For some reason, whenever I’ve thought of Kerala, I’ve never thought of it as a beach destination. Houseboats & backwaters, yes! Dense forests and wildlife, yes! Hill-stations, yes! But, beaches? Not really. Well, it seems like all of my preconceived notions are slowly getting shattered. On my last trip to Kerala, I came across the beautiful and untarnished beaches of North Kerala.
Payyamballam Beach in Kannur
Things to do
There are a ton of beach activities which you can partake in, if you are a water sports enthusiast. These include boating, parasailing and banana boating. In case you have a bigger appetite for adventure sports, you can also do white-water rafting in Kannur. Check out my article here to know more about it.
Normally, the ideal way to reach Kerala is to fly into Kochi, and travel onwards from there. However North Kerala is quite far from Kochi. The nearest airport to Kannur is in fact Mangalore in Karnataka. We flew in to Mangalore, and drove down from there to Kannur – it’s only about 3-4 hours! The road is beautiful as well, and the scenery on both sides is breathtaking.
We hired a ZoomCar in Mangalore, and kept it with us for the next 3 days. Hiring a car is the best way to get around in Kerala, as you won’t get Ubers/Olas unless you’re in the main cities.
Kappil Beach (Bekal) is on the way to Payyamballam beach, and has several great resorts and hotels. It’s a good idea to stay there for a couple of days and drive down to the Payyamballam Beach for a day’s visit. We visited Vivanta by Taj Bekal, which is located right on the beach. It’s a very quaint and peaceful property (see pictures below), and a perfect place to unwind.
The river flows through the property and merges with the sea, as you can see in the picture above.
We made a pretty short trip this time, and hence we followed the above itinerary. Ideally, if you’re planning a trip to Kerala for a week, you would be visiting both North and South Kerala. In that case, do check out these beaches for a refreshing and serene vacation.