The popular places that come to mind when planning a family trip to coastal Karnataka are Karwar & Gokarna. These main tourist attractions have a good number of beach resorts & hotels. Preferring a less crowded, but at the same time comfortable stay, we finalized on Honeybeach Cottages at Ankola.
Reaching Ankola, a small town, by Bus from Bangalore (overnight journey), we were picked up by a taxi arranged by the resort. The beach resort was nearly 7 Kms from the town, through a rough & isolated stretch of road. People with a weak back should watch out for the bumps or not risk it. My two daughters were shrieking & enjoying the ups & downs while self & wife were hanging on to the taxi to steady ourselves.
We reached the resort without losing any bones and were welcomed by a group of warm & friendly staff. The sound of the waves & birds greeted us and we suddenly became aware of the silence around us. The resort was well designed and rested on a rocky surface near the shore. Our cottage had a foyer, an independent bath area and a bedroom (with air conditioner). The bedroom was a little small for four of us. We realized that we were the only occupants in the resort with nearly 10 cottages.
We enjoyed the day on the clean beach next to the resort with not a soul to disturb us & a few crabs for company. We went on a trek in the evening up the rocky path to see the view of the shore line from the top of the small hillock. As privileged guests, the food was made to our order and quite suitable for my young daughters.
I booked a taxi for next day for a trip to Devbagh beach at karwar (abround 1 hour travel). We enjoyed the water sports and played around in the sea, before returning back to the resort. The staff had arranged for a camp fire & we enjoyed the warmth under the night sky before dinner. Another family joined us at the resort, but they stayed for only one night.
The third day started with an early trip to Yana Caves (1 & 1/2 hour travel). We trekked up for nearly 1 hour to reach the top. There is a small temple inside the huge rocks. Check yourself for small leaches after trek (salt is helpful in removing them). All adventure lovers would thoroughly enjoy this trek. We then moved on to Murdeshwar (another 1 & 1/2 hour travel) for a late lunch, visit to the famous Shiva temple and spent some time on the beach close to the temple. On the way back to the resort we stopped at OM beach in Gokarna for a short time and enjoyed a ride on water bikes. We relished the dinner at the resort and crashed out.
We happily spent the next morning at the beach near the resort and lazed away the afternoon. I had an ayurvedic massage at the Spa in the evening before taking the bus back to Bangalore. We were fully refreshed and energised at the end of the trip thanks to the friendly service, homely food and comfortable cottage at the resort. I would recommend this resort for couples looking for a private romantic getaway or families wanting isolated & clean beaches or people seeking an off the beaten track experience.
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