Kovalam is to the south of Thiruvananthapuram and is one of India's best beaches and the favourite watering hole of travellers in southern India. The main beach consists of a too fairly small, palm-fringed coves which are separated from the beaches on either side by rocky headlands. There is a plethora of places to stay ranging from cheap, simple concrete boxes with shared showers to comfortable and well-positioned mid-range hotels and a five-star luxury hotel belonging to the Ashok Group. Likewise, there is a bewildering choice of beach-style restaurants, most right on the water's edge, all of which offer a variety of seafood as well as Western dishes and desserts. In the high season (November to February) it is awash with bronzed sun, sand and wave worshippers from all over the world and, at weekends, it attracts hordes of Indian tourists. There are numerous craft and carpet shops, clothing stores, book exchanges, general stores, travel agents and yoga schools.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are direct services to Ernakulam and Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin). Kanyakumari is two hours away and there are four departures daily. One bus leaves each morning for Thekkady in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Direct buses go to Kollam if you want to do the backwater trip.

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