The Best Beaches in Tamil Nadu, India

Marina Beach, Chennai
Marina Beach, Chennai | © Aravindan Ganesan / Flickr
Arun Venkatraman

Tamil Nadu’s coastline, the second-longest in India after Gujarat, is dotted with beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. While many spend their time exploring the staggering 33,000 temples the state is most famous for, its coastal beauty is also worth discovering.

Marina Beach

Natural Feature

Marina Beach
Arguably Tamil Nadu’s most popular seaside, Marina Beach has been a symbolic landmark and popular hangout spot ever since the days of the British Raj. The iconic Marina Promenade, which boasts wide walkways, gardens and a number of memorials and statues, takes over nearly half of Marina’s 13-kilometre stretch. Its local fair-like feel is perfect for a family day out. Find amusement rides for kids, activities suitable for both adults and children and street food stalls offering iconic dishes, such as bhajjis,fried fish and corn.

Besant Nagar Beach

Natural Feature

Located in Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai, Besant Nagar Beach is popular among both the young and the old. The seaside is dotted with top-rated restaurants, such as Cozee and Mash, as well as street food stalls. With movies being filmed here often enough, a skating rink at one end and many people exercising around its length, the place is always buzzing with activity. Make a day of it and see the nearby must-visit attractions, such as the Theosophical Society, Adyar Eco Park and the Besant Nagar Velankanni Church.

Mahabalipuram Beaches

Natural Feature

Chennai Beach Mahabalipuram
© Destination8Infinity / WikiCommons

While architectural and historic landmarks, such as the Shore Temple, tend to get more eyes, Mahabalipuram’s pristine and scenic beaches are not to be missed either. Due to popular new-age cafes – such as the Bob Marley Cafe – shacks and resorts popping up around town, more people have started visiting the Mahabalipuram, Pallava and Ideal beaches. The past few years have also seen Mahabalipuram’s beaches become a popular surfing destination, thanks to the presence of highly-rated surf schools, such as the Mumu Surf School and Surfboard Rental.



Dhanushkodi is an abandoned ghost town in Tamil Nadu
© gouravgola89 / Pixabay
Often called the ‘lost land’, Dhanushkodi was abandoned following a cyclone in 1964 and lies in ruins. However, it is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the state. Away from tourist crowds, the town’s serenity, ruins of churches and temples, white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters and gorgeous sunrise and sunsets are all part of its charm. Located just off the town of Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi is difficult to reach as no direct buses go there. Despite this, its inaccessible nature is part of its appeal and those interested in making the trip can hire a private car.

Tharangambadi (Tranquebar)

Archaeological site

© Sumansukumar745 / WikiCommons
Located nearly 160 miles south of Chennai along the Coromandel Coast is the ghost town of Tranquebar, a quaint settlement that was once home to the Danes. The golden sands of Tranquebar Beach are located just behind Dansborg Fort, one of the few remnants of Danish influence in India. The attraction, and its surrounding area, is a great example of Danish architecture. Although hard to reach, this secluded gem on the Bay of Bengal is perfect for those looking to escape crowds and who fancy something unique.


Natural Feature

Kanyakumari’s rocky beaches are famed for their stunning sunrise and sunset points. What makes them even more special is the fact that they’re the meeting point of three bodies of water – the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Since most of the beach is covered in water, people may find it difficult to secure a dry patch of sand to sit on. Don’t expect to go swimming since the high tide and rocks make it dangerous. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue are just a few of the must-visit attractions in the area.

Kovalam Beach

Natural Feature

Surfing at Kovalam, Chennai
© Wings and Petals / Flickr
One of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches on the Coromandel Coast, Kovalam Beach lies less than 20 kilometres from Chennai along the ECR. Apart from its natural beauty, Kovalam is known for its wealth of high-end hotels and restaurants, such as the Vivanta by Taj – Fisherman’s Cove. Considered a great surfing destination, the beach is also home to Chennai’s leading surf school, the Bay of Life Surf School, which provides professional training and surfboard rentals.

Auroville Beach

Natural Feature

© Pinku Halder / WikiCommons
Often considered part of Pondicherry, Auroville Beach is a jewel that belongs to Tamil Nadu. Located in Bommapalayam, just north of Pondicherry, it is most popular for being the closest beach to Auroville – an experimental township that has one of the largest populations of immigrants in India. While the waters are dangerous for swimming, the beach is often the least crowded near Pondicherry and is easily accessible from the arterial East Coast Road. It is also a popular nesting ground for the Olive Ridley sea turtles in the region.
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Holiday Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article