Beaches in Kerala: Kerala beaches are among the best beaches in India and are an excellent alternative to Goa. Some beaches remain relatively uninhabited. Still, if you don’t want to relax, you may find that others have a lot going on. This Kerala beach guide will point you in the right direction of the most suitable beach for you. Season wise the best time to visit is from September to March. However, you will find some great off-season discounts (sometimes up to 50 percent) during the monsoons.
Top 6 Beaches in Kerala
If you crave action, you’ll definitely find it at Kovalam Beach – the most popular and most developed beach in Kerala. Often compared to Goa’s Calangute and Baga beaches, Kovalam is located not far from the capital, Trivandrum. It is actually made up of two main creeks—Hawa (also known as Eaves Beach) and Lighthouse Beach. The lighthouse is the largest and busiest of the two, with open-air restaurants on its promenade. Kovalam is a popular surfing destination in India. If you prefer somewhere more secluded, you’ll find a nearby beach to be a better option.
Varkala Beach is one of the best beaches in Kerala in terms of ambiance and amenities. Although more and more tourists come there every year, it is less crowded than Kovalam and the scenery is mesmerizing. The beach is located at the foot of a long stretch of rock that is surrounded by beach shacks and shops. You can stay right on the cliff, overlooking the ocean, or retreat from it. It’s incredibly romantic! Many young foreigners and couples enjoy this beach.
The serene Marari Beach is located not far from Alappuzha (formerly Alleppey), making it convenient for those who want to spend some time at the beach between going on a houseboat excursion along the backwaters. A major attraction here is the earth-conscious Marari Beach Resort. It is situated on a sprawling property filled with coconut groves and lotus ponds, and offers Ayurveda treatments and yoga classes on the beach, among other things.
The small town of Kannur in northern Kerala, off the beaten track in India, is known for its secluded beaches, mysterious masked soul-capturing Theyyam rituals, and handloom weaving. Kerala Tourism has a comprehensive calendar of Theyyam events. The Thottada Beach area has some delightful, laid-back (and cheap) beach homes, such as the Kannur Beach House, Waves Beach Resort, Chera Rock Beach House, KK Heritage Homestay, and Seashell Beach Home. Kannur district is also home to the Muzappilangad Drive-in Beach. You can drive all the way along the wide stretch of sand.
Bekal Beach, in far north Kerala (about a 90-minute drive from Mangalore airport in Karnataka), is famous for its Old Fort – one of the largest forts in Kerala. The beaches are clean and tidy, but luxury hotels are already flocking to the area, making it a place to be pampered. The most popular resort is the grand Taj Vivanta. It is possible to stay there for around 9,000 rupees per night depending on the season. The secluded LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal is located on a private beach with backwaters running through it. However, it is more expensive. Room rates start at Rs 19,000 per night.
The 10-km long Cherai Beach makes for an attractive side trip from Kochi. It is located on Vypen Island, accessible by ferry from Kochi and then a bus or auto-rickshaw ride through villages and paddy fields—yes, it’s different. A large part of the main beach was recently beautified, with the addition of a new walkway. One of the remarkable sights is the beach and lagoon being so close together. If you look at some of the surrounding streets, you will see spectacular views! Stay at Les 3 Elephants, a peaceful backwater eco-resort.