Goa and its beaches do not need an introduction. The state is well known for its spectacular beaches that are a major reason behind its successful tourism.
Replete with swaying palms, food shacks, flea markets, water sports and nightlife the Goa beaches make for a perfect holiday. Covering almost 83% of the total coastline area of Goa the beaches in Goa offer everything that makes your vacation a memorable one.
The captivating beaches of Goa attract millions of local and foreign tourists throughout the year. Goa is home to both commercial and quiet beaches. The beaches in North are the commercialized ones which are known specially for their nightlife. The South Goa beaches are ideal for relaxing and just lazing around on the sun kissed shores.
Heaven for all kinds of tourists the beaches in Goa over the years have evolved as one of the hottest tourist destination in India. Inviting as they are with their enchanting appearance the Goa beaches are mostly situated around Margao Mapusa and Panaji.
Beaches In Goa
Goa is a popular state located in West India which is famous for its mesmerizing beaches. The deep blue sea, soft sand, swaying palms and coconut trees, delicious seafood, water sports and night-life of the Goan beaches makes it a popular and most loved tourist destination. About 83% of the Goan coastline is covered with beautiful beaches that will take your heart away.
Located about 8 kms to the west of Mapusa (north Goa), Anjuna Beach is spread over 30 kms in length. It forms a part of the coastline of Goa along the boundary of the Arabian Sea and is situated in Bardez Taluka, 18 kms away from Panaji.
Curled up between the Arabian Sea and the hills looking over the beach, it covers an area of five square miles. It provides a rejuvenating view of natural beauty with the swaying palm trees and soft white sands. The beach is marked by the presence of strikingly unusual rocky formations enveloping a small inlet of white sand and black rock that extends into the sea. This region was known as Jewel of Anjuna or ‘Ozran’.
It is also known as Goa’s favourite ‘hippy beach’. Hippies, in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, started visiting Anjuna Beach. Since then it has become famous for the wild parties with rave music. It provides a mesmerizing atmosphere for the full-moon parties especially during Christmas and New Year.
It is best to visit Anjana Beach during early November to late March when it is crowded with tourists from all over the world who come here to enjoy the peppy beach parties. Located about 18kms from Panaji and situated in Bardez taluka, the Anjuna Beach is the part of a 30 km extended beach coastline along the west coast of Goa by the Arabian sea.
The Village of Anjuna, a five square mile area is nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Hill overlooking the beach. The beach is famous for its stunning natural beauty with swaying palms trees and soft powered white sands. The beach is marked by an unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of white sand and black rock that juts out into the Sea. This area was known as the Jewel of Anjuna and called “Ozran”.
Anjuna beach is a favorite haunt of the hippies who used to organize the famous rave beach parties. It was in the late 1950s to mid-1960s that hippies started visiting Anjuna beach and since then popularized the wild rave parties with trance music which have now become the characteristic features of Goan beaches. Anjuna Beach is also an ideal place for full-moon parties held especially during Christmas and New Year. Tourists love enjoying the blissful atmosphere of the luminous full-moon casting a spell and the soft foamy waves kissing their feet.
The beach is adjacent to Chapora fort. The “Albuquerque mansion” located nearby is one of the sight-seeing highlights of this beach. At the north of the Anjuna, is its famous flea market, held on Wednesdays, where small cafes, bars and Kashmiri handicrafts stalls are lined. This area offers pleasurable shopping experience with quality products at reasonable prizes.
Bathing is generally safer at Anjuna than at most of the nearby resorts, especially at the more serene southern end of the beach where a rocky headland keeps the sea calm. At this place sun -starved European tourists laze around bathing in the pleasant sun. The exhilaration of Bungee Jumping from an 80-ft tower and water-sports facilities like paragliding and windsurfing boosts the fun at Anjuna.
Located in North Goa, at a distance of 50 kms from Panaji, Arambol Beach is an immaculate and secluded beach that can be reached by roads through a channel of cashew trees. Spread over an area of 16 km, it consists of two beaches – an easily accessible Harmal Beach, the northern-most beach of Goa and the less accessible scenic beach on the southern half which is covered by steep cliffs on both the sides and can only be reached on foot.
The primary attraction of Arambol Beach is the hot spring that drains into the fresh water lake causing silt deposition on the lake shore which does wonders to the skin of tourists applying it on their body.
