Varkala Tourism

Varkala Tourism

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Kerala Tourism Destinations
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242 Ratings & 144 Reviews

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Travellers from Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram

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Varkala Traveller Reviews

Read 11 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.9/7, 1
out of 144 Varkala reviews 144
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Aniruddha Kore
  • Aniruddha Kore
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 14 photos
  • 7 Reviews

"The beach is super clean and the cliff side has great eating options"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Mar 20, 2014
We have been to Goa many times and this time we decided to go to some other place for some typical boys time out. We finally decided on Varkala and were glad we did so. Varkala was around 14 hrs longer journey as compared to Goa but it was absolutely worth it. The beach is super clean and the cliff has great eating options and super happening nightlife. Amazingly the lifeguards are always there to protect novice swimmers at the beach. It was one of the best beach holidays i ever had.
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Viswanathan s
  • Viswanathan s
  • Lives in Coimbatore
  • 1 Review

"The Beach Vacation"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Dec 4, 2013
For the people who needs to relax from the daily routine. If yes, then this place is your cup of tea. Cliff with a beach is one of the rarest in India. This beach is so friendly for one who prefers to swim. The shore is also friendly to play sports. Adventure activities like para-sailing and surfing are also available on request. For all foodies who wishes to taste sea food this is the right spot with all different recipes.
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catch d eye
  • catch d eye
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 14 photos
  • 7 Reviews

"Different from other beaches in India"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Oct 23, 2013
I enjoyed the cliff, especially the long walk down the cliff. The beaches is very scenic with palm & coconut trees covers the surrounding. Lot of foreigners around and lots of food joints and bars to relax and chill. Lots of activities, the fishermen and the temple junction nearby is an added advantage for travelers.
\Seating near the sea and bathing into it is an awesome experience. You can see many bird species catching the fish along with the fishermen. Overall an overwhelming experience.
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Chris Xavier
  • Chris Xavier
  • Critic
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 5 Reviews

"Amazing place"

  • Posted Apr 11, 2013
It was a really relaxing and fun stay, the place is so people friendly and no limit on the variety of food and stay , great spa and massage parlours.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food was off the hook,great variety , great sea front ambience and well lit and very people friendly place

Activities & things to do: Playing in the beach was the only activity , paragliding is also there , but its safe to do it with the instructor cause it could be a little dangerous.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Its 30 kilometres from trivandrum, not to hard to reach, you have buses from most places , but easiest would be to travel from trivandrum.
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Siddharth Jain
  • Siddharth Jain
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews


  • Posted Mar 28, 2013
Good calm nd quiet place to relax
Place is full of foreigners in peek season
Need to have good restaurants

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Beaches and d tourist are amazing
But there is no pure veg. Restaurant which is one big dis advantage

Activities & things to do: Take a sun bath and relax in beaches
Take a good ayurvedic massage
City tour is descent

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Flight to trivandrum and 45kms from trivandrun to varkal
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Ross Dickson
  • Ross Dickson
  • 3 Reviews

"The Best Beach"

  • Posted Jul 14, 2011
A small town, too much vehicles, beach is super, not much spoiled.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food mostly we had from resort. out side one should be careful to select the food. shopping better through your accomodation(if they are!!). Very high price

Activities & things to do: Several attractions- Back water, House boat, Small Island and Temple.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Train is very easy from any part of India. 3 km to beach. Airport is Trivandrum- 57 km to beach.
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Kiran Marry
  • Kiran Marry
  • 2 Reviews

"Safe and Comfortable"

  • Posted Mar 29, 2011
Very beautiful place. Better to visit during Nov-Feb. March onwards very hot.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Some food outlets at beach side. We are lucky to have bast food from Karthika Plaza.

Activities & things to do: Several nearby attractions to visit - Very old temple, beach and cliff, backwater and houseboat, one small island.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Always select places like Karthika Plaza for a safe trip. Avoid late walk at beach side.
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Sangeethakb Kb
  • Sangeethakb Kb
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 photo
  • 8 Reviews

"Varkala during Monsoon"

  • Posted Jul 5, 2010
Varkala is close to Trivandrum (90 minutes approx.) and is very beautiful. The entire town is lined by the sea. The beauty lies in the fact that there are cliffs and low lying areas. You can view the sea from a hilltop and when you feel like, you can soak up the sun at the beach

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Vegetarian food is tough to find at a reasonable price. You can check out a variety of hangouts for offering a decent meal. We opted for lunch / dinner from the resort we stayed.

