Kerala is famous not only for its amazing greenery and backwaters but also for its beautiful beaches. With a coastline that spans just over 550 km, there are over thirty beaches along the Arabian Sea. Each beach has a distinct topography that changes dramatically and abruptly as one travels from the north to the south coast. If you plan to enjoy a beach holiday in the South, here is our list of the top 10 beaches in Kerala that are a visual treat and offer plenty of fun activities for adventure seekers.
1. Kovalam Beach
This is one of the best beaches in Kerala and the largest. It was developed in the 1930s when the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore built the Halcyon Castle to entertain the European guests of the kingdom. However, it was not until the 1970s that Kovalam came under the tourist radar, becoming a favourite spot of the hippies. Soon after, dozens of resorts emerged around this idyllic village, making it a popular beach destination.
Today, Kovalam provides various accommodation options, from five-star hotels to boutique Ayurveda resorts and budget hotels.
The entire stretch of Kovalam’s coastline includes Lighthouse Beach, Hawa Beach, and Crescent Beach. While Lighthouse Beach is the most popular, offering a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea, Hawa Beach is popular among tourists thanks to the palm groves, where they often get a relaxing massage. This was once famous for being a topless beach, although topless bathing is now prohibited. Samudra is a calm beach and the best place to enjoy the cool breeze where tourists can meditate and enjoy the scenic view.
2. Varkala Beach
Varkala is an award-winning cliffside beach with plenty of family-friendly options. The beaches are longer and wider, with plenty of activities for kids and adults. The several shacks around the beach serve delicious fish fry, beer, and other local delicacies. Some popular beach activities include paragliding, jet skiing, banana boat riding, and kayaking.
The beach is also famous for its 2000-year-old Janardhanaswamy Temple, which stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach. Papanasam Beach, which is a few kilometres away from Varkala, is famous for its natural springs and hence visited by locals who believe the beach to have medicinal and curative properties.
As for accommodation options, Varkala has plenty of affordable accommodation options, including ayurvedic resorts and five-star hotels.
3. Marari Beach
Marari Beach is close to Alleppey and famous for its luxury resorts. Tourists visiting the Alleppey backwaters also visit the beach to relax and rejuvenate. The beach gets its name from Mararikulam, the coastal village on the Arabian Sea. Marari is loved for its palm groves and golden sands but is not as crowded as other famous beaches in Kerala.
Besides soaking in the scenery, you can sign up for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic spa treatment or yoga classes. You can also sign up for water activities like parasailing, water skiing, and sea surfing. The waters are also safe and clean enough for swimming. If you’re in Marari as part of a travel package, we suggest visiting the beach around September to enjoy the snake boat race.
Although the weather here ranges from warm to hot all year round, we suggest visiting the beach from December to March because the weather is pleasant and it does not rain.
4. Bekal Beach
Bekal Beach is one of the best beaches in Kerala, offering a fascinating view of the 300-year-old Bekal Fort. It is also famous for being one of the cleanest beaches in Kerala. The beach and the adjacent fort were the backdrops for the famous Uyire song in the 1995 movie Bombay.
While the beach isn’t safe for swimming, you can do plenty of things in and around Bekal. The beautiful beach and the charming landscape provide the perfect ambience for a romantic stroll with your loved one. The Nithyananda Ashram Caves are a group of 43 caves believed to have been carved by Bhagawan Nithyananda himself. Some of the other attractions include the Chandragiri Fort and Malik Dinar Mosque.
While Kasargod is perfect all year round, the best time to visit Bekal is from November to February when the weather is pleasant and temperatures range from 20ºC to 25ºC. And the worst time to visit Bekal is around June to September, i.e., during the monsoon when it rains considerably and it feels sticky and wet throughout the day. But the view of the fort from the beach is wonderful, thanks to the greenery that contrasts wonderfully with the earthy tone of the ancient fort.
5. Kappad Beach
It is believed that Vasco da Gama landed on Kappad beach when he first visited India in 1498. This is one of India’s few Blue Flag beaches, famous for its cleanliness and environment-friendly initiatives. The landscape is dotted with rock formations and lined with coconut palms, making it a perfect destination for honeymooners. There are plenty of restaurants serving local delicacies and quite a few luxury resorts as well. You can sign up for an Ayurveda spa in these resorts or enjoy swimming in the safe waters.
But you can do plenty of other things in and around Kappad Beach. For instance, you could enjoy a houseboat cruise on the backwaters of Kappad canals, visit the Thushagiri Waterfalls, or explore the Kalalundi Bird Sanctuary.
6. Cherai Beach
Cherai Beach is only a few kilometres from Kochi, providing the perfect escape for city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Kochi. It is famous for the Chinese fishing nets or locally called cheena wala, believed to be introduced by Chinese explorer Zheng He. The beach is less crowded and ideal for honeymooners looking for a tranquil atmosphere. And if you’re lucky, you could even spot dolphins swimming a bit further from the beach. And if you’re a water sports enthusiast, plenty of companies offer speed boat rides, banana boat rides, ATVs, paramotoring, kayaking, standup paddling, and scuba diving.
Other attractions in and around Cherai Beach include the Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple, Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple, Pallipuram Church, and the backwaters of Periyar.
7. Alleppey Beach
Thanks to its network of canals, lagoons, freshwater rivers, and lakes, Alappuzha is called the Venice of the East. Alappuzha Beach is a favourite among the locals who bring their children to the children’s park. The beach is famous for its greenery and scenery. The Alappuzha Beach pier is over 140 years old, providing people with the perfect place to relax in the evening. The government organizes the Alappuzha Beach Festival yearly, staging several art and cultural programs, including dance performances, music shows, etc. You can also sample local delicacies, including seafood, meat and poultry.
8. Beypore Beach
Beypore Beach is one of the oldest ports in Kerala, famous for its natural beauty and water sports activities. The golden sands and swaying coconut trees provide a picturesque setting for honeymooners who love taking a stroll along the shoreline. You could also sign up for an Ayurveda spa treatment at one of the many Ayurveda-based resorts or learn pranayama by the beach.
9. Muzhappilangad Beach
This is a drive-in beach in Kannur and is loved by adventure sports lovers. You can drive through the entire 4km stretch of the shore, sign up for paragliding and parasailing, or take up water sports like power boating and swimming. In fact, Muzhappilangad Beach is the largest drive-in beach in Asia and was even named among the top 6 drive-in beaches in the world. The beach is also a birdwatcher’s favourite hotspot, thanks to the dozens of avian migratory species that visit the area during winter.
10. Neendakara Beach
Neendakara is a few km away from Kollam, one of Kerala’s most famous fishing ports. The beach’s most fascinating aspect is the bridge connecting the Shakthikulangara landmasses. The bridge also provides a fantastic view of the delta formed by the Ashtamudi Lake merging into the Arabian Sea, It is also famous for Chaakara, a phenomenon wherein fish and prawns come together on the mud bank.
Visit us if you are looking for a travel agency in Thrissur to help you plan the best beach vacation in Kerela.