Varkala Beach
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Varkala Beach, Kerala

Varkala is a quite and peaceful hamlet in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandum), Kerala, known for its pious aura and beautiful Varkala Beach. Also known as Papanasam Beach, Varkala Beach is a long and stunning stretch of golden sand renowned for its tranquility and serene vibes. The backdrop of the Arabian Sea set against the cliffs of Varkala is a sight to behold as these sedimentary formation peaks are not easily found anywhere else in Kerala.

The pristine beach is divided into two parts with the southern area lying at the end of road leading from the sacred Janardhan Swamy Temple, while the northern part of the beach is more popular amongst tourists for its natural mineral spring and a stunning panoramic view. Varkala Beach is also famous for its water which is regarded to have medicinal and curative properties and a dip in the holy water is said to cleanse the body from all impurities and sins and is thus named as Papanasam Beach, which means ‘Destroyer of Sins’.

If you are a sunset or sunrise lover, Varkala beach will never disappoint you with its picturesque setting and a long walk along the shoreline is what you need to relax your mind and soul. For seafood lovers, there are plenty of stalls and eating joints nearby offering some lip-smacking delicacies. Varkala beach also offers a host of adventure activities such as windsurfing, parasailing, and snorkeling and surfing at Varkala beach is something one must try once in life.

Surfing in Varkala is top of the offering for wave hunters in Kerala with a string of long, cliff-backed beaches colored with hues of gold and consistent chest-high swells. Varkala Beach is one of those with mellow and mushy ride breaks that are not very much up to the level for an advanced surfer but is very beginner friendly.

Varkala beach generates waves for all surfers in different seasons from beginners to advanced level. The cool and pristine waters of Varkala beach is said to have medicinal properties which makes the beach even more alluring to surf. The availability of several surf schools dotting the line of Varkalal beach and other places in Varkala is a highlight for surfers and for those who want to try this thrilling activity.

All You Need to Know Aout Surfing at Varkala Beach

Surf Schools: Varkala, apart from a jovial spot full of fun and serene views of the nature, is also an adventure spot and especially for surf enthusiasts. There are some of the best surf schools in the town and a few are mentioned below:

  • Sanaa Surf School–The school takes surfing lessons from beginner to pro level and provides all surfing gears. You can either rent out surf boards or take sessions ranging from 1 day to 15 days based on your requirements.
  • Phone – 9207703868

  • Soul & Surf Kerala– Located at walking distance from Varkala beach, Soul & Surf Kerala has a great team of trained surfers where they take sessions for all levels of surfers and has a place to stay for guests from all over the world.
  • Phone – 9895842538

  • Moana Surf School– Led by two enthusiastic surf instructors Appu and Mujeeb, Moana Surf School is best for beginner surfers as the personal surfing experience.
  • Phone – 9846605061

  • Moon Waves Surf School– Located very near to Papanasam Beach, Moon Waves Surf School will teach you everything right from the basics in a matter of few days to make you surf ready.
  • Phone – 9037158575

  • Surf N Sea– This school will ensure you have a great stay while you take some high-quality surf lessons. The skill-ship shown by the instructors is amazing and you can also rent surf gears.
  • Phone – 9746776690

Where to Stay :

There are several surf hotels and surf hostels dotting the cliff od Varkala that provide accommodation and some of them even have surf classes. These stays also offer food along with lodging facilities and all other necessities. Some of the best places to stay near Varkala Beach are:

  • Pointbreak Surf and Stay
  • Cliff and Coral
  • Magnolia Guesthouse Varkala

Things to Remember:

We all know that keeping rational while enjoying such a thrilling activity can be a little challenging, but if you are planning to register yourself for a surfing lesson or plan to go surfing, here are some things to remember:

  • It is mandatory to know basic pool swimming
  • It is a water sports and requires only a minimum degree of physical fitness
  • Inform your instructor about any kind of medical conditions or allergies prior to your lesson
  • Avoid alcohol intake before or during surfing
  • Operate the rental equipment with care

When to Surf in Varkala Beach

For beginners, the peak season between November and February is the best time to surf in Varkala beach as the swells are consistent but shallow.

The months of October and March are good for those who prefer clean and more consistent larger waves, that is for the intermediates.

The monsoon season between June and August brings great swells and are ideal for advanced surfers who want some thrill. But keep in mind that it is the wet season, and you might have to postpone the session due to heavy rains and getting skunked down in the lashing waves should not be a surprise.

Restaurants near Varkala Beach

There are many shacks and restaurants near Varkala Beach for foodies and seafood lovers. From Tibetan food to Indian and other continental cuisines, there is something for everyone. Some of the best restaurants here are:

  • San Francisco
  • Gods Own Country
  • Sunset Multicuisine Restaurant
  • Little Tibet
  • Sea View Restaurant

How to Reach
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport about an hour away. You can get a pre-booked cab from the airport or take a taxi.
  • By Train: Trains from Trivandrum and Kochi ply to Varkala which can cost 30-250 rupees depending on the seat. Local rickshaws and taxis are available from the station.
  • By Road: Varkala beach is just 10km ahead of the town which is very easy to access via road through rickshaws and buses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q1. Why is Varkala beach famous?

Varkala beach is famous for its pristine views and natural spring waters which are said to have healing properties. The historic Janardhanaswamy Temple and the Sivagiri Mutt near the beach adds to its allure.

Q2. Can I swim and surf in Varkala beach?

Yes, Varkala beach is safe and a haven to swim and surf with beginner-friendly waves which also have medicinal properties making it even more popular.

Q3. How much does surfing cost in Varkala?

Surfing cost starts with INR1700 in Varkala and there are some surf schools in and around the town which take surfing lessons for beginners as well as trained surfers.


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