Adventure lovers would get an opportunity to do paragliding from the cliffs near the beaches. Dolphin watching boat trips is another exciting activity enjoyed by elders and kids. Tourists can also go swimming in idle water inlets and fresh water pools.
Visitors can also relish shopping for the Goan artifacts, handicrafts and ethnic jewellery in the shops adjacent to the beach. The sandy beach of Arambol offers many eateries from the cuisine of Portugal and Goa.
Baga Beach is located about 15 km from Panaji and gets its name from the Baga river at the north end of the beach that flows into the Arabian Sea. Situated at about 8 kms from Mapusa in the westward direction, it adjoins the Calangute Beach in the south and the Anjuna Beach in the north. It is one of the most happening beaches on the coast. It figures in the list of most crowded and busy beaches of Goa. The whole of the beach is covered with beach umbrellas and beach beds where foreign tourists can relax and enjoy sun bathing. One can also relish feasting on the everlasting supply of cocktails, mocktails and food. The rare view of the joining of the river and sea at Baga Beach is also astounding.
Water sports of Baga Beach is of great attraction to people visiting Goa. It offers para sailing, windsurfing, wake boarding, kite surfing and rides on Jet Skis, that too at a very reasonable price. Dolphin watching boat trips and island trips are also a must, once you visit Baga Beach.
Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazar that opens from November till April, every Saturday 6 pm onwards offers a wide range of colorful oriental Goan artifacts. There is also a dance floor, where one can dance to their favorite music played by live bands. The world-famous Tito club, located in the Tito Lane, organizes regular events with DJs adding to the bustling night life of Goa.
Benaulim Beach, located in South Goa, is about 41 km from Panaji and just 2 km from Colva Beach. It is a fishing beach which is an ideal location for tourists seeking tranquility since it is one of the somewhat undiscovered beaches of Goa.
The tourists can just relax and enjoy a sun bath at Benalium Beach. They can place an order at the many eateries available here, without getting up from their places as a number of assistants of the eateries walk through the beach to take your order. It is mainly crowded on evenings and during weekends.
Tourist can also enjoy the thrilling bull fighting in the Benalium beach that runs from early October till May-end from 4 pm onwards.
The Church of St. John the Baptist, which is located on a hill looking over the village, is a must-visit on a trip to this beach. The feast of St. John or Sao Joao is commemorated as thanksgiving with young men dressed in fruits and leaves going around singing for a gift.
The Beach Bonanza Fair that start from mid-April till May end and takes place every consecutive Sunday also provides various forms of entertainment, including traditional dance, to the visitors.
Calangute Beach, which is seven-km long and located about 15 kms from Panaji, is one of the busiest beaches in Goa. Some believe that it getS its name from the Konkani Word-’Koli-gutti’(Land of Fisherman), some say that it is derived from the native word-’Kalyangutti’(Village of Art) while others connect it with Konvallo-ghott (Strong pit of the coconut tree). It is also known as Queen of Beaches.
Tourist here enjoy sun bathing along with delicious fried prawns, beers and much more that are sold in the stalls spread all over the beach. It is a perfect paradise for adventure lovers with water sports like parasailing, water-skiing and wind surfing. Swimmers are required to swim with caution since there is a sudden rise and drop of waves in the sea here.
Shopaholic tourists can buy a variety of products. This include Gujarati, Rajasthani and Karnataka textiles, Kashmiri handicrafts and Tibetan jewellery which are available in large variety and reasonable price in the shops near Calangute Beach.
A famous tourist attraction of Calangute Beach is the Church of St. Alex. It is a splendid building with two towers and magnificent dome that glorify its appearance. From inside it is equally beautiful. Another place that is worth a visit is the Kerkar Art Gallery that displays work of emerging artists from Goa. It also organizes nights of Indian dance and music every week.
The night-life here is quite feeble since most of the bars, except a handful of them, close by 10.00 p.m.
Located about 18 km from Panaji, Candolim Beach is a straight three-km long beach that forms a part of the Arabian Sea coastline. It lies in north Goa starting from Fort Aguada and extending till Chapora Beach. It is also the birth place of the Goan Freedom fighter, Abba Faria, who is also the father of hypnotism in India.
The environment at this beach is very serene. It is a beautiful silvery beach with limited commercial activities that makes it more peaceful as compared to other chaotic beaches of Goa. Candolim Beach consists of large number of dunes covered with scrub that draws tourist attraction.
