Karnataka: 5 less-explored yet stunning beaches perfect for tourist-free weekend escapes

Few things are better than a gorgeous beach free of the hustle bustle of tourists, and Karnataka has quite a few of them!

ByMarina Paulose

Published May 18, 2023 | 9:00 AM Updated May 18, 2023 | 9:00 AM

Karnataka Beach Travel

Think of beaches, and the first state that pops into one’s mind most often is Goa. Sure, it’s a popular choice. But Bengalureans need not travel all the way there when they have fairly spectacular beaches in Karnataka itself.

With summers here and people looking to make the most of it with quick weekend escapes to cool off and unwind, we have curated a list of lesser-known beaches in Karnataka that are just waiting to be explored.

So, if you are planning a relaxing weekend trip of sun, sand, and cool waters with your gang or just by yourself, you just can’t miss these five destinations.

Also Read: Planning a beach-hopping trip in Kerala? Here’s a list

1. Kodi Bengre Beach

If you are craving a beach getaway that is all about relaxation and rejuvenation but have absolutely no patience with the stream of selfie-taking tourists, we have the ideal destination for you.

Kodi Bengre Beach Karnataka Travel

The quaint Kodi Bengre Beach promises to take you far away from crowds. (Unsplash_Rohan Nayak)

Kodi Bengre Beach, also known as Delta Beach, is located in the quaint village of Kodi Bengre near Udupi, nestled approximately 4 km away from the coastal town of Kundapur.

“I am praying this place stays hidden from travellers for as long as possible because it’s just perfect the way it is. It’s the ideal chilling spot for people like me who just loathe crowded beaches,” 32-year-old software engineer Vineesha Balaji from Bengaluru told South First.

“I love the calm vibe here and all I do on the weekend I am here is stuff my face with the fresh local seafood and go on long walks. It’s heaven for me!” she said.

Delta formation in Kodi Bengre Beach Karnataka

Don’t miss the strip of land separating the Suvarna River from the Arabian Sea. (Flickr_Mausam Hazarika)

One of the highlights of this secluded beach is the small strip of land that separates the Suvarna river from the Arabian Sea, making it a picturesque location with the most gorgeous sunset views.

“You have to try the local toddy. It’s to die for,” Balaji suggested when asked about the local specialities besides the delicious seafood smorgasbord.

Gorge on the local prawn ghee roast, fish fry and fish thali without burning a hole in your pocket as you enjoy a scenic view of the waves.

Kodi Bengre Beach Karnataka Travel

Enjoy long quiet walks on the white sands with the waves in the background. (Flickr_Sissi Hamann)

Visitors can also hitch rides on local boats into the nearby mangroves to explore.

Locals suggest avoiding swimming as the beach waters have spots of “sinking sands”, which are potentially very risky.

Also, come equipped with good footwear as you may need to climb down a bunch of rocks to get to the beach.

If your idea of the perfect beach trip involves long quiet walks on soft white sands with the waves in the background and an endless supply of fresh seafood, Kodi Bengre Beach is apt for you.

How to reach by road: The place is pretty well connected by road, and you can easily drive down to the beach via Santekatte-NH66. You can also hop on a ferry from Hangarakatte to get to the beach.

How to reach by rail: Kodi Bengre Beach is approximately 17 km from Udupi Railway Station.

Also Read: 4 underrated hill stations to visit in Karnataka

2. Tilmati Beach

The name of the beach is pretty self-explanatory: It’s called Tilmati due to the sand there, which resembles black sesame seeds. The name is derived from the Konkani words “tillu” (sesame seeds) and “matti” (soil).

Tilmati Beach Karnataka Travel

The beach is named Tilmati due to the sand which resembles black sesame seeds. (Flickr_Abhijeet Rane)

This unique-looking beach is located in Karwar and is truly a one-of-a-kind place every beach-lover must visit.

“I use Tilmati Beach as my personal hideout from the world because not many folks know about this place. Also, it helps that it’s not really easy to reach here,” 24-year-old PR executive Vishesh Devan from Bengaluru told South First.

“Getting to the beach actually involves a trek across a stream and a small rocky hill for approximately a kilometre. There is another path to take where you need to cross a bridge downstream and trek through a forest area,” he said.

“The sunrise and sunsets here are to die for and, of course, the view of the gorgeous Arabian Sea makes me just want to sit on the black beach all day and stare at the waves. I hardly bring anyone here except my best friend, and we have a gadget-free, people-free beach-cation. Also, on very clear nights, I love to indulge in stargazing and bring along my prized telescope,” added Devan.

