Varkala

#1 Mar 10th, 2009, 04:57
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  • lonebird is offline
#1
Am thinking of heading to Varkala soon. I intend to buy the cheapest Kovalam package deal available (currently 280) and then head off to my own accommodation in Varkala.

Is Varkala far from Trivandrum airport?

Any tips on Varkala in general? Is it as busy as Kovalam?

Thanks!
#2 Mar 10th, 2009, 13:48
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  • steven_ber is offline
#2
Don't write off Kovalam.

I revisited after 8 years away, and had a wonderful time, even in the 3rd week of January it was easy to find a cheap room, it's just so quiet this year.

I was amazed at how little hassle I got from the touts in Kovalam, a few asked the usual questions, but they were really polite and a simple 'no thank you' was enough.

I just loved the waves in Kovalam, and the fact that there's no 'pull' in the water (unlike Varkala).

Now, it's really hot in both Kovalam and Varkala, I have a friend in Kovalam who says it really really quiet, the same friend was in Varkala a couple of weeks ago and said it's no quieter than Kovalam and left because she couldn't 'step back' from the tourist scene in the way that she can in Kovalam.

Give Kovalam a few days for old time's sake, it'll easier to get to from the airport.

Varkala is about 50-55kms from the airport.

If you go to Kovalam, then want to get to Varkala, leave at about 08:20, get an auto to the 'India Coffee House' (the circular one close to the train station) have a Masala Dosa and a 'set coffee' (awesome breakfast), then go to the train station, buy a 2nd class express ticket to Varkala (about Rs70), then get on the Netravati Express, it departs Trivandrum daily at 10:00 and gets to Varkala at 10:33, then get an auto to the cliff top.

Make sure you ask the tour company about the likelihood of your flight being cancelled, I've read about many flights being cancelled as so few people are travelling to the region.
#3 Mar 10th, 2009, 14:02
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  • SwanDive is offline
#3
I loved Varkala and found it to be a pretty peaceful place. It was definately a little more touristy than other places I've been to but it didn't really bother me so much.

I'm not sure where the airport is exactly but I took a pretty painless train ride from Trivandrum to Varkala that took less than an hour and cost nearly nothing.

The train ride was really nice actually. It was pack full of Indians(of course) with nowhere to sit.I finally just sat in the doorway dangling my feet outside the door. It was really early though and I kept falling in and out of a light sleep. This older man was terrified by this and kept grabbing me, thinking I was going to fall out of the moving train or something.

Anyway, Varkala was great. I met a lot of fantastic people there with whom I still talk to today!



I really hope you enjoy yourself!!
#4 Mar 10th, 2009, 14:27
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  • steven_ber is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwanDive View Post
The train ride was really nice actually. It was pack full of Indians(of course) with nowhere to sit.
A trick to remember in Kerala, most trains have bookings going north and east from Ernakulam (Cochin), and these seats remain empty from Trivandrum to Ernakulam (it works going south as well), so once you buy your '2nd class express' ticket, just go to the Sleeper Class carriage and find an empty seat, it worked for me every time. (and also works going south to Kanyakumari).

Quote:
I finally just sat in the doorway dangling my feet outside the door. It was really early though and I kept falling in and out of a light sleep. This older man was terrified by this and kept grabbing me, thinking I was going to fall out of the moving train or something.
I had a similar incident, I was falling asleep and an Indian man kept trying to give me his seat, but I said no, in the end I woke up to a man shouting at me and putting me in his seat.
#5 Mar 10th, 2009, 23:27
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  • lonebird is offline
#5
thanks everyone...i won't write off Kovalam yet either. In fact I am torn between Varkala, Kovalam and Patnem/Plolem!
#6 Mar 11th, 2009, 01:35
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  • steven_ber is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonebird View Post thanks everyone...i won't write off Kovalam yet either. In fact I am torn between Varkala, Kovalam and Patnem/Plolem!
I went to Palolem, but not Patnem, I don't tend to look for quiet beaches.

Palolem didn't do it for me (or my travel partner, the one who's since been to Varkala and gone back to Kovalam), part of the reason is that Palolem just didn't have waves, perfect for kids, but I love the chalenge of the monster (by Indian standards) waves at Kovalam, but it wasn't just the waves.

It's really dificult to work out why I love Kovalam but didn't take to Varkala or Palolem (or any of the other beaches in Goa), maybe because Kovalam knows what it is and seems proud, where as Varkala and Palolem are seen as quiet alternatives to Kovalam or the northern beaches of Goa, I think it may also have something to do with the kind of tourists each beach gets, I swear some tourists feel that when they get to Varkala or Palolem they'll find a quiet beach, whilst the Kovalam tourists know exactly what they're getting.

And how many people searching for a quiet beach go to Kovalam.....none, they all head to Varkala, and guess what, loads of charter flights were cancelled this year, so I wonder if the independant travellers made Varkala the busier beach, I know that Palolem was much busier than Kovalam, at least twice as busy, maybe more, and that was 3 weeks after I had visited Kovalam.
#7 May 10th, 2009, 12:24
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  • azhie is offline
#7
Varkala gets very quiet from the end of March onwards. It's almost mid-May now and tourists are still coming. Personally, I think it's a good time to come-- the beach and cliff are not crowded, cheap rooms are readily available, and you still get to enjoy the beach, the sunset, the town, etc...
#8 Nov 17th, 2012, 00:17
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  • roncine is offline
#8
Varkala
Do we have Cloak room at Varkala Railway Station? How far is Varkala beach from station and how much time it takes to reach beach from Varkala railway station by auto? Also on the way back how easy it is to get autos/busses from beach to Railway station?
#9 Jan 16th, 2013, 13:49
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  • s.evans670@btinterne is offline
#9
we just last night booked to travel back to India next month for 3 weeks, I'm hoping this visit to give kovalam a go mabye our first stop then head up to Varkala we visited Kerala a couple of months ago, and now going back for more

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