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Nestled along the southwestern coast of India, Varkala Beach in Kerala is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its stunning natural beauty and serene atmosphere. Unlike the bustling tourist hotspots of Goa, Varkala offers a more laid-back and authentic experience. Perched atop dramatic red cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea, this picturesque beach is a perfect mix of golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery. Known for its mineral springs, Ayurvedic treatments, and spiritual significance, Varkala attracts both relaxation-seekers and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to unwind, explore local culture, or catch some waves, Varkala Beach promises an unforgettable coastal escape that will leave you refreshed and inspired.

About Varkala Beach

The beauty of the Varkala Beach in Kerala

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Varkala Beach, affectionately referred to as Papanasam Beach, is located in the quaint town of Varkala within Varkala Municipality, nestled in the southern region of the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, South India. This idyllic beach spans along the scenic shores of the Arabian Sea, a serene extension of the vast Indian Ocean, renowned for its stunning vistas and tranquil ambience.

Must Read: Puliyarmala Jain Temple

Top Places To Visit Near Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach is a picturesque spot located in Thiruvananthapuram. Below are some top places to visit near Varkala Beach:

1. Kovalam

 Explore the beauty of Kovalam near the Varkala Beach

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Kovalam, a beach town nestled in Kerala, is a paradise for sun-seekers and relaxation enthusiasts. Renowned for its crescent-shaped beaches fringed by swaying palm trees, Kovalam offers a tranquil escape. Tourists can unwind on the soft sand, soak up the warm sun, and take refreshing dips in the azure waters. Beyond the beaches, Kovalam boasts a laid-back charm. Tourists can indulge in rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages, explore historical sites like the Halcyon Castle, or embark on scenic boat rides. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to tantalise your taste buds with delectable local seafood specialities.

Best Time To Visit: September to March
Things To Do: Sightseeing, get an Ayurvedic massage, explore historical sites

2. Vagamon

Have fun at the Vagamon near the Beach

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Vagamon, a charming hill station nestled in Kerala’s Idukki district, captivates visitors with its invigorating climate, stunning natural landscapes, and serene ambience. Amidst its rolling hills and expansive meadows, tourists can indulge in a variety of activities. Trekking enthusiasts can traverse lush green mountains, while nature aficionados can delve into the region’s diverse flora and fauna. A peaceful boat ride on the tranquil waters of Kuttikanam Dam provides a serene escape, and a visit to the historic Thangalpazhy Church offers a glimpse into the area’s rich cultural heritage.

Best Time To Visit: October to February
Things To Do: Photography, visit Kuttikanam Dam

Suggested Read: Shangumugham Beach

3. Periyar National Park

See wildlife at the Periyar National Park near Beach

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Nestled in the majestic Western Ghats of Kerala, Periyar National Park, also known as Periyar Tiger Reserve, is a sanctuary cherished by wildlife enthusiasts. Spanning 925 square kilometres, this protected area boasts a diverse array of wildlife. Tigers and elephants are the stars here, alongside rare species like lion-tailed macaques, sambar deer, leopards, and Indian bison, At the heart of the park lies Periyar Lake, a tranquil oasis perfect for scenic boat rides offering breathtaking views The park is home to 350 bird species and 60 mammal species, ensuring an enriching wildlife experience. After an exhilarating day, one can relax at the lakeside resort, soaking in the serene beauty of the Western Ghats.