Water sports activities are available here. Parasailing, wind surfing and water-skiing are some of these activities. One can also opt for fishing at Candolim Beach. It also provides an ideal environment for meditation and yoga. Beach excursions that provide tourists with the benefit of capturing memorable sunset views right from the middle of the sea, is also an excellent activity.
The major tourist attraction of Candolim Beach is Aguada Fort which was built in 1912 by the Portuguese as a barricade against Maratha and Dutch invaders. The Fort is surrounded by many villas, resorts and guest houses that offer various facilities to visitors staying there. Aguada Jail, the Lighthouse and church are other most-visited places of this beach. The most suitable time to visit Candolim beach is from December to February.
Cavelossim Beach, situated about 20 km from Margao, is one of the most appealing beaches in South Goa.
Located between the River Sal and the Arabian Sea, it is an elegant stretch of coastline covered with soft white sand and black lava rocks. The beauty of this beach lies in the fact that it is very clean and calm as compared to other beaches. It is the perfect place for relaxation where one can watch crystalline blue water, white soft sand and greenery at its best. One can enjoy delicious sea food and a variety of Goan dishes available at reasonable prices from numerous beach shacks.
Water sports are a major attraction of this beach. One can enjoy speed boats, diving, racing, swimming and other fun water games. This beach is also famous for its dolphin-watching spot. Boat trips are arranged that sail tourists into the sea where they can watch dolphins leap and dive in the blue water of the sea. Sunset cruises are also arranged here.
The market along the beach sells a large number of interesting products making it a great destination for shoppers. It offers a large variety of Indian handicrafts, local artefacts, gift items, aromatic sticks and much more. Decorative items made of shell, mirror and wood are also easily available at cheap rates.
One can lodge in the beach resorts and luxury star rated hotels that are available in plenty here. One can also opt for sea facing rooms at some extra cost.
Chapora Beach, also a fishing village, is 10 km away from Mapusa in North Goa. It is a perfect beach for those who love serenity and tranquillity. Anjuna Beach and Vagator Beach are also very close to this beach.
It is a mesmerizing beach covered with white sand and surrounded by coconut palms. The blossomy green landscapes and black magma rocks adds to the diversity of the terrain. You would be mesmerized by the colour of the sea which changes from aqua marine to sea green as the day proceeds. Food stalls near the shore of the beach provides tourists with a variety of Goan food that you cannot stop eating once tasted. Shopaholics can buy shell ornaments and home decoratives from local hawkers as well as good shops.
Interesting water activities like paragliding, wind surfing, and para-sailing are also very common here.
Chapora Fort, which was built 500 years ago displaying a Portuguese style of architecture is also a very famous tourist attraction. From the top of the fort one can see the mesmerizing natural beauty of the hills and the sea.
Colva Beach, located in southern Goa, is about 8 km from Margao and 40 km from Panaji. It is the oldest beach of Goa. It is about 2 kms away from the Benalium Beach.
It is usually less crowded as compared to Anjuna or Calangute Beach and has gained popularity very lately. People visit here to relax and feel the tranquillity in the natural beauty of the beach. The beach is covered with white sand and surrounded by coconut palms along the coast. You can see a large number of fishermen’s motor trawlers anchored offshore. Silver carpets of mackerels laid by fisherman over the beach for drying can be seen. A large number of food stalls and drink stalls at the Colva Beach provide you with delicious sea food cuisine and you can also enjoy the famous drink named feni made of cashew or coconut.
Water sports activities including jet skiing, swimming, boat rides are offered to tourists visiting here.
The night-life here is more bustling than any other beach in the whole of the South Goa. It is a famous destination for rave parties, and is made more marvellous along with music, late night bars and discos which are crowded from 10:00 pm onwards.
Another famous tourist attraction is Our Lady of Mercy Church that was founded in 1630. The statue of Menino Jesus, inside the church, is believed to have healing powers. Every year during the month of October, an annual religious event – ‘Fama of menino Jesuse’ is organized during which the statue is removed from the triple vaulted lock of the church and dipped in water after a procession. This water is taken as a token of good luck by pilgrims.
Dona Paula Beach is situated just 7 km away from Panjim. It is also the meeting point of the Zuari and Mandovi rivers. It got its name from Dona Paula De Menezes, the daughter of the then viceroy, who committed suicide after not being allowed to marry Gaspar Dias, a local fisherman whom she loved. Cabo Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Goa, is also situated in Dona Paula along the western tip.
