Best Beaches in Kerala

Kerala, situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is famously known as “God’s Own Country” for its breathtaking natural beauty. This coastal state is especially renowned for its serene backwaters, lush hill stations, aromatic spice gardens, and perhaps most of all – its pristine beaches lined with swaying coconut palms. When planning the best beaches in Kerala, you’re rather spoilt for choice. To help narrow it down, here is a handpicked selection of the top 6 beaches that you must visit on your next trip.

Reaching Kerala’s Glorious Beaches

The nearest major airport to most of Kerala’s famous beaches is Cochin International Airport, located in the port city of Kochi. There are frequent flights connecting Kochi to all of India’s major cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad, as well as international destinations.

Once you land in Kochi, the beaches highlighted in this guide are easily accessible by road, with the maximum distance being around 5 hours to Kovalam. You can either take buses, hire a taxi or rent a self-drive car to explore Kerala’s spectacular coastline at your own pace.

Now, without further ado, here are the 6 best beaches in Kerala that you must visit on your next tropical vacation.

1. Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam

Kovalam is arguably Kerala’s most famous and developed beach resort area, renowned for its pristine beaches edged by swaying palms and dotted with traditional fishing boats.

The largest cove here is known as the Lighthouse Beach, earning its moniker from the iconic candy-striped lighthouse at the southern end. This is the most popular beach in Kovalam with tourists, offering resorts, restaurants and shacks along its sandy stretch.

2. Hawah Beach, Kovalam

Just south of Lighthouse Beach lies the relatively secluded Hawah Beach, also known as Eve’s Beach. Flanked by empty palm groves rather than hotels or shops, this beach offers a peaceful contrast to its popular neighbour.

In the mornings, you can glimpse local fishermen hauling in the catch of the day before the beach is taken over by tourists. With fewer crowds, cleaner water and translucent waves, Hawah Beach allows you to experience the serenity of Kovalam.

3. Samudra Beach, Kovalam

The northernmost beach of Kovalam’s crescent, Samudra Beach offers yet another heavenly stretch of white sand that kisses the translucent Arabian Sea. The large resorts just beyond the beach now attract more Indian tourists and Russians rather than Europeans.

Samudra translates to “ocean” in Sanskrit – an apt name for this beach with its endless ocean views and the sound of waves gently lapping the sandy shores.

4. Papanasam Beach, Varkala

Another best beaches in Kerala is around 4 km from Varkala lies Papanasam Beach, the prime beach attraction in the seaside town of Varkala, nitric for its striking red laterite cliffs. Also known as Varkala Beach, it is considered to be a holy site associated with ancestor rituals.

The easiest way to reach this sacred coastal spot is by taking a quick Bangalore to Cochin flight to Kerala’s airport in the port city of Kochi. From Kochi, Varkala’s legendary Papanasam Beach is just a scenic drive away along the state’s palm-dotted highways and byways.

5. North Cliff, Varkala

A 10-minute walk from Papanasam Beach takes you to the more secluded stretch of North Cliff. While Varkala’s main beach area is always bustling with tourists, North Cliff provides a welcome escape.

This little corner of the coast is dotted with small cafes and shops under the looming cliffs. You can relax at one of the cliff-side establishments, soaking in uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea, or take winding steps hacked into the rock directly down to the sandy beach.

6. South Cliff, Varkala

The Varkala coastline extends past the main Papanasam beach area to encompass quiet South Cliff – home to leafy residential colonies as well as chic resorts and guest houses offering unreal views of the sea and hills.

A flight of steep stairs connects the cliff-top lane dotted with accommodations to the beach below, which usually only draws in tourists staying at the South Cliff hotels themselves. This affords a certain exclusivity and secluded vibe.

Paradise Found on India’s Malabar Coast

Kerala truly spoils globetrotting beach lovers with its string of seaside jewels along the Malabar Coast. Whether you fancy the popular vibe of Kovalam or the remote exclusivity of Varkala, the palm-fringed beaches highlighted here promise memorable tropical holiday moments.

The next time you crave turquoise waves lapping at your feet, combined with rich cultural experiences, a flight to Cochin International Airport followed by a road trip exploring these beaches is sure to satisfy your tropical wanderlust.