Once a calm fishing village clustered around its crescent beaches, these days Kovalam is Kerala’s most developed resort. The main stretch, Lighthouse Beach, is touristy with hotels and restaurants built up along the shore, while Hawa Beach to the north is usually crowded with day-trippers heading straight from the taxi stand to the sand. Neither beach is particularly clean, but at less than 15km from the capital it's a convenient place to have some fun by the sea, there's some promising surf and it makes a good base for ayurvedic treatments and yoga courses.
About 2km further north by road, Samudra Beach has several upmarket resorts and a peaceful but steep beach.
Kovalam destination guides
India Spicy Family Adventure
Take the family away on a holiday with a laidback theme. This south west corner of India is a tropical paradise filled with Hindu temples, hill stations, pretty villages, lush green forests and tranquil backwaters. The adventure starts in beautiful spice-scented Cochin and drifts gently through Kerala.
South India Journey
A relaxing getaway to the picturesque tropical state of Kerala