Activities & things to do: Sun, Sand is one thing you must indulge. Since most resorts are located in the fringes, you could just walk out of the room and enter the beach in your back yard. Visit to the famous Temple and some shopping could be good to do. But the beach has to be top priority

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: The place is famous among tourists who come in for Ayurvedic treatment between October to Feb. Please avoid this place in summers, it can be a very bad choice. Monsoon is good. Please carry cash and food. You may end up without anything to eat, if your resort is away from the city.
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Ambu Raja
  • Ambu Raja
  • Lives in Thiruvananthapuram
  • 1 Review

"Top Ten Seasonal Beach in the World"

  • Posted Feb 25, 2009
Varkala is an amazing Tourism Destination in India, which is been ranked as one of the Top ten seasonal Beach destination in the World by Discovery Channel.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Cliff side restaurants.

Activities & things to do: Elephant ride at Puthenkulam, Para gliding, Ayurveda treatments, Yoga training, reading, sightseeing to Neyyar Wildlife.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: by Railway : Varkala Railway Station
By Air : Trivandrum Airport (1hr 15mins by road)
by bus: Kallambalama 7 Parippally at NH47 between Kollam and Trivandrum
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Rinaldo Chettiar
  • Rinaldo Chettiar
  • Beachbum
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 26 photos
  • 5 Reviews

"Goa re-visited in Kerala"

  • Posted Dec 16, 2008
Seldom does a place leave an imprint in your heart that its memories remain etched on to your soul…

Kerala - 'God's own country' with its lush green fields, hills stations, back waters, wild life sanctuaries and Abhayangam massages has been a favoured destination with local and foreign tourists alike, including yours truly. Seldom does a State offer variety in its tourism offering as much as Kerala. The beauty and serenity of the place combined with peace, cleanliness and tranquility jolts you to into an eerie realization that this is definitely God’s Own Country with a euphemistic twist that it’s ruled by Communists.

I feel a sense of moral compellement and urge to describe the beauty of Varkala, though we had toured Allepey, Kollam, Kovalam, Munnar and Thekaddy in our Kerala soujourn.

Visit to Varkala beach was never part of the original scheduled itinerary and was recommended by a Mallu colleague when I was forced to call up from vacation to address an important official development… (You know how work suddenly becomes IMPORTANT when on vacation). Though reluctantly, we re-scheduled our itinerary to visit Varkala, since it is close to Kovalam beach (50 kms).

Varkala is endowed with natural scenic beauty and its most striking, compelling and unique feature of Varkala is the cliff adjoining the beach. The formation of the cliff is unique and is in the shape of a 180 degree diameter to a circle. Pedestrian pathway, lounges, hotel, and shops dot the circumference of the cliff. The pathway and restaurants adjoining the edge of the cliff resembles a light house in party once the dust and sun settles down.

Taj Garden Retreat is the only five star properties in Varkala, though ample number of 4, 3 stars and budget hotels can be found in the vicinity. We zeroed in a budget hotel ‘Dreams Beach Resort’ @ 500 per night (non a/c) due to its cleanliness, proximity to the cliff and the sea. The hotel was good in comparison to the exorbitant rates coupled with inadequate service charged by other hotels, especially the hotel advertisings its rooms as ‘Bamboo House’.

Westerners overwhelm the composition of tourists visiting the beach resulting in Indians been upgraded to second class citizens in ‘God’s Own Country’. The steady stream of Western tourists is an indicator of the relatively steep rentals charged by the hotels and restaurants operating in the vicinity. Don’t be surprised when local and Indian tourists are whisked away from the beach (especially due to indecent behaviour).

Indians tourist can very well expect relatively inferior treatment by restaurants, shops and locals in their services compared to white skinned foreigners since we are censured from settling bills in foreign currency… (You know what I mean). Brace yourself to spending extra little time in being attended and in placing an order… you can expect a better treatment next time once your tipping capacity has been judged by waiters. This practice is a common experience in most of important tourist destinations in Kerala.

