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Top 5 Beaches of Kerala

Updated on October 20, 2014

Kerala lies along the tropical Malabar Coast of southwest India. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world because of its lush coconut groves, balmy weather, pallid backwaters and splendid beaches. The beaches characterized by long stretches of golden sand, clear skies and rows upon rows of swaying palm trees are also amongst the best in India. It is because of all these factors that Kerala is named as one of the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler. In this section we try to list the top 5 beaches in the state.

1. Kovalam Beach

Kovalam is a beach town along the Arabian Sea near the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. It is by far the most developed and most popular beach in the state. The attractions include sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, catamaran cruising, budget cottages, ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, yoga and ayurvedic massage centers etc. The three main beaches that comprise the famous crescent of Kovalam are the Lighthouse Beach, the Hawah Beach and the Samudra beach. The first two are the busiest of the lot with the latter being a more quiet and secluded destination. A 35m high lighthouse on the Kurumkal hillock is also a major attraction.

How to Reach Kovalam Beach

  • By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport.
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Trivandrum Central.
  • By Road: Buses are available from Thampanoor Bus Terminal.

Sunset At Kovalam Beach.
Sunset At Kovalam Beach.

2. Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach, located in Kerala lies along the Arabian Sea forming a dramatic coastline. It is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. The tertiary sedimentary cliffs known as the Varkala Formation, along with the coastline make it one of the most photographed beaches in the country. The 2000 year old Sree Janardhana Swami Temple and Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and philosopher, Sree Narayana Guru are close by.

The beach is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. A dip in its waters is believed to wash away all sins in one’s life. For this reason it is also called Papanasam beach; ‘Papanasam’ meaning wash away sins. There are also numerous water spouts and mineral springs on the side of cliffs which are considered to have medicinal and curative properties.

Varkala beach with its ideal setting for sunbathing and swimming is a haven for tourists. The seaside resorts and spas provide excellent accommodation and facilities for the visitors.

How to Reach Varkala Beach

  • By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (57 kilometers away).
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Varkala (3 kilometers away).
  • By Road: Nearest bus stop is Varkala bus station (2 kilometers away).

Varkala Beach As Seen From The Cliff.
Varkala Beach As Seen From The Cliff.

3. Marari Beach

Marari Beach is located in a sleepy little village, Mararikulam barely 11 kilometers from Alappuzha. It is a popular tourist destination as it offers clean beaches ideal for swimming. The close proximity with the famous Kerala backwaters help woo visitors to this serene stretch of coastline.

The main attraction here is the earth conscious Marari Beach Resort belonging to CGH Earth chain of resorts. It is surrounded by coconut groves and lotus ponds, and offer ayurvedic treatments and yoga classes.

The Marai Beach is rated as one of the world’s top 5 Hammock Beach by National Geographic Survey.

How to Reach Marari Beach

  • By Air: Nearest airport is Cochin International Airport.
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Mararikulam.
  • By Road: National Highway 47 passes through S.L.Puram, 5km east of Mararikulam.

Aerial View Of Marari Beach.
Aerial View Of Marari Beach.
A View Of CGH Earth Marari Beach Resort.
A View Of CGH Earth Marari Beach Resort.

4. Payyambalam Beach

Payyambalam Beach is a quiet and secluded beach about 2 kilometers from Kannur town. It is one of the most beautiful and serene beaches of Kerala. The beach attracts both tourists and local people to its shores especially during weekends. A massive landscape sculpture of mother and child, and an organized garden are some of the major attractions in its vicinity. Some part of the garden is designed specifically for children.

How to Reach Payyambalam Beach

  • By Air: Nearest airport is Karipur International Airport.
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Kannur (2 kilometers away).
  • By Road: National Highway 17 passes through Kannur (2 kilometers from the beach).

Aerial View Of Payyambalam Beach.
Aerial View Of Payyambalam Beach.

5. Bekal Beach

Bekal beach is located about 60 kilometers north of Kannur town, near the Kerala – Karnataka border. It is not a very crowded beach and is therefore ideal for some alone time. The old Bekal Fort which stands nearby offers some great views of the coastline. It is the largest and best preserved fort in the state. The beautiful expanse of shallow beach near the Bekal fort known as Bekal Fort Beach is ideal for people interested in swimming. Two sculptures of Theyyam, walls adorned with mural paintings, a rock garden, children’s park and tree houses are some of the main attractions of the beach. Toilets and eco-friendly bamboo waste bins are provided all throughout the beach. The beach gets illuminated during evening hours and a walkway offers them a path to soak in the sunset along the coastline.

How to Reach Bekal Beach

  • By Air: Nearest airport is Mangalore (50 kilometers from Kasargod town).
  • By Rail: Nearest railway station is Kasargod.
  • By Road: Nearest bus station is Bekal (3 kilometers away).

Bekal Beach As Seen From Bekal Fort.
Bekal Beach As Seen From Bekal Fort.

Top 5 Beaches Of Kerala - On The Map

show route and directions
A markerKovalam Beach -
Eve's Beach, India
get directions

B markerVarkala Beach -
Varkala Beach, Kerala
get directions

C markerMarari Beach -
Beach Road, Mararikulam, Kerala 688523, India
get directions

D markerPayyambalam Beach -
Payyambalam Beach, Kerala 670014
get directions

E markerBekal Beach -
Bekal Beach, Kerala 671316
get directions


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    • Travel Musings profile image

      Vishnu Pradeep 3 years ago from India

      Thank you sunilkunnoth2012. Kerala indeed has some very beautiful beaches eventhough it is more famous for its backwaters.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Very interesting read. It is a fact that Kerala has some of the finest beaches in India. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here.