Travel April 3, 2016

Kerala Vacation – Varkala

Kerala Vacation Diary

After some research and lots of planning for Kerala vacation, we were finally ready to start our annual trip on 21 Feb 2015!

Kerala Vacation – Varkala Travelogue

Mumbai to Kochi

We had a very early morning flight from Mumbai. To board our 5.30 am flight, we were at the airport well before 4.30 am. After the check in and the security, we came to a kiosk at the airport where they were giving makeovers to the ladies. Now imagine a vacation that starts with a free makeover… has to be a good one right? The lady did an awesome job and made me look fresh as a daisy! Did I mention it was 5 am then? Yea… we had a 5.30 am flight!

Kerala

Travelling from Kochi To Varkala

After an uneventful flight, we quickly collected our luggage and met our  chauffeur for the week by 8 am. After driving through for 5 hours non stop, we arrived at the town of Kollam about 168 km from Kochi and made made a quick picture stop giving us all a chance to stretch our legs. Since our chauffeur was from around this area, he took us to a cashew shop where we made purchases. We covered the remaining 30 km distance to Varkala in over an hour and reached Varkala beach at 2.30 pm. I wanted to go straight to the resort but Hubby insisted that we stop by the cliff overlooking the beach and boy am I glad I did! The view of the crescent shaped beach from the cliff top was glorious and there were para gliders all around us!

Kerala Vacation Varkala

Crescent shaped Varkala beach seen from atop the north cliff

 

Kerala Vacation Varkala

Para Gliding over the Water at Varkala – oh how I wanted to do this!!!

Kshetra Resort, Varkala

We were at Kshetra resorts that was on the beach. It meant that the resort was perched on the cliff and was a mere 5 min walk to the beach. This also meant that the approach road was practically non existent. Varkala has many small hotels, resorts and home stays. The lanes are really narrow and very difficult to manoeuvre a large vehicle in. I remember being stuck for ten minutes because there was a tempo unloading supplies and refused to move!

Kshetra resort had an impressive facade and a delightful little lobby decorated with plants, traditional Kerala artefacts like Kathakali masks, elephant truck covers, idols and had a library full of varied books that can be read by guests. There were sofas and chairs strewn about that one could sit and relax in. The resort seemed like an old style house with a central open to air courtyard and rooms all around connected with a narrow passageway. The rooms were very basic with minimal flooring, furniture and normal bathrooms. They had working ACs and geysers though. The hygiene levels could have been a bit better with the sheets and stuff. We had to get them replaced in one of the rooms. The staff was courteous but not very helpful when it came to our queries about the beach or places to eat etc.

The biggest negative about Kshetra resorts was that it did not have a kitchen. That basically means no room service. Not even tea! We were famished by the time we came and would have loved a hot cup of tea or coffee. The staff said we could order it from any restaurant close by and they would serve us. We did not click pictures of the rooms at Varkala but here is a quick look at the facade. That was the best looking part of the resort anyway!

Kerala Vacation

Kshetra Resort at Varkala Beach, Kerala

Varkala Beach

Varkala beach was one of the beaches I had a lot of fun on and undoubtedly amongst the top 3 places in this trip. The approach to the beach is from a hill and you have a long cliff side stairway to reach the water. Atop the cliff is a series of shops that sell everything from beer to handi crafts, from beach wear to tattoos and lots and lots of eateries! Post sunset, the market comes alive. The whole area is clearly aimed at foreign tourists. In fact, we were amongst the minority there.

The beach is very clean and while there were options of boat rides and water sports, the people are not nagging. I even saw lifeguards at the beach which is impressive! The water was clean, the slope gentle and it was great for a swim in the waves. We played around in the water till sunset and then made our way back to the hotel for the night.

 

Kerala Vacation Varkala

Varkala beach and north cliff just before sunset

 

Kerala Vacation Varkala

The shacks lining the clifftop at Varkala beach

 

Kerala Vacation Varkala

Sunset at Varkala Beach

What to Wear at Varkala

I saw a lot of foreigners at Varkala dressed in the usual beach garb. On the beach people were sunbathing in the tiniest of costumes and there were lots of bikinis around. Off the beach, tank tops, crop tops and shorts were common. However, around the resort, we mostly saw people in loose cotton tunics with shorts or trousers. The tourists sported bohemian mostly! I had opted for a striped pink and grey jersey with a matching pink tee underneath. This is one of the most comfortable dresses I own and does not crease!! I have worn this on many flights and is very easy to sleep in. Since day 1 was going to be a long day, I opted for this piece. A pair of cheery yellow wayfarers and I was set!

1-20150221 Kerala Feb 2015

Varkala – Overall Thoughts

I would highly recommend this place to beach lovers and would have loved to spend more than one night out here. The place is slow and unhurried and great to relax in. Varkala is closer to Trivandrum though. Just about 50 km so that would be a better airport if you plan on spending all your time there. We did not cover the south cliff but you can do that too for a different view of the beach. There is lots to do in Varkala and it is a great option for a relaxing beach getaway or a pit stop in your Kerala journey.

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply Sangeeta G April 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I love Kerala. Almost everywhere you go you see greenery.

  • Reply Vasantha Vivek April 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Wow. amazing clicks, Ankita !!!

  • Reply MALINY April 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I hail form Trivandrum and I feel proud that you liked the place so much. The photographs are so vibrant and soulful!

    • Reply Ankita April 4, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Thank you Maliny… You should hang around read the whole series then… Trivandrum would come up too 🙂

  • Reply SandeepaChetan April 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    View from the top is awesome. Clearly brings out beauty around. Nice pictures 🙂

    • Reply Ankita April 4, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Sandeepa… the view was stunning!

  • Reply Tales of travelling sisters April 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Have been reading a lot about Varkala beach lately. Your pictures just proved us why its a favourite among the beach lovers!! lovely captures Ankita 🙂

    • Reply Ankita April 4, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Thank you… hope you guys visit and share your own pics too!

  • Reply verushka April 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Wish this was on on trip ! Looks amazing. Did you see the Black Sands there and visit the temple ?

    • Reply Ankita April 4, 2016 at 9:04 am

      You were on the most amazing Kerala trip ever! We did not visit any temples on this trip though… 🙁

  • Reply SUNITA SRIRAM April 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Ankita..great pics of the verdant town of Varkala..did you visit the Janardana swamy temple, it is a great temple with history seeped in it..please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janardanaswamy_Temple for more details.

    • Reply Ankita April 4, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Thanks. We did not really visit any temples on the trip! That is a reason to go back I suppose 🙂

  • Reply Lata Sunil April 3, 2016 at 11:29 am

    My hometown… glad you loved it.

    • Reply Ankita April 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Is it? Wow… do share some hidden gems about the place… or stories… how is it to live in a place riddled with tourists?

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