India > Goa > Goa Beahes
Beaches in Goa The Goa beaches enjoy an unrivaled stature as prime tourist destinations in Goa. So much so that the beaches in Goa have come to symbolize the tourism potential of the state. Miles of unspoiled golden sand, swaying palm trees and the azure waters of the Arabian sea blend to present a breathtaking spectacle in the Goa beaches. In addition to the scenic landscape, the beaches in Goa are also known as shopping hubs, packed as they are with souvenir shops selling momentos and indigenous handicrafts. Moreover there are excellent facilities for a multitude of water sports ranging from parasailing to windsurfing. All these add to the alluring charm of the Goa beaches. Following are some of the most popular beaches in Goa:
Sprawling over a stretch of three kilometers of golden sand, the Agonda beach is a haven for the loners, the ones always carving for solitude. Virtually deserted all the time, one can enjoy complete seclusion in the Agonda beach. Fringed with a shady curtain of lovely palm trees, one will have only the seas and the sand for company here.
The all prevailing solitude is augmented by a soothing silence, intermittently broken by the crashing of roaring sea waves. Unlike other beaches in Goa, there is a conspicuous absence of the customary souvenir shops and food stalls. Adventurous souls looking for some nocturnal adventure can hire a tent and camp for the night.
The nearby Cabo da Rama fort is a major attraction for tourists descending on Agonda beach. The fort, now in a state of ruins, houses the beautiful church of Santo Antonio. The village of Agonda is typical of a small fishing village and is surrounded by about 120 acres of forest.
How to Reach Agonda Beach
After reaching the Agonda village by bus from Chaudi, main town of Canacona, one can hire motorcycle taxis to reach the Agonda beach.
Location Bardez taluka, North Goa district
Best Time to Visit November to February
Attractions Wednesday flea market, trance parties on full moon nights
Anjuna Beach GoaLocated 18 km from state capital Panaji, the Anjuna beach enjoys an iconic status for its notorious trance parties and the exotic Wednesday flea market. Throbbing with a multitude of activities, this palm-fringed beach draws tourists and backpackers from all over the world.
If you love to frolic in the sea and crave for a bath in the azure waters, Anjuna beach in Goa is the ideal place for you. The rocky promontory at the southern end of the Anjuna beach keeps the sea calm and you can safely take your plunge. Anjuna is well known for its famous flea market that burst at the seams with an astounding variety of items ranging from artifacts to imported electric gadgets. The flea market is held on Wednesdays and if you are an old hand in the bargaining game, chances are that you will walk away with a handsome deal.
Over the years, Anjuna beach has earned notoriety for the trance parties held on full moon nights. During the 1960s, the beach became a favorite rendezvous for insouciant hippies hell bent on creating a utopia in this planet. Even now people from distant corners of the globe descend on Anjuna beach to let their hair down amidst the bliss of psychedelic trance music.
How to Reach Anjuna Beach
The Anjuna beach is located 8 km west of Mapusa town and 18 km from Panaji, the state capital. Anjuna beach is well connected by regular state and private buses from Panjim and Mapusa. Tourists can also hire motorcycle taxis and auto-rickshaws from Mapusa to reach Anjuna. The nearest railway station is at Karmali 11 km away from Panaji and 29 km from Anjuna.
Location Arambol village, Pernem taluka, North Goa district
Best Time to Visit November to February
Attractions Paragliding, dolphin spotting boat trips
Arambol Beach GoaLocated about 50 km from Panaji, the long and lonely ambience of the Arambol beach provides a soothing contrast to the hustle and bustle of other Northern Goa beaches. If you are yearning for some solitude and tranquility, the Arambol beach with its serene surroundings fits the bill perfectly. Arambol comprises two beaches and the bigger one is known as the Harmal beach.
The Arambol beach is a vast stretch of golden sand interspersed with rocky headlands. A hot spring near the main beach, which feeds into a freshwater lake, produces silt on the lakeshore regarded as having skin curative elements. The rocky headland or the cliffs near the beaches lend themselves ideally for paragliding. Apart from paragliding, one can set out on Dolphin watching boat trips.