In spite of the miniscule negativity mentioned above, the magic of Varkala compels me to recommend a few days more in Varkala over staid Kovalam. A two day stay at this beach resort is highly recommended.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Evenings are electric with the tourists thronging to the restaurant and lounges operating along side the cliff sipping beer with Bob Marley playing the background. The night life of Varkala reminds and rewinds you to memories of Goa, since a substantial portion of visiting tourists are Westerners. The restaurants, shop and the pathway adjoining the perimeter of the cliff are well decorated and lit-up and provide an ideal get-away for the romantically inclined. The enticing array of sea food displayed outside each restaurant would send a hard core sea food junkie directly into aquatic heaven. Travellers would well be advised to not expect local Kerala cuisine in the restaurants, though Indian food is easily available.

Activities & things to do: The beach is very clean and well maintained with life guards on duty for the inevitable. The sea provide ample scope for swimming and enjoying in the shallow waters though amateur swimmers are cautioned not to venture in the deep due to the uneven terrain. Since we have been regular participants at beaches in Goa, we were not overwhelmed by the skin show apparent on the beach and travelers are specifically CAUTIONED to behave well in the beaches since visitors failing to draw the line can promptly be expected to be BUMPED OFF by the life guards and policemen on duty.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Varkala is 50 kms from Kovalam and can be reached by public transport, though not advisable due to language constraints and it is recommended that a private vehicle may be hired for convenience
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Priyam Ziyad Thomas Ashok kumar Priyam , Ziyad, Thomas and 236 other people have been to Varkala.
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Varkala Info

  • State: Kerala
  • Famous for/as: Beach

Varkala is a famous beach destination situated in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. Varkala is a small town located about 53 km to the north – west of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and about 40 km to the south – west of Quilon.  Besides being a popular getaway for backpackers, Varkala is a well known religious destination also. 

History of Varkala

Varkala has a glorious past. During the Sangham era, Varkala had been a major port known by the name ‘Balitha’, the references of which can be found in Ptolemy’s Periplus as well. 

Anjengo Fort, a national heritage monument near Varkala, tells about the bygone era of trade settlement by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the English East India Company. Anjengo Fort was built by the Dutch during the17th century to guard the coastline. Anjengo Fort had been the target of foreign powers for several centuries so that they could have a strong foothold in Kerala.  

During the pre – independence days of India, Varkala was a part of the state of Travancore. In 1956, Varkala became a part of the state of Kerala.

Things to do in Varkala

Among the several picturesque beaches of Varkala, the prominent one is the main Varkala Beach, which is also known by the name Papanasanam Beach. The beaches of Varkala have steep cliffs, natural springs, etc. These cliffs, termed as Varkala Formation, that are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea are declared as geological monuments by the Geological Survey of India.

Varkala has witnessed great developments in its infrastructure since the advent of the tourism industry. There has been a boom in the hospitality sector in Varkala in the recent years owing to the popularity of its beaches and various religious spots in the area.

The most significant religious spot in Varkala is Sree Janardana Swami Temple. Sree Janardana Swami Temple or Dakshin Kashi is more than 2000 years old. Other prominent places of attraction in Varkala are Varkala Tunnel, Ponnumthuruthu Island, Sivagiri Mutt, Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah, etc.

With the rise in Varkala tourism, the healthcare industry here has flourished well. Varkala is a famous centre for Ayurvedic treatments. Natural therapies and spa treatments have become very popular here. Backwater cruising at the estuarine stretch between Edava and Kappil is another popular activity in Varkala. There are many Varkala holiday packages that focus on similar treatments. 

Travelling to Varkala

Varkala is well connected by road to various cities. Tourists can choose to reach Varkala by buses, trains, flights and taxis. The nearest airport is located at Trivandrum, 45 km from the destination. The best time to visit Varkala Beach is from November to March.

Accommodation options in Varkala

Apart from budget hotels in Varkala like homestays and a few resorts, tourists also have luxurious options while visiting Varkala. 

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Varkala Sightseeing

Best time to visit Varkala with family

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Varkala Information

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