Considered as one of the most finest and breathtaking beaches, beaches in God had made the city, the ultimate heaven for holiday travelers on the west coast of India. The 100 km coastline of Goa is the home of innumerable palm-canopied beaches offering sun soaked sands bathed by serene waters, cool breeze, serene environs, and carnival celebrations. Being one of the tourism augmentation aspects in Goa, beaches attract not only native people and regular tourists, but also people across the globe.
The first beach where you must stop while starting to have fun beaches in Goa is the Anjuna beach popular for flea market and glowing parties. Next, in the line, are the Baga and Dona Paula beaches followed by more memorable ones. To ensure that you miss none of them, the beaches are categorized as per their directions and characteristics, beaches in North and the beaches in South. The north beaches are comparatively famous and crowded with several parties and carnivals. On the other hand, the beaches of south Goa are for the people who want to achieve peace of mind in solitude as these offer comparatively quiet environs.
North Goa Beaches
Covering a distance of 30 kilometers, the beaches are the sites for recreation activities, engaging parties, frolicking carnivals, and exploring sports adventures. Listed are these beaches.
- Dona Paula
Let’s look at the most famous ones among these beaches.
01. Anjuna Beach
Famous for its bright painted palm trees and full moon parties, Anjuna was also the favorite of the Hippies who brought in the combination of eastern traditions with western art and music. Located at 8 km west of Mapusa, right from 70’s, what attracts people here is the flea market and lying on the sands and enjoying the tropical fruit. The preferred time to visit this beach is early November. Listed below are the main attractions here.
On each Wednesday at 11 in the morning, the flea market is opened to you for shopping Tibetan, Kashmiri, and Gujarati ornaments, handicrafts, artificial jewelry, antiques, and T-shirts.
Adventurous Water Sports
Swimming, parasailing, windsurfing, and Yachting are popular.
The Albuquerque Mansion
Built in 1920, it is an architectural splendor hosting octagonal towers and the tiled roof in Mangalore style.
The Mascarenhas Mansion
This historical structure is famous for its balconies and the fine floral glass designs.
The Chapora Fort
This citadel is erected by Adil Shah and named after the nearby Chapora River.
02. Baga Beach
A relatively scenic beach among the other beaches and as an extension of Calangute beach, this beach is for those who would like to be in isolation and watch the sunset. Situated at a distance of 10 km west of Mapusa, it is situated between the Calangute and Anjuna beaches. However, even the locals cannot say where one ends and where another starts, making it difficult to draw line of distinction among them.
A gift for beach lovers, the Baga beach starts from Fort Aguada, spreads ahead known as the Sinquerim beach and then at some distance called the Candolim Beach, and merges into the Calangute beach after which it is known as the Baga beach. After this junction, the beach heads as Anjuna Beach and Vagator Beach, this lastly culminates at the Chapora Beach and Fort. The noticeable thing here is that the sand is neither white nor gold, but it is brown. A major attraction here is the Baga Beach Market.
Baga Beach Market
Hosted at the evening of Saturdays, you can shop and bargain strongly for many goods such as groceries, textiles, earthenware, household articles, bric-a-brac, toys, ornaments, and jewelries. The presence of regular live bands creates turns the busy environment into a festive one.
03. Calangute Beach
Entitled with ‘Queen of Beaches’ of Goa, this beach is just a 45 minute ride from Panjim by bus. It is the Goa’s most commercialized resort. The name of the beach is actually distorted from the word of local language called ‘Koli-gutti’ meaning the land of fishermen. In addition, some local people believe it to be related with Kalyan Gutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit of the coconut tree), as the Calangute town is an abode of infinite coconut trees. A popular belief holds that the Portuguese must have interpreted the current name. Around ’60s and early ’70s, hippies founded this place of peaceful sands, immaculate surroundings, and idyllic tranquility. Then, they spread about this discovery that resulted in flocks of European tourists.
Goans and visitors come to chill themselves in hot summers by bathing in the quiet sea, sun, and sand. Playing families, excited children making sand castles, vibrant throng rolling into the sea, hippies recalling the good past events, and people relaxing on the golden sands are some of the common scenes here. Adding to its charm are the sheds and stalls under the canopies of palm trees selling items right from food to shell trinkets.