The nearby village of Arambol is a typical Goan fishing village. They are friendly people and you chat up with one of them, chances are that you get to listen to some interesting anecdotes. The otherwise quiet Arambol beach throbs with activities on weekends when large crowds of local picnickers gather here for holidaying.
How to Reach Arambol Beach
Buses operate regularly between Arambol and the Pernem town. One can also reach Arambol from the town of Mapusa.
Location Bardez taluka, 15 km from Panaji
Best Time to Visit November to March
Attractions The most popular beach in Goa, best infrastructure for tourists, handicraft boutiques, water sports
Calangute Beach GoaCalangute is Goa's flagship beach and it plays an irreplaceable role in the state's tourism sweepstakes. Stretching over an expanse of seven kilometers, Calangute beach is known by the sobriquet the 'Queen of Beaches' for its pre-eminence among the scenic beaches that dot the Goan landscape. Due to its extreme popularity, Calangute beach beckons tourists and backpackers from all over the world.
Before becoming a tourist haven, Calangute was a nondescript fishing village frequented by the hippies in the 70's and 80's. But over the years Calangute has metamorphosed into Goa's numero uno beach destination endowed with a bustling infrastructure. The beach remains choc-a-block with tourists all year around.
Apart from a host of hotels and guesthouses stretching up to Baga, the village of Calangute offers all modern amenities like post office, banks, foreign exchange offices, all kind of eateries and medical facilities. Die hard shoppers can look for an exciting time in the Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery.
While enjoying a day in Calangute, one is unfailingly struck by the paradox that the beach itself has nothing much to offer with sand contaminated with red soil and the beach dropping steeply into the sea.
How to Reach Calangute Beach
Calangute beach is located 9 m from Mapusa while Panaji is 16 km away. Buses run frequently to Calangute from Mapusa and Panaji. You can also hire taxis or motorcycles from Mapusa to reach Calangute beach.
Location Located 6 km from Margao city, South Goa district
Best Time to Visit November to February
Attractions Tranquil ambience; the longest beach in Goa
Colva Beach GoaIf you want to escape from the din of city life and yearn for
a tranquil vacation that would soothe your soul and mind, then head straight for the Colva beach in Goa. Sprawling over an expanse of 20 km, Colva beach is the longest beach in Goa. Miles of golden sand and shades of palm trees conspire to unfold an enchanting landscape all around.
In contrast to overcrowded beaches like Anjuna or Miramar brimming with locals and tourists, the Colva beach comes as a pleasant surprise with its laidback ambience and relatively sparse crowd. The unspoiled environment can be ascribed to the fact that Colva has been one of the later ones off the block, with the necessary tourism infrastructure coming up only lately.
All these attributes make Colva beach the ideal place to unwind amidst captivating surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll or savour lip smacking Goan cuisine in the nearby food stalls. Or else, scour the host of souvenir shops to take back some memorable keepsakes. Accommodation is easily available courtesy a number of beach resorts and hotels.
How to Reach Colva Beach
Buses ply regularly to Colva beach from the from the KTC bus stand, 3 km north of Margao city. One can also avail taxi or autorickshaw services from the town.
Dona Paula Beach
Location: 7 km west of Panaji, North Goa district
Popular for: Water sports facilities, shooting location of Bollywood movies
Best Time to Visit: November to February; water sports festival is held in November.
Dona Paula Beach GoaOne of the most well-known among Goa beaches, the Dona Paula beach attracts tourists with its scenic landscape dotted with palm trees and casuarina groves. An aura of eeriness engulfs the beach, partly due to the legend associated with it. Locals say that the beach derives its name from Dona Paula de Menzes, who was the daughter of a viceroy during the colonial yoke. When she was refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias, the heart-broken lady took her life from jumping off the cliff.
Apart from legends and spirits, Dona Paula's claim to fame is its popularity as a shooting destination for Bollywood movies. Bigshots of the film industry throng this beach in search of picturesque locales. The Dona Paula beach is also a haven for adventure sports buffs for the water sports facilities available here. You can indulge in water sports such as water-scooter, motorboat rides, windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, and yachting. The water sports festival held in November draws a large number of participants.
