Kollam or Quilon, an old seaport town on the Arabian coast, stands on the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam, the erstwhile Desinga nadu, had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Fed by the Chinese trade, it was regarded by Ibn Batuta, as one of the five ports, which he had seen in the course of his travels during a period of twenty four years, in the 14th century.
The serene Ashtamudi Lake is a great place to hanker for in the Kollam district. The boat cruise to Munroe Islands is a wonderful experience. The popular cruises one can avail at the place are Kayal Pradakshina Cruise and Sayanthanam Sunset Cruise.
This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18th century. The Thangasseri Lighthouse is open to visitors from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm
This temple which shows Pandyan influence in its design has inscriptions in Tamil, dating from the 12th to the 16th century. The Vyala monster sculptures in this temple are carvings which give one the impression that the creatures are animate and are actually climbing upstairs with their outstretched paws
Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya temple at Umayanallor. This shrine is said to have been consecrated by the great Hindu philosopher Sree Sankaracharya. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Mayyanad.
The residence and the headquarters of Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi, one of Indias female gurus, is situated at Amrithapuri near Vallikavu