Gokarna is known for its long beaches, and the best way to explore them is by hopping across different hills lined up along these beaches. Each hill offers a picturesque view of the vast Arabian Sea, and the trail itself offers a one-of-a-kind hiking experience. After all, few places bring together the concept of beach hopping and hiking so seamlessly. So whether you’re into hiking or enjoying the beach, experience this beach trek as it offers the best of both worlds.
Gokarna has 6 main beaches:
- Belekan beach
- Paradise beach
- Half Moon beach
- Om beach
- Kudle beach
- Gokarna main beach
Each beach has a different vibe altogether. You can absorb different sceneries and dabble with water activities. If you’re wondering how to go about this entire experience, what’s the start and end of it, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to hike across the Gokarna beaches.
Gokarna Beach Hiking Guide
Table Of Contents
- How To Reach?
- Network Availability
- ATM Availability
- Languages Spoken
- Parking Availability
- Restroom Facilities
- Best Time To Visit
- Where To Eat?
- Where To Stay?
- Gokarna Beach Hike Route
- Hiking Details
- Cost Breakdown For One Person
- Important Things To Remember
- Essential Things To Carry
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Posts
Best Time To Visit
The best time to do the Gokarna beach hike is between the winter months, October and January, as the temperature creates a soothing environment. The peak months of December and January are more crowded, and the place becomes at least 3 to 5 times more expensive.
Summer is excruciatingly hot and humid, and the temperature goes as high as 35℃. Gokarna receives heavy to very heavy rainfall with strong winds. So do not hike during the monsoon months of June, July, and August.
How To Reach?
Gokarna Road (Station code: GOK, 9 Km) is the nearest station to Gokarna. This station is connected to trains from Bangalore, Mumbai, and Goa and is the cheapest way to reach the coastal town. Get down here, hop onto a tuk-tuk or a bus, and head to the Gokarna bus stand.
Direct buses depart from various nearby cities to Gokarna. The place is well connected with other cities and villages around. So an overnight bus journey is a good alternative too.
You can start the hike either from the Belekan beach or the Gokarna main beach. Few people also start and end at the different beaches located in between. There are no rules or set routes, and you can plan your hike however you want. But if you’re looking for a recommendation, we’d say start from the Belekan beach at dawn, as the sunrise view is the perfect way to start. In this article, we’ll take you through our recommended route and share each beach’s unique facets.
From the Gokarna bus stand, take a tuk-tuk and reach the Belekan beach, which costs Rs. 300 for a one-way ride. You can hire a two-wheeler (opens at 8 AM) or drive it to the Belekan beach.
The trail has a mix of good and bad connectivity. We found no signal reception from Belekan to Half Moon beach with Airtel or Jio. From Om beach to Gokarna beach, we had an intermittent network in the interiors and good reception near the beaches.
You do not require any cash while hiking the route. The restaurants located en route accept digital payments. However, cash is a savior in places where the network is poor. So it is always good to always have enough cash with you. ATMs in Gokarna can be found near the main bus stand.
Native people speak the regional language of Kannada. However, as Gokarna has become popular over the years, many people also speak English and Hindi. A few people can even converse in other south Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
Dedicated paid parking space is available near the Gokarna Main beach. If you’re starting from Belekan beach, a small parking space is available near the Hanuman temple.
You can use the restrooms in cafes and restaurants on the trail. Apart from that, you must come prepared as you might need to answer nature’s call outdoors.
Related: Use these super helpful public restroom tips during your travels.
Where To Eat?
Carry a few energy bars and snacks if you are starting early. You can find numerous restaurants and cafes along the beach. Ensure you hydrate often.
Where To Stay?
Numerous hotels, beachfront resorts, and tent accommodations are available in Gokarna. You can choose based on your budget. The closer a property is to a beach, the higher its rates will be. If you visit the town during the peak season, especially during the holiday season, book your stay way ahead. For affordable stays, you can choose hostels or even bring your own tents. Here are a recommendations.
- Lostel Gokarna ($)
- Zostel Gokarna ($)
- HosteLife Gokarna ($$)
- Experience Gokarna with Hostel EXP ($$)
- Kahani Paradise ($$$)
- SwaSwara Gokarna – CGH Earth ($$$)
Gokarna Beach Hike Route
We started from Belekan beach as it is one of the best places in Gokarna to witness the sunrise (near the mandir). Yes, you read that right; A sunrise on the West coast.
From Belekan Beach To Paradise Beach
After watching the sunrise, walk towards the end of the road (in the beach’s direction) towards the right. Start your hike on the visible trail closer to the beach and follow directions that are marked along the way.
Follow the visible trail until you see a beach. Hike further until you reach Paradise beach. This deserted beach can be reached only by hiking or via boat.
Paradise stands up to its name as the place truly is a deserted paradise. You can relax here, sit for a bit, or even play games like volleyball if you have a group. Don’t worry about the food as the restaurant is quite close by.
Paradise can easily be synonymous with a private beach due to the lack of crowd in the place and the serene atmosphere. In fact, you can even stay here at night. The above activities come as a package that includes a boat commute if you want to go somewhere from the beach. All this would cost you Rs. 2500 per person.
