With over 550 kilometers of coastline, Kerala is blessed with pristine beaches. The state has many beaches such as Kovalam, Varkala and Cherai, which is famous among even international tourists. The lure of Kerala beaches are addictive; the picture-perfect sunsets leave a long-lasting mark on you. And who doesn’t need some downtime to unwind after a tough and tiring day at work or maybe just a weekend outing. We give you a list of beaches – some famous, some not so touristy – that you could visit. And you really need not wait for the weekends to make this trip.
1) Shankumugham Beach
Shankumugham is to locals what Kovalam is to tourists. One of the most easily accessible beaches in the state capital, it is normally crowded. Buses ply this route on a regular basis. Families and young people come here to watch the sun take his evening dip in the sea. The beach boasts of a park and a huge sculpture of a mermaid by famous artist Kanhai Kunjiraman. The airport is just a stone's throw away and you can watch the aircraft come and go. There’s also an ancient temple in the vicinity of the beach.
Where: About 7 km from Palayam
Nearest railway station: Trivandrum Central
2) Kollam Beach
The beach at Kollam used to be a popular port during the olden days. Trade flourished here and it was almost as busy as the port in Kochi. Cashew nut was the main export. Get friendly with a local person and he will tell you about the shared history of the Dutch and the Portuguese. You do not have to be a history buff to enjoy the ocean. When the playful waves lap at your feet, just close your eyes and experience the sea.
Where: About three kilometers from the town center
Nearest railway station: Kollam Junction
3) Andhakaranazhi Beach
Andhakaranazhi is nothing like what its name translates to. 'Andhakar' means dark and 'Azhi' stands for estuary in Malayalam. But the beach here is bright and beautiful during daytime and the Manakodam lighthouse built about three decades ago keeps the beach lit up during nights. As it is not on the tourist map, it is not very crowded. Local people play cricket on the beach and some fly kites. You could join them if you are a friendly tourist. But, since there are no places to stay, it is ideal to leave after sunset. There are small beach shacks, which sell refreshments.
Where: About 30 km from Alappuzha town and Ernakulam town
How to reach: Take a turn from Thuravoor on the Alappuzha-Ernakulam National highway.
Nearest railway station: Vayalar Railway Station
4) Marari beach, Alappuzha
A peaceful village, a serene beach and solitude for company, that is what you get when you walk into Marari beach near Mararikulam, Alappuzha. One of the cleanest beaches in Kerala, Marari is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Stroll over to the village by the beach – and you get a glimpse of the typical village life: women making coir mats and men who go out to catch fish.
Where: About 20 km from Alappuzha town
How to reach: Take a turn from Mararikulam on the Alappuzha-Ernakulam National highway.
Nearest railway station: Mararikulam
5) Kuzhupilly Beach
Kuzhupilly beach is fast becoming a wedding destination off the city of Ernakulam. This beach is not yet on the tourist map. This beach is very clean and you can play in the water to your heart's content. Also, there is enough greenery around, making it an absolute delight to the eyes and mind of a tourist.
Where: Kuzhupilly beach is about 30 km away from town center
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam
6) Nattika Beach
A serene beach about 30 kilometers away from Thrissur, Nattika is a traditional fisherman's village. The tourism department has time and again organized various tourism promotion activities at this beach. Nattika has been forever immortalized on celluloid with the iconic flick Chemeen.
Nearest railway station: Thrissur
7) Ponnani Beach
Eco shops, playful surf, and people make the beach at Ponnani famous. The proximity of the rivers adds to the charm of the sea. Don't look around for more reasons to explore this shoreline.
Nearest railway station: Kuttipuram (about 24 km away)
8) Kozhikode Beach
The beaches of Kozhikode have a hundred tales to tell - of trade, wars and foreign visitors. As you walk through the sands of the beach, you cannot help but stop to pause how much these shores have changed over the years, the sea being the only constant.
Nearest railway station: Kozhikode
9) Muzhappilangad Beach
What makes Muzhappilangad unique is the four-kilometer stretch of its beach where you can practically drive in. You can do your stunts – either on a bike or a car – and be careful about it. You have to be there, take in the sights and sounds to enjoy this very popular beach in Kannur
Nearest railway station: Thalassery (about 7 km away)
10) Kasaba Beach
Tucked away from all traces of civilization is Kasaba beach. A fishing village, the beach here is pristine and the people, very friendly. Go for a dip or fishing; the options here are endless.
Kasaba is in Kasaragod district.