Mulki: Surfcation with Priyansha
Updated: Feb 18
Mulki, a quaint little surf village just 30 minutes from Mangalore, should definitely be on your list if you’re looking for a surfcation, workation or both.
Read till the end for our special tips for Women Travellers!
TLDR - A Quick Itinerary
Arrive in Mulki, freshen up and go on a bicycle ride at sunset. Wind down with some local food and drinks.
An early morning surf session, followed by work or chill Toddy (a local drink) sessions till it's time for Sunset again. Catch the sunset while Kayaking or Stand Up Paddling in the backwaters. Stargaze the night away.
Toddy, a local alcoholic beverage
Mornings always start with a surf session. Switch it up by surfing at another beach. Recharge & read on a hammock by the backwaters, till it's our favourite time of the day again - SUNSET! Try wakeboarding or go back on a Kayak to explore a different route.
Kayaking in Shambhavi River's backwaters
It's Day 3 of surfing so you must be killing it on the waves, by now. Take the day to explore places around Mulki - Kaup Lighthouse, Hanging Bridge, Delta Point & so many more mentioned BELOW.
Is it the last day already? Cancel your tickets and stay for a month more, or enjoy your last day of surfing and bid adieu with a drink at the classic college bar, DeeTee.
This trip can prove to be very economical. Here's a rough cost break-up.
I live in Hyderabad, so my best option was to take a direct flight to Mangalore. Folks from Bangalore can easily hop on a bus or train to Mulki and that would be a very affordable option.
Flights: 7-10k round trip
Buses: 1-2k round trip
Trains: 1-3k round trip
Best places to stay in Mulki are the Surf Schools or Homestays. Most places are in a similar budget range. Here is the budget for the two I stayed at: Indica Surf School: Rs. 1200 - Rs.1750 per person, including all meals
Kayakboy's Homestay: Rs 799 - Rs. 1100 per person, including breakfast
Another Popular one is Mantra Surf School which costs around Rs. 1700 - Rs.4000 per person.
Meals typically cost anywhere between 100-300 rupees per person and not wildly expensive.
Surfing Lessons are approximately Rs. 2000 per lesson, and reduced if you take a multi-day package. We personally knew how to surf, so we only rented boards which cost us Rs. 700 for a 2-hour surf session and included transfer to the beach.
Kayaking costs Rs. 500 for a 1.5-hour trip and Stand Up Paddling was Rs. 900. Rates may vary, but are usually standard across Mulki.
Best Time to Visit
If you're going to surf, the conditions are ideal in the non-Monsoon months, September-May, for beginners.
Here's all-you-need-to-know about the two properties I stayed at:
Indica Surf School
I LOVED my stay at Indica.
If you're looking for a 'home' in Mulki, Indica Surf School is IT! Cozy rooms, home-cooked meals, friendly hosts - they have got it all!
Their rooms are very much like that of a homestay so don't expect fancy hotel furnishings or amenities. However, I didn't feel the lack of anything at any point. I personally liked the cozy homely vibe in the rooms. They have the option of AC/Non AC rooms. We personally didn't feel the need for an AC in the months we were there.
Their dorm is also very clean and well-maintained. It is air-conditioned, has 15 beds separated by a partition, and a shared washroom. It is a mixed dorm and there's, unfortunately, no option for a female-only dorm.
They have high-speed wifi, if you plan on working from here. However, the range is small and it works best in the dining area. This sometimes becomes a challenge when you're taking calls and need a quiet space.
Their surf instructors are very skilled, helpful and most of all, encouraging. They will make sure you leave happy and riding your own waves. We are now friends and fans of the surfing crew at Indica and continue to follow their adventures on Instagram.
There isn't much to do around the property, once you're back from surfing. We would usually chill with other guests, drink Toddy and play some darts.
Sushant, otherwise known as Kayakboy, recently launched a very beautiful place in Mulki.
If your idea of an ideal day is chilling on a hammock by the backwaters, watching the sky change colours and the birds fly by, head over to Kayakboy!
This property is nestled between coconut trees and ideally located by the backwaters. It's a delight to watch the sunrise from here and I would definitely say that was the best part of my day.
Sunrise from Kayakboy's Homestay
The rooms are cosy and nice. All of them are air-conditioned and have brand new furnishings. You have the option of choosing between dorms and private rooms, and they even have a female-only dorm.
They also have a cafe at the property. A freshly made orange juice from Shambhavi Cafe was all I craved for on a hot day.
There's a great setup for work-from-home, with high speed wifi and work desks outside. But again, taking calls can be a challenge at times as it's a common working space and the wifi doesn't work too well in the rooms.
Sushant has had quite a journey himself, being an Engineer from Bihar, falling in love with Kayaks and travelling across the Indian Ocean on his little machine. You can read more about it here. He's also an amazing host and went above and beyond to make sure we had a great experience. Beyond the usual kayak & surf trips, Sushant also taught my friend how to do rolls on a Kayak and a bunch of other cool stuff.
Other Places to Explore
Mattu Beach, 30 minutes from Mulki
Others to explore: Kaup Beach (18 km), Padubidri Beach/Blue Flag Beach (7 km), Delta Beach (47 km).
Mantra Surf School's Cafe
Sunset from Mantra Cafe
Mantra Surf School recently opened their cafe and have some crazy good maggi and chai. AND the sunset from here is to die for!
Tips for Women
Expecting your period? Read THIS!
If you're expecting your period during the stay, get comfortable with a menstrual cup beforehand. Menstrual cups are definitely the best (and perhaps only) option during your period, but it took me some getting used to. Make sure you're used to it before your trip so you can be comfortable as you head out to catch your waves. This is the one I use & recommend: https://amzn.to/3FIt478
I get BAD cramps! But, surfing made them all go away. It's true. Exercising during your period can help and this was possibly the best one to start the day with that kept me cramp-free the entire day.
Menstrual Cups are great and all, but with such rigorous activity, I don't always trust them to not leak. Best to avoid light-colored bottoms, just in case something of that sort happens to you. I swear by my black leggings.
Safety at the accommodation shouldn't be much of a concern in Mulki. It's a small town and the people are generally friendly. Both my hosts were phenomenal and I didn't feel the slightest bit of discomfort with them, and neither did all the other solo women travellers I met.
When you're stepping out at night, be cognizant of the fact that there may not be street lights everywhere. There is not usually a lot of crowd on these roads either, so it's best to take your precautions at night.
While I personally stayed in a private room, I went to check out the washrooms in the dorms at both places. They were mostly clean, but of course, the post-surf showers left them a bit sandy at times.