Paradise beach is accessible either by hike or boat. If you do not opt for the package the ride will cost you Rs. 300 (one way – to or from Om beach).
From Paradise Beach To Half Moon Beach
Exit from Paradise beach along the shore, where you can spot a frequented trail on your right.
A walk along the rocky terrain takes you to the Hell cliff overlooking the coastal line.
The trail then leads you to hilly terrain. Walk just a bit further from here until you see a beach with peppered with pebbles. You can sit here for a bit, enjoy the view, and even click a few Gram-worthy pictures.
Post this, you have to cross the Shree Ram cafe, from where Half Moon beach is just a few meters away. There are only a few cafes found on the shores. Half Moon beach does not offer any water activities to engage the visitors. So here, you can take a peaceful stroll or sit in one place to revitalize your energy levels. Listen to the waves crashing against the black pebbles and golden sands.
From Half Moon Beach To Om Beach
The direction to Om beach is marked on a huge stone, so it will be easy to follow the markings. Continue climbing uphill on the visible route, and soon the trail will take you to a cliff. Walk along it as you see the beaches on your left.
The trail soon changes to dense forest. On crossing that, you would catch a bird’s eye view of Om beach. Spend some time at the viewpoint and then descend to Om beach. One of the best parts about the trail is the ambient noise. You get just the right blend of the sound of the forest and the sea.
Since Om beach is accessible by road, it is a popular beach lined with good restaurants. By the time we reached here, it was time for breakfast, and we had it at Dolphin Shanti Cafe. You can also spot a lot of international tourists in the area.
If you want to take a break from the trail, you can shop, get tattoos, and indulge in water sports and activities such as jet skiing, speed boat riding, banana riding, bumper riding, and more. You can go shopping, braid your hair, practice yoga at Namaste cafe, and essentially explore the place in any way you like.
From Om Beach To Kudle Beach
Cross the sandy stretches of Om beach and exit near the Namaste cafe. Climb a flight of stairs and take a left when you reach the road. You could see a route to paid restrooms located on the right.
Walk further for a Km on the visible trail, surrounded by trees on both sides, and you’ll spot several monkeys. Walk until you reach an open terrain followed by a well-laid road. Cross the road and climb down a flight of stairs, and voila! Here comes Kudle beach.
The golden shores of Kudle beach have numerous accommodations and restaurants. Sunset cruising, sleeping bumper rides, stand-up paddle rides, and ATV rides are a few of the popular water activities at this site.
From Kudle Beach To Gokarna Main Beach
Many people end their hike at Kudle beach as you’ll have to walk on the road for 2 Km to reach the Gokarna main beach. Although there is a hiking trail, private property owners in the area have blocked the route for various reasons. However, you can take the conventional route via the usual roads and reach the Gokarna Main beach.
Watch the sunset from the Gokarna main beach and end your hike.
- Cost: Free
- Registration: No registration or pre-online booking is required.
- Timings: Although there are no timing restrictions, it is safe to hike during the daytime.
- Duration: 4 to 7 hours one way. Depends on how much you spend on each beach.
- Hike Distance: 14 Km one way (approx)
- Difficulty Level: Moderate (Highly subjected to your fitness level.)
- Terrain: Open grasslands, cemented paths, stones, and beach sands.
- Permission: No permission is required to hike the beaches of Gokarna.
Cost Breakdown For One Person
- Breakfast: Rs. 100 (Dosa)
- Lunch – Rs. 250 (Fish thali)
- Energy bars, snacks – Rs. 100
Total for the hike = Rs. 400
Belekan beach – Gokarna bus stop costs Rs. 300 for auto. If you have dropped your bike at either end of the beach, you’ll be hopping on an auto to fetch the bike from the other end.
Grand Total = Rs. 700
Note: Since the Gokarna beach hike can be done in a day, the stay is optional; hence, accommodation costs are not included in the breakdown.
Important Things To Remember
- You will come across many people during the weekends. If you are hiking during weekdays and are not confident with the route, we highly recommend downloading the GPS file or going with someone who has done this hike already, as there are chances of getting lost.
- The use of plastics and smoking is strictly prohibited. As a hiker, it is incumbent on you to be responsible and not litter. Collect and bring back the waste and dispose of them in dedicated bins.
Essential Things To Carry
- Ensure you carry at least 1 L of water per person.
- Take some energy bars and snacks.
- Have your first aid kit ready.
- Cap, sunscreen & sunglasses are essential to ward off the summer heat.
- Carry a poncho or raincoat in case it rains.
- Above all, ensure you wear comfortable shoes.
Read the blog to know more about what we usually carry for day hikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a guide required for the Gokarna beach hike?
You will come across many people during the weekends. Although a guide is optional, if you are hiking during weekdays and not confident with the route, download a GPS file or go with someone who has done this hike already, as there are chances of getting lost.
Can the beach hike be done in a day?
Of course, one day is enough to hike Gokarna’s entire coastal beach stretch.
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