While the adventurous ones enjoy a gala time in the high seas, mundane souls can just stroll around or scour the nearby shops for souvenirs and artifacts. Local vendors sell straw hats, lace handkerchiefs, and spices in these shops. If all this fails to pep you up, sips of Feni and port wine, two Goan liquor specialties will surely do.
How to Reach Dona Paula Beach
Buses and taxis are available from Panaji to the beach. The Dabolim Airport is located 29 km from Panaji and the Kadamba Bus Terminal is the central bus hub of the town.
Location 3 km from Panaji
Attractions Scenic locales
Best Time to Visit November to March
Miramar Beach GoaLocated 3 km from Panaji, the Miramar beach is a bustling
tourist hub due to its close proximity to the town. Miramar in Portuguese translates to 'viewing the sea,' an apt sobriquet considering the azure waters of the mighty Arabian Sea that expand into the horizon. The beach was previously known as the Gaspar Dias beach.
Spread over a stretch of 2 km, the Miramar beach teems with vacationers and locals all the time. Pulsating with activities, the Miramar beach is definitely not the ideal place for those looking for a tranquil beach vacation. Apart from tourists, the beach also serves the cause of the people of Panaji, quite a few of whom come here an evening stroll.
Panaji is just a fifteen-minute walk along the riverfront avenue called Dayanand Bandodker Marg, named after Goa's first chief minister. From the Miramar beach one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Aguada fort just across the Mandovi River. Due to its urban nature, accommodation is not a problem in the Miramar beach and a number of beach resorts and hotels are located in close vicinity.
How to Reach the Miramar Beach
Regular bus and taxi services are easily available from the Panaji city. The nearest airport to Panaji is Dabolim (29 km).
Location 2 km from Chaudi, Canacona, South Goa district
Best Time to Visit November to February
Attractions Secluded ambience, dolphin spotting
Trivia Featured in the Hollywood movie 'The Bourne Supremacy'
Palolem Beach GoaOne of the prominent beaches in the South Goa beach circuit, the crescent-shaped Palolem beach is well-known for its sweeping expanse of silvery sand and idyllic surroundings. With the majestic Western Ghats hills rising in the backdrop, the palm-fringed Palolem beach presents an enchanting spectacle. The scenic beauty of the beach fetched it an appearance in the film 'The Bourne Supremacy' (2004) where it is shown as the Indian residence of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon).
Compared to some of the prominent beaches of North Goa, the Palolem beach is relatively secluded in nature and sparsely inhabited. Palolem is a fishing beach and one can see fishermen venturing into the high seas in their fishing boats. There is an abundance of Dolphins in this area and enthusiastic tourists often hop onto fishing boats with a hope of spotting them.
The Palolem beach has yet to acquire a proper tourism infrastructure and one can come across a few shacks selling seafood snacks, souvenirs and beachwear and sarongs. For accommodation, one can scour the beach huts or the handful of guesthouses scattered around.
How to Reach Palolem Beach
Palolem is located 3 km from Canacona Railway Junction, on the Konkan Railway. One can also hire taxis and auto-rickshaws to reach Palolem beach from Margao, 40 km away. Buses ply regularly from Margao to Palolem and they would drop you at the Canacona village.
Location 9 km from Mapusa, North Goa district
Best Time to Visit October to February
Highlights Scenic surroundings, secluded ambience
Vagator Beach GoaLocated 22 km from state capital Panaji, the Vagator beach
is a popular beach in Goa. The Vagator beach is part of a 30 km stretch of beach coastline along the west coast of Goa that is home to some of the top-notch Goan beaches such as the Calangute beach and the Anjuna beach.
Although Vagator beach cannot match upto the popularity commanded by its illustrious neighbours, the secluded nature of the beach makes it the perfect destination for a tranquil holiday with only sun, sand and sea for company. The confluence of golden sand doted with black lava rocks and swaying coconut and palm trees provides for an idyllic getaway. The red-laterite structure of the 500-year-old Chapora Fort located nearby presents an enchanting backdrop.
