India’s vast coastline is also punctuated by mountain ranges, which offer just the right elevation for a satisfying hike. Perfect during the winters for a sesh of sunbathing followed by some sweating and panting, these beach treks in India are our absolute favourites for more reasons that one. Well, one being we don’t have to miss the waves while hiking or the jungle when by the shore. Best of both worlds much? By Shubhanjana Das

1. Gokarna, Karnataka

Just 150 km from the crowded beaches of Goa lies Gokarna at the meeting point of the verdant green Sahyadris and the ethereal waters of the Arabian Sea. This trek is one of the most coveted ones even by intermediate trekkers. Even though only 10 km, it is best if you do it in two days for the beaches that fall on the way deserve all that time. On the first day of the trek, you’ll find yourself at Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise beaches, all distinct in their topographies. The second day takes you to Nirvana and Kumta beaches before heading back to Gokarna Beach, preferably in time for the sunset.

2. Bekal, Kerala

Undoubtedly, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala that the south Indian film industry has made their hot spot for shoots. Bekal in Kerala offers a seven km hike in a day’s time. The hike starts at the Bekal Fort and encompasses a beach, backwaters and a small fishing hamlet. You’ll be walking along a number of small hillocks and coconut trees to reach the sunset point at the beach, the ultimate end to this wonderful little adventure. It is only 400 km from Bengaluru and is located in Kasargod.

3. Neuti Beach, Goa

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Encompassing everything that makes beach treks special and charming, the Neuti beach trek in Goa crosses the mountains while overlooking the waters of the Arabian Sea. You will stumble upon a number of small, unnamed beaches along the way while hiking along the cliffside. The beach trek starts at Porvorim and in a day’s duration, ends at Neuti beach at the perfect time for the sunset.

4. Elephant Beach, Andaman

When at the Elephant Beach in Andaman, it is very hard to not get lured by the number of exciting water activities like speed boating, snorkelling and sea walking. Take it a little further by ditching the ferry ride for a hike to the beach from the inland. This 30-40 minute trek covers beaches, forests, hillocks and villages. Right before you reach the beach, you will pass a marshland and mangrove forests, which adds just the right amount of surprise to this soothing experience.

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