City Tours Travel Tips

Plan a serene holiday with these places to visit in Kovalam

Hawah Beach

The beautiful beach town of Kovalam overlooks the refreshing massive Arabian Sea, in Kerala’s metropolitan city of Thiruvananthapuram. It is situated at around a distance of 18 km from the centre of the city. The town is beautifully dotted with lofty coconut trees which are no less than a treat to the eyes. The place is blessed with three beautiful beaches that are separated by rock outcroppings. The three beaches, namely the Lighthouse Beach, the Hawah Beach as well as the Samudra Beach extend to around 17 long kilometres. In case you are fond of beaches and love idyllic environments, then this small town can be perfect for you.

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Top 10 Places To Visit In Kovalam

  1. Lighthouse Beach
  2. Hawah Beach
  3. Halcyon Castle
  4. Vellayani Lake
  5. Samudra Beach
  6. Karamana River
  7. Veli Tourist Village
  8. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
  9. Valiyathura Pier
  10. Kovalam Art Gallery

1. Lighthouse Beach

The popular Lighthouse Beach offers a bundle of activities to the visitors to make the trip a memorable one. There are comfortable and affordable accommodation choices, delicious food, and breathtaking landscaped views to thrill your senses. These are the reasons as to why the place is one of the major tourist attractions in Kovalam. The Lighthouse beach is situated in the south of Kerala. The lighthouse here is 30 metres in height. The beach has derived its name from this Lighthouse. Also known by the name Vizhinjam Lighthouse, this brilliant structure is situated on a hillock named Kurumkal Hillock. The lighthouse is made entirely of stones. It is painted in white and red and there is a spiral staircase that leads to the top of the lighthouse. The beach is beautifully dotted with lush green palm vegetation. The golden sands here complement the clear blue waves of the Arabian Sea nicely. There are a number of fun activities to indulge in here, including paragliding, surfing, and parasailing.

Distance from City Centre – 0 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM on all the days of the week, except Mondays

Entry Fee – No entry fee

2. Hawah Beach

The renowned Hawah Beach is one of the most charming places to see in Kovalam. It is a secluded beach that promises amazing sunsets and is ideal for lazing around, taking strolls and soaking in nature’s placid beauty. It is the second largest beach in Kovalam and is also popularly known as the Eve’s Beach. It was the first Indian topless beach as well. However, in India, topless bathing is now banned.

Distance from City Centre – 1 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 3 hours

Visiting Hours – 24 hours

Entry Fee – No entry fee

3. Halcyon Castle

The beautiful Halcyon Castle was built for Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai’s royal family as a family retreat and is among the top places to see in Kovalam. It is situated in Travancore. The marvellous architecture of the castle is a brilliant example of Travancore’s traditional architecture. The castle is surrounded by expansive lawns, which enhance the beauty of the entire place. The Government of Kerala bought the castle after which, a hotel owner purchased the same and turned it into a 5-Star hotel for the public. The hotel has had a number of owners till date.

This majestic castle is visited by a number of guests from all across the world. The hotel provides access to a beach from where the guests can enjoy exciting views of sunset and sunrise. The guests can pick from the various room choices like cottages and rooms that are nestled amidst coconut trees. There are both luxurious and convenient amenities available that make for a memorable stay for the guests. You can enjoy staying at the hotel, go swimming in the sea and relish some mouth-watering delicacies of Kerala that the hotel serves.

Distance from City Centre – 1 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – 24 hours

Entry Fee – No entry fee

4. Vellayani Lake

Vellayani Lake

The freshwater lake named Velliyani Lake is located around 7km from Kovalam, in the south. The lake is also popularly known as the Velliyani Kayal in Malayalam. It is spread over an expanse of seven and a half acres and is a source of drinking water and irrigation water. The lake lies in the Vellayani Agriculture University’s premises, which is another major attraction to explore. You can take a stroll around the lake and enjoy the breeze in your hair. This place is capable of imparting a nostalgic feel to the ones who desire to experience the richness of village life while dwelling in a metropolitan city. The place is surrounded by backwaters, scenic landscapes as well as coconut groves. This spot teems with visitors during Kerala’s traditional festival of Onam. It hosts the traditional boat race which attracts countless people from all over India. The ecosystem of the lake boasts of a rich variety of flora and fauna.

Distance from City Centre – 4 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – Sunrise to Sunset

Entry Fee – No entry fee

5. Samudra Beach

Samudra Beach

The Samudra Beach in the north of Kovalam is separated by a large promontory from the southern side. When you visit the place, you can spot fishermen fishing which might give you an amazing opportunity to click photographs, if that is your passion. The beach also features a mosque which can be visited.

