The reason why I picked Patnem Beach out of the gazillion available Goa beaches was mostly that I had been there before and was too lazy to research something else. Maybe not the wisest decision as there are so many other beaches in Goa I could have visited, but what can I say, I was flustered and wanted convenience. Goa is relatively small, so if you have a long enough holiday, you maybe be able to explore both the South Goa beaches as well as the beaches in North Goa, so a little research is definitely worth it.
I recently asked my fellow travel bloggers what Indian food is vegan, and since the article was quite well received, I decided to repeat the format, this time asking them which beaches of goa were their favourite, and why, and obviously asking them for their best beaches in Goa photos too. So without further ado, here they are below, divided in South Goa Beaches and North Goa Beaches, and here is a “beaches in Goa” map to help you make the best of your trip:
Best Beaches of Goa: South Goa Beaches
Spearheading this list of the best beaches in Goa is Colva Beach. Despite being close to the mainland, Colva Beach shines in with almost transparent water and fine granules of white sand. Colva Beach has a small fisherman’s village closeby. A few cafes and homestays have opened their doors to inquisitive visitors. Colva Beach is located at the beginning of South Goa, far away from the hustle and bustle of Central Goa. Though there are plenty of offbeat things to do near Baga beach, Goa.
We stayed at Baga Beach and journeyed for almost one hour to reach Colva, passing picturesque roads dotted with coconut trees, paddy fields, and a dense green canopy covering little local villages.
Colva is a small quaint beach suitable for those who seek tranquillity in the beaches of Goa. However, there is a crowded blast on weekends, especially on the long weekends when tourist influx in Goa is high. There are limited options for beachside eateries at Colva beach, redefining romance during Sunset. You can look for local Goan bread named Poi at the local market.
Colva Beach is the nearest one from Madgaon Railway Station, making it easily accessible by those commuting by train routes.
– Madhurima @ Orange Wayfairer
Situated in South Goa, Agonda Beach is a golden crescent of powder-soft sand, where the pace slows down to the meditative sway of the palm trees, and where cows come to congregate at sunset. This is a far cry from the concrete jungles and party beaches elsewhere in Goa; although you will still easily find WiFi and Western Food (if that is what you are after). We were visiting Goa with kids (aged two and four) and this was one of the best beaches in South Goa for them as it’s not too busy, it’s clean, and the surf was just right for boogie-boards (which we borrowed from our accommodation).
We stayed at Sea Star Resort. There are a few one-bed sea-facing huts, and a couple built on stilts for an elevated sea view. The real treat is falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean. Bliss. For those who fancy peeling themselves away from the beach can take a fishing boat out to see the dolphins.
– Jenny Lynn @ TraveLynn Family
Palolem beach is popular among visitors for a number of reasons. Firstly, it isn’t as crowded and commercialized as the beaches in North Goa. Secondly, the beach is iconic due to the Palolem beach huts – numerous colourful huts lined along the beach where one can book a stay. These beach huts typically are a part of a resort or hotel that has a number of these huts and also has a beach shack restaurant for the guests and visitors to dine in.
Another reason for the allure of Palolem Beach, Goa is the increasing number of vegan and vegetarian cafes that have come up over the past few years. Little World and Zest are the two most famous cafes that have a soothing ambience combined with a vegan menu. There is also a nightclub with a unique concept located near Palolem beach. Silent noise is a club where music is played via headphones that every person is provided with. Each headphone has the option of choosing between a number of channels, each of which plays different music. Coming to the activities provided at Palolem beach, one can hire boats to take them to Monkey island or to Butterfly beach, a secluded beach that hardly sees any visitors due to its offbeat location.
Moreover, there are yoga centres and massage parlours at Palolem beach for one to engage in yoga classes and to simply relax.
– Soujanya @ The Spicy Journey
Best Beaches of Goa: North Goa Beaches
Though located along the same stretch of coastline as super popular and happening Arambol and Calungate beaches, Ashvem Beach (and neighbouring Mandrem) are quieter, more peaceful, and you could almost say, more exclusive. Ashvem Beach is a long, pristine stretch of sand, slightly tucked away from the crowds, that offers both ocean and river swimming — and a whole lot more. This is basically the epi-centre of chic in Goa.
One of the chicest restaurants in Goa, La Plage, is on Ashvem Beach. Here you can dig your toes in the sand and dine on French-Goan-Indian delicacies amidst inspired decor that changes every year. There’s a shopping area near the entrance of Le Plage filled with chic little boutiques that sell bohemian-hippie sundresses, scarves, and bikinis, and just down the beach is a shop run by Jade Jagger, Mick Jagger’s daughter, where she sells her jewellery designs.
If you’re looking for a peaceful day at the beach, surrounded by scenic beauty, Ashvem is a solid North Goa beaches option.
