How to Reach Varkala

Varkala, with its stunning cliffs, pristine beaches, and vibrant cultural scene, is a popular destination in the Indian state of Kerala. Whether you’re traveling by air, train, or road, reaching Varkala is an adventure in itself. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore various transportation options and provide a step-by-step guide on how to reach this coastal paradise.

1. By Air:

a. Trivandrum International Airport (Thiruvananthapuram):

  • The nearest major airport to Varkala is Trivandrum International Airport, located approximately 37 kilometers away.
  • Flight Options: Trivandrum Airport is well-connected with major cities in India and international destinations. Domestic carriers like IndiGo, Air India, and SpiceJet, as well as international airlines, operate regular flights.
  • From the Airport to Varkala:
    • Taxis and cabs are readily available outside the airport. The journey to Varkala takes about an hour, depending on traffic.
    • Prepaid taxis and app-based cab services are convenient and ensure a hassle-free transfer.

2. By Train:

a. Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station:

  • Varkala has its own railway station called Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India.
  • Train Options: Numerous trains run to and from Varkala, connecting it with cities like Trivandrum, Kochi, Chennai, Bangalore, and beyond.
  • From the Railway Station to Varkala Beach:
    • Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available at the railway station.
    • Varkala Beach is approximately 3 to 4 kilometers from the railway station, and the journey takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

b. Trivandrum Central Railway Station:

  • Trivandrum Central is a major railway station, and it’s the nearest major railhead to Varkala.
  • Train Options: Trains from various parts of the country connect to Trivandrum Central. It serves as a major hub for both short and long-distance trains.
  • From the Railway Station to Varkala:
    • Varkala is around 45 kilometers from Trivandrum Central.
    • Taxis, cabs, and auto-rickshaws are available outside the station for the journey to Varkala.

3. By Road:

a. Self-Drive or Private Vehicles:

  • If you’re traveling from nearby cities or states, you can opt for a self-drive option or hire a private vehicle.
  • From Trivandrum: Take NH66 to reach Varkala, a journey of approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on traffic.
  • From Kochi: Varkala is about 170 kilometers from Kochi. Take NH66 for a scenic drive along the coastline.

b. Bus Services:

  • Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private bus services operate regular buses to Varkala from major cities in Kerala.
  • From Trivandrum: Buses are available from the Trivandrum Central Bus Station.
  • From Kochi: Both government and private buses connect Varkala with Kochi.

c. Shared Taxis and Cabs:

  • Shared taxis and cabs are available for shorter distances and are a cost-effective option if you’re traveling within Kerala.

4. Local Transportation in Varkala:

a. Auto-Rickshaws:

  • Auto-rickshaws are a convenient mode of transport for short distances within Varkala.
  • Negotiate the fare before starting your journey or opt for vehicles with meters.

b. Taxis and Cabs:

  • Taxis and cabs are available for local travel and can be hired for a specific duration or on a point-to-point basis.
  • App-based cab services are also operational in Varkala.

c. Rental Scooters/Bikes:

  • Renting a scooter or bike is a popular choice for exploring Varkala at your own pace.
  • Many local rental services offer scooters and bikes for daily or hourly rentals.

5. Travel Tips:

a. Weather Considerations:

  • Kerala experiences monsoon rains, especially from June to September. Check the weather forecast before planning your trip.

b. Booking Accommodation:

  • Varkala offers a range of accommodations, from beach resorts to guesthouses. It’s advisable to book your stay in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

c. Currency:

  • Ensure you have sufficient Indian currency, as Varkala might have limited options for foreign currency exchange.

d. Local Cuisine:

  • Don’t miss out on trying local Kerala cuisine. Seafood is a specialty, and you can indulge in traditional dishes like Appam with Stew, Karimeen Pollichathu, and Malabar Biryani.

e. Explore Beyond the Beach:

  • While Varkala Beach is a major attraction, explore the nearby areas, such as the Sivagiri Mutt and the Anjengo Fort, for a well-rounded experience.

f. Respect Local Culture:

  • Kerala is known for its rich cultural heritage. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and respect local customs and traditions.

g. Language:

  • The primary language spoken in Varkala is Malayalam. While many locals understand English, learning a few basic Malayalam phrases can enhance your travel experience.

h. Safety Precautions:

  • Follow safety guidelines and precautions, especially when exploring natural attractions. Pay attention to warnings and advisories related to sea conditions if you plan to swim.


Varkala, with its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, awaits your exploration. Whether you choose to soar through the skies, embark on a scenic train journey, or navigate the roads to reach this coastal gem, the journey to Varkala is as enchanting as the destination itself. Plan your trip to Varkala, immerse yourself in the serenity of Varkala, and let the waves of the Arabian Sea welcome you to this picturesque paradise on the southwestern coast of India.