Popularly known as the Paradise of South India, Kovalam is renowned for its pristine and marvelous beaches. Just 17 km from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kovallam has gained name and fame due to its shallow waters and low tidal waves. It is the first tourist destination to be highly promoted and brought into the limelight. The 17 km coastline is divided into three adjacent crescent beaches. Amongst the three, the largest and most popular is the southernmost beach, known as the Lighthouse Beach, primarily for the 35-meter high lighthouse, sited atop Kurumkal hillock. The second largest is the Hawa Beach, where topless sunbathing was first permitted in India. Although it has been banned now, but it is tolerated in some private coves owned by resorts. The northernmost is the Samudra Beach, also called Main Beach or Leela Beach, which is a witness to massive crowds on weekends, while the weekdays are quiet and calm. A beautiful bay of calm and steady waters created by a massive rocky outcrop on the beach is ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at the Kovalam Beach are plenty and diverse - sunbathing (be careful as the blistering sun can give you a tan within a matter of minutes), herbal body toning massages, swimming, special cultural programs, catamaran cruising, surfing, motor boat ride, wooden boat ride, etc. The Kovalam Beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, convention facilities, Ayurvedic health resorts, swimming pools, shopping zones, and Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centers to your pleasure. Just 3 km away from the beach is the sea port of Vizhinjam, famous for the rich diverse marine life, old Hindu temples, big churches, and a Muslim shrine. With Ayurveda gaining popularity among the locals and foreigners, Kovalam has found a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic centers and resorts that have come up.
Apart from exploring Kovalam Beach, Ayurveda, and nearby attractions, you can also check out some other tourist sites, such as the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi hill station etc. located in Thiruvananthapuram. To pick up some merchandise, you a wide range of shops selling quality souvenirs, especially the Little Tibet Arts, which has a dozen little keepsakes at affordable prices to carry back home. The nearest railhead is Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 16 km, while the closest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, at a distance of 10 km.
The Kovalam beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kerala and attracts a large number of tourists.