Goa is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Known for its sprawling beaches, the state is blessed with many beaches that serve as a holiday picnic spot for adventures, honeymooners and general tourists alike. During the festive time, the shops and markets of Goa also come alive and tourists can enjoy shopping even till wee hours in the morning. Bright lights and people masqueraded as Santa signify the coming of the Christmas party and New Year.
North Goa Beaches
Goa can be geographically divided in two parts - North Goa and South Goa. North Goa starts from the headland of Fort Aguada just outside Panaji city and its end is marked further in the north near the border of Maharashtra.
Anjuna is the most popular beach included in most of Goa tours and is famous for its flea market and Anjuna-Baga Hill attractions. The beach is also an ideal place for enjoying adventure like Snorkelling. This ‘mother of all Goa beaches’ is ideal for sun bathing. One can delightfully spot mullet, parrotfish and groupers from the rocks located near the sea. Swimming is discouraged on this beach as sometimes and unpredictable undertow invades the shore. However, just being waist deep in the water may not bring any harm. Attractions on Anjuna Beach
Located around 57 kms from the Dabolim airport and 25 kms from Panjim, visit this beach especially on Wednesday, when the famous flea market is held, making this place an ideal spot for shopping for some local handicrafts. Fresh seafood, international and Goan cuisine, beer, and locally made port wine and Feni served in the small shacks and hotels on the beaches is a must try.
Anjuna Beach is one the largest beaches in Goa and is further divided in North, South and Middle Anjuna. The famous hotels, bars and restaurants like DeMello, Soronto and St Anthony are very popular among tourists. The St. Anthony’s Church located near to DeMello Vaddo, marks the beginning of the Middle Anjuna that is replete with small yet beautiful shacks. It is the middle Anjuna where the famous flea market is held. Further from here, one will reach the relatively small area tagged as South Anjuna beach.
Anjuna has some of the most popular restaurants and party places like Paradiso for nightlife and Curlies, the most famous beach shack. While German bakery is a nice and relaxing place for breakfast, Shore Bar is famous for its ambiance and its pub.
Located very close to the Baga Beach, Calangute is a very popular beach among the adventurers and pilgrims alike. Calangute is often considered to be a steep and marred by dangerous undercurrents beach, thus making it a hot spot among those seeking to enjoy great water sports. This ‘queen’ among Goa Beach is known for its flea markets, nightlife and multitudinous attractions one can enjoy on their honeymoon in Goa. The Calangute Church marks the beginning of this beach, which is ideal for sunbathing. The beach is dotted with various shacks and restaurants serve exotic food preparations. Bikes can be hired for Rs 300 from the beach and tourists can self drive to the nearby attractions. Small shops lined across the beach is best for buying junk items and Tibetan handicrafts. December To February is the best time to visit this beach as during this time adventure of diving can be enjoyed. The beach is also popular for underwater attractions of glittering planktons and beautiful fishes. It is 16 kms from Panjim and easily accessible from all parts of Goa. Baga Beach
Another very large and popular beach is the Baga beach is known for its shady palms, endless line of shops, restaurants and the great option of fishing. Located at a convenient distance of 16 kms from Panjim, this beach is best suited for those seeking to enjoy adventures like snorkelling, water-skiing, sailing and wind-surfing.
Baga beach is also suited for those who want to spend some peaceful and relaxing family holidays. The view of the beach from the Baga-Anjuna Hill is breathtaking.
Baga beach prides itself for being home to some of the most celebrated hot spots like the Tito’s and Cafe Mambo. For lunch and dinner, La Restaurant is best French restaurant. The Cavala Seaside Resort is famous for its barbeque while the Fiesta serves excellent Italian food.
Flea Markets on Baga
Baga Beach is known for its beautiful flea markets. The Ingo’s night market is said to be much more organised than the Anjuna’s flea market. Held on Saturday night, the venue for this market is Arpora, located on a small hillock near Baga. Another Saturday market held here is the Mackie’s on the Arpora-Baga road and is less crowded.
Famed for being the birth place of the famous freedom fighter Abbe Faria, Candolim Beach is Goa is also known for offering a great uncrowded ambiance to the tourists. This beach is very isolated and one can book an umbrella in case they do not want to get burned by the scorching sun. The small shacks dotted around the beach are perfect place to enjoy some authentic finger licking Goan cuisine. This is a very lively beach filled with hawkers selling cheap clothes and and masseurs offering massages on the beach. Goa is a popular place to holiday and is a part of most of Maharashtra tour packages. Some of the best eating places on Candolim beach is After7, famous for a wide selection of food and wine served in great ambiance. The multi cuisine restaurant Bom Sucesso is also very popular among tourists. The famous lifestyle store, Rust is a wonderful place for shopping chocolateries, potteries and furniture. Vagator Beach
Vagator beach is a very scenic beach, very popular among film makers. Split in two parts, the beach on the northern part of the sea is the North Vagator Beach and the one towards the left is the Ozrant beach, also called mini vagator beach. Swimming should be enjoyed only on the North Vagator part of the beach. The middle part of the beach is called the Tel Aviv beach and is very popular among Israeli and European tourists.
The main attraction of the Vagator beach is the fresh water spring located around 100 mts from the northern Vagator beach, on the foot of a hill. An interesting sculpture of Lord Shiva can be seen while moving further south to Ozrant. The Chapora fort is another famous places to visit while on this beach.
