We've put together our pick of the best beaches in India. Head to one of these for having a vacation that moves at your own pace.
Radha Nagar Beach (aka Beach No. 7), Havelock Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
A spectacular curve of powder backed by untouched native forest. The drive to the beach runs through the lush forests of Havelock. And in a few minutes of walking along the beach you'll find the gorgeous lagoon, a piece of sheltered sand and crystal clear water. Or take an elephant ride along the beach or into the jungle.
Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka
A quaint town centred around a historic Shiva temple and an Om-shaped beach. Hang around a little longer and you'll be convinced there's magic in the place.
To really soak in the place, base your stay around yoga and ayurvedic treatments at the fantastic SwaSwara.
Cabo de Rama, Goa
One of Goa's best kept secrets, this beach doesn't even actually have a name (or even if it does, our multiple attempts to find out have been in vain). It unofficially takes on the name of the nearby historic Portuguese fort. Finding the beach is an adventure in itself and even when you do find it, you'll have to park your vehicle atop a cliff and climb down.
The beach itself is a essentially a cove with the fort looking down from the far South and a stream gurgling into the sea at its Northern end. And on most weekdays, not another soul in sight.
While nearby Palolem is more picturesque, unbridled development has taken its toll. Agonda, only slightly to its North is gorgeous, expansive and idyllically undeveloped.
Marari Beach, Kerala
If you ever tire of being on the backwaters of Kerala, Mararikulam, a small fishing village, offers the best beachfront in Kerala. You'll be on a 25km stretch of beach shared only with few others. The Marari Beach Resort is a truly great eco-friendly resort with direct access to the beach.
Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Imagine a strip of sand jutting out into brilliant turqoise water. You can start the day watching the sun rise from the water on one side of the strip and end it watching it set on the other side; and a whole lot of nothing to do in the meantime. When you tire of doing nothing, you can snorkel or even take a ride local fisherman's boat to nearby islands.
If you go to the Lakshadweep, plan to stay at least a couple of nights at the somewhat pricey but brilliant Bangaram Island Resort.
Got you longing to feel sand between your toes? Some of these can help: