Kovalam is 14kms from Trivandrum (our last stop). Therefore getting there was easy, we asked a Tuk Tuk & he charged us £3.
In hindsight, we probably could have made it a day trip, as it was my least favourite place of the trip.
What to do?
This is probably the reason behind my last sentence. Kovalam is a relaxed beach town, I’m not a fan of sitting on a beach all day (unless I can go snorkeling). However, saying that, it has a beautiful cresent beach, with a lighthouse at one end, and a watchtower at the other.
The beach is formed of golden sand, but the sea is rough; apparently with a strong undertow & riptides. When we were there, it was rather rough & even Colin didn’t want to chance swimming. However, we had a morning’s worth of watching the surfers catch waves from a rooftop cafe.
Whilst we visited, the weather was extremely humid & overcast; a dip in the ocean would have been much appreciated.
Surfing & Body-boarding
Depending on the conditions, there are some good waves to catch here if you’re a keen surfer.
It’s great to watch the fishermen pull in their nets each morning. The beach around the corner from the tourist beach (by the watch tower) is much quieter (few tourists) & is full of activity with the local fishermen.
The lighthouse was 50Rps pp to enter (Foreigners) & I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of having to climb the lighthouse steps (as in previous experiences) it is fitted with a modern lift (that even plays music & wishes you a pleasant day at the top).
Whilst we were there, the gardens were being refurbished. The lighthouse itself, was being painted by a brave soul dangling from a single rope in a basket, armed with a tin of paint & a brush.
Ayurvedic Health & Medicine
There are lots of places here to get a consultation or have a treatment. These are mainly dotted around in the winding alleyways that lead back from the main beach.
As I didn’t want to sit in the heat on the beach, I took up my favourite pastime of people watching (& taking a few snaps) from cafes or the shade of a palm tree.
Where to Eat
You can get a range of local & international food here in the many restaurants. We enjoyed buying coconuts & snacks from the beach vendors at sunset.
My personal opinion of Kovalam is somewhat lacking in character; it is neither an up-to-date resort, nor does it have rustic charm. To me, it appears dated & tired, in need of some investment. It wasn’t helped that we experienced power cuts & no water for 8 hours.
The place we stayed at, wasn’t that cheap (compared to Varkala) & had grey stained bed linen, dirty furniture which looked like it been put together 30 years ago (Colin tried to turn on the wall light & it came out of the wall). Having looked around over the 3 days, I’d say this is pretty much indicative of the town.
In hindsight, personally, we would have preferred to stay longer in Trivandrum & visited here for day trips.