Kerala's hidden gem, Varkala should definitely be on your bucket list for a plethora of reasons. Varkala cliff is easily one of the most scenic destinations, a place that is as good as any exotic foreign getaway. This town is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Let me tell you why I keep going back to this place and why you should too.
The bluest beaches
Varkala has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever come across. The main Varkala beach is the relatively the most crowded one which is located right below the cliff. Walking further down south of the cliff you'll find yourself at the absolutely beautiful waters of black beach. This one is particularly my favorite because it is the least populated and probably the most beautiful. At the north end of the cliff is the Papanasanam beach which is of religious significance as it is believed that a dip in these waters helps one get rid of all their sins.
If you wish to explore some more, hire a bike and ride towards Edava-Kappil. This road is just about 10-15 minutes away from the cliff and is a beautiful one. The road offers a splendid view with the ocean on one side and the backwaters on the other. You can sit by the rocks of Edava beach and go for a boat ride or pick an adventure sport in the backwaters of the beautiful Kappil.
About an hour away is the famous Anjengo fort. These fort was built in the 17 century and is now being maintained by National Heritage monuments. The fort is absolutely beautiful with lush green lawns and the structure is nested between the sea on one said and the back waters on the other. Right next to the fort is a lighthouse that stands tall, from where you get s beautiful 360 degree view of the area. Don't turn back just yet, we took a random ride that happened to be one of the best ever. The road narrows down and takes you right between the Arabian waters and backwaters, the water just a couple of feet away from the road. You can climb up the rocks, just sit back and watch as the waves lash the shore, what a sight this was!
Accommodation in Varkala
Stay on the cliff and nowhere but the cliff! Varkala's cliff is dotted by many beautiful shacks, rooms and cottages. While some of the rooms and cottages are right on the front line, there are many others just a walk away form the beach. From hostels to rooms and cottages, Varkala has a place to suit all budgets. My picks would be Bamboo Village, Soul&Surf and the very beautiful Clafouti and Oceano resort. If you are looking for some exquisite luxury, there's The Taj Gateway Hotel and B'Canti Boutique Resort. If you're looking for a getaway with friends, family, a solo trip or a romantic getaway, this place I'd recommend to all.
Dining: Where to and what to eat
Varkala is a definite heaven for all those sea food lovers. Around sunset, just take a walk on the cliff and you will see all these restaurants displaying 'the catch of the day'. Fresh prawns, fish, crabs etc. just pick what you'd like to eat and they cook it just the way you want it. Food around here is amazing and you name the cuisine, you'll find it. From authentic Kerala meals to Chinese and Tibetan food, Varkala has it all. My favorites that I think you'd probably like too are The Juice Shack, Rock n Roll and Tibetan Kitchen. Yum food coupled with incredible views!
The nightlife in Varkala is pretty sweet! As the sun sets, the music from the shacks pick up and you can slowly see the crowds get seated for the night. Beer, food and good music make the nights here so enjoyable and ofcourse the view of the lit up cliff just makes things better. Chug on some beer or sip on a cocktail and sing your night away with loved ones. The candle light dinners make for a beautiful, romantic escape as well.
When in Varkala, what to do?
Believe me when I say this, Do Nothing! This little coastal town may not look like much from the railway station or bus stand, but the minute you reach the cliff is when you'll understand what I'm talking about. Stunning views of the endless clear blue waters welcome you and all you'd want to do is sit back sip on some beer and appreciate the beauty that is Varkala. This place is nothing short of magic and the memories made in the laps of this picturesque town will keep drawing you back time and again. The sea and sand of this part of God's own country will leave you happy deep inside for a long long time to come and you will take back something within you, a feel, a sense of satisfaction that word's cannot describe.
The serene views, romantic walks, beautiful sunsets, blue waters and just that entire vibe makes me want to go back very single time. Varkala isn't just a destination, it's an experience.