5 Great Coastal Treks In India To Solve Your 'Mountains Vs Beaches' Dilemma

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Photo by Sudhakar Bichali

Photo of 5 Great Coastal Treks In India To Solve Your 'Mountains Vs Beaches' Dilemma by Adete Dahiya

Can't decide between a challenging hike or a relaxing trip to the beach? With these five coastal treks in India, you might not have to. While forest and mountain trails are great places for summer treks, in the winter months you need your dose of the surf, sun and spectacular sea. So move your hike to the coast and explore these unique destinations where the waves crash onto sandy beaches and rocks at the same time.

1. Elephant Beach Trek, Andamans

Elephant Beach is a popular area for water sports like speedboating, snorkelling and sea walking in Havelock Island, Andamans. While tourists usually prefer to take the boat to Elephant Beach, a trek from the inland of the island is equally invigorating.

Havelock is a great place for nature enthusiasts and offers a wide variety in terms of terrain. There are beaches, forests, hillocks, and villages that make up this small island.

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Photo of Elephant Beach, South Andaman, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Adete Dahiya

Difficulty level: Beginner

Best time to go: November to January as the weather is pleasant and humidity is low.

Route and time taken: A trip to Elephant Beach can be covered in approximately 30-45 minutes and there are several starting points. You can walk down from your resort or ride on a scooter (rented), which is the preferred method of travel for tourists on the island. Before reaching the beach, there is a 300-metre stretch of marshland and mangrove forests that needs to manoeuvred. It is advisable to complete this trek in the morning as the sun gets really strong in the afternoons and there is a concern of insects and other poisonous fauna in the evenings.

2. Bekal Beach Trek, Kerala

Located in Kasargod, Bekal is an unexplored beach on the sandy shores of the Lakshwadeep sea. It is situated at a distance of about 400 km from Bangalore. The area is a popular locale for shooting film scenes in Bollywood and Tollywood. The beautiful trek gives you a multi-terrain experience in just one day as the trail features a beach, backwaters and a fishing village. It features in the best beach treks in the country.

Photo by Manu Gangadhar

Photo of Bekal Beach, Kerala, India by Adete Dahiya

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Best time to go: November to March as the humidity is at its lowest

Route and time taken: This is a one-day trek covering a distance of 7 km. The flat walk starts at the Bekal fort and takes you through a tiny but well known fishing village. You will then wade through the famous back waters on foot, climb small hillocks, pass through coconut trees to reach the sunset spot on the beach.

3. Ocean Trek to Neuti Beach, Goa

This gorgeous ocean trek is actually a walk along a mountain overlooking the gorgeous blue waters of the Arabian Sea. You hike along a cliffside as you take in the beauty of the sea while also coming across several secluded beaches where you can relax in between the journey.

Photo by Robert Stirrett

Photo of 5 Great Coastal Treks In India To Solve Your 'Mountains Vs Beaches' Dilemma by Adete Dahiya

Difficulty level: Beginner

Best time to go: November to February as the weather is pleasant and humidity is low

Route and time taken: This is a day-long trek that begins at Porvorim, from where you drive to Kochra-Shriramwadi, a seaside village between Vengurla and Malwan. The walk begins from here and as you hike along the hillside, you will find several virgin beaches and isolated coves. The trek ends at the pristine Neuti Beach after you wade through a small tidal estuary. It takes a couple of hours one way.

4. Gokarna Beach trek

Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka, which lies at the confluence of the Sahyadri hills and the Arabian sea. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared out of a cow's ear here (hence the name Gokarna). Located just 150 km from Goa, it is a popular weekend destination among backpackers and the trek along the coastline is one of the most coveted travel experiences here.

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Photo of Gokarna Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka, India by Adete Dahiya

Difficulty level: Beginner to Intermediate

Best time to go: The trek is open all year round, but likened to other regions on the Western Ghats, the weather from November to March is ideal.

Route and time taken: The trek itself is about 9-10 km long but is usually spread over a period of two days for travellers, to fully take in the beauty of the region. On the first day you will go around Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise Beaches, which will provide a great variety in terms of changes in terrain. The first night is spent in tents at the Paradise Beach, where you can witness the sunset and the sunrise next morning. The second day involves trekking to a few more beaches, including Nirvana and Kumta and then head back to Gokarna Beach.

5. Chandipur to New Digha Trek

This is perhaps the longest trek on the list and the only one covering two states—Odisha and West Bengal. The Chandipur-New Digha trek is a treat for all your senses, especially because of the cultural variety it offers. Unlike the other coastal treks on the list, this one is not just about the scenic beauty.

Photo by Subhasisa Panigahi

Photo of Chandipur, Odisha, India by Adete Dahiya

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Best time to go: This trek is also open year round but from October to January is the best time as the weather is pleasant.

Route and time taken: The trekking tour usually lasts 5 days as you cover the distance from the beach in Chandipur, Odisha, to New Digha, West Bengal. The hike through the coastal regions is an experience in itself. You will pass through several villages, witness beautiful landscapes, cross rivers on foot and feel the white sand beneath your feet as you also witness rare flora and fauna. The trek is a holistic experience unlike any other.

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