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12 Best Places to Visit in Kovalam, Kerala

A region in Trivandrum, popular for its pristine beaches, Kovalam is a wonderland for spending a relaxing vacation. In the native language, Kovalam means ‘coconut,’ which is found in abundance here and that’s why the place is named so. An internationally acclaimed region, Kovalam is a famous holiday destination in India among tourists across the world. The place has become renowned for its diverse beaches, tropical villages, ayurvedic health resorts, enticing activities, ancient temples, churches and old castles over the years.

Kovalam, located at a distance of around 18 kilometres from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, has been a favourite beach holiday destination since 1930. It received attention when Her Highness The Queen of Travancore Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai built her beach resort, Halcyon Castle. In 1936, Prince GV Raja brought this place to the people. He found immense tourist potential in Kovalam and thus invited Thomas Cook & Sons (UK) to develop the place. He started inviting European families living in Madras (now Chennai) and Bombay (now Mumbai) and promoted Kovalam as a top-notch travel destination.

Getting into Kovalam is hassle-free. Travellers can opt for a flight to Trivandrum International Airport, which is just 15 kilometres away from Kovalam city. Moreover, Kovalam is connected to the main cities of India by railways connectivity and several on-road options. Upon reaching this amazing beach city, you can find plenty and diverse options for staying. There are several places from budget hotels to five-star boutique hotels where you can stay for days at reasonable rates and plan to visit top tourist attractions in Kovalam according to your choice.

There are several popular points of tourist interest in Kovalam. But, a perfect Kovalam Beach tour needs a perfect itinerary. So, if you need help in planning to decide the best places to visit in Kovalam, read this article to the end and make your beach holiday plan.

Kovalam Tourism – List of 12 Best Places to Visit in Kovalam Kerala

  • Lighthouse Beach
  • Hawa Beach
  • Samudra Beach
  • Karamana River
  • Edakallu
  • Veli Tourist Village
  • Kovalam Art Gallery
  • Aruvikkara Dam
  • Vizhinjam Rock – Cut Cave Temple
  • Padmanabhaswamy Temple
  • Halcyon Castle
  • Valiyathura Pier

Most Popular Kerala Tour Packages

Lighthouse Beach

Lighthouse Beach Kovalam Kerala

Lighthouse Beach is one of the top tourism places in Kovalam. This pristine beach on the coast of the Arabian Sea is famed for its 35 metres-tall Lighthouse on the southern end, which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the surroundings. The lighthouse is completely made of stones and coloured in white and red bands. It is situated on the top of a hill, called Kurumkal hill. There is also an observation platform from which you can get a glimpse of Poovar on one side and Beemapalli mosque on the other.

Being one of the active beaches in Kovalam, Lighthouse Beach is an ideal spot to experience several water activities. The place is also popular among photographers for perfect beach landscapes that include blue water, palm fringes, rocking waves, glistening sand and a lighthouse.

Things to Do

The beach remains open all through the day, every week. However, the timing of the lighthouse is from 10 AM to 5:45 PM. It is closed between 12:45 and 2 PM. The place remains closed on Mondays.

  • Ride a bicycle on the beach.
  • Play volleyball with others.
  • Climb to the top of the lighthouse and click some awesome pictures of the surroundings.
  • Indulge in water activities such as parasailing, surfing, swimming and more.
  • Enjoy exquisite seafood at the stalls on the beach.

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Hawa Beach

Hawa Beach Kovalam Kerala

Hawa Beach is a top tourist destination in Kerala, as well as in Kovalam. The beach is famed as a natural wonder shaped like a boundary between the sea and the other parts of Kovalam. The wide stretch of sand glistens when sun rays fall on them from the clear blue sky and create a contrast between the blue water and green dotted palm trees.

It is just about 1.5 kilometres from the lighthouse beach and is renowned for being one of the untouched beaches in India. However, it is suggested to avoid swimming here as the water current is strong here.

Things to Do

The beach is open to the public but tourists are only allowed from 7 AM to 9 PM.

  • Enjoy a stroll on the beach.
  • Enjoy sunbathing in winter.
  • Go for a catamaran ride.
  • Click pictures of a stunning view of sunrise.

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Samudra Beach

Samudra Beach Kovalam Kerala

Samudra Beach is one of the three famous beaches in Kovalam (the other two are Lighthouse Beach and Hawa Beach). It is located to the north of Kovalam and isolated by a massive promontory from the other two beaches. Famous for its serenity and other attractive features, Samudra Beach draws tourists all through the year who want to spend some relaxing time on their Kerala Holidays trip.

