The French capital of India, Pondicherry boasts a gorgeous coastline with incredibly scenic, unspoilt beaches. Whether you are looking for a secluded, serene stretch of sand or a family retreat, here’s our pick of some of the best beaches in Pondy.
The crystal-clear waters and clean sands of the Auroville beach (or Auro beach) makes it a firm favourite with beach-goers. The view is a feast for the eyes, and the small waves are ideal for beginner and experienced surfers alike. Also, the water is shallow, which makes it is an ideal destination for families, as kids can frolic in the waters without being afraid of the water going too deep. Be aware it becomes crowded quickly on weekends. It is located near Auroville, a popular spiritual attraction in Pondy, so make sure to visit.
Nestled in the heart of Pondicherry, the Promenade Beach has a long-standing reputation as one of the most beautiful and finest beaches in the city. It is a 1.2-kilometre-long, rock-lined stretch, edged by a long walkway and surrounded by colonial buildings. Long walks and jogging are the norm here, so grab a pal and be sure to see everything this stretch has to offer. During the evening, vehicle entry is completely banned, which means you have ample space to sit back, relax or stroll in peace and quiet. The beach has a variety of options when it comes to eating, with a myriad of sea-facing cafes, restaurants and food carts bordering it.
Accessible only via a boat ride from the Chunnambar boathouse, the Paradise Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand on the south side of Pondy. It is perfect for those who are looking for some peace and quiet and don’t want to get caught in the hustle and bustle of crowds. The sunsets here are sublime, and the shallow waters and soft sands are perfect for swimming and relaxing. Bring a spirit of adventure, though, as water sports abound here, including kayaking, canoeing and jet-skiing. If you are feeling peckish, make your way over to one of the many restaurant shacks on the beach serving a variety of cuisines and beverages.
Mahe Beach is a perfect respite from civilisation. Surrounded by lush green palm trees and lapped by spectacular crystal-clear waters, this beach is picture-perfect. In terms of activities, there is little to do, except swimming and fishing. With no food carts or shacks, however, be sure to take adequate supplies to last the day. For unspoilt beauty and utter serenity, Mahe Beach should be on your list.
Serenity by name, serenity by nature. Its picturesque beach with idyllic white sand, stretches between the blue waters and throngs of lush palm trees. Besides, it’s considered a great place for surfing. Both novice and pro surfers can surf on this beach, thanks to the surf breaks. There’s a surf school near the beach that provides lessons for all abilities. If you have worked up an appetite after surfing or swimming, head to one of the many beachside cafes, plus there are flea markets on the sand to indulge in retail therapy.
If you’re looking for a spot with all the facilities and entertainment for the entire family, Karaikal Beach is the place for you. With a couple of restaurants, hotels and children’s park nearby, it’s ideal for a day trip to the beach, and the clean and shallow waters here are perfect for activities, like swimming, kayaking and canoeing. Not in the mood for activities? Fret not! Karaikal Beach’s tranquil environs make it quite the spot to simply sit back, relax, soak up the sun and salt, and watch the world go by.