A Chilled Indian Paradise – Varkala

It has a strange name and quite a few people (including local Indians) haven’t heard of it, but Varkala (pronounced “Var-colour”), is one of India’s hidden gem travel destinations. The fine sandy beach stretches from the warm sea a hundred meters before, reaching the steep cliffs that tower high into the air. On top of “Varkala Cliff” a strip of “rustic” seaside restaurants and guest houses provide food and shelter to travellers here to relax, do Yoga or spend time relaxing on the beach.

Restaurants all offer a similar mix of Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and western type food. The culinary highlight of Varkala though, is seafood. Local fishermen sell their product to the local fish market, which in turn sell to the restaurants. Fish, prawns, calamari and even shark are displayed along the cliff enticing customers into one of the many eateries – along with Kingfisher beers and happy hour discounted cocktails.

It’s easy to find your way into one of these restaurants, take a seat on their roof terrace, sip a coffee and lose yourself for a few hours, reading or simply overlooking the beach from the vantage of the cliff


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About Gareth Pickering

After running my own advertising agency in Johannesburg for 10 years, I decided that I needed to do something else. I sold the business to my partner at the time and left on a 6-month trip to Asia to decide what to do next. That was 4 years ago.

I now travel full time and aim to live as many perfect days as I can.

I set up The Freedom Fighter in 2015 as a travel blog and it has since grown into a community of like-minded people looking to improve how they live and separating their earnings from their time.

Along with a partner, I recently launched an ongoing project called Ignite. Ignite is a 6-month masterclass that helps people set up and launch a business that teaches on the internet.

I am also a partner in another e-learning platform called Keep It On Core. An online tuition service that assists high schools students to improve their Math grades.

I think that the two most important days of a person’s life are the day that they’re born, and the day that they figure out why they were born.

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