The beach has remained unnoticed because of the presence of a ridge between the north and south coastline. The privacy, serenity and natural beauty of this beach have made it one of the perfect spots for a honeymoon destination. Samudra Beach has been getting famous in the tourism industry for another reason. Homestays run by local people that offer authentic Kerala vibes have been flourishing in this place. You can get a comfortable stay in a home-like ambience at affordable rates in the homestays on Samudra Beach.

Things to Do

Samudra Beach is a public beach and remains open to the public all through the day. Some of the best things to do here:

  • Enjoy peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
  • Enjoy a stroll on the beach.
  • Enjoy a stay in one of the homestays and experience authentic Kerala culture.
  • Buy fish from the local fishermen and experience their daily routine.

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Karamana River

Karamana River Kerala

Karamana River is one of the scenic visiting places in Kovalam. It originates from the southern part of Western Ghats and flows through Karamana, a small suburb in Kovalam. The river is surrounded by tropical verdant environs along its path, which attracts tourists from all over India to indulge in nature’s beauty.

Karamana River is Kerala’s one of the beautiful backwaters. You can stay in one of the houseboats on the river to experience nature closely. There are several bridges on the river that connect both sides of the river. The catchment area of the Karamana River consists of fields of rice, pepper and vegetables. You can also see two dams (Aruvikkara and Peppara) over the river.

Things to Do

This place is open all through the day. There are several boat clubs available on the banks of the river. You can choose activities as per your own.

  • Enjoy a canoe ride. This option is only available from morning to afternoon.
  • Go kayaking on the river.
  • Experience a night stay at one of the houseboat cruises.
  • Opt for a moonlight boat ride at night with your partner.

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Edakallu

Edakallu kovalam

If you want to watch a beautiful sunset, not from the beach, but from a different place, Edakallu has to be on your list of must-see places in Kovalam. This is a rock between the Lighthouse and Hawa Beach and an ideal place for watching a spectacular sunset.

Things to Do

The best time to go here is between 5 PM and 7 PM.

  • Watch a sunset and click photographs.
  • Enjoy the evening views of Lighthouse Beach and Hawa Beach.
  • Enjoy a sumptuous meal at any of the restaurants near the place.

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Veli Tourist Village

Veli Tourist Village Kerala

Veli Tourist Village is a spot for spending some time amidst nature. It is a renowned picnic and boating spot situated in the connecting place between the Arabian Sea and the Veli Lake. This unique place is well maintained and located at a distance of 12 kilometres from Kovalam City. People can spend some amazing time amidst nature and opt for several boating activities at their convenience.

Things to Do

The spot remains open from 8 AM to 6:30 PM. People can do several things here. Some of them are:

  • Plan a picnic with your family on weekends.
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the water.
  • Enjoy food at the floating cafe.
  • Spend some time with your dear ones in the garden.

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Kovalam Art Gallery

Kovalam Art Gallery

Traveling to Kovalam cannot be completed without visiting Kovalam Art Gallery. This beautiful art gallery houses age-old artefacts, paintings and sculptures. Most of the artworks represent the ancient traditions of India. Visiting the art gallery is the best thing to do for people who wish to explore traditional Indian art.

Some of the artworks in this gallery are of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicolas Roerich. The pieces of work feature an ancient collection of fresco artworks.

Things to Do

Kovalam Art Gallery is open from 10 AM to 4 PM.

  • Learn about the age-old ancient traditional artworks.
  • Have a walk around the gallery.
  • After visiting Kovalam Art Gallery, go to Hawa Beach and spend some time.
  • Enjoy lip-smacking seafood at one of the nearby restaurants.

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Aruvikkara Dam

Aruvikkara Dam Kerala

Aruvikkara Dam is a cosy picnic spot located on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram City. It is built over the Karamana River to help with the water supply and agricultural activities in the city. This picturesque place is ideal for weekend holidays in Kerala. You can also visit the Karamana River along with visiting this place.

Things to Do

The dam remains open to tourists from sunrise to sunset.

  • Enjoy feeding fish on the shore.
  • Enjoy a stroll around the picnic ground.
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the water.
  • Have a picnic with your family.

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Vizhinjam Rock – Cut Cave Temple

Vizhinjam Rock - Cut Cave Temple

Vizhinjam Rock-Cut Cave Temple is one of the most visited tourist spots in Kerala. This 8th-century old, small rock temple is located about 17 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram City. If you are truly interested in exploring ancient temple architecture, add this place to your Kerala Tour itinerary.

