Stunning beaches, long lonely shores, beautiful sedimentary cliffs, mineral-rich springs and plenty of greenery - Varkala is a small town in Kerala with abundant natural beauty. This charming town sits nestled on the coastal stretch overlooking the Arabian sea and is located around 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum.
Also Read : Travel Guide To Varkala
Varkala experiences hot and humid climate most time of the year. Cooler in monsoon, August-September is an off season as the rains are still receding. The peak season, however, begins post monsoon and into the winters when the place becomes pleasantly cool. Budget travellers can save well by planning a trip towards the end of the rainy season.
Varkala is well-connected by railway as well as roadways with major state and national highways of Trivandrum, Bangalore and Chennai. The nearest airport is at Trivandrum. The Varkala station is around 3 km away from the Varkala beach.
Further, to enjoy Varkala without burning a hole in your pocket, you can ride around the small town in auto rickshaws or buses like a local. Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike to explore the town. There're plenty of budget accommodation options and one can enjoy the reasonably priced meals at the authentic 'tattukadas' or the roadside shops-on-wheels. Here's a 3-day budget itinerary for places to visit when in Varkala.
Arrive at Varkala. Freshen up, dab some sunscreen, put on the shades and head out to the Varkala beach. Also known as the Papanasam beach, Varkala beach is one of the quiet and less-commercial beaches in India. Stroll further north to reach the secluded Edava beach and relish the sight of virgin stretches of the blue lagoon, backwaters and northern cliffs.
Also Read : Attractions In Varkala
Take a leisurely walk along the Varkala cliffs that stand facing the Arabian sea and stretch along the beach. Varkala cliffs make it to the list of geo-heritage sites due to these unique sedimentary cliffs and the numerous water sprouts and natural mineral-rich water spas around its stretch. There are a number of good restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy local cuisines and piping hot coffee before you head back to your room for the day.
Wake up early and take a refreshing walk on the cool shores. Grab a bite and start off for some local sightseeing. Start your day absorbing some peaceful vibes by visiting Janardanaswamy and Vishnu temples with beautiful architecture dating back to centuries ago.
Visit the Sivagiri Mutt - a mausoleum perched on a hillock in the memory of Kerala's renowned saint Sree Narayan Guru who abolished the caste system. Travel for about 13 km from the Varkala beach and climb up the Varkala Lighthouse for a panoramic view of the serene landscape.
Another popular tourist attractions near the Lighthouse is the Varkala Tunnel. Built in the 1800s this 924 ft long tunnel showcases the excellence of architects and engineers of the era bygone.
Spend this day exploring other interesting places around Varkala. Find the remnants of British era as you visit the Anjengo fort located around 12 km off Varkala. Protected under National Heritage Monuments, the fort houses a beautiful Muthalapuzhi lake and oldest cemeteries dating back to the 1700s.
Take a delightful 30-minute boat ride to the Ponnumthuruthu - also known as the Golden Island. Located about 10 km south of Varkala, the place is also famous for a 100-year-old Shiva Parvathi temple.
Located about 4 km north of Varkala is a picturesque Kappil Lake. Surrounded by lush coconuts groves you can see the backwaters meet the sea here. The lake has many water sports activities that you can enjoy. Alternatively, you could take a boat ride over the tranquil water and revere in the beauty of the God's own country.