The subcontinent’s spring season quickly races into summer, the sunshine slowly becomes a little stronger, and the weather department shows you graphs which have more sun than rain – clearly summer is on its way, and fast! This is the perfect time to hit the beach, and you need to get to the coast quickly, lest a humid balmy climate replaces the cool breeze you crave in this weather. Here are your options.
Within hours, Goa will have you experiencing so much – snorkeling, nightclubbing, long walks, and savoring fresh seafood at the numerous beach shacks. Goa is best experienced right before summer, or when the peak season is coming to a close. Winter visitors will have to share the sun and sand with tens of thousands of fellow New Year’s travellers. The classic Goa experience involves lounging, eating, drinking, and maybe exploring local colonial-era monuments, which you can zip to in a rented bike or a scooter.
One of Maharashtra’s most well loved weekend getaways, there’s the entire classic beach experience, including greenery, coconut trees, pristine beaches, combined with gently sloping terrain. The coastline extends up to Goa, giving you beauty as far as the eye can see. You can get here via Konkan railways or the excellent road network. Hotspots include Devgad, Dapoli and Ratnagiri for mangoes and fresh fish. The festive season promises festive colour, and the best times to include Gudhi Padwa, Ganesh Chaturthi, Narali Poornima, and Nag Panchami.
Havelock, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Andaman & Nicobar Islands are known as one of those must-see escape destinations from the regular travel circuit. It’s one of the most detached-from-modern-life destinations there is – you’ll spend hours walking along the pristine beaches, taking quick swims in the sparkling water, and maybe signing up for a dive – it is also one of Asia’s best diving locations. Havelock island is the largest in a chain of islands to in the Andamans, and is a photographer’s’ delight for its pristine beaches and clear water.
While Kerala is famed for its backwaters, there’s another lesser known side of the coastal town – Varkala. Once only known to the Vaishnavite Hindu community for its 2,000-year old Janardana Swami Temple, today it is a peaceful getaway for the traveller looking for serenity. The temple’s proximity to the Papanasam beach is auspicious – devotees take a sacred dip in the waters here to wash away sins. The region is also famed for various Ayurvedic therapies. You must experience Varkala for the evening sunset view, the cliff side panorama, and a serene hippie vibe.
Diu, Daman & Diu
If you still haven’t had your fill of the coastal life, here’s a destination off the beaten path. Diu combines colonial Portuguese influences, with the small town vibe that you’d get in Pondicherry. Home to sparkling beaches which are more often than not full of the buzzing crowds of India’s more popular getaways, you’ll get to savour a glorious sunset with your beloved and take quick dips in the Arabian Sea. All this is just a flight away (to Ahmedabad), followed by a quick overnight bus to Diu.