Sparkling sands, cool sea breeze, beautiful waves, delectable seafood and lots of vitamin D – a beach vacation is all that and more! And considering that India has a long coastline, there are many beautiful beach destinations you can head to for a relaxing as well as adventurous holiday. Laze around, go for strolls, click fabulous pictures, collect shells, or get your adrenaline pumping with fun water sports.

To help you plan your next vacation, here is a list of the best beach destinations in India. Pick one or more that best fit your taste, requirement and budget.

1. Goa

Say beaches and the first place that comes to mind is Goa. Yes, Goa is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country, thanks to the many breath-taking beaches it has. Apart from the golden sands, palm and coconut trees and delectable seafood, the beaches here are famous for hosting thrilling water sports and amazing late-night parties.

Goa is divided into two parts – North Goa and South Goa. While North Goa beaches are frequented by water sports and adventure enthusiasts, South Goa beaches are perfect for those looking to relax. So, plan your itinerary accordingly.

  • Popular Beaches:
    • North Goa: Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, Morjim Beach, Anjuna Beach, Ashvem Beach, Candolim Beach, Vagator Beach, Sinquerim Beach, Chapora Beach, Arambol Beach
    • South Goa: Colva Beach, Varca Beach, Agonda Beach, Mobor Beach, Palolem Beach, Bogmalo Beach, Benaulim Beach, Majorda Beach, Butterfly Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: November to March
  • Things to Do: Swimming, parasailing, water scooter ride, kayaking, snorkelling, canoeing, scuba diving, meditation, yoga, shopping
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport, Goa
    • Nearest Train Station:

                     North Goa: Vasco Da Gama Railway Station

                     South Goa: Madgaon Junction

2. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Surrounded by Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are among the finest beach destinations in India. Pristine blue waters, sparkling silky sands and lush green vegetation attract beach lovers in droves. Besides relaxing in beach cottages, huts and shacks, and soaking in natural beauty, adventure enthusiasts can try different water sports here.

A trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands is incomplete without visiting the stunning Swaraj Dweep or Havelock Island. Havelock is particularly popular for Radhanagar Beach, one of the best beaches in India. You must also include Neil Island, Ross Island and other popular islands in your itinerary to make the most of your trip. While some islands are well-connected by roads, others can be reached by ferry only.

  • Popular beaches: Elephant Beach, Kala Pathar Beach, Chidiyatapu Beach, Wandoor Beach, Aamkunj Beach, Laxmanpur Beach, Vijaynagar Beach and Bharatpur Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming, boating, kayaking, birdwatching, dolphin and turtle spotting
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair

3. Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep, the smallest union territory in India, has 36 islands and some of the most stunning beaches. Apart from unique natural beauty, the islands have many amazing spots that attract tourists from far and wide.

Sandy beaches, beautiful lagoons, and plenty of flora and fauna is what makes Lakshadweep a must-visit. Surrounded by the Arabian Sea, the islands are devoid of any hustle-bustle. They are also known for some of the best beaches in India for honeymooners, thanks to the absence of loud crowds. You may have to take a helicopter or boat to travel from one island to another.

  • Popular Beaches: Minicoy Beach, Agatti Beach, Kavaratti Beach, Kadmat Beach, Kalpeni Beach, Amini Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Swimming, scuba diving, sailing, angling and boating in glass-bottom boats near Kavaratti Beach, birdwatching
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Agatti Aerodrome, Cochin International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Kannur Railway Station (Kerala)

4. Gokarna, Karnataka

Located about 140 km from Goa, Gokarna is perfect for those looking for something offbeat. The beaches here are beautiful, calm as well as affordable. The serene surroundings, coupled with many fun activities, make Gokarna one of the best beach destinations in India.

Apart from soaking in the surrealistic appeal of the beaches, you can pay respects at the Mahabaleshwara Temple and other popular pilgrimage sites. Adventure seekers can enjoy cycling and trekking on the rocky terrain of Gokarna.

