Are you planning a trip to Kerala for its sun-kissed beaches? Then, make sure that you have a couple of days to spare for Kovalam; one of the most popular beaches in Kerala. Kovalam is among one of those places, which catapulted Kerala on to the international tourism map long long ago. In the late 1920s, the Queen Regent of the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom decided to set up a resort by the beach. During the early 1930s, her nephew, the king of the princely state started inviting his European visitors to the resort. The word spread and Kovalam started gaining popularity. And over the decades – in the seventies to be exact, Kovalam emerged as one of those 'hot' places on the 'Hippie Trail'. Here's a look at Kovalam as portrayed in the 1989 Malayalam movie 'Season', directed by the legendary movie maker, P Padmarajan. 'Season' was not the only movie shot here. Bollywood movies have been shot at Kovalam too. Bikini clad women and the fisher-folk toiling for their day to day existence is perhaps the only things that remain unchanged here. Time and changes have caught up with Kovalam. There are proper hotels on the beach, there are shacks that sell the local cuisine – mainly the fresh catch from the sea. If you are not content with lazing by the sea or taking a dip in it, there are other things you can do here too. Also read [A Malayali girl's visit to Kovalam](http://travel.manoramaonline.com/travel/getting-around-kerala/kovalam-a-quest-for-serenity-peace-adventure.html) **Surfing** The Kovalam Surf Club offers training and gear for those who are interested in surfing at the sea. They offer special summer coaching classes too. For more details Website : http://www.kovalamsurfclub.com/ **Scuba diving** A relatively new venture, the Cool Divers have opened up a whole new vista to those who love a bit of adventure. You can dive into the depths of the ocean and see fish at close quarters. They organise three sessions per day and [here is how it feels to take the plunge](http://travel.manoramaonline.com/travel/getting-around-kerala/scuba-diving-kovalam-explore-adventure.html) **A trip to Vizhinjam** There is a new seaport being built at Vizhinjam, just a stone's throw away. A new road is being built, the construction equipment are moving into place and this is perhaps the last couple of days when you can still enjoy the beach here – or what is remaining of it. **A trip to Poovar** Poovar, about 20kms away, was a port that conducted trade with many countries during the old days. You can go on a boat ride through the backwaters here. **Places to stay** Kovalam caters to a traveller on a budget and to someone who loves luxury. From big names like 'Taj Group of Hotels' to budget stays like 'Vedanta Wake-Up', you get it all at Kovalam. **To eat** Seafood is the specialty here, even though there is enough to keep the meat eaters and vegetarians happy. Again, a shack near the beach may cost less than a meal at [Bait](http://travel.manoramaonline.com/travel/eatouts/why-bait-is-that-perfect-place-for-a-quiet-meal.html) **Tips** You can fly to Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala and then drive down to Kovalam which is about 15 kms away. You can also take a train to Thiruvananthapuram.