Kovalam Travel Guide

  • Lighthouse Beach
    Lighthouse Beach
    by tim07
  • Kovalam
    by bungi333
  • Kovalam
    by emilzatopek

Kovalam Highlights

  • Pro
    radz profile photo

    radz says…

     White sand BEACH,BEACH!!! 

  • Con
    herzog63 profile photo

    herzog63 says…

     Huge Rip Tides 

  • In a nutshell
    paul-motley profile photo

    paul-motley says…

     Laid back with no pretentions 

Kovalam Things to Do

  • Lighthouse Beach

    This crescent shaped beach is the main beach at Kovalam. It attracts the most tourists and therefore has the most facilities. It didn't feel too crowded when I visited and still seemed to have a local atmosphere. As well as shops there are many places here to have a meal.

    more
  • Rocky outcrop

    Where the beaches of Hawa and Lighthouse meet there is a rocky outcrop. Standing on the rocks you get magnificent full length views of both beaches. The rocks are also a popular place for people to gather and watch the sun setting.

    more
  • Backwater cruise - part 3

    Before returning there was chance to visit the beach at Poovar. This stretch of golden sand is sandwiched between the estuary and sea. I enjoyed spending time there as the sun was setting. Once it became dark the boat returned to its moorings and I was driven back to the hotel.

    more
  • Backwater cruise - part 2

    After cruising the backwaters we entered the estuary, the place where the lake, river and sea meet. Here we went up close to a holiday resort and a statue erected by locals. I also had chance to buy a coconut from a local in a boat.

    more
  • Backwater cruise - part 1

    From my hotel at Kovalam I went on a sunset cruise around the backwaters near Poovar. The drive to Poovar took about 30 minutes. I then embarked on a 2 hour cruise. The backwaters were just so serene, there was hardly any noise, except for the boats engine.The cruise took me around the river and lake, giving me a close up view of the vegetation....

    more
  • Hawa Beach

    The beach is said to derive its name from the topless women who used to sunbathe there. It's reputed to be India's first topless beach, this practice is now banned. The beach is easy to get to as there is a parking area where taxis and auto-rickshaws can drop you off and pick you up. It's not as built up as the nearby Lighthouse Beach, but there...

    more

Kovalam Hotels

See all 41 Hotels in Kovalam

Kovalam Restaurants

  • Good food and a good view

    There are plenty of restaurants along the promenade of Lighthouse Beach. I chose the Malabar cafe for its location and selection of meals. It has a wide choice of local and international dishes. Catering for both non meat and meat eaters. Due to alcohol restrictions my lager was served in a coffee mug and the bottle hidden under the table. The meal...

    more
  • A homage to the music band

    With memorabilia scattered around and rock music, this shack stands out from the many others dotting the beach. The restaurant was started by two brothers who are huge fans of the Beatles. The food, undeniably, is tasty. However, i got the feeling that you can pretty much get the same fare at lesser price in the shacks near by. That being said, i...

    more
  • The real seafood corner

    It's one of the best places where U can have a taste of good sea food.A multi cuisine restaurant on the shore of the serene sea as the very name indicates.I felt the service excellent.It was a wonderful experience to have the gorgeous varieties of sea food that they offer all together it was AWESOME.......... Sea food Basket: It's a combination of...

    more

Kovalam Nightlife

  • Great Times..

    We went to Beatles one night and had a great time, drinking wodka and tropical drinks and listening to 70's and 80's rock..We were the last people left in Kovalam..

    more
  • Live Music

    Not a great deal of entertainment as we know however some hotels provide live music, tradional dancing displays and Kathikeli shows. Many bars around the Lighthouse beach area ideal for people watching. Thank goodness that the loud cheap tacky theme bars do not exist in Kovalam and people have to entertain themeselves by talking to each other.

    more
  • Eating Drinking and people watching!

    Nightlife in Kovalam revolves around the many bars and restaurants. Theres a variety of cuisines on offer.The beachfront is the place to enjoy cheap excellent food, and people watching! Theres a continual stream of holidaymakers from all around the world, locals, and vendors.Young boys playing wooden whistles, and swirling yo yos and other brightly...

    more

Kovalam Transportation

  • Excellent driver for trips near and far

    I met Syrus online as I was looking for a driver.We met at the airport by TukTuk and then rented the car. I had a small car with AC for about 1000 rupies a day, I did pay for petrol but the car got good economy.Syrus took me all over kovalam where I was staying and drove me to other places near and far.He made a great companion and was always there...

    more
  • Indian Railways Agra - Kerala

    There are no luggage racks in most overnight trains of less than 1st class, so all bags have to be stowed under the seats which have a 12'" clearance. It is important to bring lightweight chains and locks to secure your bags to the loops under the seats, as with no doors on the compartments, baggage can disappear during the night. Porters will do...

    more
  • Cheap Taxis & Rickshaws.

