While being in Kerala and Karnataka we avoided the ‘big guns’ of the pretty, sandy coastline. No Kovalam, no Varkala, no Gokarna and definitely no Goa. Sure, those names have a sound. But why bother if we had some happy days in our own solemn beach heaven?
The slim, about 27 kilometer long sandy stretch of beach, breeze and backwater called Vypeen Island is our favorite stretch of Indian coastline – granted, our experience being limited.
It is a fast developing place though, like most of Kerala. The southern tip of the island hosts a large base of petrochemical industry, the northern tip Kochi’s biggest fishing harbor.
Why to go?
Because Vypeen is an easy to reach piece of undeveloped, solemn Indian beach paradise. Friendly people unspoiled yet from tourist hordes, tree fringed beaches with the amazing surf of the Arabic Sea, hammocks here and there belonging to the smiling fishing folks and the other side of this narrow island framed by serene backwater channels. A place to slow down and contemplate the universe.
What to do?
Nothing! Meant in the most positive way! Take a few good books, place your butt in a hammock in between the shady trees and watch the sun rise and set again. Jump in the waves to cool down, chat with the locals, pick up a snack and go for a walk to observe birds along the backwaters.
This is no place to party, there are no water sport activities and it is also not the best bet if you want to meet fellow travelers and socialize. Like said: Serenity, solitude, slowness.
Where to stay?
The main place of tourist interest is clearly Cherai Beach, where most accommodation and eating options can be found. Popular with mostly local tourist, the narrow beach quickly crowds and we didn’t see much reason to come there, except for dinner. Our favorite stretch of Vypeen are those roughly 4 km of beautiful solitude between busy Cherai and relaxed Kuzhuppilly Beach. A friend told us the “Sandcastle” right at Kuzhuppilly Beach is a simple and friendly place to stay but we were more than content to just camp right at the beach, protected by the trees!
Where to eat?
Eateries and restaurants can definitely be found all along the busy island main road, but also dotted along the coast line. The most options are presumably at Cherai Beach. Consider that most places close pretty early!
How to get there?
It is possible to reach Vypeen in a matter of a few minutes from Cochin. You can take a local bus from Ernakulam for a few rupees. Most of them follow the main island road until Cherai Beach. But you might jump out at Kuzhupilly and just walk the described stretch to take in all the beauty. Or board a ferry from Fort Kochi to Kalamukku village on Vypeen and catch the bus at the big junction about 800m from the ferry dock.