Bundled along the southern side of the hammer-shaped headland that separates the Zuari and Mandovi rivers, it is one of the most haunted beaches in Goa. One can have a nice view of Mormugao from here. Bordered by casuarina groves and palm trees, this beach is beloved by both local and international travellers. One can also shop for a variety of products varying from spices to straw hats from local vendors.
It offers a large number of water sports activities that adventure lovers can indulge in. These include motorboat riding, kayaking, water-skiing, windsurfing, para-sailing, ski-bob, harpoon fishing, sports fishing and much more.
One of the famous tourist attractions in Dona Paula is the National Oceanography Institute. It includes a marine biology museum, taxonomy reference center and all major branches of coastal and marine oceanography.
Majorda Beach is located about 4 kms from Margao and 5 kms from Colva Beach. Goan toddy, a sap from the coconut palm which is used to ferment bread, was discovered by Jesuit priests here. It is also famous for its breads.
Majorda beach stretches over a distance of 26 km. The natural beauty, water sports and cleanliness gives tourists an opportunity to relax and physically rehabilitate here. A wide range of good quality food including fresh sea food, Schezhuan food and steaks are offered at stalls on Majorda Beach. A large number of shops selling silks, Kashmiri handicrafts, jewellery and wood carving offers shopaholics a variety of products to choose from.
Water sports which include waterskiing, para-sailing, jet skiing etc. are activities which tourists can indulge in at Majorda Beach. One can also opt for swimming at the beach without any danger since there are many lifeguards to ensure safety and security at the beach.
Mae De Deus Church which was founded in AD 1588 is the most popular tourist attraction of Majorda Beach. It also hosts a Christmas carnival every year which is enjoyed by both local people and tourists.
Mandrem beach is located about 25 km from Panaji between Ashwem Beach and Arambol Beach. It is quite difficult to access the beach during the high tides of the monsoon season.
Located in Pernem Taluka, the northern-most taluka of Goa, this beach is quite deserted. It provides a perfect environment for newlyweds to spend some romantic and private time together. They can enjoy candle light dinners, lie star gazing or can go for long walks along the beach. During your stay in Mandrem beach, you can also visit the Organic Farm of Suhas Parsekar in Mandera Village from where you can even buy fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Traditional fishing boats also arrange excursions for dolphin watching. One can also go for swimming but be cautious while doing so, since there are no lifeguards at the beach.
Since it is mostly secluded, it offers limited accommodation facilities to visitors. There are small guest houses and resorts and homes of local people let out for rent where tourists can lodge. Madlamaz-Mandrem is a known market area nearby which offers some delicious food and drink.
Miramar Beach is located about 3 km from Panaji and 1 km from Dona Paula Beach. Miramar is a Portuguese name which means ‘viewing the sea’. It is also known as Gaspar Dias. The Mandovi River and Arabian Sea also merge here.
The Miramar beach is covered with soft white sand which make it suitable for long leisurely evening walks. The coastline of Miramar beach is about 2 km long. Beginning at the gulf and ending at Emerald Coast Parkway, it is bounded by the Arabian Sea on one side and coconut palms on the other. The silver sand of the beach sparkles in the moonlight adding to its beauty. One can also have a multicolor view of Aguada Fort from here. It also hosts a large number of cultural events every year. The main attraction of Miramar Beach is 500-plus species of migratory birds that cover the whole of the beach during the months of November and March. It includes migratory birds such as gulls and plovers too.
Miramar Beach offers A large number of accommodation options to tourists. They can also lodge in the capital city of Panaji, which is just 3 kms away and offers a wide range hotels, guest houses and resorts.
Situated in North Goa, Mobor Beach is one of the most visited beaches of Goa.
Covered with soft white sands, facing the Arabian Sea on one side and backed by palm trees, it provides a relaxing environment for those looking to recline in the lap of nature. It is fairly isolated and is covered with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for utmost comfort of the tourists visiting here. It is mostly famous for its water sports that take place behind the Betty Palace. It offers large number of water sports including water skiing, parasailing, banana and bump rides, jet skiing, water surfing and much more that tourists can enjoy. Biking on the sands of the beach is another popular activity amongst the tourists. Dolphin watching and deep sea fishing trips are another popular excursion on Mobor beach.
There are a large number of beach-front shops offering souvenirs, handicrafts and gift antiques to take home. One can also buy beach wears and the mouthwatering local drink feni from these shops.
