Honnavar and Apsarakonda travel guide

Honnavar & Apsarakonda: Hidden Gems Of Karnataka

Honnavar is a hidden paradise on the coast of Karnataka. The place is home to scenic beaches, cascading waterfalls, boating, and more. Honnavar is the perfect getaway for anyone who loves to be enveloped by nature. While tourists flock to Gokarna and Murudeshwar, we decided to stop at this place and found ourselves stumped by its sheer beauty. Honnavar resides between Gokarna and Murudeshwar and can be a day trip for people who visit the latter. 

So, if you’re backpacking across the West Coast and want to stop at this mesmerizing place, this blog has got you covered. We’ve shared all the information you need to plan a trip to Honnavar. 

Travel Guide To Honnavar & Apsarakonda

Best Time To Visit

Apsarakonda beach - drone view
Apsarakonda beach – aerial view

The best time to visit Honnavar is between October and February in the post-monsoon months. The temperature is cold, and the atmosphere is conducive to exploring more places. Although the monsoon months are cold too, there’s heavy rainfall and strong winds, so you have to spend more time indoors.

How To Reach?

By Air

The nearest airports to Honnavar are Goa international airport (Airport code: GOI, 177 Km) and Mangalore international airport (Airport code: IXE, 178 Km). From the airport, there are no direct buses available. The best way to reach is by either train or road.

By Train

Honnavar railway station (Station code – HNA) is the nearest railway station. This station is well-connected to nearby cities like Madgaon, Mangalore, Bangalore, and Ernakulam.

By Road

Honnavar has good road connectivity. The buses moving across the western coast from Murudeshwar or Mangalore to Kumta or Gokarna stop at Honnavar. You can travel in the frequent government-run KSRTC buses and private buses.

Languages Spoken

Kannada is the official language spoken by the people of Honnavar.

Network Availability

Prominent internet service providers, Airtel and Jio, offer 4G services throughout the city.

ATM Availability

There are only a few ATMs available in Honnavar. Digital payments are accepted throughout the city, so you don’t have to worry about cash. But it is always good to have a few bucks while in India.

Exploring Honnavar

Tourist spots are not well connected by public buses. The best way to wander around the place is by hiring a tuk-tuk. Two-wheeler rentals are also not available in the region. Alternatively, you can hire two-wheelers from Murudeshwar, as we did, or from Gokarna. Most people who visit Honnavar come in their own vehicles.

Note: Mobile applications-based cab services like Ola and Uber are unavailable in the city.

Where To Eat?

There are small hotels on the side of the road. Near Ronn’s Pizza, a few restaurants are available. It is better to carry some food or snacks, especially when traveling with kids or family.

Where To Stay?

Honnavar doesn’t have a wide variety of options to stay. Few accommodations can be found on the highway. Mayuri Eco Beach Shanbag Residency and Amulya Lodging and Residency offer decent stays in Honnavar.


Places To Visit In Honnavar & Apsarakonda

Apsarakonda Waterfall

Apsarakonda waterfall

Hidden in the hills is a tranquil and pristine waterfall known as the Apsarakonda waterfall. You must climb down about 100 steps before you witness the serene place where you can also find a small pond. The waterfall is enveloped in a canopy of trees and branches that form the shape of a cave. You can sit here to enjoy the view, play with the water, and swim in the pond. The atmosphere here takes you in and makes you feel like you’re in an ethereal plane cut off from everything else in the world. The waterfall looks quite alluring during the monsoon months between July and September.

Legends say that the Apsaras (heavenly fairies) used to come here to bathe and relax in this place and hence the name Apsarakonda. The place truly exudes heavenly beauty.

  • Entry fee: Rs. 20 per person
  • Timings: 9 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Parking Space: Available
  • Changing rooms: Available. To change your clothes before and after bathing, Rs. 10 is charged for each.
  • Restroom: Neat and well-maintained restrooms are available

Twin’s tip: We recommend visiting during weekdays or early mornings at around 7 or 8 AM to avoid crowds.

Apsarakonda Vana Park

Located very near the Apsarakonda waterfall is Vana Park. Here, you can take a peaceful stroll along the ponds, relax, and pass by statues of different species. It’s the perfect place for people who like to do nothing and rejuvenate themselves. But there’s more. 

