Located in the southwestern state of Kerala, Kovalam is a beach town overlooking the Arabian Sea. Named for the endless coconut trees that populate its beaches, Kovalam competes with Varkala as Kerala’s most developed resort and was home to the Halcyon Castle, one of the first beach resorts in India. Today, Kovalam's beaches are popular with international tourists, but fewer than in Goa
. The touristy main stretch, Lighthouse Beach, has hotels and restaurants built up along the shore, while Hawa Beach to the north is usually crowded with day trippers heading straight from the taxi stand to the sand. Neither beach could be described as pristine, but at less than 15km from the capital it's a convenient place to have some fun by the sea, there are some promising waves (and a surf club), and it makes a good base for ayurvedic treatments and yoga courses.