Your Complete Guide To The Gokarna Beach Trek

The Gokarna Beach Trek can be completed in a day or staggered across two to three days. Here's what you need to know about it
Fishermen on Gokarna Beach
Fishermen on Gokarna BeachInfoayan/Wikimedia Commons

Gokarna in Karnataka is a small town which attracts devotees of Lord Shiva who come to pray at the 4th-century Mahabaleshwar Temple. It has recently become popular with tourists due to its pristine sandy beaches. For many, it is a more affordable destination than Goa. Travellers go on banana boat rides, camp on the sand, enjoy water sports and even do a beach trek!

The Gokarna Beach Trek takes visitors on a trip to the six beaches of the area: Gokarna Main Beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach and Belekan Beach. The last of these does not feature on most people’s itinerary but it’s worth checking out nonetheless.

Here’s what you need to know about going on the Gokarna Beach Trek.

What To Expect

Paradise Beach
Paradise Beachnavigatiogirls/Instagram

The main beach of Gokarna is in the city itself so you can either make it the starting or end point of your trip. We recommend heading to Belekan Beach first so that you finish your trek in town.

Once you begin the approximately 10-13km journey, you will find the sea on one side and beaches, ridges and mountains on the other side. The juxtaposition of a lush green environment with waves and water is immensely pleasing and comforting to the eye. The trail will make you appreciate the beauty of Gokarna. One of the best ways to connect with the living world is by birdwatching so try to spot our avian fellows and learn about their names and habitat.

Half Moon Beach
Half Moon BeachPhotos Worldwide/Wikimedia Commons

The route is considered an easy to moderate challenge and takes five to six hours to complete. On Paradise Beach you will notice campers resting in their tents. When you reach Half Moon Beach, it will be time to get breakfast. Head to the on-site beach shack for your first meal of the day.

Next up is Om Beach. To reach it you will be traversing cliffs where the view of the sea in the morning hours is spectacular. Be careful where you place your feet on the rocky trail. Stop at the Om Beach Viewpoint to take in the view before descending to the beach itself.

Kudle Beach
Kudle BeachHappyshopper/Wikimedia Commons

On your way to Kudle Beach, you will see the Umamaheshwara Temple. Stop here if you wish otherwise continue on the trail to Kudle, one of the easiest sections on the trek. Move onto the main beach of Gokarna and you will have completed the Gokarna Beach Trek. Congratulations! You can grab lunch now and eat to your stomach’s delight.

Handy Tips

1. Start the Gokarna Beach Trek early in the morning (around 6AM) so that you are done by lunchtime.

Apply sunscreen every two hours during your trek
Apply sunscreen every two hours during your trekKarolina Kaboompics/Pexels

2. The trek can be done at all times of the year but the cooler months of October to February offer respite from the blazing sun.  

3. Apply sunscreen on all exposed body parts every two hours and drink water regularly.

Boats at Om Beach
Boats at Om BeachAxis of eran/Wikimedia Commons

4. If it gets too tiring then there is no shame in hopping onto a ferry to cover distances, like from Half Moon Beach to Om Beach.

5. Those who do not want to complete the Gokarna Beach Trek in one day can choose to camp for a night or two at particular beaches. Decide on what you feel comfortable doing.

Getting There

The nearest railhead and airport to Gokarna are Ankola Railway Station (21km) and Goa International Airport (132km), respectively. Gokarna receives direct buses from Goa, Bengaluru and Mangalore. You can hire a taxi to reach the town, too.

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