Forming a green arc, the villages of Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao, and Candolim also contribute to the splendor of Calangute. Other attractions are scenic Argos meaning saltpans at Agarvaddo, coconut trees at Madda vaddo, green hillock at Dongorpur.
04. Dona Paula Beach
A confluence of the two famous rivers Zuari and Mandovi entering the Arabian Sea along with a good view of the Marmagao Harbor, this beautiful and popular beach is at 7 km from Panjim. It lies on the south of the stony and hammer-shaped peninsula. An ex-fishing town and now a commercialized resort, the beach is a tranquil site to lighten up and get a tan under the bright sun.
A historic tragic story is connected with this beach, according to which the beach is named. The viceroy’s daughter, Dona Paula de Menzes, performed suicide here, as she could not marry to her love, a native fisherman. This story and the beautiful surroundings with hanging palm trees attracts maximum tourist at this beach and in Goa. Other attractions are listed below.
Cruises on the two famous rivers are popular among the visitors.
National Oceanography Institute
This houses some of the good artifacts related with marine life and oceanography. The marine biology museum and the Taxonomy Reference centers are the interesting corners of this institute.
This is the residence of the governor of Goa that offers a splendid view of the Aguada fort and the coastline.
This is the house of the tomb of Dona Paula de Menzes.
This includes the nearby Miramar and Vainguinim beaches.
Reis Magos Church and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Both of them are close by.
This includes water skiing, Para-sailing, windsurfing; snorkeling, yachting, water scootering, and motor boating. An annual water sports festival takes place here in November.
Fans of shopping can check out for garments and handicraft items.
05. Miramar Beach
This beach is on the route to Dona Paula and 3 km from Panjim. It is actually 1 km forward from the meeting of the Arabian Sea and Mondovi River.
06. Candolim Beach
Relatively calm beach facing the Arabian Sea, the Candolim beach is simply for the nature lovers and holidaymakers due to its tranquil environs. Situated about 15 km from Panjim, other beaches that accompany are Senquirim, Calangute, and Baga. It has good arrangements of staying, which makes it the first choice of visitors among other beaches. Listed below are the attractions at this beach.
The Aguada Fort
Built in 1612 by the Portuguese and later abandoned, it is a famous shooting site for movies.
Famous for its musical theme as that of the Caribbean islands and encompassing groves of palm and coconut, this site is to enjoy the food and the music in front of the sea.
These include Parasailing, water skiing, and boating, Yoga, and meditation sessions.
07. Vagator Beach
A few kilometers of cliff tops and grassland is the distance between the Anjuna and its close by neighbor at south, Vagator. Located at 24 km from Panaji, the beach is on the north of the Bardez taluka. Offering smooth white sands and coconut palms, the Vagator beach is the hot favorite relaxing destination. Surrounded by a calm rural area, there are no big shopping sites here. Listed below are the attractions here.
These include a chain of beaches namely, Chapora, Anjuna, Baga, and Calangute beaches.
500 years old, this fort is a good site to view the adjoining coast and distant hills.
One is at the hill foot to the north of the Vagator beach and the other is in Ozrant that is called Zor by the local people.
This is the right place to know the local life.
Safer swimming and shopping souvenirs and garments are famous.
08. Aguada Beach
Besides from the serene view of swaying palms, sun, sand, and sea, this beach is famous for its 16th century Portuguese citadel, Fort Aguada. This fort is the spot from where you can have splendid views of the never-ending sea and beaches that spread until the borders of the Maharashtra state. Built as the tower of defense to block the enemies from entering into the River Mandovi, the fort hosts a circular lighthouse tower built in 1864 on which you can view the Cabo Raj Niwas. Further, the beach is also famous for its marvelous nearby churches.
09. Arambol Beach
Situated at 50 km north of Panaji, the beach extends along with golden sands and rocky cliffs. Hosting two beaches, the popular one is the Harmal beach that is the northernmost beach and the second is the scenic one encompassing steep cliffs on its sides and approachable on foot. This beach is crowded only on Sundays when local people come for a picnic here. Listed below are the attractions here.
This is near to the main beach meeting a freshwater lake. It is famous as the deposit formed on the lakeshore posses medicinal properties.