The once barren land of Mobor beach, before the 1980s, is now covered with a large number of luxurious hotels that offer top-class services and superb facilities. One can find a wide range of resorts and hotels suiting your budget. This beach has every delicious food ranging from beachside stalls providing local specialities to five-star hotels meeting gourmets’ choices.
One can also visit the church in Mobor beach where villagers gather every Sunday. The months from September to March is the best time to visit Mobor Beach.
Located in South Goa, about 43 kms from Margao and 76 kms from Panaji, Palolem Beach is one of the state’s most beautiful beaches. Commonly known as Paradise Beach of India, it is an ideal beach for adventure seekers and honeymooners as well. It is one of the most visited beaches of Goa that is gaining popularity with every passing year.
It is a crescent-shaped mile long beach facing the crystalline pure blue water of the Arabian Sea. The beach is covered with white sand and sky, towering thick forest of coconut palms and rocky cliffs. This beach has a large number of beautiful beach huts that offer accommodation to tourists with all modern amenities. You would love to stay here and enjoy the charming and magnetizing beauty of Palolem Beach. Towards the north headland of the beach is a beautiful island named Butterfly Island. A small boat trip will take you to this beach which is totally secluded and is ideal for honeymooners. Dolphin watching boat trips and fishing is also enjoyed by tourists visiting here.
Shopaholics would love to buy gift items and souvenirs from the shops in local Chaudi market just 2 km from Palolem beach.
The night life here is completely dynamic with a large number of discos playing live music,which will make you dance for sure. Certain discos have a 24-hour licence. It is also famous for Silent Noise parties held every Saturday at Neptune Point.
Nestled at a distance of 13 km from Panaji, Sinquerim beach is the first tourist beach of Goa. It is located adjacent to Aguada Beach and is an ideal location for tourist to enjoy nature’s pristine beauty.
Since it is quieter as compared to other beaches of Goa, tourist love to relax and get tanned by the sun on the coast of the beach. It is a long beach with glistening and soft sand where tourists admire taking long leisure walks. The cool breeze and the greenish blue sea alongside gives immense peace to both body and mind. Tempting food and drinks are served at a large number of restaurants nearby that remain full of tourists.
For people loving water sports it is a perfect place offering adventurous activities like fishing, water-skiing, scuba- diving, para-sailing and wind-surfing with international class facilities. Beach volleyball and swimming are activities that people visiting Sinquerim Beach can enjoy.
There are a number of resorts and hotels of all ranges offering tourists facilities and services near the beach.
Vagator Beach is a scenic beach situated in Bardez Taluka, 22 km away from Panaji and 9 km away from Mapusa. Located in North Goa, it is a bay between the rocky headlands. It is covered with soft white sand and is dotted by palm and coconut trees and huge black rocks. As compared to other beaches, it is little more laid back and is not very crowded. The only crowd seen here is young European and domestic travelers. The smaller southern part, also known as ‘Little Vagator’ or Ozran beach, and red ramparts of Chapora Fort can be seen while the larger northern part is secluded. It also offers a very beautiful sunset view. Local cuisines like Bebinca, coconuts and bananas are available in plenty.
On reaching Vagator Beach, one must visit the two water springs here. ‘Zor’ is a water spring located in the Ozran beach, while the other is located at the north Vagator Beach. One can also visit the Chapora village to have a feel of local life.
The night parties of Vagator Beach are very famous. Hill-top and nine bar are a few popular party venues that surround Vagator Beach.
Since it is not very crowded, accommodation facilities are very limited. It is better to stay at some nearby beach and visit Vagator Beach. The best time to plan your visit to Vagator is between September to March.
The calm and peaceful Varca Beach is located just 2 kms away from Benaulim Beach in the south of Goa. The best time to visit Varca Beach is the months from November to March.
It is not as popular as other commercial beaches of Goa. Due to this reason the environment at Varca Beach is clean, serene and rejuvenating. Spread along a 10 km stretch, it is covered with clean soft white sand. The black lava rocks dots the landscape all over the beach. Tourists visit here to relax and they love to soak in the sun. The palm-thatched houses of fisherman on the beach give it a completely different look. The coastline of the beach is covered with a large number of wooden boats belonging to the local fisherman. One can enjoy the mouthwatering Goan cuisines including sea food and local drinks in the beach shacks.
Dolphin-watching boat trips along the River Sal is popular among the tourists. The best time to experience dolphin watching is early morning.