If you love travelling and do not live under a rock, you must have heard of Gokarna. Yes, the cooler sister of Goa which is away from all the crowd and cacophony that the holiday capital of India witnesses. Gokarna is a beautiful Konkan coastal town not very far from Goa, yet very pristine and unpopulated. The beaches here are bright blue and devoid of any pollution.
But there is more to Gokarna than the beaches. There are hilly trails and sharp cliffs adjacent to the sea that makes it an exciting destination for people who love the hills too. With water sports, trekking trails and local shopping markets, Gokarna is a must-visit destination for travel lovers.
If you haven’t been to Gokarna already, and are planning to visit it very soon, this can be the perfect itinerary for you!
How to reach:
You can take a flight to Dabolim airport, Goa from all major cities of India. From Dabolim, you can take a bus or taxi to Gokarna. The distance is 140 km.
You can take a train to Mudgaon, Goa from all major stations in India. From Mudgaon you can get a passenger train to Gokarna road which is about 15 km from Gokarna town.
Direct buses are available for Gokarna from Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa.
How to spend your time:
Day 1: Kudle Beach
Kudle beach is the more active beach of Gokarna. You can easily see Russians and Israeli folks busy playing volleyball, frisbee and hoola hoops or just exercising and performing yoga. Once you reach Gokarna, you can check into a shack on the Kudle beach and relax. Towards the evening you may like to take a walk on the beach or relax on the golden sand.
The night sees travellers setting up bonfires and chilling together. It is an excellent time to make friends and have some fun with alcohol. There are enough options for dinner by the seashore where you can release your hunger monster.
Day 2: Om Beach
If you wake up early, you can hike from Kudle beach to Om beach. Though there is a road joining the two beaches, it is more fun to take a walking trail through a hillock that separates the two beaches.
Om beach derives its name from its shape which appears like the Hindu letter of Om when seen from above. This beach is much calmer than Kudle, and people can be seen relaxing by the shore and doing nothing. It is the perfect place to unwind.
It is a good idea to move to a shack on the Om beach. You can have breakfast here and relax.
Later after lunch, you may like to visit the nearby beaches. However, try this only if you are adventurous. A trail through a cliff adjacent to Om beach leads you to Half Moon Beach. The path is treacherous in the sense that there are no markings, and the rocks are sharp as well as slippery. If you are not careful enough you might also dive into the sea 100 feet below. But once you cross this difficult terrain, you will be welcomed by the beautiful sight of Half Moon beach.
A tiny beach, tucked in the cliffs that surround it in a semi-circular form, Half Moon beach is a gorgeous sight for the eyes. The silver sand on the beach make it stand out from the others, and the turquoise water of the sea complements its beauty. You can expect very few tourists to none here. And if you are lucky, you can have a private beach for yourself for some time. Ensure that you return to Om beach before it gets dark.
Day 3: Gokarna town
Leave for Gokarna market after breakfast. It is a small-town market with shops selling beads, spices, beach outfits and souvenirs. There are a few temples to here which may interest people who love architecture. From here you can also take a bus ride to a village nearby and talk to the locals. The residents of Gokarna love interacting with the tourists and like to show their rice fields and tamarind gardens. Towards the evening, return back to Om beach, and begin your journey back home.
If you haven’t booked your ticket online, Karwar is the nearest big town from where you can easily find buses every hour to places in Karnataka or towards Goa.