This is a good site for shopping enthusiastic as there are many shops selling clothes, jewelry, and handicrafts from all states of India.
You can explore the mouth-watering Italian, Goan, and Indian dishes.
A few stunning calm bays and fresh water pools to the north of the beach are good sites of swimming. In addition, other thrilling activities include paragliding, Dolphin watching boat trips, and cruise rides to the close Anjuna beach.
South Goa Beaches
Listed below are the beaches in South Goa.
- Agonda Beach
Covering a coastline of 3 km accompanied by white sands, towering palm trees, casuarinas, and a large hill in the south, the Agonda beach is at 37 km from the Margao town. Coming after the Palolem beach on the way towards Panaji, it is among the scenic sites although isolated from the busy nearby towns. It is precisely this geographical location that makes the site a perfect holiday destination for nature lovers and for those who are seeking peace of mind. Comparatively low visitors are found here and so there are not many facilities here including stalls. However, the most enjoyable time for you can be just hiring a tent for camping in front of the roaring sea waves.
A major attraction near this beach is the fort of Cabo de Rama, which is the isolated citadel named after Lord Ram, who is the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana. According to the legend, Lord Ram and his divine consort, Devi Sita stayed here during their 12-year exile period.
10. Bogmalo Beach
Located in the northern part of Colva bay and at 18 km from the Dabolim airport and 8 km from Vasco da Gama, this is one of the most appealing beaches in North Goa. Exhibiting cleanliness and apparently not congested with people, the beach is a small-scale resort offering both tranquilness and commercialism. This beach is safe for swimming as the water near the coast is not too deep. The beach also offers quite good eating restaurants and shopping options. Listed below are the attractions here.
The Naval Aviation Museum
This museum offers detailed information about the Indian Navy along with the exhibition of varied weapons, artilleries, and other related stuff.
These include parasailing, spotting dolphins and sea turtles regularly, and above all – diving. Recently, diving schools have been established in this region.
11. Colva Beach
This is among the most famous sites of all tourists attractions in Goa. Holding the credit of the largest beach in south Goa at 6 km from Margao and 39 km from Panjim, the beach covers 25 km of the coastline. The beach is further naturally adorned with the lined coconut palms swaying in front of the calm Arabian Sea. Listed below are the attractions here.
These include Benaulim, Majorda, Betalbatim, Betul, Canaguinim, Agonda, Palolem, Rajbhag, and Polem can that are all accessible from this single spot through walk or other means.
Baby Jesus Statue
The ‘Menino Jesus’ statue in the local church is worth seeing.
These include nearby Shree Damodar Temple, Chandranath Temple, Shree Navdurga Temple, Shantadurga Temple, Jama Masjid at Sanguem, the Cabo de Rama, and the Buddhist caves at Rivona.
Fairs and Festivals
The Beach Bonanza fair is a lively occasion on Sundays in mid April that offers music, dance, and other displays. The festival named ‘Fama of Menino Jesus’ is another major attraction held on the third Monday of October.
These are held close to the Benaulim beach from October to May.
Margao is a must visit city as it holds a few old, beautiful churches and temples.
These include kayaking, speed boating, water scootering, and sailing.
12. Benaulim Beach
Situated at 7 km west of Margao after the Colva beach and named by the Portuguese, the Benaulim beach is quite calm as compared to Colva. Due to absence of jellyfish, the beach is safe for swimming. The beach becomes crowded only in the evenings and on weekends mainly due to its spectacular view of sunset and you can see hawkers, masseurs, and fruit sellers. Listed below are the attractions here.
The Church of St. John, the Baptist is worth visiting atop a hill beyond the Benaulim village. The feast of St. John the Baptist (Sao Joao) celebrated in monsoons is the famous attraction of this church.
This is held from early October to late May.
Beach Bonanza Fair
This is held on Sundays from mid-April on the beach.
13. Cavelossim Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, the Cavelossim beach is 11 km south of Colva. It is the perfect site for scenic lovers as the beach is accompanied by the stunning paddy fields, the Sal River, and the golden dunes. Listed below are the attractions here.
These include mobor (a must to visit), varca, colva, and majorda.