This is a four-day working week month (April 2023) in India, thanks to the local holidays ❤️ We did a ~800km round trip from Hyderabad to the Chirala sea beach in one of these long weekends. Our toddler was ready for the adventure and off we went!
We had planned to cover a day on the sea beach at Chirala, drive a bit into Vijayawada and spend a day at an island on the Krishna river. Here’s the route map.
Google map for the journey: https://goo.gl/maps/WFLuSMnbiMZBvFUi7
We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 AM on a Friday. After breezing through the ORR and NH 65 we stopped at the Vididhi Restaurant at 8 AM for a sumptuous Idli and Dosa breakfast. Rest of the journey to the sea beach took us ~4hrs on the NH 167A. The slowest part of this stretch is last ~85kms through the various towns in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Chirala sports various resorts with private beaches along the coastline. We stayed at the Seabreeze Resorts on the Ramachandrapuram Beach. Other beaches are the Chirala beach and Chinaganjam beach. Stay was pretty comfortable with cordial staff and good food.
A typical day on the beach starts with watching the sun rise on Bay of Bengal. Take a stroll on the sand and enjoy the morning breeze, jog or take a dip. Around 5:45-6:00 AM, you have the entire beach to yourself. Enjoy the South Indian breakfast at the hotel. Go for a swim in the pool. In April, the day temperatures are on the higher side. You can walk around the gardens, relax with a book and so on. The hotel organizes open air dining on the beach. They also had the IPL cricket matches running on the projector during our stay.
We started next day for the Bhavani Islands in Vijayawada. The road from Chirala to Vijayawada is pretty good. We took a stop at the outskirts of Guntur for a sumptuous Andhra Thali at the MurugaN Hotel. Arrived in Bhavani Islands in the afternoon.
It was hot and humid. The island provides several adventure activities. Our toddler enjoyed the Dinosaur park the most. The Haritha hotels chain operates a stay on the island. Large rooms and great balcony; but the maintenance can be better. They have a restaurant with great food options. Carry some cash with you, digital payments/UPI are not yet accepted on the smaller food stalls.
We enjoyed the sun rise over Kaveri River. It is quite peaceful in the mornings until the ferry service starts (~7 a.m. or so). Take a bicycle or electric auto ride on the island.
We took the excellent Vijayawada-Hyderabad Expressway on back home.
While the Ramapuram beach is a five star experience, the Bhavani Islands are passable. You’ll enjoy the drive throughout. We hope to return to the sea beaches again soon!