Ratnagiri is the centre point of access to some of the most beautiful and serene beaches of Konkan region. However, what makes it very unique is the hilly roads giving you a spectacular view of the unending sea often running along with your wheels. I am sure those who love driving will absolutely fall for this place with a promise to come back again. With a quick 38Km ride from Ratnagiri to Undi village, you can cover so many beaches along the way while enjoying the bird’s eye view of the Arabian sea. The best route could be to start from Bhatye Beach and reach Jaigad Fort covering Aare Ware Beach, Ganapatipule, Malgund Beach and Undi Beach on the way. Stretching south of Ratnagiri is quaint Ganeshgule beach. If you are staying for a bit longer, you can cover both Ganeshgule beach and Bhatye beach on the same way.
Where to Find Best Coastal Food?
- Sameer Hotel, Ganpatipule
- Bhau Joshi Bhojnalay, Ganpatipule (Lonely Planet Recommendation)
The Best of Ratnagiri
- Malgund Beach for clean water and adventure sports;
- Aare – Ware for bird’s eye view of the sea, clean beaches and fishing;
- Undi Beach for the drive running parallel to sea and sunset view (in addition to peace and serenity);
- Ganpatipule for blessings from rare west-facing Lord Ganesha and beachside fun activities, including, water sports;
- Jaigad Fort & Jetty for yet another 180-degree view of the sea and short ferry ride;
- Ganeshgule & Bhatye Beach for more solitude.
How to Reach?
From Mumbai: Catch a train to Ratnagiri (6-7 hours). Get an auto-rickshaw to reach your hotel. Rent a bike/car for local sight seeing.
From Rest of India: Take a flight to Goa which is the nearest airport. Get a taxi to travel 260 Km (5-6 hours) north or catch a train from Madgaon (Goa) to Ratnagiri (3-4 hours).
Where to Stay?
- Beach Front Villas, Malgund
- MTDC Beach Resort, Ganapatipule
- Kohinoor Samudra Beach Resort, Ratnagiri
Where to Get Bike on Rent?
- Samarth ATC: +91 98216 65532
More Things to do in Ratnagiri
Adventure Sports at Malgund Beach
Once you reach Malgund, which is my most favourite beach in this route, you can enjoy the best water sports activities offered in this area by Prathmesh and his team. You can also enjoy paragliding from as high as 1000 ft. offered by Wings & Flights, Institute of Paragliding & Para motoring (INR 2500/- for 7 minutes’ ride).
- Prathmesh Adventure Water Sports: +91 94059 57305
- Tauraez/ Ron Paragliding: +91 85518 89998/ 79722 60991
Although you may find water sports activities at Ganpatipule as well, the quality of ride, sporting equipment that Prathmesh offers is unmatched in the entire Ratnagiri district. I personally prefer to head straightaway to Malgund to enjoy safe water sports and look nowhere else. Their pricing just live up to the thrill you get and professionalism you see in their services. From Jetski to ATV, you can enjoy all sorts of rides here, including, sleeper ride which is my most favourite.
Update: Paragliding activities are currently discontinued at Malgund beach due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Watching Sunset & Sunrise
S U N S E T – S U N R I S E
Other than adventure sports, Malgund beach also offers a captivating view of the sunset that you cannot afford to miss.
While sunsets are the most beautiful from here, sunrise is not any lesser and definitely worth a lazy stroll along the beaches or riding a bike on scenic roads.
Jaigad Fort & Jetty
Apart from sunset, you can also enjoy a quick ferry ride from Jaigad to Tawsal along with your car/bike, if you intend to explore further beyond Jaigad. Our quick trial to go beyond Jaigad wasn’t very interesting due to bad roads and substandard beaches.
While in Jaigad, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the sea from Jaigad Fort which is a coastal fortification located at the tip of a peninsula in Ratnagiri District. The fort overlooks a bay where the Shastri river meets the Arabian Sea. Jaigad Fort is believed to have been built by Bijapur Kings in the 16th century.
Ganeshgule beach is around 28 km (50 minutes) from Ratnagiri (railway station). If you are staying in Ratnagiri main town, you can easily visit this beach with a rented bike and cover Bhatye beach too on the same way. However, from my experiences of exploring beaches of Maharashtra, I would not strongly recommend you to cover these two beaches, as there are better beaches if you travel towards Ganpatipule and Undi.
Other Things to Do in Ratnagiri
There are few other places in Ratnagiri that I could not find time to cover and thus would not be able to share my personal experiences. You may consider them only if you plan to stay for longer (more than 3 days) and may probably skip them as well if you wish to, given the time constraint.
- Ratnagiri Light House & Ratnadurg Fort for 180-degree view of the Arabian sea from a cliff. If you have already covered Jaigad, the sea view would be mostly the same.
- Thibaw Palace, may be relevant only if you have a keen interest in history or architecture. The palace was built in the year 1910 by British to keep Burmese (now Myanmar) king, Thibaw in house arrest.
Most of the photographs from my first trip in March 2019 was taken from Sony A77 Mark II. Later in March 2021 when I visited this place again, I mostly used my phone Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and one mirrorless camera from Panasonic, Lumix GH5 (with 12-60 mm lens). Videos were mostly shot with GoPro Hero 7 and time lapse taken with my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE phone.