Can’t make a decision between a challenging hike or a relaxing trip to the beach? With these five coastal treks in India, you might not have to. While forest and mountain routes are great places for summer treks, in the winter months you need your dose of the surf, sun and breath-taking sea. So move your trek to the coast and discover these exclusive destinations where the waves crash onto sandy beaches and rocks at the same time.
1. Elephant Beach Trek, Andamans
Elephant Beach is a famous area for water sports like speed boating, snorkeling and sea walking in Havelock Island, Andamans. While holidaymakers usually prefer to take the boat to Elephant Beach, a trek from the inland of the island is equally refreshing.
Havelock is a great place for landscape enthusiasts and offers a broad variety in terms of terrain. There are beaches, forests, hillocks, and villages that make up this small island.
- Difficulty level: Beginner
- Best time to go: November to January as the weather is pleasant and humidity is low.
- Route and time taken: A trip to Elephant Beach can be done in nearly 30-45 minutes and there are numerous starting points. You can walk down from your resort or ride on a scooter (rented), which is the ideal method of travel for tourists on the island. Before touching the beach, there is a 300-metre stretch of marshland and mangrove forests that needs to manoeuvred. It is wise to complete this trek in the morning as the sun gets strong in the afternoons and there is a concern of insects and other deadly fauna in the evenings.
2. Bekal Beach Trek, Kerala
Situated in Kasargod, Bekal is an unknown beach on the sandy shores of the Lakshwadeep sea. It is located at about 400 km from Bangalore. The area is a famous locale for shooting film scenes in Bollywood and Tollywood. The gorgeous trek gives you a multi-terrain experience in just one day as the trail features a beach, backwaters and a fishing village. It includes in the best beach treks in the country.
- Difficulty Level: Beginner
- Best time to go: November to March as the humidity is at its lowest
- Route and time taken: This is a one-day trek involving a distance of 7 km. The flat walk starts at the Bekal fort and takes you all through a tiny but well-known fishing village. You will then walk through the famous back waters on foot, climb small hillocks, pass through coconut trees to reach the sunset spot on the beach.
3. Ocean Trek to Neuti Beach, Goa
This beautiful ocean trek is really a walk along a mountain overlooking the gorgeous blue waters of the Arabian Sea. You trek along a cliffside as you take in the beauty of the sea while also coming across numerous isolated beaches where you can relax in between the journey.
- Difficulty level: Beginner
- Best time to go: November to February as the weather is pleasant and humidity is low
- Route and time taken: This is a day-long trek that opens at Porvorim, from where you drive to Kochra-Shriramwadi, a seaside village between Vengurla and Malwan. The walk begins from here and as you walk along the hillside, you will find numerous virgin beaches and secluded coves. The trek ends at the perfect Neuti Beach after you wade through a small tidal estuary. It takes a couple of hours one way.
4. Chandipur to New Digha Trek
This is maybe the longest trek on the list and the only one covering two states—Odisha and West Bengal. The Chandipur-New Digha trek is a treat for all your senses, particularly because of the cultural variety it offers. Unlike the other coastal treks on the list, this one is not just about the picturesque beauty.
- Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
- Best time to go: This trek is also open year round but from October to January is the best time as the weather is pleasant.
- Route and time taken: The hiking tour usually lasts 5 days as you cover the distance from the beach in Chandipur, Odisha, to New Digha, West Bengal. The climb through the coastal regions is an experience in itself. You will pass through several villages, witness gorgeous landscapes, cross rivers on foot and feel the white sand beneath your feet as you also eyewitness extraordinary flora and fauna. The trek is a all-inclusive experience unlike any other.
5. Gokarna Beach trek
Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka, which lies at the convergence of the Sahyadri hills and the Arabian sea. It is assumed that Lord Shiva appeared out of a cow’s ear here (hence the name Gokarna). Situated just 150 km from Goa, it is a famous weekend destination among backpackers and the trek along the shoreline is one of the most popular travel experiences here.
- Difficulty level: Beginner to Intermediate
- Best time to go: The trek is open all year round, but likened to other regions on the Western Ghats, the weather from November to March is ideal.
- Route and time taken: The walk itself is about 9-10 km long but is typically spread over a period of two days for travelers, to fully take in the beauty of the region. On the first day you will go around Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise Beaches, which will give a great variety in terms of alterations in terrain. The first night is spent in tents at the Paradise Beach, where you can eyewitness the sunset and the sunrise next morning. The second day includes trekking to a few more beaches, including Nirvana and Kumta and then head back to Gokarna Beach.