    Plenty of Taxis and auto rickshaws available, however most of the meters seem to be inop.It is best to negotiate the fare before entering the vehicle, remember that the system is different from the UK, the taxi driver will take you to your destination and wait for your return at an inclusive price. Most taxi drivers appreciate tha you are tourests...

    more

Kovalam Shopping

  • What's a beach without a book?

    Ancy's Bookstore, run by the friendly and helpful Joy, has a good selection of books in English, German and Swedish and a few titles in French and Dutch. Books are for purchase, rent or exchange. Here you can find a book to help you while away the hours on the beach. Books range from about a hundred and fifty to several hundred rupees depending...

    more
  • Sarongs/Lunghis etc

    You'll no doubt soon encounter the sarong sellers along the beaches/pathways of Kovalam. Some are very persistant! On my first day in Kovalam, I encountered Babu, a sarong seller. I explained that I wasn't buying until nearer the end of my hols, when I'd completed my Spice Tour etc. He was quite chilled about this.On my return to Kovalam, I was...

    more
  • Lots of small shops

    Lighthouse Beach in particular has lots of shops selling all kinds of things, from jewelry to rugs. I also saw shops scattered throughout town behind the beach and along the roads. The salespeople didn't seem too pushy, so that was nice.

    more

Kovalam Local Customs

  • Alcohol!!

    My first night in Kovalam, I was ready for a cold beer, but on walking past the restaurants, I hadn't spotted anyone with a glass of beer/lager.Everyone seemed to be supping tea! Eventually, I gave up, and walked into a restaurant, reckoning I would be drinking a fruit drink. The waiter whispered "Gin & Tonic?" I asked if he had beer, he said yes....

    more
  • Alcohol licences

    A liquor licence in Karalla apparently cost a fortune so most establishments do not have them although they still serve alcohol knowing if they are caught they face a few days in goal. Kingfisher lager is usually available and local brand spirits are served which can be a bit potent (they creep up and knock your legs from under you). If you want...

    more
  • Festival In January

    The local festival to celebrate harvest in January is more like a vivbrant carnival. An electric atmosphere with drums beating, fireworks going off into the night. A stage was built in the square just outside a small local Temple next to The Uday Samudra Hotel; a mimed play was staged with all the locals watching. The women of the village sat...

    more

Kovalam Warnings and Dangers

  • Massages

    Kerala is famed for its ayuvedic and medically proven massage therapy, so you have massage centres dime a dozen lining the beach as the interiors near the hotels and restaurants. Some are real good, but most are fake and will try to fleece you with nothing more than a warm scrub. Go to guys which have a license from the tourism dept.

    more
  • Beach sellers

    As you walk the beaches at Kovalam you are met by many people trying to sell you things, such as sunglasses or clothing. The main ones I encounted were women selling fruit. The sellers were very persistant, but in no way threatening. One of the women offered to let me take her picture for free, but obviously I then had to buy some of her fruit.

    more
  • On The Beach

    The beaches of Kovalam have plenty of attractions......The hub of activity for the resort through the day and evening. However, Please be aware that the sea can become quite rough with strong undercurrents. There are lifeguards present, who blow whistles to alert bathers if they are straying out of the "safe zone" Nudity and topless bathing are...

    more

Kovalam Tourist Traps

  • Perriar Nature Reserve

    This is a beautiful spot about five and a half hours drive from Kovalam which suggests sights of wild tigers and elephants in their natural habitat. The tour is of a man made lake created when a dam was built in the early 1900 s. There are lots of very old leaky tour boats on the lake with very noisy engines spewing diesel fumes and pollution all...

    more
  • We're all rich

    The Indians seem to think that we're stinking rich( when the average monthly wage is about 1500 rupees and thats what a meal for two will cost) and for this reason will try to charge you as high a price as they think you will pay ,so be careful The people are friendly and will haggle hard for the last rupee. Remember ! They wont sell you anything...

    more
  • Forced Selling

    Beware the vendors who keep the plying the beach selling everything from lungis (sarongs) to fruits. They try and force you to buy by being persistent, they try and make you feel like they've spent soo much time on you that you should just buy something. Make sure you buy something you really want, if the vendor pestering you has nothing, just say...