  • Popular Beaches: Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Scuba diving, surfing, snorkelling, jet-skiing, parasailing, relishing local delicacies at seaside stalls
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport, Goa
    • Nearest Train Station: Gokarna Road Railway Station

5. Karwar, Karnataka

A popular beach destination near Goa, Kanwar is a must-visit. The coastal town is located at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and River Kali. Tall palm trees, golden sands and pristine waters accentuate the beauty of the beaches here and make them ideal for nature lovers and peace seekers.

Apart from beaches, Karwar is known for some charming temples and scenic waterfalls. The War Museum is another popular attraction here.

  • Popular Beaches: Rabindranath Tagore Beach, Devbagh Beach, Binaga Beach, Majali Beach, Tilmati Beach, Koodi Bagh Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Snorkelling, banana boat ride, kayaking and dolphin spotting, trying authentic Karwar cuisine, paying respects at Shri Nagnath Temple and Shri Santoshi Mata Temple
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport, Goa
    • Nearest Train Station: Karwar Railway Station

6. Kochi, Kerala

Popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Kochi or Cochin is one of the best beach destinations in India. This small coastal city is peppered with picturesque beaches that serve as perfect retreat from urban din. The long seashore offers scenic views of the clear seawater and tranquil surroundings, bringing you closer to nature. From golden sands and awe-inspiring lagoons to old lighthouses and lush green coconut trees, the beaches here have everything you need.

You can also enjoy a range of adventure activities on Kochi beaches. If you are fond of swimming, Cherai Beach is among the best beaches for swimming in India. The cool water and calm tides make water activities safe.

  • Popular Beaches: Fort Kochi Beach, Kuzhupilly Beach, Marine Drive Beach, Andhakaranazhi Beach, Veeranpuzha Beach, Munambam Beach, Willingdon Island Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Boating, dolphin sighting, sea surfing, water skiing, parasailing
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Ernakulam Junction

7. Kannur, Kerala

If you are looking for a quaint and beautiful beach destination in South India, Kannur is a delightful option. The city boasts an 8-km long coastline with many lovely beaches. Apart from the stunning backwaters, soft golden sands, thick coconut groves and clear blue skies make Kannur beaches a favourite among domestic and international travellers.

  • Popular Beaches: Payyambalam Beach, Kizhunna Ezhara Beach, Payyambalam Beach, Muzhappilangad Beach, Meenkunnu Beach, Thottada Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Playing beach volleyball, swimming, surfing, treating your taste buds to lip-smacking Malabar cuisine, shopping for local jewellery and handicrafts
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Kozhikode International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Kannur Railway Station

8. Alleppey, Kerala

While Alleppey is particularly famous for its houseboat and backwaters, it is also among the best beach destinations in India. The beaches here boast scenic surroundings and are perfect for those looking to spend some peaceful time. Golden sands and swaying palm trees add to their beauty. You will also find some cool beach shacks, hammocks and food stalls here.

  • Popular Beaches: Andhakaranazhi Beach, Alappuzha Beach, Marari Beach, Thottapally Beach, Pathiramanal Beach, Thumpoly Beach, Punnapra Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Enjoying Ayurvedic massages, playing beach games, trying local dishes
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Alleppey (Alappuzha) Railway Station

9. Kovalam, Kerala

When it comes to a stress-free and refreshing beach vacation, Kovalam is a popular option. This fishing village is known for its yoga centres and Ayurvedic therapies. Sandy coastlines, tranquil seawater and pleasant weather play perfect hosts to seashore-lovers. The beaches in Kovalam are also less crowded than mainstream ones.

  • Popular Beaches: Hawa Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam Beach, Vizhinjam Beach, Samudra Beach, Grove Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February
  • Things to Do: Swimming, boating, surfing, paragliding, parasailing, diving, sunrise and sunset cruises
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Trivandrum Central Railway Station

10. Daman and Diu

Dotted with beautiful palm-lined beaches, the union territory Daman and Diu is a popular getaway in the western part of India. It is located near Gujarat and frequented by those seeking peace and quiet. The horse-shoe shaped Nagoa Beach in Diu is one of the best beaches for swimming in India. Diu is also home to Chakratirth Beach, which is associated with mythology. It is believed that this is where the demon Jalandhar was beheaded by Lord Krishna.

