21 Beaches of Goa: Pick a beach to plan your holiday

The rains have retreated, shacks are sprouting on the beaches and the first Russian charter flight has arrived – Goa is getting ready for the busiest time of the year! Between October and January a steady stream of domestic and international tourists make their way to soak in the sun, sea and sand. Having  spent the monsoon season exploring the Goan coastline here’s a glimpse of beaches that we have visited and I hope to update this as and when we explore the rest.

The beaches of Goa fall into two broad categories – North and South ( a while back I had written about the lesser known beaches  in South Goa). The Northernmost point of Goa is at (Fort Tiracol), from where the coastline begins and stretches down till the southern border close to Palolem.

All you have to do is pick a beach and plan your holiday!

Arambol
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A narrow road dotted with cafes and tourist shops leads you to the parking lot. From there, it’s a short walk to the beach. Arambol, the northernmost beach is dotted with beach huts and shacks. It’s quite popular among the tourist crowd, so expect to find a crowded beach during the season. Try the German Bakery for some baked treats.

Ashwem

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Ashwem is a quiet beach that is ideal for those who want a break from the crowd. Big laterite rocks dot the beach. The tide was low when we visited and the rocks made great pedestals to sit on to watch the sunset.

 

Morjim

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Set amidst a lush green landscape, this serene beach is the nesting place for the Olive Ridley turtles and a favorite amongst bird watchers. Don’t be surprised if you see boards and menus in Russian – a majority of the Russian tourist’s head out to this beach.

 

Vagator

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A beautiful beach bordered by rocky hills on either side, Vagator will appeal to those who are looking for a quieter beach away from the crowd in North Goa. It is divided into two beaches and from the hilltop, you will get a view of Big Vagator and Little Vagator or Ozran beach.

Anjuna

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The winding lanes of Anjuna leads you to the beach. It’s more of a sea front peppered with red laterite rocks. Anjuna is well known for its all night Flea Market and has plenty of cafes and restaurants.

 

Baga

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This is probably the most popular beach among the Indian tourist crowd. The road leading to the beach is crammed with shops and restaurants offering an eclectic range of cuisines. The beach is lined with shacks and at night (during the season) candles and lights set on the tables make it a pretty sight.

Candolim

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In contrast to the main road which is packed with shops and restaurants, Candolim beach has a laidback feel to it with a variety of attractively designed shacks. As dusk approaches, people make their way to the shacks which are alight with a variety of lanterns.

Sinquerim

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Standing atop the Sinquerim fort you get a nice view of the Candolim – Sinquerim coastline. In the evening, Sinquerim beach was filled with tourists swimming and trying out water sport activities. There were plenty of boats taking eager tourists into the sea for parasailing.

Siridao

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The blackish sand makes the waters look a bit murky and isn’t particularly inviting for a swim. The beach is interspersed with laterite rocks. But, what was a good find on this beach was the abundance of Oyster shells that were washed ashore (I haven’t come across these on any other beach). Interestingly, Oyster shells have sometimes been used in place of glass on windows, in the old Goan houses.

 Bogmalo

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This is a small beachside village close to the airport. It’s situated in a small bay surrounded by green hills, with around a mile of curving sandy beach. If you have time to kill before catching a flight, head to Bogmalo.

Hollant

Hollant

This is one of the lesser visited beaches of South Goa near Bogmalo. It’s a good idea to visit in the early mornings or on weekdays,as it tends to get crowded on weekends. The local shack there will get your lunch ready by the time you take a walk or a swim.

Uttorda

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Crossing a small bridge you walk onto the Uttorda beach. Tourists staying in the nearby resorts hang out here. If you’re looking for a leisurely beach walk you could walk from Uttorda to Majorda.

 

Majorda

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A wide and picturesque beach it’s popular amongst the locals and tourists. During the tourist season, it’s a great place for parasailing and watersports along with late night dinners on the beach.

 

Betalbatim

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A beach with tall casuarina trees swaying in the wind, Betalbatim has a flavor of its own. We happened to see a lot of sea creatures (stingray, water snake, star fish and jellyfish) on one of our visits. The village is well known for the local restaurant specializing in Seafood, Martins Corner.

 

Colva

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The main tourist beach hub of the South Goa is Colva. It has ample car parking space with a variety of restaurants and shops. Expect to see a packed beach on New Year’s Eve.

 

Benaulimbenaulim

A quiet beach popular amongst the locals and tourists. It’s a nice place to head out to for a laidback lunch, as it offers a number of beach shacks if you’re in need of variety. Rafaels is one of our favorite places to eat at.

 

Varca

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Tall casuarina trees line the entrance to the white sand beach of Varca. A clean and quiet beach it’s frequented by the locals and tourists staying in the nearby resorts. The beach stretches across on both sides making it suitable for walking.

Fatrade

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A relatively quiet and empty beach stretch it’s lined with trees. If you drive it’s about 5 kms from Varca Beach to Fatrade. It’s a short walk through a sandy path to reach the beach from the parking area.

Carmona or Zalor 

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Keep a look out for the signboard which leads you to this peaceful white sand beach that seems quite untouched. At the time of our visit there was hardly anyone around but that will change with the season.

Agonda

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During the monsoon this tranquil beach wore a deserted look but during season it will sprout shacks. It’s ideal for those looking for a quiet and isolated holiday away from the touristy crowd. It is quieter than neighboring Palolem.

Palolem

Palolem
Palolem, a scenic beach is largely unspoiled and gets busy during the peak season. It is about one mile long and is crescent-shaped; you can view the entire beach from either end. Both ends of the beach consist of rocks jutting out into the sea.

 

 

 

 

 

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