If sunny skies, sandy beaches, tropical cocktails, colorful seashells, and lazy afternoon swims are your thing for summer, there are plenty of wonderful places to go. We are traveling through some South Indian beaches that are the stuff of all beach vacation dreams.
When it comes to summers in India, a short getaway to Goa is as essential as a pair of sunglasses for most travelers. That said, nomads who want to avoid the crowds and hectic air of this popular destination just need to head a little further south for the perfect beach getaway.
South India, which is flanked by the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, is home to some of the quietest beaches, featuring crystal clear waters, swaying palm trees, colorful beach shacks, and plenty of coconut water to get around. Some are the perfect spot for a morning run, while others host the most romantic sunsets. We have collected a few that you must visit during the holiday season.
The best beaches in South India for a fun summer vacation
Om Beach, Karnataka
Gokarna is slowly emerging as one of the most popular features on various travelers’ wish lists. The quaint town offers a myriad of activities for those who enjoy their time by the sea. More specifically, Om Beach in the region is the hub of all water sports. We’re talking about surfing, water skiing, parasailing, banana boating, snorkeling, and more. Not to mention it’s also the best place to go to see the sunset colors play on the waves. There are several lodges, hotels and resorts in the area for overnight stays. Many host yoga classes, outdoor music nights, and offer Ayurvedic spa treatments. Quiet beach walks are also recommended here.
Kovalam Beach, Kerala
Perhaps one of the most popular beaches in South India, Kovalam is a backpacker haven and has been for quite some time now. This coastal town has an iconic striped lighthouse, located right at the end of a palm-lined eponymous beach that’s fondly known as the “grove of coconut trees.” Rocky formations offset serene waters at this crescent beach and a string of cottages offer up a cosy place to retire at night. That said, there are plenty of five star resorts to stay at as well. The beach is just a 16-kilometre drive from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram.
Marina Beach, Tamil Nadu
The journey to this tourist hub is as stunning as the destination itself. An hour-long drive from the bustle of Chennai, Marina Beach fuses crashing waves with serene environs, bustling shops, and fragrant food stalls. Pop by here early in the morning for some quiet time and a refreshing early morning jog or head there in the evening to sample street food and watch playful children scuttle about. Locals often bring their frisbees and volleyballs for some old-fashioned beach fun. Other attractions around the area include an aquarium and a Vivekananda house. This also happens to be one of the longest beaches in the country.
Malpe Beach, Karnataka
Udipi is a quaint coastal town in Karnataka and boasts several stunning beaches. The Malpe beach is known for its natural beauty, marked by its fishing culture and proximity to the breathtaking St. Mary’s Island. This beach is also known to host some of the best parasailing camps and activities, which offer a bird’s eye view of the eye-popping coastline and topography. This spot is the perfect destination to go from lazing on a sunbed to cranking up the adrenaline with jet skis, speed boating, and surfing. You could also hop on a boat to spot playful dolphins while you’re here as well.
Varkala Beach, Kerala
This beach is the crowning glory of the sleepy, laidback seaside town of Varkala and boasts of a sense of serenity that few other commercial beaches offer. A holiday here would involve early morning jogs or yoga sessions, leisurely dinners at a shack by the waters, and quick afternoon swims. The sunsets here are some of the best in the country, and the cliffs that overlook the beach offer a unique view of the ocean. Expect rain to provide some relief from the scorching heat every other day during this time. While here, don’t forget to sip the locally-brewed coconut beer.
Rishikonda, Andhra Pradesh
Believed to be one of the most picturesque, underrated beaches in the country, Rishikonda is a quick eight-kilometre drive away from Visakhapatnam. Natural rocks peer into pristine waters here, complemented by the surrounding hills. It’s no surprise then that the beach is often referred to as the Jewel of the East Coast. Once you’ve admired the picturesque surroundings you could sign up for one of the many water sports offered here, including surfing and jet skiing. Be sure to drop by the famed Submarine museum and hop on over to the Ramakrishna beach if you’ve got the time.
Devbagh beach, Karnataka
This highly underrated destination boasts a throng of adventure sports and seafood restaurants. When not kayaking or snorkelling, adventurers are often found taking in the stunning sights of the golden sands against blue waters. While here, you could also hop on over to Kurumgad Island, which is known for its tortoise shape and is accessible by boat. A walk by the shoreline as you watch the sunset is also recommended.
Thottada Beach, Kerala
If secluded beaches are what you seek for your seaside getaway this summer, this beach in South India fits the bill. Litter free and with few tourist crowds, the spot is perfect for sunbathing and long, leisurely boat rides (should the weather permit). On one end of the beach, you’ll find the Thottada river flowing into the beach with a dam built across to keep the freshwater from saltwater. At this particular spot, verdant from the nutrients from the river, you can get acquainted with several species of birds and fishes. Laterite rocks, billowing palm trees, and white sands add to the charm of this place.