It has been maintained under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India since 1965. The temple features Shiva (Tripurantaka) with a bow and arrow along with his consort Parvati. Vizhinjam Rock-Cut Temple is one of the earliest temples found in Kerala.

Things to Do

Except Mondays, you can visit this temple every day from 9 AM to 6 PM.

  • Explore the village where the temple is located.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the harbour.
  • Visit the marine aquarium after visiting the temple.

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Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Padmanabhaswamy Temple

One of the richest places of worship in the world, Padmanabhaswamy Temple is an architectural delight from the outside. It is located at a distance of only ten kilometres from Kovalam and is one of the top tourist attractions in Kovalam. The architecture features a mixed style of Chera and Dravidian. The premises of the temple has high walls and a gopura, which was made in the 16th century.

The main deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu (Padmanabhaswamy). You will find here the eternal yogic sleep posture of Padmanabhaswamy, who is also the guardian deity of the royal family of Travancore.

Things to Do

There are different time slots for praying. Check out the timings before visiting the temple.

  • Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu.
  • Explore the beauty of the architecture.
  • Explore the surroundings.

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Halcyon Castle

Halcyon Castle Kerala

Halcyon Castle was built in 1932 as a retreat for the royal family of Travancore, which is known as Kerala now. It is also referred to as Kovalam Palace. The palace was built by M.R. Sri Rama Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran who was the consort of Her Highness Maharani Sethu Lekshmi Bai. The castle, featuring a traditional Kerala style architecture, was treated as a summer retreat for the royal family until 1964.

In 1964, Kovalam Palace was sold to the Kerala Government and converted into a luxurious hotel. After some years, it was then sold to a private group of hotels. The palace is now a part of an International Beach Resort. It is located at a distance of two kilometres from Kovalam and is considered a heritage hotel where people can experience a luxurious stay.

Things to Do

If you want to visit the castle you have to book your stay in advance.

  • Enjoy the architectural beauty of the castle.
  • Relish authentic Kerala cuisine.
  • Enjoy a luxurious stay amidst nature.

Other Interesting Blog to Read

Valiyathura Pier

Valiyathura Pier Kerala

Valiyathura Pier is a fishing port and has been treated as a tourist spot for offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. Moreover, it is one of the favourite places in Kerala to watch sunsets.

Previously, it was the largest part of Kerala’s southern coastal area and used to transfer cargo to other countries. Now, it is only a fishing port and one of the must-visit places for sea-lovers. This 60-year-old pier is made up of cement and steel and has 127 pillars for support.

Things to Do

It remains open all through the day. It can be visited all through the year except monsoon due to high tides.

  • Enjoy the stunning view of sunsets from the pier.
  • Observe the different activities of the fishermen.
  • Buy fresh fish from the fishermen.
  • Click photographs of the panoramic view of the sea.

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A beach tour to Kerala cannot be completed without visiting Kovalam. We hope this article will help you to decide the must visit places in Kovalam Kerala. However, if you need any assistance in booking or planning the trip, you can call us or browse our website. There are various Kovalam Tourism packages or Kovalam Kerala Tour packages, which will serve you the best.

Other Important Kerala Tourism Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to plan a holiday vacation to Kovalam, Kerala?

Winter is the best time to plan a holiday vacation to Kovalam. The weather from November to February is perfect if you are planning a winter vacation in Kovalam. The temperature remains between 16 and 30 degrees Celsius in winter, which gives the travellers warm and pleasant weather for holidaying.

Another peak season to plan holidays in Kovalam is from June to August. This is the monsoon season in Kerala and it is the best time to explore the vibrant flora and fauna of the region.

What are the top things to do for tourists in Kovalam?

There are innumerable options for activities to do in Kovalam. Some of the top things to do here are:

  • Houseboat ride
  • Adventure watersports
  • Sightseeing Kovalam tourist places
  • German bakery visit
  • Ayurvedic massages
  • Lighthouse beach tour
  • Vizhinjam village tour
  • Catamaran ride

What are the nearest airports and railway stations to Kovalam?

Kovalam is connected with all major cities of India by all means of transport. You can travel to Kovalam by road, railway and air.

The nearest airport to Kovalam is Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram. The airport is at a distance of 15 kilometres from Kovalam. You can get several options of public and private transportation from the airport to reach the top tourist places in Kovalam.

The nearest railway station is Trivandrum Central Railway. It is connected with all the main cities of Kerala. You have to take private cabs or public transport from the station to reach Kovalam city.

Published: 10 Jun, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.