Varkala is the town at the Southern Kerala coastline of the Indian subcontinent. You cannot visit Kerala without experiencing the wide array of the cultural and historical marvels and the natural beauties at Varkala remain at the paramount. It has several forts and ancient buildings beside a picturesque lighthouse and therefore you can indulge yourself in various things to do in Varkala. They are a number of islands around the Varkala region that will give you a glimpse into a society untouched by the modern way of life even to this day.
15 Best Things To Do In Varkala
Here are some of the top things to do in Varkala to cherish your trip to this city of Kerala throughout your lifetime. From doing yoga to indulging in water sports, there is a lot to do there for every kind of traveler. Take a look!
- Water Sports: Be Thrilled
- Varkala Culture Center: For An Enriching Experience
- Lighthouse: Witness The Serenity Around
- Ponnumthuruthu Island: Explore Wildlife
- Varkala Beach: Enjoy The Calm Waters
- Kappil Beach: Relish The Views
- Yoga: Rejuvenate Yourself
- Shopping: Pamper The Shopaholic Within
- Local Cuisine: Treat Your Tastebuds
- Anjengo Fort And Lighthouse: Make A Visit
- Varkala Aquarium: Marine Life At Your Feet
- Janardhana Swami Temple: Find Inner Peace
- Varkala Cliff: Picnic Done Right
- Varkala Lighthouse: An Old-World Charm
- Kilimanoor Palace: Artistic Aura
1. Water Sports: Be Thrilled
Water sports are the best things to do in Varkala near beach. As this region has many beaches, it means water sports are among the best things to do in Varkala for unlimited fun, entertainment and adventure. It is the only place in the entire South India where the sea is accompanied by the towering mountains that literally mesmerise each and every visitor. These rocky cliffs are the perfect one for water sports activities. It is truly a haven for the adventure junkies. Jet skiing, banana boat rides and parasailing are some of the most exciting things to do in Varkala for a lifetime experience.
Timings: Opens from 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM
Price: Depends on the activity you choose and it usually ranges from INR 300/- to INR 1000/-
2. Varkala Culture Center: For An Enriching Experience
Varkala has both the traditional and modern culture that maintains its individual authenticity distinctively. Therefore, exploring this culture is one of the most interesting things to do in Varkala, Kerala. The traditional art forms represent the history of the state. At the Varkala Culture Center through dance performances of the Kathakali style and performed every evening along with Kalaripayattu to other notable interesting performances keep the visitors hooked. The entire experience will transport you to a world you have never known before!
Timings: Open from 6.00 AM to 9.00 PM every day of the week
Price: INR 250 per person
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3. Lighthouse: Witness The Serenity Around
The lighthouse is a significant 18th-century structure with the signature architectural style of the Europeans. The bird’s eye of the surrounding vistas, Arabian Sea and the coastline is breathtaking and makes it among the most ideal things to do in Varkala near beach. It is one of the main tourist attractions of the place.
Timings: Open from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM every day of the week
Price: There is no entrance fee
4. Ponnumthuruthu Island: Explore Wildlife
It is one of the most beautiful islands of Kerala and is uninhabited too. It has an area of about 5 hectares. Relaxing by turquoise waters and lakes is perfect for the quiet souls. Moreover, its exotic migratory birds, rare water birds and other wildlife make it enchanting and you must count it in your list of top things to do in Varkala. It is the ideal spot for the bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
Timings: Open from 6.00 AM to 6.00 PM every day
Price: There is no entry fee
5. Varkala Beach: Enjoy The Calm Waters
One of the ideal things to do in Varkala is definitely enjoying the serenity of the beaches here. The Varkala Beach runs for 20 km and it is believed by the locals that it has the areas of the holy waters that can cure many ailments. You can swim and involve in fishing in the pristine water of the beach or take a dip in the natural spring which is nearby to offer you unlimited excitement and fun. It truly has the serene surroundings that will calm your mind and relax your body.
Timings: It is open 24 hours.
Price: There is no entry fee.
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6. Kappil Beach: Relish The Views
There is no dearth of unique beaches and the amazing things to do Varkala, Kerala, especially in those finest beaches. And, Kappil Beach is one such place where you can involve in multifarious activities. It is the perfect place to watch the day roll by. And, you are only limited by your imagination here. Take a dip in the glittering water, take a soothing walk, or have some fun picnic time. It has white sands and a hill close by, from where you can enjoy the spectacular views. You can involve in unlimited fun activities here.
Timings: Open from 12.00 AM to 12.00 PM every day of the week, except Sundays.
Price: There is no entry fee.
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7. Yoga: Rejuvenate Yourself
Perhaps, you want to try offbeat things to do in Varkala on your vacation but still in dilemma what to do and how to proceed? Try Yoga! Remember that Yoga and dabbling are very much popular activities in Varkala in Kerala. There is the presence of several popular ashrams here that let tourists attend to their yoga sessions. In fact, they offer avenues for the tourists to get the best of the Yoga sessions. You can, therefore, learn a lot from these masters here. Meditation in the lush greenery surrounded by the palm trees is simply revitalizing. Experience it for a lifetime memory.
Timings: Depends on the ashram or studio you choose.
Price: Varies with the respective schools.