Since the Vagator beach is not a prominent stop in most tourist trails, the necessary structure has yet to come up. Accommodation is limited and the beach is mostly thronged by budget travelers.
How to Reach Vagator Beach
There are a number of buses that run from Mapusa and Calangute Beach to Vagator. The nearest interstate bus station is at Mapusa, the KTC bus station.
Location: 8km from Vasco-da-Gama town
Bogmalo Beach Vasco Da Gama GoaBeing situated close to the airport of Goa, Bogmalo Beach can be easily reached from any part of the state. It lies at a distance of approximately 8 km from Vasco-da-Gama town. Spread over a vast expanse of land, the beach is not much visited by tourists and because of this, it retains much of its virgin charm. Though people visiting Goa have started exploring it, the rush is still on a very low scale as compared to the other famous beaches. This helps in making it one of the cleanest as well as the most peaceful beaches of the state.
The cluster of small shack restaurants on the beach has lent it a look that is quite different from the others. The occasional fishing villages seen lining the shore further add to this uniqueness. If you have become bogged down by the pollution and hectic pace of the city life, Bogmalo Beach will serve as your perfect respite. The air here is clean, the surroundings serene and the views picturesque. Even from accommodation point of view there is no problem, as a number of hotels and guesthouses are available nearby.
This coconut-fringed beach is like a heaven for those who love fishing. Apart from that, you can also indulge in swimming at the Bogmalo Beach. For the adventure enthusiasts, there are a number of water sports providing the perfect thrill. Do not forget to taste the mouth-watering cuisine available at the beach; along with the renowned Goan drink Feni. Naval Aviation Museum is one of the major tourist attractions near the Bogmalo Beach. This museum gives an insight into the working of the Indian Navy. Bogmalo Beach is just the place to visit on a tour of Goa.
Location: 10 km to the west of Mapusa
Baga Beach MapusaBaga Beach, situated at a distance of approximately 10 km
from Mapusa, is one of the most magnificent beaches of Goa. It is considered to be just an extension of the famous Calangute Beach, but is much less crowded than the latter. Infact, it has a number of secluded and peaceful nooks and corners, where one can just laze around and relax. Baga Beach falls on the west coast of Goa, along the mighty Arabian Sea.
The rock-strewn and wooded headland of the beach seems to be dipped in an air of tranquility. Though a part of Calangute Beach, Baga boasts of much more variety in its natural beauty. It is the pure and untouched beauty of the beach that draws a large number of tourists, from India as well as abroad. There is no accommodation problem also, as a gorgeous retreat house is situated atop a nearby hill. Baga beach is especially popular amongst the foreign tourists.
They love to indulge in the numerous water sports offered by the beach, along with the fishing trips organized here. The restaurants that have been set up here, said to be amongst the best in Goa, serve as an added attraction. You will find every type of eating joint here, right from the usual shacks found at every beach to bustling pizza corners to the terrace cafes. Even the cuisine offered by them is quite varied. Baga Beach is definitely a place worth visiting in Goa.
Location: 10 km from Mapusa
Chapora Beach MapusaChapora Beach is counted amongst the most popular as well as the most visited beaches of Goa. It is situated at a distance of approximately 10 km from Mapusa. One of the major attractions of the beach is its boat building and fishing legacy, which seems to be perfectly merged with its booming tourism industry. As you walk down the main street of the beach, you will see as many traditional buildings as the contemporary restaurants, bars and stores. This is what makes Chapora Beach different and more attractive than the other beaches of Goa.
You may visit the beach anytime of the day and any day of the week and you will find it full of tourists, both foreign as well as those from India. The beach is picturesque and offers amazing views of the sunrise as well as the sunset. At Chapora Beach, you can take a lazy walk, soak the sunrays or just play around in the water. Another reason that has contributed to the popularity of the beach is that it provides the perfect access to other beaches and tourist places in Goa. The guesthouses situated nearby solve the problem of accommodation also.
Then, there is the white sand the azure waters of the beach that seem to draw people. Even the food served at the stalls dotting the beach is very delicious, especially the seafood. A number of cafes and restaurants, catering to the demand of western dishes and Chinese dishes, have also sprung up. You can shop for artifacts, antiques and other knick-knacks at the numerous shopping stalls on the Chapora Beach. While there, make sure to visit the Chapora fort, built by the Portuguese approximately 500 years ago.
