Which Kerala Beach is Right For You? Part 3 – North Kerala

The Kerala coast is lined with beautiful, palm-backed beaches. In the past two posts at Kerala India Travel our Kerala Beach Guide has outlined the different options from the busy southern resorts in Part 1 to the central beaches in Part 2. If you really want to get off the beaten track though then head to North Kerala.

Kappad Beach

Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut) is the capital of Northern Kerala, a region known as the Malabar Coast. Most visitors to Kerala don’t venture this far north, so there are plenty of quiet beaches along this coast.

You can start your beach hopping just 16 km north of Kozhikode with a 45 minute journey to Kappad Beach. This historic Kerala beach is a great escape from the busy city with a long golden stretch of sand and crashing surf. This is where Vasco da Gama first arrived in India in 1498. The historic occasion is marked by a small plaque, but generally you’ll find more fishermen here than tourists.

The beach is safe for swimming and is relatively undeveloped, although one resort and a few guesthouses offer a place to stay.


Kannur is a small town located 92km north of Kozhikode. Most visitors come to witness theyyam the extraordinary masked spirit possession ritual found in nearby villages. As well as the opportunity to see the spectacular Hindu performance, there are some lovely homestays located on quiet beaches near Kannur.

Costa Malabari is one of the best places to stay, located in cashew and coconut groves, it offers great home-cooked food, visits to theyyam dances, and only a 5 minute walk to a beautiful quiet beach.

Bekal Beach

Bekal beach is 60km north of Kannur, near the border with Karnataka. The empty golden sands are beneath the Bekal Fort, the largest fort in Kerala and a popular weekend day trip for Indians.

The impressive fort has great views of the coast, and the swimming on the beach is safe. However as the locals aren’t used to western tourists it is important to dress modestly on the beach to avoid offence.

Bekal is a great place to combine with a trip to the Valiyaparamba backwaters,  a much quieter alternative to the backwaters near Alleppey.

All of these northern Kerala beaches are recommended for travellers wanting to get off the beaten track, enjoy quiet undeveloped beaches and experience some unique aspects of Keralan culture.

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2 Responses to “Which Kerala Beach is Right For You? Part 3 – North Kerala”

  1. […] Part 3 of Which Kerala Beach is Right For You? covers the quiet off the beaten track beaches in Northern Kerala. […]

  2. […] backwaters are 50km north of Kannur (a great place to stop for a quiet beach break). There aren’t many houseboat operators so you’ll need to be more organised than in […]