Apart from beaches, the union territory has many other attractions. The churches and forts here will remind you of the colonial era; their structures speak volumes about Portuguese architectural style. The union territory also has some famous temples and museums.

  • Popular Beaches: Ghogla Beach, Jampore Beach, Jalandhar Beach, Devka Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to April
  • Things to Do: Swimming, parasailing, surfing, playing beach sports, horse riding on Jampore Beach, visiting the amusement park near Devka Beach
  • How to Reach Daman:
    • Nearest Airport: Surat International Airport, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Vapi Railway Station
  • How to Reach Diu:
    • Nearest Airport: Diu Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Veraval Junction

11. Puri, Odisha

Located on the shore of Bay of Bengal, Puri is known for some of the best beaches in India. Although the intricately carved Jagannath Temple is the main attraction here, Puri is frequented by beach-lovers too. This coastal temple town boasts a natural charm and is blessed with colourful and pristine beaches. Puri Beach is especially known for its wild waves.

  • Popular Beaches: Golden Beach, Chandrabhaga Beach, Balighai Beach, Baliharachandi Beach, Swargadwar Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Surfing, boating, kayaking, jet skiing, shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs, enjoying camel/horse rides
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Bhubaneshwar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Puri Railway Station

12. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Looking for a relaxing break near Chennai? A staycation at one of the beach resorts in Mahabalipuram is a wonderful choice. Although majorly famous for its ancient temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this historical town in South India is also one of the best beach destinations in India. Mahabalipuram lies on the shore of the Bay of Bengal and is a popular weekend getaway for people in Chennai, thanks to its proximity to the city.

  • Popular Beaches: Mahabalipuram Beach, Sadras Beach, Wide Beach, Covelong Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Windsurfing, diving, motor boating, visiting Shore Temple, Dakshinchitra, and Pancha Ratha
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Chennai International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Chengalpattu Railway Station, Chennai Central

13. Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Home to many famous beaches in India, the beautiful city of Chennai is a traveller’s treat. Sun-kissed golden sands, undulating ocean waves and soothing sea breeze add to the beauty of the coastlines. Marina Beach, which is the longest beach in India and the second-longest in the world, is in Chennai. The sight of the evening sun from the beach, slowly disappearing into the ocean, is an awesome experience. You can also explore the many tourist attractions and shopping malls in this metro city.

  • Popular Beaches: Besant Nagar Beach, VGP Golden Beach, Kovalam Beach, Santhome Beach, Elliot’s Beach, Neelankarai Beach, Pebble Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Swimming, relishing murukku, raw mango, sundal and other local delicacies
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Chennai International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Chennai Central

14. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

The holy coastal town of Rameswaram has a lot to offer. This popular island is flanked by the Indian Ocean on one side and the Bay of Bengal on the other. Hence, it boasts many scenic beaches where you can spend quality time with your loved ones. Some beaches here attract beautiful migratory birds, like flamingos and seagulls, during the winter season.

  • Popular Beaches: Olaikuda Beach, Sangumal Beach, Pamban Beach, Kunthukal Beach, Dhanushkodi Beach, Ariyaman Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Fishing, swimming, surfing
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Madurai International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Rameswaram Railway Station

15. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Visakhapatnam, popularly known as Vizag, is one of the best beach destinations in India. The city is located on the east coast and boasts pristine seashores, sparkling blue waters and lush greenery. The infinite horizon and many ships bobbing on the ocean add to the charm of this port city. 

  • Popular Beaches: Rishikonda Beach, Rama Krishna Beach, Yarada Beach, Bheemili Beach, Lawson’s Bay Beach, Gangavaram Beach, Sagar Nagar Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Swimming, windsurfing, jet skiing, speed boating, snorkelling, scuba diving, visiting Kursura Submarine Museum near Rama Krishna Beach, trying seafood and street food
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Visakhapatnam International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Visakhapatnam Junction

16. Mumbai, Maharashtra

Boasting a long coastline with many serene beaches, Mumbai is a delightful destination for travel enthusiasts. Juhu Beach, one of the most famous beaches in India, is in the heart of Mumbai. So, if you are looking for a vacation away from the city’s chaos, you can stay near one of the popular beaches in Mumbai. Also, do try lip-smacking street foods like vada pav and pani puri at the beach stalls! Apart from beaches, this ever-bustling city has many popular tourist attractions, especially colonial ones, to make for a memorable vacation.