8. Shopping: Pamper The Shopaholic Within
The perfect place for the shopaholics is the winding streets of Varkala. The shops in the lanes sell everything imaginable. From perfumes to clothing, bamboo products, funky jewellery and soaps, you find ample varieties of such kinds of stuff there. But the most famous items to buy at Varkala are the Tibetan handmade products like the flutes, Dorjee and conches. If you are not a shopaholic, even then you would find yourself coming here to gaze upon the beautiful local art. You can have a unique shopping experience at Varkala for sure which is one of the top things to do in Kerala.
Timings: Open from morning to late at night.
Price: None whatsoever.
9. Local Cuisine: Treat Your Tastebuds
The two places to experience the cuisines of Varkala are the Café Del Mar and God’s Own Country Kitchen. Café Del Mar is an interesting place where you can try international cuisines with some Varkala twists. The café is ideal for enjoying unique seafood, filter coffee and romantic dates et al. Whereas for the South Indian cuisine and complete Kerala cuisine experience you have to head to God’s own Country Kitchen. It is so authentic that you are served food wrapped in the banana leaves here. It serves every Keralite dish possible and, therefore, is the place to experience the exquisite Keralite cuisine during a visit. Simply try some.
Timings: Café Del Mar – 8.00 AM to 11.00 PM
- God’s Own Country kitchen – 8.00 AM to 10:30 PM
- Café Del Mar – Ranges from INR 190/- to INR 400/- for two people
- God’s Own Country Kitchen – Ranges from INR 150/- to INR 450/-
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10. Anjengo Fort And Lighthouse: Make A Visit
Once a settlement for the British, this is another fine historical monument of European architecture. It is a perfect spot for picnics and sightseeing. You can catch awe-inspiring views of the sea, hills and greenery from the lighthouse. The fort is known for its minimal use of material yet had a grand look about it. One of the adventurous things to do in Varkala would be to explore these places!
Timings: Open from 8 AM to 5 PM
Price: Entry is free
11. Varkala Aquarium: Marine Life At Your Feet
If you are visiting Varkala with kids, then this is a must-see place. The aquarium is situated between two beaches, Black beach and Odayam beach, which makes it even more exciting to visit. One of the fun things to do in Varkala is to witness the various species of fishes in the aquarium. Some of them are scorpion fish, angelfish, koi and more.
Location: Odayam Hatchery, Thiruvambadi Beach, Varkala, Kerala 695141
Timings: 10am – 6:30pm
12. Janardhana Swami Temple: Find Inner Peace
If you are looking for a peaceful place where you can sit at ease and just give rest to both your mind and soul, then Janardhana Swami temple is for you. It is one of the most famous places in Varkala. Apart from seeking blessings at the temple, you can marvel at the structure of the temple.
Location: Varkala, Kerala 695141
13. Varkala Cliff: Picnic Done Right
Ready to soak in the beauty? Head to Varkala cliff which is surrounded by lush greenery and natural charm. It is located a few kilometers away from the city and provides for a nice picnic spot. The cliff offers mesmerizing views of coconut trees and is a great place to have a memorable walk.
14. Varkala Lighthouse: An Old-World Charm
Image Credits: pxhere Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only. Built in the 18th century by the British rulers, Varkala Lighthouse is among the most prominent structures in the district. Visiting the lighthouse is one of the most fun and exciting things to do in Varkala. This structure offers a stunning bird’s eye view of the exquisite vistas around, the cerulean waters of the majestic Arabian seam and the serene shores of the nearby beaches. The colonial architecture is bound to take you to the good old days. Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM Price: There is no entry fee.
15. Kilimanoor Palace: Artistic Aura
Image Credits: Irarum for Wikimedia Commons Kilimanoor Palace is famous for being home to paintings and artwork created by one of the most popular artists in Kerala named Raja Ravi Varma. It is spread over 15 hectares and is also a studio where Raja Ravi Varma spent time creating his wonderful art pieces. The palace is heaven on earth for history and art enthusiasts as well as cultural buffs. Apart from that, the architectural design of the palace is exquisite and a truly sight to behold. Timings: 11.30 AM to 5 PM Price: There is no entry fee
Further Read: 18 Homestays In Varkala For A Stay Amidst Sheer Bliss
Trying out some of the above-listed things to do in Varkala will make your Kerala trip memorable and all the more interesting. Varkala is a really small land of paradise in South India. With its varied and pristine beaches, scenic hills, and a plethora of attractions, make it a perfect place to spend a refreshing and relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the urban cities.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Varkala
A. It has a tropical climate, so winters and summers are best times to visit Varkala because in the rainy season the place receives heavy rainfall.
A. There are no direct flights to Varkala. The nearest airport is at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport which is mere 40 km away. You can take a train or bus from there.
A. Trains are most comfortable and there are lots of them that go to Varkala from Chennai. You can also opt a bus or consider renting a car.
A. Definitely, it is. With crime rates as low as it can be, just take the basic precautions and you are good to go!
A. Well, no. Most of them are not fit for swimming because of their powered rollers and undertows. Only some select beaches are good for swimming.
A. Absolutely not! Any western attire is acceptable but only of course not in or around the religious sites.
A. Varkala is regarded as a holy site, so not many options for alcohol are available on the beach. Only a shack or two at remote beaches might be able to sell alcohol at the beach. But alcohol is available at the resorts and restaurants.
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