The multitude of beaches in Goa offers something for everyone, from luxury resorts, water sports and trance parties to offbeat and tranquility. The beach that’s right for you will depend on the kind of experience you want to have during your stay in Goa. Here’s an overview of what to expect at each of the beaches in Goa, North, and South.
Located in South Goa, just north of Palolem Beach, this long and isolated stretch of Agonda beach is perfect for those wanting to relax and do nothing. With a turtle centre in the middle protecting precious, endangered Olive Ridley eggs, it’s quiet and relatively uncrowded, you can stay overnight in some quaint little beach huts (some are quite fancy) and enjoy the local Goan cuisine. With the high tide and surf, swimming here can be dangerous but for a sunset walk or a long lazy day, Agonda encapsulates romantic Goa at its very best.
The most lively beach in South Goa, Palolem is perfect if you are looking for something with more of a Pulse. The star of the Southern show, this lengthy semi-circle shaped beach with shady palm trees and soft white sand retains its charm despite the unbroken beach shacks and coco huts. The resorts and hotels are located a short distance away and if you’re looking for bars and nightlife head to the busier southern end of the beach. With a tasty lunch, a safe swim and a mesmerizing sunset – how much closer to perfection could it get?
3. Benaulim, Cavellossim, and Majorda
Want to encounter undisturbed golden sand with a bit of nightlife and watersports thrown in? From busy Colva, strike up north to the tiny villages of Majorda and Cavellosim, here you will find scattered five-star resorts, solitary swimmers striking out to sea, the occasional palm-thatched beach shack to provide delicious seafood, a cool lime soda or a hot glass of chai. There are a few beach watersports and local vendors selling souvenirs, clothes, art galleries, shops, etc. Most of the nightlife here happens at the resorts and includes live music, cultural performances, and dances, you’ll also find a handful of low-key bars. These areas get a little crowded around peak time in December due to the high number of weddings and parties but head a bit further south down the beach and the quietness will be restored.
4. Cola Beach
Cola Beach offers exceptional privacy and peace, it’s cut-off from the rest of the coast and has its own lagoon. There are very few places to stay there, making it ideal for those who really want to get away from it all. Cola is one of the hidden beaches in Goa, and it remains secluded throughout the year. This is a perfect place for a nice, relaxing holiday in Goa. Cola is a perfect choice to escape from the crowded beaches and the hustle and bustle of city life.
Located 32 kilometers from Mapusa, Arambol is beautiful and serene and is among the best beaches of North Goa. Arambol has a distinctive Bohemian feel to it which attracts tourists from all over the world. Be it wellness pursuits, alternative therapies at a Yoga class on the beach, a drum circle, watersports and dolphin sightseeing trips and a weekend beachside market at sunset, jumping off a cliff to paraglide or simply strolling about the kitschy market lanes; there is something for every soul in Arambol. Once a small shipping village, Arambol has become the new hippie haven The nightlife is relaxed with drum circles, live music, and jam sessions.
6. Mandrem, Morjim, and Ashwem
These wide-open beaches have become quite trendy in recent years, owing to the number of restaurants, groovy beach bars, beach huts as well as fashionable resorts have opened here. These areas also have a number of yoga centers, beautiful lifestyle, and fashion boutiques. Whether you are a single or couple, if you are there for a day or week, these beaches have something for everyone, you can go windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing, Jet Ski or speedboat riding, motorbiking and so on. You can also choose from a variety of beach shacks, get a bite and just relax.
The perfect place to watch the Sunset in North Goa, Vagator Beach, north of Anjuna, is located at the bottom of a steep cliff and is divided into two sections – Big Vagator and Little Vagator. Little Vagator is also known as Ozran beach, and it’s where old-timers and people wanting a hippie experience hang out, this area is known for Psy-trance, techno parties like Shiva Valley and Disco Valley nearby. Accommodations at Vagator are inland instead of on the beach, like the newly opened W Hotel is one of the few luxury resorts in north Goa. There are a number of newly opened notable bars and restaurants in the area, including the Chronicle and Waters, Titlie, the renowned Antares and lots more. Hill Top remains Goa’s most iconic destination for trance lovers.
Anjuna’s charismatic, narrow beach runs for almost 2km from the rocky, low-slung cliffs at the northern village area down beyond the flea market in the south. When the tide goes out, it becomes a lovely – and often surprisingly quiet – stretch of sand. Famous for its Wednesday flea market, a heady beach party scene and tons of new restaurants it continues to pull in droves of backpackers and tourists. Do as most do: hire a scooter or motorbike and explore the back lanes and southern beach area and you’ll find a place that suits you.
9. Baga and Calangute
Calangute Beach is the busiest and most commercial beach in Goa, it’s filled with foreigners tanning themselves on the endless rows of sun loungers, watersports activities, markets, tattoo parlous, restaurants, pubs, and lots more. Baga Beach starts right where Calangute ends, although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where, the beach is a bit less crowded and better developed than Calangute. A wide range of water sports are on offer and you feel like indulging yourself with some fine food and wine, there are many upmarket restaurants in the area too. Baga is also well known for its range of hotels and resorts right from Airbnb, OYO to High-End luxury places, commercial nightlife, including the infamous Tito’s and Cafe Mambo. Close to Baga is Arpora which is quite famous for it’s Saturday Night Market, this area is particularly popular with Indian tourists.
The long straight stretch of Candolim Beach is lined with shacks and restaurants, which back onto scrub-covered sand dunes. Candolim like Baga and Calangute is also commercial but a bit cleaner and peaceful. This area does not have much of a younger vibe and is quite popular with foreign retirees. However, the stretch does have some large commercial nightspots, such as SinQ, Cohiba, Soro, etc. targeted towards Indian tourists. Candolim Beach joins smaller and quieter Sinquerim Beach to the south, which is where Aguada Fort is situated.