Top Beaches of India

According to Forbes, you can forget the beaches of Ibiza, Rio, or even Australia. These days, India's beaches are where it's all happening. It's true that India does have some incredibly scenic beaches that offer everything from action to solitude, and of course parties. The best India beaches can be found on the west coast. Here's where to look.

Best Spectacular Setting: Varkala

Stunning Varkala beach lies around one hour north of capital Trivandrum in Kerala and provides a relatively peaceful alternative to the now commercialized Kovalam. The setting of this beach is striking enough to take your breath away, with a long paved stretch of cliff bordered by shacks and views that extend over the Arabian Sea. It's an excellent place to rest and rejuvenate, with yoga and Ayurveda being popular there.

Best Secluded Beach: Gokarna

Gokarna is a small and remote holy town in northern Karnataka, with four of India's most secluded and pristine beaches nestled nearby. It draws both pious pilgrims and hedonistic holiday makers with equal enthusiasm. Go there to get a feel for what Goa was like in its heyday, although time is limited as developers are already seeing the potential of this area.

Best Picturesque Beach: Palolem

Picturesque Palolem Beach, enclosed by a thick forest of coconut palms in far south Goa, is arguably the state's most beautiful beach. This mile long, shady, semi-circle shaped beach continues to grow in popularity every year, and it's become very lively with the diverse crowd that it attracts.

Best Beach for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: Tarkarli

The area around Tarkarli beach, in southern Maharashtra, has one of the best coral reefs in India. Relatively untouched by development, this beach is not on the tourist trail and still retains a village feel complete with homestay accommodations right on the beach. Locals can often be seen unhurriedly riding bicycles or walking to get around.

Best Beach for Doing Nothing: Agonda

Long, serene Agonda Beach in south Goa is perfect for those looking to get away from it all. Stay in a simple hut right on the beach, and enjoy the stillness and nature. The rear of the beach is lined with shacks and small shops but apart from that, there's not much else to do apart from eating, drinking, swimming, and chilling.

Best Beach for Hippies and Musicians: Arambol

Arambol, on Goa's far northern stretch of coastline, has become the new hippie haven. Once a small fishing village, it's now full of long term travellers. You'll find plenty of alternative therapies there, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and reiki. The nightlife is relaxed, with live music and jam sessions happening on the beach.

Best Trendy Beach: Ashvem/Mandrem/Morjim

The wide open beaches of Ashvem, Mandrem and Morjim, located in a line next to each other in north Goa, have become quite hip and trendy in recent years. Groovy beach bars, restaurants, shops, beach huts and fashionable resorts can be found there. Sunset Ashram is one of Goa's best bars. The area also has a number yoga retreats and some of the best beach huts.

Best Commercial Beach: Baga

For sure, Baga Beach in north Goa may be touristy and busy but for those who like action, it’s one of the most happening beaches on the coast. Water sports, para sailing, dolphin sightseeing trips, beach shacks, bars, clubs, and fine dining restaurants you’ll find them all there!

Best Beach with a Lighthouse: Kovalam

The most developed of Kerala's beaches, Kovalam is located not far from Trivandrum. It's made up of two coves Hawa also referred to as Eve's beach and Lighthouse. Lighthouse is the biggest and busiest of the two, with its promenade lined with open air restaurants. The lighthouse atop this beach provides fantastic views, especially at sunset. If you'd prefer somewhere a little more secluded, you'll find nearby Samudra beach to be a better option. Kovalam is also one of the best beaches in India for surfing.

Best Remote Beach: Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island

Once voted Asia's Best Beach by TIME Magazine, Radhanagar Beach is situated on Havelock Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are sprinkled across the Bay of Bengal. The islands are a Union Territory of India. Radhanagar Beach is renowned for its calm, still water and fine white sand.

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