    more

Kovalam What to Pack

  • Railways Goa - Trivandrum,Kerala

    There are no luggage racks in most overnight trains of less than 1st class, so all bags have to be stowed under the seats which have a 12" clearance. It is important to bring lightweight chains and locks to secure your bags to the loops under the seats, as with no doors on the compartments, baggage can disappear during the night. Porters will do...

    more
  • Light and minimal

    Forget the clothing you would normally take on a holiday to Spain, Greece etc, just pack the bare essentials. The normal weight of UK trousers either casual or jeans will feel quite cumbersome and hot in Kerala even at night the temperature does not normally fall to any great extent and most of the time in the day will be spent in shorts....

    more
  • Carry a pair of extra dress and a towel

    Most important to remember that you are visitng a beach with no provision for towels et. Carry your own towel unless you are staying in some hotel nearby. It is a good idea to carry some extra pair of clothes too. After the time in water we had a tough time finding a place to shower. But the towels came in handy...

    more

Kovalam Off The Beaten Path

  • Parasuraman Temple

    I Visited this temple as part of a Sunset Backwaters cruise. (see Kerala and/or Kovalam must do tips) Although most Hindu temples forbid non Hindus to enter, Kerala has some temples that allow this.We arrived by punt, and walked up some steps to the outer courtyard. We removed our shoes, before entering the inner sanctum.Our guide then asked if...

    more
  • Away from the beaches ...

    I enjoyed just wandering around the pathways away from the beach..plenty of local life to see. Met quite a few local children and women, who were happy to chat or just smile and said hello. I wandered up the road that leads from Hawa beach and came across a book shop. I bought a Keralan recipe book, (the owner is quite happy to find and order any...

    more
  • Take a walk around

    It's worth your time to walk around and explore the less visible parts of the town behind the larger buildings that line the beach. It's a swampy area with paddy fields crisscrossed by a network of raised paths on berms. You'll find some interesting sights back there, along with some unique shops too, such as tailors who will measure you and...

    more

Kovalam Favorites

  • Quaint

    Whilst several shacks on the main run at Lighthouse beach have recently been added the location is still primarily a fishing village. Commercialised by Indian standards but still almost undiscovered at present especially in comparison to Goa. The location attracts generally a 30 plus tourist of perhaps a wealthier background to Goa which...

    more
  • Money, Money, Money

    Money - Bring Euros and get them changed in one of the many places around the backs of the Restaurants and shops on the beach front, they're safe sop don't worry it's just that you usually get a better rate than in one of the places on the beach. Other than that enjoy :)Cloths - If you're getting cloths reproduced or just a suit made from scratch,...

    more
  • Kovalam Karnival

    The carnival was organised here for the first time by the tourism department and it was nothing great to boast of, but nevertheless we had a fun-filled evening and we left the place with our tummy heavy with the yummy food that we had. This is supposed to be an annual event in the future like the Goa Carnival. A good begining ....

    more

Instant Answers: Kovalam

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

110 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Kovalam
Lighthouse top view
Things to Do
Lighthouse
Things to Do
Light House Beach at Kovalam
Things to Do
Fun at Lighthouse Beach
Things to Do
Kovalam, Ayurveda Experience
Things to Do
Sun lotions
Warnings and Dangers
Beggers
Warnings and Dangers
Fruit sellers!
Warnings and Dangers
Backwaters (2)Sunset cruise
Things to Do
The Backwaters (1)
Things to Do
AyurvedicTreatments
Things to Do
Kathakali Performance.
Things to Do
Fishermen
Things to Do
The Sunglasses Man!
Things to Do
The Beaches!!
Things to Do
Ride an Elephant!
Things to Do
Warning: Rough seas!
Warnings and Dangers
Hotel Neelakanta
Restaurants
Garzia
Restaurants
Be careful if you arrive after dark!
Warnings and Dangers
Vegetarian Delight
Restaurants
Lonely Planet cookery class
Things to Do
Taxi....
Things to Do
Clothing and souvenirs
Shopping
Taxi from Trivandrum to Kovalam
Transportation
Dine by the sea
Restaurants
Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum
Things to Do
Backwaters
Things to Do
Tea Plantation
Off The Beaten Path
Leela Kempinski
Restaurants
The light house
Things to Do
The Lighthouse Beach
Things to Do
visit animal sanctuary
Things to Do
Something for everyone
Things to Do
Good food, music and people watching!
Restaurants
Be a Beach Bum
Things to Do
Pretty Boxes
Shopping
Various
Restaurants
Great Place to Eat and People Watch..
Restaurants
Elephants
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Kovalam

View all Kovalam hotels