Best child-friendly beaches in India?
I’m planning a trip to India with my partner and our 2-year-old son. Ideally, we want somewhere with nice beaches!
Goa seems the obvious choice, but is there somewhere off the beaten track we should be considering? Also, we don’t want to bake the baby – will going in April be too warm?
April is going to be a very warm time to be on the beaches of Goa, the min/max temperatures are 25C/33C and even in the shade it’s toasty! On the plus side, the fact that it’s no longer peak season means that there will be bargains to be had on accommodation. If you choose Goa, I would absolutely recommend the beaches to the south (the northern beaches tend to have a bit more of a party/hippy scene). Palolem is an obvious choice as although it is less commercial than some of the bigger resorts, it has all the facilities you’d need for the little one. If it’s too busy for you, quieter Patnem is just over the headland and has a few lovely family guest houses. I’ve not been to the beaches in Kerala, but it might be worth some research as I’ve heard a lot of good things about the white sand beach of Varkhala… Trivandrum and Kovalem are favourites with westerners. Also, just to throw another place into the mix, have you given any thought to Sri Lanka? Incredibly child friendly and beautiful beaches to boot.
I don’t have children, but my niece and nephews are all around the same age, and the only thing that would worry me are the dogs in India – the beaches have a lot dogs that sleep all day in the shade and gather together in packs in the evening. All the ones we saw were friendly and just wanted some love (and scraps from the table!), but rabies is something to be aware of. The mosquitos also drove me a little insane, but I guess if you stay somewhere with a/c and keep the windows closed, they wouldn’t be a problem (and maybe a mosquito net for your son to sleep under?). Of course, you’d need to talk to your doctor about jabs, malaria prevention etc. Online forums are a good place to find other people who’ve travelled with kids and have advice on food, water etc.
You can fly straight into Goa, but if you want a bit more of an adventure, Mumbai is an amazing city and the train journey between the two would be no problem with a two year old (as long as you have plenty to keep them busy…). Second class has beds and a/c and plenty of space to run around!
“Palolem is an obvious choice”
Can you explain how this would be, Rachel? I wouldn’t bring a child there.
April will be super hot, especially if you are not used to the heat in India or Asia.
Our American son was born in Mumbai, so we took trips to Goa often. During April, the most comfortable options would be upper end hotels with great ac and excellent pool facilities. We never found the beaches to be that great for our toddler. Of course he didn’t care, but often the sand was very dirty and had lots of trash (and dog/cow poop!) hidden in it.
Our son would play in the sand for just a short time before wanting to go back to the pool to cool down, so I would recommend somewhere on the beach. South goa’s beaches are a bit cleaner and have better sand than north goa, but there is more to do in the north.
Not all beaches or resorts have beach umbrellas, so be aware of that.
The previous poster mentioned the dogs. Yes they are every where but they were all very nice and gentle with our son.