A Weekend Trip To Kannur
Kannur is a quiet town in northern Kerala, “God’s Own State”. Often overlooked as uninspiring, the city is home to one of the most fascinating coastlines in India and also happens to have one of the best beaches in India. It was actually very surprising when we saw the beautiful white sand beach and deep blue water – something we’ve never seen before on mainland India!
In this blog post, you’ll find everything that you need to know to visit Kannur. Starting with the beaches, we’ve listed down some useful information about where to stay, where to eat and how to get to Kannur.
Relax on Kizhuna Beach
This one really seemed to be the perfect beach: so many coconut palms, thick shrubbery, rocky walls, seemingly endless stretches of white sand and then the expanse of the Arabian Sea – and absolutely no one around, for so many hours! Thanks to how these beaches are still not very well known, the crowds are mostly locals who arrive for an hour at sunset.
Play a game of beachball or go kayaking
With the strong sun overhead, we found a place covered by shady coconut trees and decided to play a ball game, except we used a small coconut instead! Another idea is to take one of the small Kayaks out to the sea. These kayaks are actually small fishing boats painted in a beautiful palette of colours. The fishermen appreciate a generous tip in return for renting their Kayaks.
But if you want to just take it slow and relaxed, just taking a walk along the neighbouring Ezhara beach might be the best thing to do!
Tip: The Ezhara beach is best visited during the morning hours, while the Kizhuna beach is a sunset beach – so plan to spend your day accordingly!
Cruise on Muzhappillangad Drive-in Beach
As Asia’s longest drive-in beach, it attracts a huge number of visitors everyday – in their cars! Featuring over 5.5 kilometres of super smooth sand, the beach is also very beautiful, with thich plantation all along. There are a few cafés and shacks amidst the coconut trees to rest at.
Sunset and candle light dinner at Chera Rocks
A list of best things to do in Kannur would not be complete without this – sunset at the meeting point of Kizhuna Beach and Ezhara Beach. This meeting point has a beautiful sand bank terminating at an island of boulders. Right here, on the beach stands a small boutique homestay called Chera Rocks Beach Resort.
This view point is very popular with the locals, for sunset viewing. Having witnessed it ourselves, we wouldn’t disagree. The colours of the sky, the shadows of the Coconut groves and the roaring high tide all come together in a mesmerizing manner.
Tip: To make the evening even more memorable, why not have a candlelit dinner right on the beach? Guests staying at Chera Rocks enjoy a complimentary candlelight dinner every night. Room rates are listed here.
Start the day with a tropical breakfast
If the candle lit dinner is not impressive enough, the breakfast spread is more than enough to make you feel special! The chefs at Chera Rocks are locals and the menu usually has a mix of traditional Kerala cuisine with an optional continental portion as well. The complimentary breakfast is served in front of the beach, or on the porch of the traditional cottage-style rooms.
Other things to do in Kannur
Visit the Lighthouse near the Payyambalam beach for great views of the Arabian sea and the coastline; or explore the St. Angelo Fort, a 16th century Portuguese Fort which is free for visitors to enter. Another idea, is to go slow boating in the backwaters of Edakkad.
If there’s a show in town, watch the traditional Theyyam dance (ask at the beach house, they’d be happy to set you up).
Where to stay in Kannur
Our stay at the Chera Rocks Beach House was absolutely worth it! For a reasonable night’s room rent, you not only get to stay at a traditional Kerala Cottage, but you also get mouth-watering breakfast and dinner, complimentary. The Beach House is owned by Nivedh, a world traveller, who loves interacting with visitors and making their stay fruitful! He also organises Ayurvedic retreats regularly, if you are in the mood for an ayurvedic rejuvenation experence.
Besides lazing around in the beach, you can consider exploring the foliage for some great photographs, particularly in the early mornings. Spend hours on the coconut swing, gather your buddies and see who goes the farthest!
Contact details: Nivedh (the owner of the beach house)
Things to carry along
- Camera (the photo spots are awesome!)
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Flip-flops and a hat
- Mosquito repellant
- Toiletries (eco-friendly ones)
- Yoga mat – the perfect beachside morning
- Swimwear (the beach is bikini friendly)
Where to eat in Kannur
There are many restaurants in Kannur, but very few shacks and beachside cafés. These restaurants typically serve meat and fish, the local delicacies. Vegetarian food is a little difficult to find.
But this is not a problem if you are staying at the Chera Rocks Beach House. We requested for a veg meal for lunch and were very glad to see a huge spread for only INR 250 (less than USD 4). The meal was not just rice and curries, but also bread, vegetables, dessert and fresh fruit juices.
How to get to Kannur
Kannur is about 300 kms from Bangalore.
Option 1: Self-drive roadtrip
Road connectivity is excellent – we barely noticed any bumpy stretches. Scenic views all the way from Mysore, through the Nagarhole Forest, Brahmagiri forest reserves, to Iritty (before reaching Kannur). There are no tolls on this route, and expect to drive for 7 hours (fuel cost: INR 3,000). If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wild animals on this route!
Option 2: Overnight sleeper bus/train
A number of overnight buses ply from Bangalore and other South Indian cities to Kannur. The average cost of a sleeper bus ticket is about INR 700 (USD 10) and the journey takes about 8 hours. Trains also connect Kannur with other major towns and cities.
Option 3: Flying in an airplane
Kannur got its very own international airport in December 2018 and operates domestic and international flights to many major destinations. From Bangalore, expect to pay under INR 2,000 for the one hour journey (if booked in advance).
Our suggestion: Drive there! It is worth stopping inside the Brahmagiri Wildlife Reserve.
Getting around in Kannur
Besides private taxis, the most common means of transport in Kannur is a shared taxi (minivan). Chera Rocks Beach House is 10 kms to the south of the main town area – the perfect spot, away from the hustle and bustle, whilst being in the middle of four beaches! The beach house offers free pick-up services from the main town
Use this to reach the resort: map marker
If you have any more questions about planning a trip to Kannur, don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or write to us!