View of beach from the Apsarakonda viewpoint
View of the beach from the Apsarakonda viewpoint

When you enter the park, you can take a left and follow a path that leads to a beach viewpoint. With the rocky beaches on one side and the lengthy coast on the other, the Apsarakonda viewpoint is a place not many people know. If you want to see the shores up close, you can go down and reach the Apsarakonda beach.

  • Parking space: Available
  • Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for adults, Rs. 10 for children, Rs. 1000 for wedding shoot
  • Timings: 9 AM – 5:30 PM

Apsarakonda Beach

Apsarakonda beach

The Apsarakonda beach is a small part of the long straight coast overlooking the Arabian Sea. Since the place has several decorated frames, it is known for wedding and pre-wedding photoshoots. Another fascinating thing about this beach is that you can see how the backwaters merge with the Arabian Sea. 

You can explore further, see the black rocky shores that add to the place’s vibe, and find an excellent spot to watch the sunset on the horizon. The Apasarakonda waterfall is accessible from this place, and you can hike uphill from the parking lot.

  • Entry fee: Rs. 20 for adults, Rs. 10 for children, Rs. 1000 for wedding shoot
  • Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM
  • Parking: Rs. 10 for two-wheelers, Rs. 40 for four-wheelers

Apsarakonda Cliff

Apsarakonda cliff

Like the waterfall, the Apsarakonda Cliff is accessible from the Apsarakonda beach. Beside the confluence of the Sharavathi river and the Arabian sea resides the tall Apsarakonda cliff. You can climb to the top of the cliff from the small visible route to enjoy the aerial view of the surroundings. But ensure you take all safety precautions and are extremely careful as the ground surface is steep and slippery.

Kasarkod Eco Beach

Kasarkod eco beach is one of India’s first blue flag beaches operating on a solar power plant. With several amenities like the children’s play area, fitness equipment, hammocks, beach seating, bicycle rentals, and pathways with wheelchair access, the beach is a perfect place for a family to chill and enjoy. 

The place is monitored by CCTV cameras, and the information board kept at the entrance also highlights the activities, dos and don’t of the eco beach. The eco beach is a straight coast taken care of by a coastguard at all times. You’ll find many people working to make the place neat and tidy. 

  • Timings: 9 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Restrooms: Separate restrooms for women and men are available, which can be utilized for Rs. 10
  • Changing rooms: Rs. 10
  • Parking: Rs. 20 for two-wheelers and Rs. 40 for four-wheelers

On moving further north along the western coast, other beaches like Ramanagindi and Tamaki beach are nearby.

Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Broadwalk

Exactly opposite the eco beach is the Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove boardwalk. You can take a stroll on a wooden bridge, surrounded by mangroves on either side. The path will take you to the open grasslands, where you can see the Sharavathi River on your left. Once you cross the bridge, the mangroves will get denser and more scenic. 

Sharavati Mangroves Broadwalk

There is also a short circular wooden passageway that stretches for about 100 meters. This path is perhaps the most beautiful part of the stroll. The trees and the trail exude a rustic vibe and seem they are straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel set in North Carolina. You can also enjoy a 15-minute boat ride by paying an additional Rs. 100 per person, and if you’re hungry or crave some snacks, you can pick some at a shop at the entrance.

  • Timings: 9 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Entry fee: Rs. 10 per person
  • Restrooms: Not available
  • Parking: Free parking space is available

Sharavati Backwater Boat Ride

One of the must-do activities while visiting Honnavar is riding through the backwaters of the Sharavati river. You almost feel like you’re in Kerala as you slowly pass by coconut trees and greenery on either side. The best time to do this activity is during the golden hour, as you’ll see the golden rays’ reflection shimmer on the water’s surface. The sight is surreal and transports you to a different dimension as close as it gets to paradise. 

  • Cost: Charged per-boat basis, you can save more if you’re a group. An hour’s ride will cost you anywhere between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1500, depending on the demand.
  • Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Parking: Available
  • Restroom: Not available

Besides the above places, we also went to see the Honnavar lighthouse to get aerial views, but it is closed to visitors.

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