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Varkala

A slice of Goa deep south, step onto the shores of Varkala for a definitive taste of authentic Kerala with the distinct aroma of hippie culture. Spectacular red laterite cliffs loom over the shore here, seemingly dropping into the sea, as coconut palms line the lower reaches. Take a walk on the pathway by the cliffs for some unbelievable views and, quite possibly, good bargains on souvenirs and jewellery little shops on the other side.

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Things to do

Angengo Fort Visit - Though not in the greatest of shape, the Anjengo fort holds a very important part in the history of the Malabar coast. A mere 12-kilometre drive from Varkala town is the small coastal town of Anchuthengu. Serene palm-enclosed backwaters close to the sea with a century-old convent school, Portuguese-era churches, tombs of Dutch and British sailors and a very old fort make up this historic town.

Boat ride at Kaapil - With its varied geography, Varkala has plenty to offer for every kind of traveller. A 6-kilometre drive out from Varkala takes you to the serene Kappil lake with its dense green palm grove border. A fascinating pedal-boat ride on the still waters of this lake offers unmatched solitude, a feeling so rare in today's world.

Heritage trail of Travancore Kingdom - Just 42 kilometres south of Varkala lies the capital of Kerala. The glorious legacy of the kingdom of Travancore can be seen, quite literally, around every corner here in Trivandrum.

Surfing in Varkala - Life is short and there isn't enough time to master every art. Don't let that stop you from trying out whatever is out there though! Ever wondered how those surfers on your television screen master and ride the huge waves?

Related Trips

  • A two thousand year old shrine, the Janardhana Swamy Temple, sits right on the cliffs overlooking the beach. At a distance of 10 km, the Ponnumthuruthu is an island hosting a Siva-Parvati Temple. The Sivagiri Mutt, is a popular ashram and pilgrimage site.

    5 Days | INR 13,167 per person
  • The waves here are big and there is a strong current out there, so it's a challenging swim and great surf that awaits the adventure seeker. Stand up paddling is popular at the backwater areas.

    5 Days | INR 15,579 per person
  • The quintessential timeless beach, suspended along the periphery of a red laterite cliff, Varkala is a backpacker haven. Quite in contrast, it's also a temple town where you can dip your sins away, or watch locals come in to offer homage to the departed at the Papanasham Beach. Moving a little inland, there's a beautiful backwater experience waiting too.

    5 Days | INR 17,982 per person
  • Lazy mornings, languid noons and idle evenings, Varkala is synonymous with leisure. It's almost as if you watch time pass by as you lounge with the waves at the serene beach or the high point at a cafe on the cliff. Don't miss the sunsets or the scenic punt-boat ride to the Ponnumthuruthu.

    5 Days | INR 11,642 per person

Best time to visit September to March

For clearer skies, opt for a slot between the early September to the end of March. The beaches look their best early November through to March.

Mid-October and November does see a fair amount of rain with the North-West monsoons.

Sultry summers set in by April to the end of May with fairly high outdoor temperatures.

Monsoons arrive by the first week of June right through to the end of August. Cool temperatures with overcast skies and green all around make this a visit like none other.

How to reach

Air

  • The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport at Thiruvananthapuram located around 42 km away from "The Beach Town". Trivandrum International Airport serves over 40 national and international flights every day. Trivandrum International Airport connect Thiruvananthapuram to many major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. Trivandrum International Airport is also connected to several destinations in Middle East. You can take cab from the airport to reach Varkala.

Rail

  • Varkala lies on the rail line connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. However, all trains do not stop at the station. Thiruvananthapuram is the major railhead located around 45 kilometre from Varkala. Thiruvananthapuram is connected by rail to several Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bengaluru. You can take cab or bus from the Thiruvananthapuram to reach Varkala.

Road

  • The state-government run KSRTC buses regularly from Thiruvananthapuram. You should take cab from the Thiruvananthapuram to reach Varakala because buses can get crowded and the journey can get a tad tedious.

Blogs

  • varkala-blog1

    Wayanad - Least Populous and Most Attractive

    Kerala's least populous district, Wayanad is also its best-known secret. Complete with misty mountains, splendid forests, pristine rivers and cascading waterfalls, Wayanad is 'the' hill station of ...

    Click to read
  • varkala-blog2

    5 must-visit places in Wayanad

    If you think Kerala is only about the dreamy backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages think again! One of the most beautiful hill stations in South India, Wayanad is located amidst the lush g...

    Click to read
  • varkala-blog3

    Trivandrum - Where Travancore still lives on

    Formerly a trade hub for spices, sandalwood and ivory, Trivandrum which was called the 'evergreen city of India' by Mahatma Gandhi is now an immense IT nest contributing to nearly 80% of the state'...

    Click to read