Tilmati Beach Karnataka

Getting to the beach involves a trek across a stream & rocky hill. (Flickr_Abhijeet Rane)

He advised visitors to come equipped with good shoes and bring their own food and drinks as there are not many food stalls there.

Also, it might be best to hire a local guide to get to the beach if one is visiting for the first time.

It is also best to avoid the peak monsoon season as the journey to get to the beach becomes even more treacherous.

How to reach by road: The Karwar bus stand is about 13 km from the beach, and the Majali bus stop is about 2.5 km. If you are driving, get to Majali. It’s a short trek from there to Tilmati Beach during low tide.

How to reach by rail: Karwar is the nearest Railway Station, from where you can catch a bus or drive to Majali. From that point, you can walk to the beach.

Also Read: 4 short bike rides from Kochi that will mesmerise you

3. Malpe Beach

Want to flood your social media feed with gorgeous pictures to induce envy among your friends? Malpe Beach is the place for you.

Malpe Beach Karnataka

Get ready for an exotic Madagascar-ish vibe at Malpe Beach. (Flickr_Nikhil Bablu)

Those who visit here for the first time are usually blown away by the “exotic” atmosphere of the beach thanks to the almost-pristine white sands, giving a very Madagascar-ish vibe.

Located 66 km from Mangaluru and 6 km from Udupi in Karnataka, Malpe Beach beckons visitors to enjoy aquatic nature at its finest.

The beach was pretty low on the radar of tourists but now the traffic is increasing given how beautiful the location is, and how activities for tourists have been increasing, including the newly-added “floating bridge”, which can make you feel you are walking on waves.

Best to check it out before it becomes a full-blown tourist hotbed!

How to reach by road: Besides driving down to the beach, one can also take direct private buses.

How to reach by rail: Udupi is the nearest railway station as the beach is just 9 km away. From there, one can easily access an auto or a taxi.

Also Read: 5 perfect biking destinations you can head to from Bengaluru

4. Kapu Beach

A quaint beach village in coastal Karnataka less than eight hours from Bengaluru by road, Kapu is a local favourite with hardly a tourist in sight!

Kapu Beach Lighthouse

The iconic century-old lighthouse is a must-visit at Kapu. (Unsplash_Hemendra Ahuja)

With a bevy of attractions around, Kapu has a host of “must-do” activities, besides the option to chill on the endless sandy beach, which offers a scenic view of the Arabian Sea.

“The iconic century-old lighthouse is a must-visit. For a history nut like me, it’s just amazing to see a structure constructed on a rock, withstanding the test of time and guiding ships to safety during a time when there was no such thing as navigation,” 32-year-old social media analyst Nishtha Gulal from Bengaluru told South First.

“I always make it a point to climb right to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the most spectacular bird’s eye view of the endless waters and the beach and the most magnificent sunsets.”

How to reach by road: The beach is only 400 km from Bengaluru, and well connected by road.

How to reach by rail: Udupi is the nearest railway station, which is approximately 15 km away.

Also Read: 4 places in Tamil Nadu that are perfect for your next solo trip

5. Mattu Beach

Located approximately 12 km from the coastal city of Udupi, Mattu Beach is a less-explored, untouched paradise on earth and is highly popular among locals.

Mattu Beach Karnataka

The drive to the beach alone is relaxing as you escape the city. (Flickr_Veeresh RT)

Besides its golden sands and the swaying coconut trees, another factor which makes the beach extraordinary is its glowing waters, which are caused by bioluminescent algae.

“The drive down to the beach alone is relaxing and rejuvenating as you get away from the chaos of the city. This beach is now a regular getaway spot for my wife and I, and the fact that the place is almost always deserted just makes things even more perfect,” 34-year-old data scientist Abhilash Joseph from Bengaluru told South First.

“The place is very secluded, which makes it very private and you can enjoy the natural surroundings, the calm backwaters and the sunsets without the annoying gaggle of tourists,” he added.

Mattu Beach Karnataka

Solitude & sun-kissed skies are a guarantee at Mattu Beach. (Unsplash_Hemendra Ahuja)

“We usually bring our books and some drinks and chill all through the weekend in peace. It’s such a stress reliever,” said Abhilash.

“My wife always makes it a point to get the locally famous ‘mattu gulla’ dish every time we come here, which I steer clear of because eggplant makes me gag! But I’ve heard it tastes awesome and you must try it if you don’t share my aversion to the vegetable,” he added.

How to reach by road: Besides driving down to the beach, you can take a bus to the Mattu bus stop and head to the beach.

How to reach by rail: The Udupi Railway Station is close to the beach, from there you can take a bus or a taxi to reach the location.