Mode of Transport: Autos are easily available from major attractions. Scooters and cycles can be rented from certain locations.
PS: This is not a commercialized tourist destination like Goa, so you can ask the localities or hotel owners for guidance and direction.
09:00 AM – 03:00 PM
Beach trek is something that you don’t get to do more often. Some of the iconic and popular beaches of Gokarna are situated close to one another but the real challenge is accessibility. Motor vehicles and bikes are allowed till Kudle and Om beach. Half-moon and Paradise beaches have to be explored on foot and the trekking route begins from Om beach.
So start by 09:00 and enjoy an auto ride through narrow lanes of Gokarna till Kudle Beach.
Kudle beach is the only beach out of the lot where you will find enough shacks and a couple of shops. The beach is half sandy and half rocky. Waves on this beach are relatively rough, so avoid taking a swim or going deep into the sea.
Make sure to get some snacks before beginning the beach trek.
You can walk to Om beach which would take around 25 – 30 mins or take an auto.
Om Beach is so named because its shape resembles the symbol of Om (ॐ). You can figure it out from a higher elevation. There are some shops at the entrance but nothing can be found at the beach.
The real trek begins from this point. The route to Half-Moon beach goes through the forest and over the hills. There are high chances of getting lost, as the trails are really confusing and you won’t find any signboard in the middle. Some patches are really challenging and along a cliff.
There is only one shack at the Half-moon beach, so take a mandatory rest here.
The route to the Paradise beach offers some stunning and spectacular views of the Arabian Sea.
Time duration: The journey from Kudle to Paradise will take around 2 hours and the return journey would take the same time. In 5 – 6 hours, you can complete this beach trek.
Advice: DO NOT GO SOLO ON BEACH TREK! Find a group and stick with them till the end. Put on waterproof footwear that has a good grip. Although it’s a beach trek, AVOID slippers!
Temple Visit and Sunset
04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
After successfully completing the beach trek, head towards the Gokarna Main Beach.
100 meters from the Gokarna Main Beach is the Sri Mahabaleshwara Temple.
Sri Mahabaleshwara Temple is an ancient and revered temple in Gokarna. Everyone in the town knows about this temple. Pay a visit and offer your prayers at this temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
And finally, wind up your long day at the Gokarna Main Beach with the view of mindboggling sunset.
Also read: Best Area To Book your Hotel in Gokarna
Explore the Unexplored
Mode of Transport: Best way to travel will be an auto or a cab or your personal vehicle.
08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Yana Caves is a place you cannot afford to miss when in Gokarna. The distance from Gokarna Main Beach to Yana Caves is more than 50 km. The humongous and captivating rock formation is truly a natural wonder. At the entrance of the cave is a temple with Shiva Linga that is washed by the flowing water drops from the rocks.
The parking area is almost 1 km from the cave and trekking through the forest is the only way of reaching the caves from the parking lot. Not a place for the elderly or people with ailments.
Time duration: 2 – 3 hours
If you are a history buff then you must head towards Mirjan Fort, after exploring Yana Caves.
30 km from the cave, Mirjan Fort is partially ruined but ASI is putting its best efforts to maintain the remains of the fort. It was built in the 16th century. With fewer tourists visiting and stunning views, this is definitely an instagrammable place. The timings of the fort are 08:00 AM to 06:00 PM.
Time duration: 45 min – 1 hour
If you have some energy left, you can pay a visit to Vibhuti Falls.
Vibhuti Falls is 40 km from Mirjan Fort. You have to trek from the parking area to the falls which is a distance of 1 km through the forest. You can take a plunge in the water, if you feel like doing it.
These attractions are not frequently visited by tourists as there aren’t many promotions. Recently, these places are getting some attention and are bound to become more popular with Gokarna.
Time duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Also read: Jog Falls itinerary
09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
There are 3 places which you can explore on the third day and all of them are more than 80 km from Gokarna.
Option 1: Jog Falls
Option 2: Sathodi Falls
Option 3: Murdeshwar & Netrani Island
Advice: It is not possible to cover these places in a single day from Gokarna. You can choose to visit any one of the places or extend your stay and cover them on subsequent days.
Mode of Transport: a cab or your personal vehicle is the only way of reaching these places conveniently.
Jog Falls is India’s second-highest plunge waterfall, the first being Cherrapunjee’s Nohkalikai Falls. Jog Falls has 3-4 streams of flowing water. The area has rich forest cover and amidst the greenery flows the magical Jog Falls. Taking a dip is not possible at this fall.
At the viewpoint, you get enough parking space, toilet facilities and a restaurant.
It is located 120 km south of Gokarna and takes more than 2 hours to get here. The road passes through hilly terrain and if you don’t have a skilled driver with you it may take close to 3 hours.
Jog Falls lies on National Highway 69. If you are planning to visit Shivamogga or Bangalore from Gokarna, you can stop by at the falls.
Sathodi Falls is a picnic spot for the localities. The falls appears to be rectangular in shape and allows tourists to take a dip in the water. You have to walk some distance and the path is well-paved and easy to walk.
The distance of this falls from Gokarna is 90 km and will take less than 2 hours to get here.
Magod Falls is 30 km from Sathodi Falls. You can also plan to visit this.
If you are headed towards Hubli, you can stop by at both the falls.
Murdeshwar is famous for its iconic Shiva Temple with the world’s second tallest statue of Lord Shiva and the 20-storey entrance tower, famously known as Raja Gopuram. The beach where the temple is located is called Temple Beach.
The distance from Gokarna to Murdeshwar is 80 km.
Netrani Island is a coral island, 20 km from Murudeshwar beach. Netrani island is a popular spot for adventurous activities like scuba diving and snorkeling. It takes 1.5 hours to get there by boat.
These places can be covered if you are heading towards Mangalore or Udupi.