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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.

15 Best Things To Do In Kovalam

Kovalam is one of the most beautiful towns in Kerala. Here is the list of the most enticing things to do in Kovalam that you must go through and try all of them. Take a look! 

  • Sightseeing Tour – An Excursion To Discover The Town
  • Houseboat Ride – An Experience Worth Every Bit
  • Adventure Sports – Channelize Your Inner Adrenaline Junkie
  • Catamaran Ride – Float All The Way
  • German Bakery – Start Your Day With A Hearty Meal
  • Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram – The Perfect Escape
  • Ayurvedic Massages – Revive Your Mind And Body
  • Gramam Village Fair – A Cultural Extravaganza
  • Shopping – Splurge A Little
  • Jeevan Music Café – Get Lost In The Music And Cozy Ambiance
  • Vizhinjam Village – Explore Rural Culture
  • Vellayani Lake – The Scenic Paradise
  • Lighthouse Beach – Entice The Beauty
  • Karamana River – An Absolute Beauty
  • Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium – The Fishes And Underwater Life

1. Sightseeing Tour – An Excursion To Discover The Town

houseboat in Kerala with palm trees in the background

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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 Beach 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.

Must Read: 10 Finest Resorts In Kovalam For A Revitalizing Vacation

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2. Houseboat Ride – An Experience Worth Every Bit

tourists relaxing on a luxurious houseboat

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Floating in the tranquil backwaters with a 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,  you must include a houseboat stay. A houseboat ride is one of the best activities in Kovalam. 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 the next day.

Average cost: INR 12,000-30,000
Time required: 2-3 days

Suggested Read: 9 Luxe Resorts Near Kovalam That Will Keep Your Connected With Nature!

3. Adventure Sports – Channelize Your Inner Adrenaline Junkie

a guy parasailing over Arabian sea

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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.

The coastal Kovalam is a hub for adventure junkies where there is an abundance of water sports. One will always look forward to exploring the rush and adventure in the form of Kovalam beach activities. So, let the adventurer in you indulge in Kovalam water sports for a thrilling ride. Moreover, with a bevy of beaches, you can always choose to go for a pleasant swim.

Average cost: INR 1,000
Where to try: Kovalam Beach, Pozhikkara Beach, Vizhinjam Beach, Samudra Beach 
Time required: 3-4 hours

Suggested Read: 21 Captivating Places To Visit In Kovalam To Explore the Southern Heaven

4. Catamaran Ride – Float All The Way

catamaran cruises on beach

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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
Average cost: INR 500
Time required: 3-4 hours

Suggested Read: 5 Best Kovalam Villas That Are Definitions Of Luxury And Elegance!

5. German Bakery – Start Your Day With A Hearty Meal

heart shaped pie on a white plate

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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

Suggested Read: 4 Spots For Shopping In Kovalam That’ll Make You Fall In Love With The City!

Planning your holiday in Kerala but confused about what to do? These Kerala travel stories help you find your best trip ever!

6. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta  Ashram – The Perfect Escape

a guy meditating in an ashram

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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
Time required: 2 hours

Suggested Read: 6 Beautiful Cottages In Kovalam That Offer Top-Notch Amenities For A Comfy Stay!

7. Ayurvedic Massages – Revive Your Mind And Body

two Kerala women giving Ayurveda massage

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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
Average cost: INR 1,500
Time required: 2 hours

Suggested Read: Temples In Kovalam: Time For A Spiritual Tour In The City With Your Family

8. Gramam Village Fair – A Cultural Extravaganza

Kerala traditional dance

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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.

Time required: 3-4 hours

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9. Shopping – Splurge A Little

shopping in Kerala

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.

What To Buy: Handloom sarees, Kasavu sarees, and essential oils
Time required: 3-4 hours

Suggested Read: Top 8 Kovalam Homestays For A Stay Amidst Bliss And Serenity

10. Jeevan Music Café – Get Lost In The Music And Cozy Ambiance

A cafe with wooden decor

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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
Average cost: INR 300
Time required: 2 hours

Suggested Read: 12 Best Kovalam Hotels For An Amusing Beach Holiday

11. Vizhinjam Village – Explore Rural Culture

port in vizhinjam

One of the best things to do in Kovalam is to explore the rural countryside area of Vizhinjam. It is not just a place full of absolute natural beauty but a place to explore the calm rural culture. It is a natural port which is located very close to international shipping routes. The village’s most important source of income is fishing where you can witness hundreds of fishing boats.

