Things to do Varkala, Kerala

10 Best Things To Do In Varkala (Kerala)

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Varkala is a cozy little beach town in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It is known for its scenic beaches, rocky cliffs, and the backwaters that flow into the Arabian Sea. The quaint town is a popular tourist destination that attracts domestic and international visitors throughout the year. Although most people would compare Varkala to Goa or Gokarna, the place has a vibe of its own.

Whether you want to relax on the beach, explore ancient temples, or enjoy outdoor activities, Varkala has something for everyone. If you, too, are someone like us, waiting to explore this place, here are 10 things you can do in this picturesque coastal town.

Things To Do In Varkala

1. Learn Surfing

Surfers at Weligama Beach

Surf the waves of the Arabian Sea. Varkala Beach is a great place to learn how to surf, with several surf schools offering lessons for newbies. The beach is known for its steady waves, making it a conducive place for beginners and experienced surfers.

The best time to surf in Varkala is from September to March when the waves are at their strongest. During this time, the beach welcomes worldwide surfing enthusiasts who like to play with the waves and challenge themselves.

2. Get An Ayurvedic Massage

An Ayurvedic massage is a traditional Indian massage that has been practiced for thousands of years. The massage uses a combination of oils, herbs, and therapeutic techniques to enable relaxation, reduce stress, and improve physical and mental well-being. It is based on the principles of Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine that aims to balance mind, body, and spirit.

The massage is designed to improve circulation, detoxify the body, and release tension from muscles and joints. Experience rejuvenation through a massage while you’re in Varkala.

3. Practice Yoga

Yoga is a traditional Indian practice involving physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. The practice of yoga involves a series of postures or asanas that are designed to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. In fact, some forms of yoga also help your mental health. 

Yoga is an exceptional practice that can benefit people of all ages and improve their fitness levels. The best part about this exercise is that you need minimal equipment and can practice it almost anywhere. All you need is to step into a calm environment and start.

There are several types of yoga, each with its own style and approach. Two of the most popular types practiced in Varkala are Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga. Head to Varakala beach early in the morning to see people practicing yoga on the shores and maybe even join them.

4. Go Shopping

Shopping at Varkala

Varkala is a fun place to shop for a variety of things, from precious stones, incense sticks, outfits, bags, jewelry, ornaments, leather goods, and more. You’ll find a traditional Indian touch in almost all products and designs, which is quite appealing. Ensure you don’t spendthrift but smart shop. Bargain wherever possible and get the best deal possible.

5. Try The Local Kerala Cuisine

Varkala has a rich culinary tradition, and there are plenty of fresh seafood options to try in the town of fishermen. From prawns to crabs and lobsters, there are plenty of delicious dishes. Kerala-style fish curry, Idiyappam, Appam and stew, and Puttu and Kadala curry are must-try delicacies.

Continental dishes like pasta, pizza, alcohol, and beer are also available if you fancy those. Several cafes and restaurants lined up on the cliff offer stunning sea views besides good food. So, while you’re at the table licking your fingers, the breezy environment will get you in the holiday groove.

Foods to try - Ice gola at Varkala

Besides these, cotton candy flavored Ice Gola from “Eis, by Sarwaa,” tops our favorites from Varkala. You should definitely taste it.

6. Watch Sunset From Cliff

Sunset at Varkala

Sunsets are one of the best parts of visiting coastal destinations of Western India. They instill a sense of peace as we gaze into the distance at the sky splashed with orange hues. Whether you’re watching the sunset with your friends or family, the site is truly ethereal, and nothing surpasses it. The shore of Varkala is on an elevated cliff. Thus one of the best places on the western coast of India to watch an epic sunset. Kappil Beach and Varakala Beach are two beautiful spots in Varakala to watch sunsets.

7. Take A Day Trip To Munroe Island

Munroe island aerial view
Aerial view of Munroe Island

Located around 50 Km from Varkala, Munroe Island is an ideal spot for a Canoe trip in Kerala. You can row through the still backwaters and canals while being surrounded by lush green mangroves. Unwind, relax, and you’ll feel like you’re floating in the air. 

Check our travel guide to Munroe Island which highlights all the necessary details needed to plan your trip. Other day trips nearby include the Trivandrum city tour, Kanyakumari, and Ponmudi top station.

8. Visit Anjengo Fort & Lighthouse

Anjengo fort and lighthouse are important landmarks that shed light on European colonists’ power in Anchuthengu. They served as the first signaling station for the ships arriving from Britain. Anjengo or Anchuthengu fort is just half an hour’s ride along the coast (15 Km) from Varkala. The fort stretches for 256 sq. feet, with four bastions, each of which mounted eight 18-pounder guns and some twenty 18 & 24-pounder guns facing the sea. 

Numerous churches and cemeteries are built with a European architectural style, some dating back over 100 years. In one of the cemeteries, some tombstones were made in 1704. These little things create an archaic vibe and show us how old the place is. You can also visit the Golden Island, located en route. But Munroe Island is far more peaceful and scenic than the latter.

9. Relax By The Beach/ Go Paragliding

Varkala beach
Varkala beach

Varkala is the perfect retreat for anyone who wants to get away from their work and take a breather. Besides other activities such as shopping and visiting forts, you can simply go to a beach and relax. You can stroll along the shore, listen to the sounds of the ocean crashing against the sand, feel the cold breeze on your skin, and let yourself loose. 

The beaches here are an excellent spot to do nothing and enjoy the scenery. You can swim in the ocean and overall revitalize your senses. If you’re worried about your safety, fret not, as lifeguards are always standing at different spots along the coast to help.

Interestingly, you can go paragliding near the Helipad near the Varkala North Cliff. Both Paragliding and Paramototoring costs INR 4000 per person for a 15-minute ride. CanFly Adventure and Fly Varkala are two organizations that offer these rides. They also offer water activities such as standup paddling and kayaking.

10. Visit The Jatayu Earth Center

Jatayu statue, kerala

Around 30 km from Varkala lies the Jatayu earth center. The world’s largest bird sculpture is dedicated to “women’s safety and honor,” and there is a reason behind it. You can learn about its history, significance, and other details, including the entry fee, timings, etc., in this travel guide.

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