The three states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have between them over 1,800kms of coast. It should be no surprise, then, that southern India has lots of wonderfully photogenic beaches, some of which stretch for several kilometers and are backed by swaying coconut palms. They’re the sort of beaches you’d close your eyes and picture. They offer great opportunities for sunbathing, swimming and all manner of watersports. You’ll also be able to go for romantic sunset cruises and enjoy strolls along the strand.
Some of our favourites in Kerala on the southwest coast include Samudra, a long beach, where you can watch the waves dashing themselves on to the rocks and Kovalam, which is made up of three curved beaches sheltered by a promontory, ideal for swimming. Lying north of Kerala, Karnataka has over 300kms of coastline and some of the loveliest beaches in the country, popular with locals and visitors alike. In Tamil Nadu, which covers the far southeast coast and the southern tip of India, Mamallapuram is just 60kms from Chennai. You’ll see some stunning sunrises and sunsets here and can take boat trips to glimpse submerged temples. Magical.
A peaceful and private beach location just over an hour from Cochin, the sound of the sea is never very far from your villa.
A stylish resort with a top class spa, lavish villas, beach access and a houseboat for backwaters cruises.
Kerala's largest beachside resort, the Leela Kempinski is dramatically located on a cliff-face, perched between two beaches at Kovalam.
Maison Perumal is a fully restored mansion in the little-explored Tamil quarter of Pondichery with 10 guest rooms.
On the Kerala coast, Marari Beach Resort has been designed in a traditional Kerala style, with private thatch-roofed villas.
A charming, small hotel facing a quiet stretch of beach, with a restaurant, Ayurveda spa and open air pool.
5 separate villas by Marari Beach offering spacious and well equipped accommodation, gardens, pools and beach access.
Escape the pressures of the modern world and relax in beautiful Kerala.
Surya Samudra is a small eco-resort on the Arabian Sea shore just 30 miles from the southernmost tip of India.
On a remote cliff-top in Southern India, SwaSwara is a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Get away from it all and relax by the beach in Kerala. The emphasis here is on escapism, privacy and simplicity.
Time: GMT +5½ hours
Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.
Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.
Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
There are no compulsory vaccinations.