Location: 2 km from Colva
Benaulim Beach Margao As you move 2 km further from the Colva Beach, you will come across the magnificent Benaulim Beach. As per Hindu mythology, it was here that the arrow of Lord Parasurama landed on earth, when he was creating Goa. The Portuguese corrupted the original name 'Banali', in Sanskrit, and
named the beach as 'Benualim'. Benaulim Beach abounds in natural beauty as well as serenity. It is the perfect place to forget all the worldly tensions and indulge yourself. Though a fishing destination, it is still left largely unexplored by the domestic tourists of India.
However, the beach gets a lot of local rush and Goans can be found strolling around its shores in large numbers, in the evening as well as on weekends. The best way to reach Benualim Beach is to go by bus, which drops you approximately one km away, and then walk down. Fringed by palm trees, this beach is well known for the 'Dolphin Cruises' it offers to the visitors. The price of these cruises is pretty reasonable and there are also bright chances of spotting the beautiful creatures in the water.
Just like the other beaches of Goa, Benaulim Beach also has a string of snack joints, serving delicious food. The village of Benualim is as popular as the beach is. Its rosewood furniture and exquisite carvings are renowned throughout the country. There are a number of tourist spots near the beach. One of them is the 'Church of St John the Baptist', which lies on a hill just beyond the village. The major attractions of the church include its exquisite architecture, based on the type Goan Christian style, and the Feast of St John the Baptist (Sao Joao).
Location: 12 km from Benaulim Beach
Cavelossim Beach Margao GoaOne of the most popular beaches of Goa, the Cavelossim Beach lies at a distance of approximately 12 km from Benaulim. Not only does it enjoy huge popularity, it is also counted amongst the most beautiful beaches of India. One of the finest places to let your hair down and enjoy to the hilt, the Cavelossim Beach lies between the Arabian Sea and the Sal River. The blooming paddy fields, cascading Sal River and silvery sands of the beach combine to present a picture-perfect sight.
You can just laze around, have long walks, indulge in swimming or even go on Dolphin trips and sunset cruises on the River Sal. Infact, dusk is the best time to enjoy the beautiful locales of the Cavelossim Beach. You can also collect the small and pretty seashells that keep on coming to the shore. In case you are looking for some adventure, just go kayaking or enjoy catamaran sailing. Even the nightlife of the beach is quite pulsating. Last but not the least, it is very famous as a romantic getaway also.
Cavelossim Beach is also like a paradise for shopping lovers. You can easily find a rich collection of Indian crafts at the shops lining it. Accommodation facilities are also easily available at the beach. The best time to visit the amazing Cavelossim beach comprises of the months of November to March. The soft sands of the beach seem to be covered with black lava rocks at certain intervals. Cavelossim beach is quite neat and clean and has a number of shacks offering appetizing Goan cuisine and seafood. So, don't miss it!
Location: 5 km from Colva Beach
Majorda Beach Margao GoaThe soft sands and aquamarine waters of the Majorda Beach lure tourists from various parts of India as well as abroad. It lies at a distance of approximately 5 km from the Colva Beach and claims as much popularity as the latter. Here, the green of the swinging palm trees contrasts beautifully with the blue of the gushing water. Majorda Beach is counted amongst the most magnificent beaches of Goa and never fails to receive it share of visitors, locals as well as tourists, in any year.
The beach is also significant from mythological point of view. It is believed that Lord Rama was kidnapped when he was a child and brought to Majorda only. The legend further goes that when the Lord was searching for His wife Sita, who was kidnapped by the evil Ravana, He came to Cabo-de-Rama, located at the southern end of the Majorda Beach. The beautiful amalgamation of nature and mythology further adds to the attraction of the beach. Connectivity-wise also, there is no problem as Majorda Beach is situated in the vicinity of the Dabolim airport.