– Mariellen @ Breathedreamgo
Found in the northern part of Goa, Morjim beach lies close to the more popular beaches of the region, yet stands apart due to its quiet, tranquil nature. Visitors go to this relatively untraveled beach to get away from the crowds and to relax at the huts and shacks scattered along the sand at the south end.
The area, part of the quaint Morjim Village, is inhabited by a wide variety of people creating a good blend of diverse cultures. It has also earned the alias “Little Russia” due to the large concentration of Russian expatriates living there. Lifeguards are on duty from sunrise to sunset and, in season, the water is pleasant for swimming. It is also a popular place among kitesurfers due to its shallow waters and wide beach. The landscape is a mix of palm trees, paddy fields, and forests, and is well known as a nesting ground for the endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. The protected marine turtles mean that parties are generally banned, with chilled travel songs, relaxation and alternative therapies being the pursuit of choice. The best beach in Goa for those seeking peace.
– Rai @ A Rai of Light
Miramar Beach located in the capital city Panjim is one of the most serene beaches in Goa. It is located at the confluence of the Mandovi river and the Arabian sea and is easily accessible from the main road. So there is no way you should skip this in your Goa itinerary. This is one of the Goa beaches where you can go for a dolphin-watching cruise. At just Rs. 300 you can get a one-hour guided cruise with DJ entertainment and of course chance to see the dancing dolphins.
Miramar Beach is also a great place to bathe and relax in the shallow waters. It is one of the cleanest beaches in North Goa, and despite being in such a prime location, is away from the hustle of other beaches. Other attractions near Miramar beach are the floating casinos of Mandovi and the Goa science centre and planetarium. Don’t forget to catch the golden sunset at Miramar while sipping a cup of chai.
– Sinjana @ Backpack & Explore
Vagator provides access to several different beaches around the headland. Located either side of a rocky outcrop are Vagator Beach (Big Vagator) and Ozran Beach (Little Vagator). On both Vagator beaches, there are numerous restaurants serving delicious Goan cuisine and cheap Pina Coladas. Touts wander the beach offering massages, pedicures and goods for sale, who can be quite persistent. A quirky side to this beach is that cows are allowed to roam amongst the surf just as people are. The beautiful cliffs and rocky landscape are perfect for endless picturesque sunsets.
I spent two nights at Vagator earlier this year, as part of a three-month overland tour of India and Nepal. We stayed in the cute cottages at Jolly Jolly’s, which is a short walk from the beach. In mid-late January, Vagator is fairly quiet compared to other areas in Goa. However, Vagator is known for its nightlife and legendary rave parties. Disco valley on little Vagator beach is the place to be for Christmas and New Year parties.
If you are feeling energetic, hike to Chapora fort and enjoy views over the ocean. Alternatively, a short drive will take you to nearby Anjuna, which has a great flea market that takes place every Saturday.
– Louise @ Wandering Welsh Girl
You can’t have this best beaches of Goa list without Anjuna! Anjuna Beach is likely one of my favourite beaches of Goa. It is located to the north of Calangute and Baga and west of Mapusa. There are plenty of beach shacks, coffee bars, pubs, shops, street food stalls and water sports activities to choose from.
While visiting Anjuna Beach, go for a long walk on the beach or you sit on the rock and enjoy a beautiful evening with a shimmering sunset. With blue azure water, golden sand and mesmerizing hills in the background, Anjuna Beach is the perfect beach destination for amazing beaches in Goa photos. People who look for a party kind of ambience can go to Shiva Valley to experience a full-fledged beach party. Anjuna Beach is also famous for yoga, and for the local flea market from where you can buy trinkets, used books, clothes, hand-made jewellery, local arts and crafts and much more. You can taste different kinds of drinks and mouth-watering bakery products in the cafes around Anjuna Beach. Overall visiting Anjuna Beach will be a memorable experience if you want to enjoy the real beauty of landscapes, luxury accommodation, vibrant nightlife parties and enormous shopping opportunities.
– Trijit @ BudgetTravelBuff
Candolim is less crowded and commercial in comparison to other popular beaches in North Goa. It is conveniently located between Panjim and North Goa’s popular beaches. The connectivity is good with other parts of Goa. From Candolim, it’s easier to visit Panaji, beaches of North Goa and Divar island.
The sea is calm and the water temperature is good for swimming. Sand is soft and the beach is clean. It’s one of those beaches in Goa which is suitable for solo travellers, couples, families, and children. The overall feel is laid-back but there are enough activities for everyone. Fort Aguada is close to the beach and an interesting place for history buffs. Go to the fort in the morning to enjoy the spectacular view of the surrounding areas.
Candolim Beach has several shacks that serve different cuisines. If you don’t find anything of your choice on the beach then visit one of the many restaurants in the Candolim market, which is one kilometre away. There’s a good selection of accommodation in Candolim Beach too. There are several good resorts, homestays, and hotels on and near the beach for every budget.
– Sapna @ My Simple Sojourn