Much of India is surrounded by ocean and the country has some incredibly scenic beaches that offer everything from solitude to parties. The best beaches in India can be found on the west coast, with Goa being the most famous beach destination. However, there are other places to consider as well, especially if you want to get away from the tourist trail. Here’s where to go.

Varkala beach lies about 45 minutes 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 seemingly endless paved stretch of cliff bordered by shacks on one side and views that extend over the Arabian Sea on the other. It’s an excellent place to rest and rejuvenate, with yoga and Ayurveda being popular there.

  • Think Goa has become too overcrowded and commercialized these days? Gokarna is a small and remote holy town in northern Karnataka, with four of India’s most secluded beaches nestled nearby. It draws both pious pilgrims and laid-back travelers 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.

    Palolem Beach, enclosed by a thick forest of coconut palms in far South Goa, is arguably the state’s most picturesque beach. This mile-long, semi-circle shaped beach continues to grow in popularity every year. It’s the most lively beach in the area but still retains its relaxed vibe, as permanent structures aren’t allowed to be built on it.

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