This is one of the lesser known beaches providing excellent options for a romantic walk. Lying between the famous Chapora fort and river, this beach is a protected habitat for turtles and a favorite among environmentalists and nature lovers. This beach is known as Goa’s turtle nestling beach and every year more than a dozen Olive Ridley turtles nest here and local volunteers help in protecting their nests. The beach is 55 kms from the Dabolim airport and 30 kms from Panaji and is blessed with plenty of accommodation and eating joints.
One of the cleanest beach in Goa, Sinquerim beach is ideal place for tourists who love take take walks around the beach. From this beach people can walk northwards to the Candolim beach, which further continues north to Baga. Another popular attractions near the beach is the famous Aguada fort built in the 17th century. Other very popular beaches in the Northern part of Goa are Arambol - famous for water sports like paragliding and kite surfing, nightlife and taking scenic walks, Bambolim and Siridao Beach - for excellent options of food and drinks. One can easily visit Goa by taking up packages from Bangalore or any part of India. South Goa
Margao marks the beginning of the South Goa that too boasts of some very charming beaches. The beaches on South Goa are much less crowded as compared to the North Goa beaches.
This is one of the prettiest beaches Goa has and offer uninterrupted options of nightlife. With shacks Cafes scattered around the beach, Colva appears to be the most charming beach in Goa. Boasting of long stretches, the beaches are very clean. The fact that it is not very deep makes it possible for a tourists to go swimming and enjoy the crystal clear water. For all those who love rural Goa, a walk on the beach is a dream.
This beach is flooded with pilgrims during the month of October when people come to seek blessings of Infant Jesus at the Colva church. The beach also have many sea facing shacks that serve excellent food and the Feni served here is a must try. Many boatmen are also available and offer boat trips for dolphin spotting.
This beautiful beach located in South Goa is home to the most popular pub in the area Fiplees. Other popular nightlife hub is the Gatsy Pub and Outback Bar and Restaurant. Colva beach also has a decent range of budget and mid range hotels for staying.
Dolphin cruises offered on the beach are the most famous attractions of the Benaulim beach. Besides having some mythological importance, the beach is also known for the famous church of St. John, located on the nearby hill. This too is a very calm and peaceful resort and tourists are advised to savour the delicious food that is served in the small shacks located on the beach.
The beach has some very popular attractions like St. John’s Baptist Church and Holy Trinity Church located close by.
Benaulim is very less crowded as compared to Colva beach and its close location to the Colva beach makes it easier for the tourists to enjoy the rocking nightlife of Colva along with the solitude bliss at Benaulim. Boating options at Benaulim includes Dolphin Dundee Boat ride (Rs 250 per person), Pedro’s exciting 11/2 hours sunset trip (Rs 300) and a trip to Anjuna beach flea market (Rs 500)
Accommodation is easily available at Benaulim and is suited for people of all budget.
Known as the ‘Paradise Beach’, Palolem beach is a fishing beach which today has gained immense popularity for its dolphin cruises and fishing trips. Another interesting activity to enjoy here to swim to the island located at the northern end of the beach. An idyllic way to spend a peaceful holiday is by booking oneself in the resorts located on the beaches. One can also enjoy fresh sea food in the restaurants located on the beach.
Dolphin spotting boat trips (Rs 150 to 400 per head depending upon the season) happen regularly. This is also one of the safest beach for swimming provided one stays away from stream near the island especially with the tide is receding. Local fisherman’s also conduct a unique boating trip from the beach. They charge around Rs 1000 per boat carrying 6 people and takes the tourists for around an hour onto the sea.
Rajbagh beach (2 kms from Palolem) is also an adventurer’s delight.
Majorda beach is famous not only for its virgin sandy beaches but also for having the best bakeries. Located very close to Margao, this beach has some mythological legends associated with as well. It is said that this is the place from where Goddess Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. This beach is suited for all those tourists who want to enjoy a laid back day at the beach. Swimming, shopping and resting are all the activities that one can enjoy on this beach.
Located around 37 kms from Panjim, this is a very safe beach for swimming and offers great options for accommodation like Shangri La, Sand Dunes Holiday Resort and Majorda Beach Resort.
Claimed to be the virgin stretch of beach, Agonda beach in Goa is very close to Palolem beach and is an ideal picnic spot. Tourists are allowed to swim in the crystal clear waters and tourists. There are not great accommodation available around as this is a pretty unexplored beach. Tourists can stay at Palolem and can conveniently drive down or rent a bicycle to enjoy some quiet moments on this beach. Some popular attractions located around this beach are that of Cabo De Rama Fort (10 kms), the virgin beaches of Cola and Canaguinim (5 kms).
Mobor and Cavelossim Beaches
11 kms from Colva beach, Cavelossim Beach is known for being a very less crowded beach. Mobor beach is located at the south of Cavelossim beach and is famous for having various five star resorts like the Leela Palace Resort. Other Goa Beaches
Goa is blessed with many such exotic beaches that yet need to brought to limelight. Some other beaches that are gaining great popularity among tourists are
Dona Paula Beach - known for Water-skiing, Parasailing, Snorkelling and Harpoon fishing, Velsao Beach - famous for relaxing and aquamarine tourism,
Bogmalo Beach - for Windsurfing, Diving, Jet Skiing, Trekking,
Verca Beach - boat riding and dolphin spotting tours and
Betul Beach - popular for its fishing options and cool ambiance,
Arossim and Utorda beach - popular for host of adventure sports.
Beaches of Goa are very popular tourist attractions that drive people from all over the world to this state. Take a beach tours of Goa to enjoy the best of sun, golden sand, host of adventure options, and lip smacking food and drinks.