  • Popular Beaches: Juhu Beach, Versova Beach, Marine Drive, Girgaum Chowpatty Beach, Aksa Beach, Gorai Beach, Madh Island Beach, Marve Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Walking, jogging or cycling on the beaches, horse riding, attending night parties, taking a ferry to Elephanta Caves
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Mumbai Central

17. Alibaug, Maharashtra

Alibaug or Alibag, a small coastal town in Maharashtra, is a popular weekend getaway for people in Mumbai and Pune. Besides housing many forts and temples and boasting a strong colonial history, Alibaug is famous for its sandy beaches, clean air and natural charm. Thanks to the unspoilt beaches here, the town is popularly known as “Goa of Maharashtra”.

  • Popular Beaches: Varsoli Beach, Alibaug Beach, Nagaon Beach, Mandwa Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: November to March
  • Things to Do: Swimming, parasailing, jet skiing, beach camping
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Roha and Panvel Railway Stations

18. Ganpatipule, Maharashtra

Located on the Konkan coastline, Ganpatipule is one of the best beach destinations in India for nature lovers and serenity seekers. The town has a long shoreline with many pristine beaches. Clean blue sea waters, golden sands, pleasant weather and scenic surroundings make this coastal town attractive. Ganpatipule is also known for a 400-year-old Swayambhu Ganpati Temple. The town is popular for its mangroves and coconut palms too.  

  • Popular Beaches: Ganpatipule Beach, Arey Ware Beach, Malgund Beach, Advika Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: November to February
  • Things to Do: Enjoying water sports, trying Kokam curry, Sabudana Khichdi and other local delicacies, paying respect at the temples
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Ratnagiri Airport, Mumbai Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Ratnagiri

19. Kolkata, West Bengal

Popularly known as the “City of Joy”, Kolkata is a wonderful destination for different kinds of travellers. And if you love beaches, this populous metro city has some beautiful ones along its 158 km long coastline. Although they are a little far from the main city, they are perfect for those looking to spend a couple of days in a serene environment. The beaches are surrounded by greenery, creating a perfect setting for nature lovers. What’s more, you can book your stay in one of the beachside resorts and enjoy beautiful ocean views all day.

  • Popular Beaches: Mandarmani Beach, Digha Beach, Talasari Beach, Bakkhali Beach, Shankarpur Beach, Tajpur Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Things to Do: Driving along the beach at Mandarmani, swimming, trying seafood and local delicacies
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Howrah Railway Station, Sealdah Railway Station

20. Pondicherry

Planning a romantic getaway near the sea? Choose Pondicherry. This small and serene union territory is known for some of the best beaches in India for honeymooners. You can unwind on the popular beaches here and spend quality time with your partner.

Apart from the seashore, Pondicherry – the Paris of the East, has a lot to offer. It boasts a colonial ambience with beautiful French cafes and quarters, heritage buildings and ancient churches. The popular spiritual retreat, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, is a must-visit. Pondicherry also has many temples, museums and botanical gardens.

  • Popular Beaches: Auroville Beach, Promenade Beach, Serenity Beach, Paradise Beach, Mahe Beach, Reppo Beach, Karaikal Beach, Quiet Beach
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Things to Do: Swimming, surfing, scuba diving, backwater boating, kayaking, canoeing, beach yoga, skating, spotting dolphins at Paradise Beach, exploring the French colony
  • How to Reach:
    • Nearest Airport: Chennai International Airport
    • Nearest Train Station: Puducherry Railway Station

So, have you made up your mind yet? The above list includes the best beach destinations in India that every beach lover must explore at some point of time. There is something for everyone, whether you like to relax and sunbathe, splash in the water, or dig into fresh fishy dishes. Just make sure to book your stay and flight in advance, so that you can grab the best deals.