Kovalam might be a bustling beach destination, but it is still a pleasant detour from the beautiful but crowded towns in God’s own country, such as Munnar and Alleppey. Besides breathtaking natural beauty, there are plenty of things to do in Kovalam that don’t tire you. On the contrary, they relax your mind, body, and soul!
Kovalam is a town of many shades. From serene backwaters to playful beaches; from adventure sports to Ayurvedic therapies; and from shacks & beach cafes to luxury hotels & resorts – it has everything to make your holiday in Kerala a memorable one.
Here are the top things to do in Kovalam – one of most beautiful towns of Kerala.
1. Take a sightseeing tour – An excursion to discover the town
Kovalam has a lot of happening tourist attractions that keep attracting travelers to this town. You should plan a half day tour to roam around the city and explore the Lighthouse, Samudra and Hawa beaches, Karamana River, Vellayani Lake, Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple, Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple, and Halcyon Castle.
Also, enjoying the scenic charm of Neyyar Dam and Aruvikkara Dam and witnessing the spectacular sunset at Valiyathura Pier are the some of the most exciting things to do in Kovalam. If you are an art and sculpture buff, then you must pay a visit to Kovalam Art Gallery.
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2. Spend a night in the houseboat – An experience worth every bit
Floating in the tranquil backwaters with picturesque rustic rural backdrop, lush green paddy fields, and plantations is the dream of every city dweller. Live the dream by spending one night in a luxurious houseboat in Karamana River or Ashtamudi Lake. Relish the scenery and indulge in sumptuous Malabari food to have a memorable experience in Kovalam.
In order to make the most of your vacation, book a Kerala package which includes a houseboat stay. If you don’t wish to book a package, then you can book a houseboat in Kovalam through private tour operators. Generally, the sailing starts after breakfast and ends at the same time next day.
3. Give adventure sports a shot – Try that one water sport you’ve always wanted to
Indulging in exciting and thrilling water sports and beach adventure is one of the super fun things to do in Kovalam, Kerala. From swimming, surfing, parasailing, to jet skiing and paragliding, the list is quite enthralling. One can enjoy all this beach fun at the buzzing Lighthouse Beach.
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4. Go for a serene catamaran ride – Floating all the way
Catamaran rides during strong tides at Hawah Beach is undoubtedly one of the must do things to do in Kovalam. You get a ride on a traditional wooden catamaran boat and is rowed with bamboo paddles. One can also plan boating at Vellayani Lake while enjoying the stunning and spectacular beauty of the fishing villages. In fact, there is no dearth of stunning lakes in Kerala where you can take a romantic boat ride.
Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Catamaran ride charges: Depend on the type of boat you choose and the length of your ride
5. All Day Breakfast at German Bakery – Start your day with a hearty meal
A sumptuous hearty brunch at the German Bakery – overlooking the stunning Lighthouse Beach – is surely one of the top things to do in Kovalam. The place is highly recommended for pastries, pancakes, milkshakes, and shrimp biryani. Candle-lit sitting arrangements are also made in the evening hours and one can enjoy special Ayurvedic meals with curried stew of veggies on request. Slurp!
Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm
Must try: Malabar Fruit Flambe
Famous for: Vegetarian food and romantic views
Average price: INR 700
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6. Yoga and meditation at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwanthari Ashram – Perfect escape from stress and anxiety
For complete peace of mind, one can visit Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram at Neyyar Dam. Founded in 1959, this yoga retreat is surrounded by plush green coconut plantations and misty mountains creating a serene ambiance for meditation in peace. As one of the most talked about things to do in Kovalam, India, people from all over the world visit this place for yoga and meditation sessions.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwanthari Ashram specializes in various yoga courses, yoga camps for kids and teens and all-embracing yoga vacations. The place also offers focused courses Ayurveda wellness, fasting, and detoxification.
Opening hours: 6 am to 8 pm
Entry fee: Check out their website to know more about session charges.
7. Enjoy Ayurvedic massages – Revive your mind and body
Therapeutic and wellness Ayurveda is a symbol of Kerala’s legacy. There are plenty of renowned Ayurveda massage and spa centres in Kovalam, some of them are associated with hotels and some as standalone units. Pampering your body with signature Ayurvedic healing and wellness therapies like Kizhi, Seerodhara, Thalapothical, Vasthi, Kativasti, Lepam, and Thalam is one of the top things to do in Kovalam.
You must check their availability before planning a take a session. If you don’t get a suitable slot for your session, then you can also try some other popular Ayurveda resorts in Kerala.
Recommended Ayurveda centers: Divya-The Health Spa at Leela Kempinski Beach Resort, Vydyashala Ayurveda in Turtle on the Beach Resort, Ideal Ayurvedic Resort, ShinShiva Ayurvedic Resort, and Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort
8. Attend the Gramam Village Fair – A cultural extravaganza
Village Fair is a 10-day long vibrant and unique festival, as the artisans recreate and remodel typical Kerala villages showcasing all forms of culture, traditions, music, and dance forms like Kathakali, Thiruvathirakali, and Mohiniattam. If you are planning a holiday in January, then you must attend this culturally enriching fiesta.
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9. Shop at the street markets – No trip is complete without a little shopping
No vacation is complete without some shopping and your Kovalam vacation is no exception. It is an ideal place to pick up spices, aromatic oil, sarees, and traditional knick knacks from the local markets lined by the Lighthouse Beach. Kathakali masks, nettipattam (decorative ornament used for elephants) are used as wall décor. You can also add coconut and coir items to your shopping list.
Must buys from Kovalam: Handloom sarees, Kasavu sarees, and essential oils
10. Visit Jeevan Music Café – Get lost in the music and cozy ambiance
Jeevan Music Café is one of the chilled out places in Kovalam for an exciting evening. Located by the Lighthouse Beach, this place offers amazing live music every evening. This is the only licensed pub in the beach area and getting engrossed in old English songs while relaxing with a bottle of beer and some French fries is one of the most fun things to do in Kovalam.
Opening hours: 9:30 am-10 pm
Kovalam is a town full of peace, natural beauty, and unspoiled beaches. The people of the small town are so welcoming that you’ll be overwhelmed by their hospitality. Hopefully your trip to Kovalam will give you reasons to revisit this wonderful place.
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