St. Mary’s Island is located at a distance of 6 km from Udupi and 65 km north of Mangalore. St. Mary’s Island is a collection of small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udupi district
Travelers can easily visit the Island through ferry boat from Malpe Beach. The Island is also termed as Coconut Island and Thonsepar. This island is an important Geo Tourism Spot. The islands are famous for their rows of columnar basaltic lava rock formations. The formations rise up like blocks on a column graph, rectangular rows pushing up from the ground. Most of these rocks are hexagonal in shape. The quite popular tourist attraction is one of twenty six geological monuments of India.
As per the Geological Survey and Scientific Studies, these rocks are formed due to sub-aerial sub volcanic activity which took place when Madagascar was actually attached to India before it got rifted around 88 Million years ago. It is also believed that Vasco Da Gama landed on this Island on his voyage to India from Portugal. The Island doesn’t have any habitation or any infrastructure except green coconut trees. Beach is also lines with sea shells and rocks. Tourists can spend few hours on the island. The main island stretches to 1640 feet in length and 328.1 feet in width.
Boats are available from 9.00 AM to 6.00 PM and ride takes about 30 minutes. The distance from Malpe fishing harbor to the islands is about 6 Kms and regular ferry service runs every half an hour. Boats for St. Mary’s Island also leave from Tegma jetty. There is a small children’s park on the island. Be careful on those slippery rocks.
Best time to visit St. Mary’s Island is from October to February when temperature is low and weather mostly pleasant.