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Varkala Beach, Kerala, India
Varkala beach is located in Kerala, about an hour north of the capital Trivandrum and now offers a relatively peaceful alternative to the commercialized Kovalam. The setting of this beach is quite striking to take your breath away, with a seemingly endless paved stretch of rock on one side and views extending to the Arabian Sea on the other side. It is an ideal place to relax and freshen up, as yoga and Ayurveda are popular there. Plan your trip with this Varkala beach tour guide or discover other top beaches in Kerala.

Best Goa Alternative: Gokarna, Karnataka

Bellehital Road, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326, India
Think Goa is too crowded and commercialized these days? Gokarna is a small holy city in northern Karnataka, which has four of the most secluded beaches in India. It attracts both holy pilgrims and leisurely travelers with equal enthusiasm. Go there to get a feel of what Goa was like in its heyday, although time is limited as developers are already seeing the potential of the region. This Gokarna beach tour guide has all the details.

Palolem Beach.

Palolem is arguably Goa's most picturesque beach. It is a mile-long, semi-circular beach surrounded by a dense jungle of coconut palm. The beach is growing in popularity every year and is the most vibrant beach in South Goa. However, it still retains its relaxed vibe, as it does not allow the construction of permanent structures. Find out what you need to know in our Palolem Beach Travel Guide.

Photo by Sarang Pande / Unsplash

Best for chilling out: Agonda, South Goa

If you want to get away from it, then Agonda Beach in South Goa is for you! Stay in a hut on the beach, and enjoy peace and tranquility. The back of the beach is lined with huts and small shops, but apart from that, there is nothing more to eat, drink, swim and chill. Our Agonda Beach Travel Guide will help you plan your trip.

Best for travelers and musicians: Arambol, North Goa

From a sleepy fishing village transformed into Goa's most modern beach, Arambol has really started to attract crowds (unfortunately, perhaps to the point of saturation). It still has a passenger vibe, with live music and jam sessions on the beach. Also, there are a plethora of alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, tai chi and reiki. It is possible to walk south from Arambol to the quiet neighboring Mandrem beach. Check out these photos of Arambol beach to see how it is there.

Best for Party People and Backpackers: Anjuna, North Goa

The original hippies may have gone ahead, but this does not mean that the party in Anjuna is over; The legendary huts Curley and Shiva Valley still hold parties. Anjuna is also close to the hilltop in Vagator, where there are usually large trance parties on weekends and New Year's Eve. His Facebook page has details. Most importantly, Anjuna has a lot of backpacker hostels and guesthouses where you can stay cheaply and socialize with other travelers.

Photo by Divya Arvind / Unsplash

Best for Action: Baga, North Goa
Baga Beach, Goa.

Certainly, Baga Beach in North Goa can be commercialized and busy, but for those who like the action, it is one of the most happening beaches on the coast. Water sports, para sailing, beach shakes, bars, clubs and fine dining restaurants - you will find it all there! These days, Baga attracts a predominantly Indian crowd, who come to mainstream music and offer discounts on drinks along Tito Lane. Read more in our Baga Beach Travel Guide.

Best for Culture: Pondicherry

Pondicherry, with its extensive French heritage, is a union territory on the coast of Tamil Nadu in eastern India that is ideal for culture vultures. The historic French Quarter is an attraction in the city, while the nearby Auroville and Paradise beaches are great for swimming. Also check out the ancient beaches in Mahe, Yanam and Karaikal - which are also part of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. Where to stay here near the beach in Pondicherry.