Decidedly laidback and largely undiscovered, Poovar is a paradise for those seeking utter rest and relaxation in the midst of pristine nature, and on an uncrowded stretch of sand. It’s the kind of a spot where lounging on the beach, boating in the backwaters and getting to know the fisher community inhabiting the area is par for the course in a typical day.
What to see and do
The prime attraction of this coastal village is the Poovar Beach, where the salty water of the Arabian Sea meets the freshwater of the Neyyar river, thus forming a small estuary near the beach. The beach’s miles of serene golden sands framed by coconut palms provide a blissful relaxation, while its water in distinct shades of blue and green are quite tempting to swim in. Best of all, it is not crammed with holidaymakers or beach-goers (as yet), which means you have the entire beach to yourself to sit back, relax and sunbathe. Note that swimming is not allowed from June to August due to heavy undercurrents. And be aware that this beach is only accessible by water taxi, which is easily available.
Those looking for a quintessential Kerala experience should go on a boat cruise along the palm-fringed shores of picturesque backwaters. The backwaters are brimming with flora and fauna. While cruising, keep your eyes peeled for birds, like Brahminy Kite, Sea Egret, Kingfisher, Indian Cormorant Eagle, Black Darter, and more.
Meandering through the backwaters allows you to catch a glimpse of the native villagers going about their everyday chores; connect with nature as well as appreciate the beauty of the area encompassing dense mangrove forest, coconut groves, exotic flowers and floating cottages. You can opt for one of the many boat tours on offer, like Poovar Backwater cruises and Leela Backwaters. A 1.5-hour trip costs around INR 1,000 ($15.5) to INR 1,500 ($23.3) for up to two people. Be sure to carry your camera to capture all the beautiful views!
Where to stay and eat
Though it is a small coastal fishing village, there are several eco-friendly accommodations to be found in and around the area, which allow guests to connect with nature and disconnect from the outer world. The budget-friendly options are Dubai Tourist Home Poovar and Kataloram Resort.
Kayaloram Resort, Kulathoor, Kerala, India, +91 081390 31924
For a bit more lavish stay, there are three resorts, nestled on the embankment of River Neyyar – Poovar Island Resort, Isola Di Cocco, and the Estuary Island. These resorts have their own boat jetty and offer a myriad of amenities, including Ayurvedic therapies and spas, swimming pool, backwater cruises, and more. However, the most popular preference is the Poovar Island Resort because of its beautiful floating cottages overlooking the picture-perfect sandy beach, emerald backwaters and the beautiful Arabian Sea. Plus, there is an eco-lodge homestay available in the area, called the Fridays Place.
Isola Di Cocco,Poovar Post Office, Trivandrum, Kerala, India, +91 0471 221 0008
Estuary Island, Poovar, Trivandrum, Kerala, India, +91 0471 256 1012
As for dining, there are three to four restaurants docked in the River Neyyar in front of the resorts, and the offerings are suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. As it is primarily a fishing village, so the seafood lovers are in for a treat here – you can dine on some freshly caught fish and other seafood items.
How to get there
The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, approximately 21 miles away. The nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station, approximately 16.7 miles away. You’ll need to take a taxi or private/state-government buses the rest of the way. Endearingly, the other way to reach this tiny piece of heaven is by a boat ride from Thiruvananthapuram that lets you experience the bewitching backwaters.