Time required: 1 day

Suggested Read: Kovalam Beach Resorts: 8 Most Romantic Sojourns For A Blissful Vacation

12. Vellayani Lake – The Scenic Paradise 

A fisherman on his boat in the Vellayani Lake

The largest freshwater lake in Thiruvananthapuram area is the Vellayani. One of the must things to do in Kovalam is to visit this prominent lake whose surroundings are full of abundant flora and fauna. You can take a boat ride to explore this scenic and beautiful lake. The unique ecosystem has a vivid sunset which is definitely a sight to behold.

Time required: 2-3 hours

Suggested Read: Honeymoon In Kovalam: Guide To Top Attractions, Activities, And Stays For Newlyweds

13. Lighthouse Beach – Entice The Beauty

Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam

Another of the finest things to do in Kovalam is to visit the Lighthouse Beach. The top of the lighthouse can be reached through a spiral staircase which will give you views of the absolute beauty of the ocean. It is an absolutely awesome place for couples to click selfies and pictures.

Time required: 1 hour

Suggested Read: Kovalam In December: Explore This Touristy Seaside Town In Kerala

14. Karamana River – An Absolute Beauty

The coconut mangroves that line the Karamana River makes it a stunning place to visit in Kovalam

If you have not visited the Karamana river, then you have hardly looked at the scenic beauties of Kovalam. One of the finest things to do in Kovalam is to explore this absolutely gorgeous river which originates from the Western Ghats. You can take a boating tour of the river which will take you through the expansive green tropical plants. The river is surrounded by lush greens. 

Time required: 1-2 hours

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15. Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium – The Fishes And Underwater Life

fish aquarium

Another of the best things to do in Kovalam is visiting the compact and simple aquarium. Displaying a unique collection of marine life and fishes including oysters and lobsters. The special Image Pearl Technique is visible in the Vizhinjam Maritime Aquarium. 

Location: Near Light House Road, Vizhinjam Harbour Road, Kovalam, Kerala 695521
Average cost: Free entry
Time required: 2-3 hours

Further Read: 37 Amazing Things To Do In Kerala For An Incredible Holiday

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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Frequently Asked Question About Things To Do In Kovalam

Can you swim in Kovalam beach?

Yes, you can swim in Kovalam beach, but there are strict lifeguards at the beach that won’t allow you to go beyond hip level. Kovalam beach is safe to visit throughout the year but during the monsoons when the water levels are high and the water covers almost all the beach. That is when one is advised to be extra cautious if visiting the beach.

Is Kovalam welcoming tourists right now, given the covid situation?

Yes, Kovalam is open for tourists, but it is mandatory for all the tourists to follow all the guidelines and take necessary precautions. While travelling make sure to wear masks at all times, maintain social distance at all public places and sanitize yourself regularly.

Which is better, Varkala or Kovalam?

Varkala and Kovalam, both are touristy resort towns in Kerala. Both these towns have beautiful beaches and instead of choosing between the two, one should visit them both on a trip to Kerala.

Why is Kovalam sand black?

Kovalam sand is black in colour due to the presence of the minerals, Ilmenite and monazite.

Are Kovalam and Kollam the same?

No, Kovalam and Kollam are not the same. Kovalam and Kollam are two different towns in Kerala and both are around 79 km apart.

How do I get to Kovalam by air?

The nearest airport to Kovalam is Trivandrum International Airport. One can take a flight till here and further book a taxi or take an auto. Kovalam is just 15 km from the airport and an auto charges around INR 250.

How many days are enough for Kovalam?

Ideally 2 days and 1 night are good to easily explore Kovalam as it is a small town. But one can plan to stay longer if they enjoy surfing.

Can I rent a two wheeler at Kovalam?

Yes, one can rent a scooty or bike in Kovalam and the charges are per day usually.

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