Some of them may also be associated with hotels. Pamper your body with wellness therapies and ayurvedic healing.
- Tips: Find out a place with good ratings and schedule the spa session at the end of your trip.
- Recommended Places: Divya-The Health Spa, Vydyashala Ayurveda, Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort are some of the few spas you can check out.
Explore more: Best Street Food in Kovalam
Experience the Historical and Cultural Heritage
11. Vizhinjam Rock-Cut Temple – Enjoy the Beautiful Sculptures
The Vizhinjam rock-cut temple is famous for its unfinished sculptures of Lord Shiva and Parvathy and the unique architecture. It is one of the best places to visit in Kovalam as one of the smallest rock shrines in South India. The temple comes under the supervision of the archaeological survey of India.
- Things to do: Explore the entire village and see the harbour and marine aquarium close to the temple.
- Tips: Carry sunglasses, beach hats and wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking.
- Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM (Monday closed)
12. Halcyon Castle – a Castle Converted to Luxury Hotel
Halcyon Castle, also known as Kovalam Palace, was built in 1932 using traditional Kerala architecture and boasts of expansive and well-maintained lawns. It is considered as a heritage site and visited by the tourists all round the year.
- Things to do: Explore the architectural relics of the castle and take multiple photographs.
- Tips: Carry an umbrella, sunglasses and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Timings: The luxury hotel is open 24 hours. It is better to visit the castle during the day time.
13. Padmanabhaswamy Temple – a Mysterious Hindu 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. It is one of the best temples in terms of divinity and grandeur. The pilgrims believe that a glimpse of the majestic idol of Lord Vishnu is lucky.
- Things to do: You can offer your prayers to Lord Vishnu and wonder at the marvellous structure of the temple.
- Tips: Check out the timing of the temple before visiting.
- Timings: Morning: 3:30 am to 4:45 am, 6:30 am to 7 am, 8:20 am to 10 am, 10:30 am to 11:10 am, 11:45 am to 12 pm. Evening: 5 pm to 6:15 pm and 6:45 pm to 7:20 pm
Also, read: Top 12 Things to do in Kovalam
This list is not exhaustive and there are more to explore in the quaint coastal town of Kovalam. If you are planning to visit Kovalam and know some awesome spots, do share your experiences with us in the comments below.