Even Margao Railway Station and the main bus stand are situated nearby. Majorda Beach is a storehouse of fun. If you are an early riser, make sure to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunrise, from the beach. In the daytime, make sand castles, collect shells, go for swimming or get yourself tanned. The seafood available here is quite varied and the taste is just awesome. The Majorda Beach Resort sprawled across the beach will provide you with the best accommodation too. What are you waiting for? Just go and have fun!
Location: 2 km from Benaulim Beach
Varca Beach MargaoVarca Beach of Goa is situated at a distance of approximately 2 km to the south of the Benaulim Beach. Though the beach is not as popular as the other commercialized beaches in the state, it is not less than any of them in terms of beauty or magnificence. Infact, the low popularity of Varca Beach has resulted in keeping its peace and serenity intact. This makes Varca the perfect destination for all those tourists who are looking for a place to escape from the mundane tensions of the daily life.
The beauty of nature, combined with the melodious gushing of the aqua waters, makes the experience of visiting the beach a memorable one. The palm-thatched houses of the fishermen, which line the Varca Beach of India manage to give it a different look altogether. Adding to the splendor are the black lava rocks that seem to be dotting the landscape. Lining the edges of the beach are the wooden fishing boats of the local fishermen. Varca Beach is quite cleaner than the other renowned beaches of Goa.
With its virgin and spotless beauty, it has started attracting more and more visitors. Other major attractions of the beach comprises of the Dolphin-watching trips, organized on a regular basis. You can also indulge in relaxing and rejuvenating activities at the beach, like sunbathing, yoga, meditation, etc. A number of hotels as well as resorts are available nearby, for accommodation purposes. However, if you want to get a feel of the lifestyle of the Goans, it is better to rent room from the villagers. The best time to visit Varca Beach is from November to March.
Location: 25 km from Panjim
Velsao Beach of Goa is gaining more and more popularity amongst tourists every year. The beach is situated on the southern coast of the state, at a distance of approximately 25 km from Panjim, its capital city. With Bogmalo beach lying to its north and Majorda and Colva Beach lying to its south, Velsao Beach occupies a prime location. The beach is visited by almost all the tourists coming to any of these three beaches.
It is also easily accessible from all the other beaches of Goa, called the 'Beach Capital of India'. Velsao Beach abounds in pristine natural beauty. The soft and silvery sands of the beach encourage you to undertake long, leisurely walks. The cool breeze blowing lightly seems to be kissing your cheeks. The air is pure and the surroundings picturesque. The calm and quiet atmosphere of the beach lets you hear the cooing of birds very clearly.
Velsao Beach is just the place to relax and unwind yourself. The villages situated near the beach will serve as your perfect window to get a glimpse into the rural life of Goa. Velsao Beach offers magnificent views of the sunrise and sunset, so make sure to be there at both, dawn as well as dusk. You can go for swimming, play around in the water, have leisurely walks or just lie down and enjoy sunbathing here.
Location: In the northern side of Goa
Candolim Beach Panaji GoaCandolim Beach is situated in the northern side of Goa. It is the perfect place for those who have come on a vacation to forget the tensions of their daily life and intend to spend their time relaxing and rejuvenating. Though it doesn't boast of too many facilities, the beach can surely be your answer to the serene surroundings that you are looking for. The lip-smacking cuisine available at the food stalls lining the Candolim Beach of Goa will only serve to complete the delightful experience.
All you need is a mat and a beach umbrella and you can spend the entire day sipping in the delights of nature. The surroundings are so calm and serene that you can even indulge in yoga and meditation. Even the rush is not too much, mainly because of the fact that there are no resorts around the beach. Candolim Beach is the first beach that can be approached from Panaji, the capital city of Goa. With youngsters, monks, artists, researchers, tourists and adventurers, the crowd of Candolim is quite varied.
However, all of them have the same purpose, to lose themselves in the tranquility of the place and forget all their frustrations. For those who love adventure, there are a number of options for water sports, like parasailing and water skiing. The scrub-covered dunes augment the magnificence of the, otherwise, plain and sandy Candolim Beach. While visiting the beach, do not forget to have a look at the famous Aguada Fort, built by the Portuguese in the year 1912, along with the church and the lighthouse.