The 25+ Best Kerala Beaches

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Self proclaimed as "God's Own Country" Kerala has plenty to brag about. One of India's most southerly states Kerala has over 600 km of Arabian Sea coast dotted with palm fringed, sandy beaches.

Kerala is well known for its Backwaters, a network of waterways just inland from the coast. These are home to some beautiful scenery, colourful house boats and abundant wildlife. A little further inland are the mountainous slopes of the Western Ghats where you will find tea, coffee and spice plantations.

People often want to compare Kerala and Goa, which makes some sense as they are India's most visited coastal regions. Whilst there are similarities, the two states have a very different feel and attract a different crowd. If you want to party hard, you should probably head to Goa. Kerala on the other hand is more serene and laid-back. There's still plenty going on, but in a state where alchol is banned it's going to be a very different experience.

Kerala has a long and diverse history with many reminders of its colonial past, both Portuguese and Dutch.

  • 1. Varkala Beach

    Varkala Beach
    © Navaneeth Krishnan S / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Set in the south of Kerala Varkala Beach is a truly beautiful spot. From the long stretch of cliff there are views out over the Arabian Sea and the beach below. This stretch fine white sand is outlined in coconut trees and bamboo huts giving it a totally tropical feel. Whilst there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, and shops nearby this is still less commercialized beach than many others in… read more »

  • 2. Marari Beach

    Marari Beach
    © Mahendra M / CC BY

    The long straight ribbon of sand that forms Marari Beach is backed by palms and slopes gently into Kerala's Arabian Sea waters. While just 11 km from Alleppey (Alappuzha), it is little known. Busiest on weekends and holidays, it remains largely undeveloped. As a result, its facilities are limited, although both sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented here.

    The large waves make swimming off Marari Beach a hazard, and… read more »

  • 3. Puthenthope Beach

    Puthenthope Beach
    © Bentojustin / CC BY

    The reddish sands of Puthenthope Beach are uncrowded and known for their tranquillity. A small hamlet and a couple of high-end resorts cluster around this beach, which is situated between two man-made hills.

    The nearby coconut groves make for a wonderful place to swing gently in a hammock while enjoying the refreshing breeze that comes off the ocean.

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  • 4. Bekal Beach

    Bekal Beach
    © Soman / CC BY

    Bekal Beach is located on Kerala's Malabar coastline on the shores of the Arabian Sea. This area is a popular destination in India because of its natural scenic beauty and hospitality. Besides the the picturesque, tropical beach , there is a substantial historic fort on the southern headland. The fort is nearly 300 years old, and it offers commanding views over the beach and beyond.

    Day trips available where you… read more »

  • 5. Cherai Beach

    Cherai Beach
    © Jan J George / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Swimming

    Located within a stone's throw of Kochi, Kerala's most populous city, is Cherai Beach. This long, golden sand beach sits on a 15-kilometer strip of coast backed by extensive backwaters. As the beach stretches off into the distance with a view of the Arabian Sea to one side and groves of coconut palms to the other it is hard to imagine you are just a short drive from a city… read more »

  • 6. Kappad Beach

    Kappad Beach
    © Sarah and Iain / CC BY

    With its long stretch of pale-golden sands backed by tall coconut palms Kappad Beach is as delightful as any in Kerala. It is also just the right combination of wild beauty but with all the amenities and conveniences close at hand.

    Long before the beachgoers, Kappad Beach was an important place in Kerala‚Äôs history. In 1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama led 170 men to land its shores. You can visit… read more »

  • 7. Thottada Beach

    Thottada Beach
    © Arjunmangol / CC BY

    Thottada Beach is located towards the north of Kerala near Kannur, and you can stay just steps away from this beautiful sandy beach. This quiet, serene beach stretches for around 800 meters with fine golden sand, a backdrop of tropical greenery and it also has great sunsets. Towards the northern end the beach has a small river which forms a lagoon.

    If you go for a swim, stay near the shore.… read more »

  • 8. Muzhappilangad Beach

    Muzhappilangad Beach
    © Shagil Kannur / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Muzhappilangad Beach is famous for the fact that you can drive your car along the beach and in the water. Out of a 5 km long beach there are four kilometers where you can drive along the sand. Whilst to me this sounds like a recipe for disaster it is apparently a lot of fun.

    If you do drive onto this beach, make sure that you pay attention for your… read more »

  • 9. Azhimala Beach

    Azhimala Beach
    © Dr Ajay Balachandran / CC BY

    Just a short drive from Kovalam is the much quieter, laid back Azhimala Beach. Compared to the hustle and bustle along the coast this is a wonderfully peaceful and natural location.

    Gentle waves wash the long stretch of golden sand, and the backdrop is coconut palm trees with the odd cluster of boulders. Instead of a throng of tourists you can watch the local fishermen landing their catch.

    Azhimala Beach provides a… read more »

  • 10. Kovalam Beach

    Kovalam Beach
    © mehul.antani / CC BY
    Great for:
    • Swimming
    • Surfing

    Kovalam is just 16 kilometers away from Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram, and there is much to do in this popular and picturesque location. The beach is shaped like a crescent moon, and it features three adjacent beaches that are separated by rocks.

    Lighthouse Beach is probably the most popular, and it has strong waves and restaurants along the beach. It is named after the red and white striped lighthouse that sits… read more »

  • 11. Kappil Beach

    Kappil Beach
    © Navaneeth Krishnan S / CC BY

    Kappil Beach lies on India's Arabian Sea coast in the south of Kerala, close enough to the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram to make a detour a real possibility. What's more, Kappil Beach is only seven kilometres north of Varkala and its railway station.

    The beach consists of at least one kilometre of sand that forms a spit between the sea and the waters of Edava Narayana lake. Surrounded by coconut… read more »

  • 12. Kollam Beach

    Kollam Beach
    © Kerala Tourism

    Located in the South of Kerala, Kollam Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. This is particularly true of courting couples who flock here to get married.

    The (sporadically) well-matained beach is one of the few in Kerala to have a permanent lifeguard, although quite a few people have said they are just there to prevent people swimming!

    It is an attractive beach and features a good-sized stretch… read more »

  • 13. Aaliyirakkm Beach

    Aaliyirakkm Beach
    © Alexey Komarov / CC BY
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  • 14. Poovar Beach

    Poovar Beach
    © Hans A. Rosbach / CC BY
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  • 15. Alappuzha Beach

    Alappuzha Beach
    © Sanu N / CC BY
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