Varkala travel guide

Varkala Tourism | Varkala Guide

You're Going to Love Varkala

One of the finest beach destinations in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Varkala is strung along bright red cliffs and presents a gorgeous sight. Laid-back and friendly, it also has an intriguing historical side, and always makes visitors feel welcome.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Varkala

1. The Tropical Beaches

Varkala's beaches are a wonderful place to be. Play some beach volleyball, sunbathe, or rent a board and try windsurfing in an idyllic coastal location.

2. Visit Hindu Temples

Varkala isn't just a beach resort. Temple sites like Janardhana and the Golden Temple on Ponnumthuruthu Island present stunning vistas to visitors (even if you may not be allowed to go inside).

3. Chill Out

For backpackers, Varkala is all about relaxation and zoning out. What better place to get away from the stress of home than places like the Savasana Yoga Center or a massage at Thanal Ayurveda Home?

4. Try Delicious Fresh Keralan Seafood

The people of Varkala continue to make a living from the sea. And they also make some superb dishes. You'll adore the tandoori shrimp and fish whipped up as you wait at the resort's clifftop stalls.

5. Kollam Is an Hour Away

The city of Kollam is another Keralan gem, with its elegant bridges, Portuguese ruins at Thangassery, and the chance to take restful cruises on Ashtamudi Lake.

Where to Eat in Varkala

Beachfront options worth checking out include Wait n Watch (which has great sea views), Cafe del Mar, and Trattorias, where you'll find dishes from around the world. Hotel Dwaraka is a great city center option too. Meals should come to less than ₹400 per head.

When to visit Varkala

Varkala in April
Estimated hotel price
C$ 20
1 night at 3-star hotel
Varkala in April
Estimated hotel price
C$ 20
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to go is definitely between September and April, when you can avoid the wet season and the humidity and intense heat of summer.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Varkala


Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) is around 30 miles away. Indian Railways provides a direct connection every three hours or so, which costs ₹500. Taxis should be around ₹700.


Indian Railways has a stop at Varkala, connecting the resort to Trivandrum and Kollam, as well as major Indian cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.


From Mumbai, take Highway 66 southwards along the Indian coast, while route 744 runs from Madurai.


Buses from Trivandrum cost ₹90 and take just over an hour. You can also connect with the publicly run national bus service.

Airports near Varkala

Airlines serving Varkala

Good (3,804 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,525 reviews)
Excellent (15,772 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (6,759 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (3,954 reviews)
Air India
Good (7,037 reviews)
Gulf Air
Good (872 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (669 reviews)
SriLankan Airlines
Good (748 reviews)
Good (689 reviews)
Excellent (154 reviews)
Kuwait Airways
Good (1,329 reviews)
Good (378 reviews)
Air Arabia
Good (90 reviews)
Good (360 reviews)
Air India Express
Okay (32 reviews)
Salam Air
Good (6 reviews)
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Where to stay in Varkala

Varkala has some excellent hotels, including the Hindustan Beach Retreat and the Krishnatheeram Ayur Holy Beach Resort, where yoga comes as part of the package.

Popular neighbourhoods in Varkala

Varkala Beach - famous for its black sands, Varkala beach is the social center of the resort. Locals gather there in the evenings and travelers all day long to swim, play, and socialize.

Papanasam Beach - south of Varkala, Papanasam is just as scenic and offers some great dining spots like the Theeram Beach Restaurant.

Sivagiri Road - slightly inland, Sivagiri Road is home to a famous pilgrimage center, but it's also the location of Varkala's train station.

Where to stay in popular areas of Varkala

Most booked hotels in Varkala

Inda Hotel
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 46+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Varkala

Public Transportation

Public transportation in the town itself is very limited, although auto-rickshaws may be rented if required.


Taxis are a good way to get around, and not to expensive at ₹25 for the meter drop, then ₹25 more per mile.


Car rental outlets include Unnikannan, where you should find vehicles for around ₹400 per day.

Car rental agencies in Varkala

The Cost of Living in Varkala

Shopping Streets

If you want to shop for tourist souvenirs, Varkala's clifftop is the place to head, but there are also more notable art dealers like the Art of India and boutiques like Shalimar Weaves.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in the town center include Merlyn and Margin Free, where 12 eggs will come to around ₹75.

Other popular cities in Kerala