On top of the bucket list of any beach buff heading to the tourist paradise of Goa, would be soaking in the sun, sand and surf at a virgin, unexplored beach with white sand and blue waters. Goa has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches that need to be seen to be believed. Here’s my list of the top beaches in Goa from the rustic to the touristy!
The first thing that strikes you when you visit Agonda, is how clean it is. White sand, blue waters and nobody in sight for miles, it is one of the top beaches in Asia. Very few people even know of this beach- you will be surprised how many Goans themselves don’t know of this beach. And that means that it is less crowded, off the beaten track and ideal for some undisturbed rest and relaxation. The long and isolated stretch of Agonda Beach is perfect for those looking to get away from it all. Stay in a rustic hut or take a ride in a canoe, your perfect holiday starts right here! Or better still take a boat from Agonda Beach to the legendary Butterfly Beach- here you can indulge in some quiet fishing, crabbing, dolphin and butterfly spotting!
The scenic route to the Cavelossim Beach is surrounded by lush green fields and coconut groves; you know this is a special place. Endless white sands are a picture of serenity. There are plenty of food options where you can indulge in some delicious Goan fare. If lazying around in a shack isn’t your thing, how about shopping for souvenirs in the local markers or some exciting water sports. There are lots of starred hotels around for those looking to spend their holiday in the lap of luxury.
Mandrem Beach is a tranquil beach and one of the most beautiful in the country frequented by those seeking privacy and seclusion. Mandrem is a sleepy fishing village and if your idea of a perfect vacation is going for lazy walks on the beach or swims in the ocean, then Mandrem is the beach for you.
One of my favorite beaches surrounded by cliffs, a must visit is the freshwater lake past the cliffs off the beach. Set to the background of thick greenery with plenty of freshwater springs, it also has a beautiful waterfall out back. Don’t miss the climb up to Arambol cliff that offers beautiful views and hosts plenty of watersport activities. Arambol is soon becoming the new hippie haven. Common attractions include dolphin rides, yoga/meditation camps and happening nightlife. Or you can simply walk up to the Keri Beach or the Tiracol Fort.
Anjuna, Vagator and Chapora Beaches
The Anjuna Beach, home of the hippies was discovered by eight-finger Eddie who is considered to be the father if the Hippies in India. Legend has it that after walking through dense forests after first arriving at Colva, he finally discovered this shoreline. Every Wednesday shop for trinkets and curios at the fabled Flea Market or simply watch the sun set to some psychedelic trance at Curlies, the legacy of the hippies is evident everywhere around you.
The Vagator Beach is north of Anjuna and is strategically located at the bottom of a steep cliff. It consists of Big Vagator-the main beach, Little Vagator- located off the rocks and frequented by Russian and Israeli tourists and Ozran Beach in the south frequented by Italians
The Chapora Beach is known for the Chapora Fort where the famous Bollywood Movie Dil Chahta Hai was shot. The hike to the top of the Fort is tiring but the stunning view at the top is worth it. The idyllic Chapora Village on the banks of the Chapora River showcases the rustic Goan village life; don’t forget to stop by The Heritage Hotel when you’re there!
Morjim and Ashwem Beaches
Morjim is also known as mini Russia since it attracts an influx of Russian tourists, even the signboards here are in Russian! It is one of the more secluded beaches, a nesting place for the famous Olive Ridley Turtles. These two beaches located in close proximity to each other are known for their open spaces, beach bars and huts, yoga and wellness centers, authentic food and an overall relaxed pace of life.
Benaulim and Betalbatim Beaches
The Colva Beach is a more touristy beach but lies in close proximity to the more peaceful Benaulim and Betalbatim Beach. There are plenty of hotels, beach shacks, restaurants and places to stay while offering a gateway to South Goa as it were. The famous Our Lady of Mercy Church witnesses a heavy influx of pilgrims during the feast celebration in October. The Betalbatim Beach boasts of rich and distinct scenery ideal for sipping cold beer accompanied by great seafood. Don’t forget to visit the famous Martin’s Corner just off the beach, its reason enough to visit the place!
This charming beach boasts of a crescent shape and gentle slope making it ideal for swimming. Growing in popularity, having being featured in the Bourne Supremacy, the beach is surrounded by swaying coconut trees and is a backpackers paradise with little temporary palm huts erected right on the beach. Silent Noise Parties are popular and for a taste of some good nightlife head to the southern part of the beach.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive or comprehensive list- no list of beaches can do justice to the beauty and magnificence that is the tourist paradise of Goa, it certainly covers the picturesque and worth a visit beaches in Goa. While the Calangute, Baga, Sinquerim and Candolim Beaches are the most frequented by domestic tourists who throng the Tito’s lane to catch a glimpse of the happening nightlife, the Miramar and Dona Paula Beaches are more accessible from Panjim city. Collecting shells along Siridao Beach, walking the endless white sands of the Cansaulim Beach, swimming in the Majorda Beach or enjoying the pristine blue waters of the Bogmalo Beach, there’s always plenty to do. More importantly, there is a lot more to Goa than its beaches, its distinct and unique culture, historic architecture and delicious food are all reasons good enough to visit this picturesque state. Not to forget the susegado Goan way of life, you need to live it to know it!