|Varkala has a distinctive topography and this itself is the highlight of the place. It not only harbours the scenic charm of a calm beach, but attains a majestic quality with the towering laterite cliffs along the beach. Standing like sentinels overlooking the turbulent sea, the cliffs provide the best enchanting view of the sea. The wide plateau of the cliffs also houses many hotels and restaurants.
You can see long winding roads from Varkala town which leads to one of the higher cliffs, where a helipad has been built. The laterite cliffs, the golden sands and the rolling waves of the sea provide a unique charm to the place and its unique geological formation attracts a lot of geologists too to this place. The cliffs also harbour natural springs and they are believed to have medicinal qualities. You can see a lot of people taking bath in the medicinal springs.
The beach here is called Papanasam beach which is believed to wash away sins. During monsoons, the place is less frequented by tourists due to sea erosion and heavy downpour.
Kappil Beach, another major attraction in Varkala, is situated a few kilometres away and it also draws large crowd. The beauty of Varkala is enhanced by the presence of backwaters at some places and Ponnumthuruthu Island, surrounded by backwaters near Varkala is another hot tourist spot. A boat ride through the backwaters, watching the vegetation on either side is a delightful experience.