Distance from City Centre – 4 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – Sunrise to Sunset

Entry Fee – No entry fee

6. Karamana River

The Karamana River is one of the other important places to see in Kovalam. It originates from the south of Western Ghats and flows through Karamana, a small suburb in Trivandrum. The river boasts of extensive plantations all around and allows visitors to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. The Thiruvalam Boating Camp is on the banks of the river and offers a number of fun activities like houseboat cruises, canoeing as well as kayaking. You can also rent a houseboat and spend a night on the calm waters. The undisturbed beauty and the serene ambiance attract tourists of all kinds. The river’s catchment region consists majorly of crops like coconut, pepper, and rice along with a canopy of lush green forest. The river features two renowned dams namely the Peppara Dam and the Aruvikkara Dam. Therefore, the River Karamana features significant biodiversity for visitors to explore.

Distance from City Centre – 6 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 3 to 4 hours

Visiting Hours – Sunrise to Sunset

Entry Fee – No entry fee

7. Veli Tourist Village

The Veli Tourist Village is a renowned picnic spot located around 12km from the city of Thiruvananthapuram. There are a number of exciting activities offered here, the most prominent ones being exploration of the lagoon on the river’s southern bank by a speedboat ride or pedal boating, and horse riding. Other activities that one can indulge in are relaxing at the cafeterias, taking a dip in the swimming pool as well as shopping at the various shopping complexes. Apart from the various activities, you can also spot a number of birds here like swans and pigeons. Within the premises lies a walkway that is beautified with sculptures of grass and stones as well as a floating cafe. The cafe is maintained by KTDC (The Kerala Tourism Department Corporation). Additionally, there is also a floating bridge here where you can click some amazing pictures.

Distance from City Centre – 15 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 2 to 3 hours

Visiting Hours – 07:30 AM to 06:30 PM

Entry Fee – No entry fee is required here. However, you have to pay for the various activities available. The Safari boat ride costs INR 60 per head, the speedboat ride for 4 people costs INR 600, the pedal boat ride for two people costs INR 60 for half an hour, and swimming for an hour costs INR 25 for adults and INR 15 for kids.

8. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple

The Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple, one of the chief tourist attractions, is among the oldest rock cut caves in the state and is situated quite close to the beautiful Kovalam Beach. It is located around 17km from Trivandrum. The caves boast of various rock-cut sculptures dating back to the eighth century. It houses the shrine of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi, the outer wall of which features an incomplete Lord Shiva’s statue holding Parvathi and a bow on either side. The picture is incomplete yet an amazing one which attracts a number of tourists. The other places to visit in the neighbourhood include the Fishing Harbour as well as the Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium. Since the year 1965, the Archaeological Survey of India has been maintaining the Vizhinjam Caves. Though this place has been an unnoticed attraction for quite many years, it is getting much popularity in recent years. It is also the smallest shrine in the south.

Distance from City Centre – 2 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 2 to 3 hours

Visiting Hours – 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM

Entry Fee – For adults, the entry fee is INR 10 and for kids, the entry fee is INR 5.

9. Valiyathura Pier

Back in the year 1950, the Valiyathura Pier turned out to be one of the major tourist attractions of southern Kerala. In the earlier times, it was used for transporting cargo as well as to launch catamarans by fishermen. This sixty-year-old pier is robustly supported by 127 and constructed using 250 tonnes of steel as well as 571 tonnes of cement. It is quite a friendly resort which is located close to Trivandrum’s Shanmugham beach. You can visit the dock and admire the sky that changes its colour in the evening. Back in time, it was the pride of Kovalam until the renowned port of Kochi was developed. Currently, the pier is all set to undergo a reconstruction.

Distance from City Centre – 9 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – Sunrise to Sunset

Entry Fee – No entry fee

10. Kovalam Art Gallery

The popular Kovalam Art Gallery is one of the major places to see in Kovalam. It houses many artefacts and intricate paintings. It is not very far from Trivandrum’s Hawah Beach and is situated on the Samudra Beach road. The place provides rich cultural information to both adults and kids. Some of the many reputed painting pieces at the place are that of Nicolas Roerich and Raja Ravi Varma as well as Svetlova along with some ancient and rare Indian fresco artworks. This is an amazing place if you wish to explore the rich Indian culture. You can also visit the Hawah Beach from here and spend some relaxing time.

Distance from City Centre – 1 km

Duration Needed to Explore the Place – 1 to 2 hours

Visiting Hours – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Entry Fee – INR 20 per person

To conclude, Kovalam is a gem that Mother Nature has blessed us with. For all those who love soft sands and undulating waves, Kovalam can be a wonderful destination. You can spend a night in one of the houseboats, enjoy various water activities, admire birds and sunsets, capture amazing moments on your camera and relish some exotic cuisines on your trip. So, makes sure you book a hotel or homestay in advance and plan a great trip that impresses your entire family.

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