Kovalam Beach, other wise known as the jewel of the south. Could you have just found your slice of heaven....?
The small former fishing village of Kovalam beach in Kerala, God's own country, is often referred to as "paradise of the South" owing to its natural beauty and endless stretches of deserted golden sand.
Why Kovalam Beach?
Kovalam attracts people from all over the world for it's picturesque beach and quiet atmosphere. The warm blue water of the Indian ocean, the sun kissed sand and the cool air rolling in off the mountains come together for a truly intoxicating mix and a very special experience.
Kovalam beach not only attracts people because of its picture perfect location but because there is simply so much to do and try. Catamaran cruising, snorkelling, Ayurvedic massage, shopping and partying are just some of the many things available for visitors.
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The Three beaches
Kovalam is roughly translated as coconut grove because all the beaches are thickly lined with palm trees.
There are three seperate beaches at Kovalam. The most popular being the most southern beach named 'lighthouse Beach'. The beach in the middle, named Hawah, is the base for the local fishermen and is a great place to go and buy your own freshly caught fish. The most remote of the beaches is Samudra, in the North.
One of the biggest attractions of Kovalam are the buzzing markets which are a great place to pick up some bargains. Various shops are spread out along the waterfront in between restaurants offering some of the freshest and tastiest seafood in the whole of India.
In the evenings the beach is very quiet but there is electric atmosphere. It is possible to see live performances, most notably the Kathakali, a classical dance of Kerala.
Over the past few years Kovalam has asserted itself as a quite important centre for Yoga and health. A great way to spend a morning is to go and have an Ayurvedic massage or a famous oil bath. There are loads of small yoga and meditation centres around the beaches so have a good explore when you first arrive.
Kovalam's various natural beaches offer a great selection of watersports to try. If you are simply happy with swimming then there are lots of rocky out crops that are perfect for exploring. The clear blue waters are perfect for snorkelling and dotted around the coastline are some beautiful patches of Coral.
The other option, if you are lucky enough, is to catch a ride with one of the local fishermen and be taken around the bay catching fish, it is a very nice way spend an afternoon!
Getting to Kovalam Beach
Getting to Kovalam beach couldn't be any easier, the closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram which is only 16km away and has daily connections to the rest of India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin etc.
Unfortunately, there is no train station near Kovalam but there are regular buses that leave every hour or so from Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin. If you prefer you could always grab a taxi which should not be too expensive or if you are feeling really brave get in a rickshaw!
Where to stay
Kovalam has plenty of options for accommodation. There are various 5 star hotels around but if you are looking for somewhere a bit cheaper and a bit more special check out my reccommendation below.
Situated in a rocky hollow betweeen two of the beaches, Surya Samudra is like a scene from a James Bond theme.
Located between some palm trees are exotic little wooden cottages with everthing you need. This is the perfect place for any couples wanting privacy and space.
The swimming pool is one of the highligths of this place, carved out of solid rock it really is a special 'one off'. The Octopus offer sumptuous Kerala cuisine and some european specialites as well.
The hotel offers tours around the area and also has a thriving ayurvedic and yoga center attached....A quote from a happy guest
"Ayurveda here is on a luxurious scale…My rejuvenation massage was an hour and a half of nirvanic bliss. I felt as if I'd been on holiday for a month, instead of just arriving."
At $240 a night this kind of luxury does not come cheap but it is no ordinary place that is for sure.
When to go
The best time to visit Kovalam Beach is between the months of October and April when it is sunny pretty much all of the time. The rest of the time it can be unbearably hot and humid.
Between the months of December and February it can get a bit chilly at night so take an extra jumper.
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