Corbyn’s Cove, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands USP: Surrounded on one side by coconut trees and a calm sea on the other, this beach is popular for jet-skiing, scuba diving and swimming. Who goes: While it is ideal for water sport enthusiasts, this beach also appeals to those who want to simply sunbathe and swim. Getting there: Located four kilometres east of Port Blair airport and seven kilometres from the main town area, the best way to get here is by car. Stay at: Peerless Sarovar Portico Port Blair with its gorgeous Sea View rooms.
Kondakarla Ava beach, Vishakhapatnam USP: While the fresh water Kondakarla Lake and the Kondakarla bird sanctuary are the main draws, beach activities like kayaking and boat riding also make this beach popular on the east coast. Who goes: Families tend to flock here for the weekend. Getting there: The beach is 60km from Vishakhapatnam, so hiring a car is the easiest way to get here. Stay at: Private guest houses, as there are no proper hotels or resorts in the village except paying guest rooms provided by the locals.
Muzhappilangad, Kerala USP: Located seven kilometres from Thalessery, this is the only drive-in beach in the country. Who goes: The occasional foreigner and Indians who are aware of its existence. Getting there: The nearest airport is at Kozhikode, which is 100km away. Closer to the beach are the railway stations at Kannur (15km) and Thalessery. Stay at: Kairali Heritage, Kannur, whose 24 air-conditioned cottages facing the banks of the Kattampaly river.
Devbagh, Karnataka USP: Devbagh is an island off the Karwar Coast, where the River Kali meets the sea. Closer to Goa, the beach has beautiful backwaters and thick jungles. Who goes: Beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure junkies. Getting there: Dabolim Airport in Goa is 90km from Devbagh. Stay at: Emerald bay, Karwar by Sterling Holidays with its spectacular backwater and sea views.
Arambol, Goa USP: At a visible distance near the shore of the beach is a scenic freshwater pond whose sand is known to have medicinal values and is great for your skin. Keep in mind that the sand at the source of the stream, which is up a hill, is purer. Who goes: Tourists looking for less-crowded beaches. Getting there: The beach cannot be accessed directly by car but is a 10-minute walk through a narrow road dotted with vendors selling food and trinkets. Stay at: The boutique resort, Rococco @ Ashvem, which has luxurious lodges, an Ayurvedic spa and a restaurant serving Mediterranean, Indian and Japanese cuisine.
Calangute, Goa USP: From sailing to surfing, Goa’s Calangute beach is famous for water sports . There are many famous shopping and eating places nearby too, like Pousada by the Beach. Who goes: Throngs of tourists. Calangute is immensely popular and is always buzzing with people from all over the world. Getting there: Dabolim airport is 42km from Calangute and there are plenty of cabs available for hire. Stay at: The 150-room Neelams The Grand with its yoga centre and ayurvedic centre.
Akshi Beach, Alibaug, Maharashtra USP: The beach is lined with suru trees, and various exotic birds are frequent visitors here. The beach also has cleaner waters than other popular Alibaug beaches. Who goes: Fishermen, bird-watchers, nature enthusiasts and swimmers. Getting there: The closest airport is 93km away in Mumbai, while the closest station is 28km away at Pen. Stay at: Tropicana Resort in Alibaug with its pretty offers one bedroom deluxe cottages.
Diveagar, Maharashtra USP: Located on the Konkan coast, Diveagar is pristine and has a migratory sea-gull sanctuary. Who goes: The beach is frequented by fishermen and is a favourite weekend picnic spot for people from Mumbai. Getting there: Driving from Mumbai is the shortest and easiest way there. Stay at: Exotica, The Beach Resort offers air-conditioned cottages and the rate includes buffet dinner and breakfast.
Kashid, Maharashtra USP: White sand and clear waters, this beach is almost like a private beach, untouched by commercialisation—if you walk over to the far side that is. Who goes: Frequented by village locals and tourists. Getting there: Kashid is 140km from the airport in Mumbai. The best option is to drive here. Stay at: Prakruti Resorts offers villas, rooms, a spa and a tennis lawn.
Kutch-Mandvi, Gujarat USP: Privately owned by the Maharaos of Kutch, this beach is isolated and perfect for a quiet relaxed holiday, near the grand Vijay Vilas Palace. Who goes: Other than tourists who stay at the palace beach camp, the locals also frequent the beach on weekends. Getting there: Bhuj, located 60km from the beach is the closest airport with daily flights from Mumbai. Stay at: The Beach at Mandvi Palace, a beach camp with air-conditioned tents and modern amenities .
- Neeti Vijaykumar
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