Explore the beautiful beaches of Kerala, and discover the quieter undeveloped beaches of Northern and Central Kerala or the more developed beaches to the South of the region.
The quiet and undeveloped beaches of central Kerala are quite different from the more touristy beaches in south Kerala. The land is flatter here too so better for people with mobility problems. The nearest airport is Cochin. Note: the beaches are used by the local fishermen. It is interesting to watch them bring in their catch but this activity does result in a certain amount of debris on the beach. Also Note: in some places along the coast the government put sea defences on the beach. These large blocks may not look attractive and may need to be climbed over – but they are necessary to slow/stop erosion.
Mararikulam is the main beach in this area. It is just over an hour south of Fort Cochin and close to the backwaters. Other than the hotels you will not find restaurants and bars along this strip of coast line.
The beaches of southern Kerala are serviced by Trivandrum Airport. There is a variety of beaches in the far south of Kerala offering visitors a choice of busy or quiet. Note: in some places along the coast the government put sea defences on the beach. These large blocks may not look attractive and may need to be climbed over – but they are necessary to slow/stop erosion.
Accommodation Choices in Kovalam
This is the main beach resort of Kerala and is just half an hour from Trivandrum Airport. It has a number of beaches, including the famous Lighthouse Beach. Much of the beach area can only be reached on foot which gives Kovalam its village atmosphere. There are many budget hotels used by the charter operators and backpackers and a few higher quality hotels. Kovalam has a range of restaurants, shops and tailors.
Accommodation Choices in Varkala
Varkala is a beach resort just over an hour north of Trivandrum airport. The beach is at the bottom of a steep red cliff. Most of the hotels and a range of bars and restaurants are on the cliff top and access to the beach is via steps cut into the cliff or the road (where rickshaws and taxis can save you the climb). There is an old temple (Janardhana Swamy) at Varkala and it is a pilgrimage destination for many Hindus as the waters are considered holy.
Accommodation Choices in Pulinkudi
South of Kovalam there is a string of beaches running towards the Tamil Nadu border. Pulinkudi is one of these. Staying at a resort along one of these beaches offers a more ‘exclusive’ experience. If you want shops and restaurants Kovalam is just a short distance away. The land rises quite steeply in places along the southern coast, which means that beach access is not always easy.
The northern part of Kerala is known as the Malabar region and it includes the districts of Kasaragod (the most northerly) and Kannur. There are attractive wide beaches here and they are only just starting to be developed. Bekal has an ancient fort (one of the largest in Kerala) although only the outer walls and some watchtowers remain. Kannur is known as the land of ‘looms and lores’ as it is a weaving area and has many temple festivals
Accommodation Choices in Nileshwaram
Nileshwaram/Neeleshwar is a cultural capital of the Kasargod region. Several temple festivals, art and dance forms are popular. Theyyam is an established ritual of worship which has been in practice for the last thousand years.
Accommodation Choices in Kannur
The Kannur district of North Kerala is known as the land of looms and lores, because of the weaving industries in this area and the festivals held in the temples. It is a major centre of Theyyam, the ritual dance of northern Kerala. Many small shrines known as kavus can be found in the district where Theyyam performances can be witnessed.
Accommodation Choices in Bekal
Bekal has an ancient fort (one of the largest in Kerala) although only the outer walls and some watchtowers remain. It also has some scenic beaches, such as Kappil Beach.