Varkala You Beauty! - A Backpacker's paradise and India's most beautiful beach! 

30th Dec 2021
Photo of Varkala, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

We had been planning for a year end trip for a long time now and were unable to narrow it down to a place which would replicate the New year party mood of Goa minus the crowd! After days of research , we finally decided on Varkala! Varkala with its beautiful beaches, long line of cafes and laid back vibes seemed to be the perfect pick and yes it didn't disappoint us at all!

Varkala is located at a distance of 51 Kms from Trivandrum in the south coast part of Kerala . It humours almost every kind of traveler, no matter whether you are an adventure enthusiast, a foodie or a fitness fanatic who love their daily yoga! However, it has to be pointed out well in advance that you cannot expect huge resorts or hotels like Goa in Varkala. What you will find here are cute little airbnbs/homestays/mid range lodges/hotels. We would recommend you to go for homestays/airbnbs if you are in a group or with your partner and hostels if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller.

Day 1

Sir Lanka or Saudi???

Photo of The Raviz Kovalam, Beach Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

Beach Please!

Photo of Kovalam Beach, Kovalam, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

Before we go into the detailed itinerary, here are a few things which will help you plan your travel:

Best time to travel: November to Feb

Ideal number of days: 2-4 days

Major Attractions: North Cliff Beach and Sunset, North Cliff Cafes, Ayurvedic and Yoga retreats.

Day 1:

We landed at the Trivandrum airport from Bangalore and took an uber and reached our beautiful hotel on the North Cliff, Varkala in about an hour and a half (51 Kms). There are also buses and trains from Trivandrum to Varkala. This was the best location for us because all the cafes and shopping spots are located right on the North cliff. However, if you are staying a bit further, you will have to hire a bike which is easily available anywhere in Varkala. We were staying at Krishnatheeram Ayur Holy Beach Resort which is on the North Cliff but honestly the rooms and food there was quite average so we would not recommend this specific hotel. We also had to shell out Rs. 4,000/per night.

You can look at the below options for your stay:

1. Clafouti Beach Resort- Right on the Varkala North cliff. Good rooms and great food. Avg Room Price/Night - Rs 4,500

2. Cliff Stories- Perfect for backpackers and solo travelers. Located on the south cliff. You may have to hire a scooter to reach the North cliff. Avg Room Price/Night - Rs 3,000

3. Trip is life - This is an exclusive stay for people seeking for luxury. This is a sea facing villa with a plunge pool in it. Approximate cost - Rs. 25,0000 to 30,000 per night

The weather was quite sunny and we were extremely hungry. Hence, after completing the check-in formalities, we quickly changed into something more comfortable and headed straight to the North Cliff cafes for lunch.

Here are a few cafe recommendations on the North Cliff:

1. Darjeeling Cafe- Multi-cuisine & Vibrant cafe which offers mesmerizing views of the ocean. Also, serves alcohol and is famous for its momos and chinese

2. Abba Restaurant and Everest German Bakery- Great for bakery items, sea food and their beer enjoyed in their the open air venue.

3. Cafe Del Mar - Excellent view with a combination of strong beer. Their steaks and pasta are too good!

4. Cafe Italiano - Just like the name suggests, famous for italian food and exquisite decor.

5. Soul Food Cafe - Ful-filling English breakfast, stunning views and great service

6. Jairam Cafe - Amazing chinese and north indian food!

After lunch, we headed over to the beach (just below the cliff) which is very popular with travelers. Here you'll often find people sunbathing, swimming and also surfing in a bikini.

After spending some quality time on the beach, we headed back to the hotel. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in the hotel.

Day 2:

The next morning we headed over to the Coffee temple. We hired a local auto to reach there. This is the perfect place to be if you are looking for great coffee and conversation! The host here - who goes by the nme of "Leslie", prepares the coffee all by himself and may even cook a special dish for you on request.

Day 2

Beauty and the beasts behind them!

Photo of Coffee Temple, Varkala, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

Such a quaint place!

Photo of Coffee Temple, Varkala, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

We spent the rest of the day enjoying some water sports at the Kovalam beach. The best way to reach Kovalam is by taking a cab or auto from your hotel or from the central town square. You can also take the local bus to the nearby bus stand.

Thats a mandatory selfie!

Photo of Kovalam Beach, Kovalam, Kerala, India by The Benjabi Affair

You should also enjoy watching the sunset against the beautiful Kovalam lighthouse.

Day 3:

After having some quick breakfast, we headed over to Kappil beach, Varkala. Take a dip in the glittering water, take a soothing walk, or have some fun picnic time. It has white sand all over and a hill close by, from where you can enjoy the spectacular views.

Day 3

We spent the rest of our day indulging in Cafe hopping, from one cafe to another and just relaxing by the beach and playing frizbee!

Here are other things that you might wanna do in Varkala:

1. You can opt for a Kayaking experience through the mangroves in Nedungolam, Paravur, in the district of Kollam. This is located at a distance of 18 kms from Varkala and is perfect for a half-day trip.

2. You may also want to go for a relaxing massage on the beach or the ayurvedic massage centers on the cliff road.

3. You can also visit the Temples of Varkala . Janardhana Swami temple is a must visit for the religious souls.

Day 4:

This was our final day at Varkala. Before checking out and bidding adieu to this magical place, we decided to rake a stroll on the main North Cliff road and soak in all the beauty.

Day 4

Hello from the other side!

Photo of North Cliff Road, Varkala, Kerala by The Benjabi Affair

This was our second trip to Varkala in a span of 8 months or so. Just come down and experience the magic that is Varkala and we are certain you will want to come back again and again. The beaches, authentic food and traditional massages are magical but most importantly the vibe of the place, will surely find a very special place in your heart.

The Benjabi recommendation:

1. Ditch the hotels/resorts and stay at an Airbnb/hostel

2. Café hopping in Varkala North Cliff

3. Surfing/Water Sports and watching the sun setting down at North Cliff is a must

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-By The Benjabi Affair

A Bengali girl and a Punjabi boy who have found their common love for travel and tea!