Best Time To Visit: October to June
Things To Do: Visit wildlife

Things To Do At Varkala Beach

Go boating at the Beach

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Varkala Beach, the “Pearl of the Arabian Sea,” offers a delightful mix of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences. There are several exciting things you can do here, including:
1. Dolphin Watching
Take a thrilling two-hour boat ride to spot playful dolphins in their natural habitat. The cliffs surrounding Varkala Beach provide a stunning backdrop for this unique experience.
2. Water Sports
Varkala is the only place in South India with a confluence of hills and the sea. Enjoy this picturesque setting by indulging in water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. Adrenaline junkies, rejoice!
3. Varkala Cliff
A short drive from town, Varkala’s cliff offers a serene environment. Stroll along the paved footpath, surrounded by tall coconut trees, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. Don’t miss the local snacks and handicraft shops.
4. Anjengo Fort and Lighthouse
Explore history at Anchuthengu, where the first British settlement in India was established. The fort’s architecture is impressive, and the lighthouse offers awe-inspiring sea views. Perfect for a leisurely picnic.
5. Yoga Classes
Kerala is a yoga hub, and Varkala has numerous studios and ashrams. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, join a class to deepen your skills and find inner peace.
6. Varkala Lighthouse
Built in the 18th century by the British, the Varkala Lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vistas, the azure Arabian Sea, and the pristine beaches. Its European-style architecture makes it a must-visit tourist spot.
7. Varkala Culture Center
Visit the Varkala Culture Centre near the north cliff to explore Kerala’s traditional culture and authentic art forms. Enjoy cultural evenings featuring Kathakali dance performances by well-trained artists during the tourist season.

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Varkala Beach Timings And Best Time To Visit

Have fun at the Beach

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Varkala Beach in Trivandrum welcomes visitors daily from early morning until late evening, with the exception of Sundays. Renowned for its reputed medicinal properties, the beach’s waters are a notable attraction, drawing tourists seeking therapeutic benefits amidst its serene coastal ambience.

The best time to visit Varkala Beach is from October to February. During these months, the weather is at its most pleasant, characterised by cooler temperatures and a refreshing sea breeze that enhances the overall experience.

Tips For Visiting Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach is a stunning coastal destination in Kerala. Here are some essential tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Respect Local Customs: When visiting religious places near the beach, respect local customs and traditions. Kerala has a rich cultural heritage, so it’s essential to be mindful of local sensitivities.
  • Swimming Safety: While Varkala Beach is beautiful, avoid swimming during the monsoon season due to strong currents. The beach can be rough during this time, so exercise caution.
  • Sun Protection: The tropical heat can be intense. Remember to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are also helpful.

Further Read: Wayanad Heritage Museum

With its stunning cliffs, pristine shores, and laid-back atmosphere, Varkala offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment, thrilling water sports, or a peaceful retreat, this beach has something for everyone. Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Book your trip to Kerala today and immerse yourself in the natural beauty, rich culture, and unforgettable experiences that await you. Your perfect getaway is just a click away!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Varkala Beach

Why is Varkala Beach famous?

Varkala Beach is known for its unique cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea. It's a popular spot for relaxation and stunning sunsets. Here, you'll find a laid-back atmosphere with beaches for swimming, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga centres, and clifftop restaurants offering beautiful views.

Is Varkala better than Goa?

Varkala and Goa are popular beach destinations in India but offer different vibes. Varkala is known for its relaxed, spiritual atmosphere, Ayurvedic focus, and stunning cliffs. Goa offers a more vibrant scene with nightlife, water sports, and wider accommodation options. Ultimately, the 'better' choice depends on what you want in a beach vacation.

Is Varkala a mini Goa?

No, While Varkala has a beach with restaurants and cafes, it's much smaller and less crowded than Goa. Varkala focuses more on yoga, Ayurveda, and a chilled-out atmosphere. In contrast, Goa boasts a more active nightlife and party scene.

Which month is best for Varkala?

The best time to visit Varkala Beach is from October to March. During this period, the weather is pleasant with sunny skies and cool breezes, perfect for enjoying the beach and outdoor activities. April and May can be hot and humid, while the monsoon season (June to September) brings heavy rain.

Does Varkala have nightlife?

Varkala has a more relaxed vibe compared to Goa and doesn't have a pulsating nightlife scene. However, you'll find some restaurants and cafes with live music or beach parties, especially during peak season. If you're looking for a place to party all night long, Varkala might not be the ideal choice.

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