Once upon a time a tranquil fishing village, 30-minutes drive from Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, today it is a popular tourist hotspot. Most hotels are lined along the beach, with its craggy coastline and lush palm groves behind. A haven for Ayurvedic treatments and yoga retreats, there is even a surf club with some impressive waves on a good day. A bustling seaport in the 18th and 19th centuries, a new International Seaport at Vizhinjam is under construction. Take a stroll along Kovalam main promenade to Lighthouse Beach, whilst 2km north, nearby Samudra Beach boasts some five-star resorts and excellent wellness retreats. Travel between November and February for the best weather.