Light House Beach, Kovalam Beach, Vizhinjam P.O, Kovalam, Kerala 695521, India
Photo courtesy of Kerala Tourism
Kovalam BeachLocated on the Arabian Sea about a 20-minute drive from city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam has been a noted coastal retreat since the 1930s, when the Regent Maharani chose to build her Halcyon Castle on a cliff overlooking the beach. Things really took off in the 1960s and 70s, though, when hippies from all over the world discovered these sunny shores. Over the next couple of decades, Kovalam developed into one of India’s top getaway destinations, but don’t expect the “Hamptons of Mumbai” party vibe of Goa—though these beaches get busy, things are still pretty low-key and family-friendly here. Kovalam’s nearly 11 miles of coastline is comprised of three distinct beaches: southernmost Lighthouse Beach is the busiest, and is lined with restaurants and shops; the calm waters of Hawa Beach draw sunbathers and swimmers; and quiet Samudra Beach is the place to spot local fishermen, and pick up their fresh catch.