Calangute is the most popular beach with thousands thronging it in both the peak and off-season. The waves rise high above as you wash away your city blues, though swimmer need to be a trifle cautious because of the sudden drop and the rising waves. Experienced swimmers will, however, revel in the seas here..
Compared to Calangute, Baga is quieter and also more isolated. The creek, the Retreat House perched on the hill, and fewer tourists, all contribute to its unique beauty.
Vagator Beach is the northernmost beach of Bardez Taluka, Goa. It is located on the opposite bank of the Chapora River fromMorjim in Pernem. To the south of Vagator is Anjuna, one of the first hippie haunts of Goa.
Anjuna was made famous by the ‘flower power and peace’ generation of the sixties and early seventies. And later by the ‘trance’ parties. Located about 18 kms from Panaji, the beach is known for its breeze-catching palms, soft sand, and the unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of whitish sand. and black rock that juts into the sea.
Sinquerim is located some 13 kms from Panaji. The uninterrupted stretch of firm sand stretches all the way north to Baga, offering visitors a temptingly long walk along the beach. Sinquerim is one of the finest beaches in Goa, offering international class facilities for water-skiing, parasailing, fishing, scuba-diving and wind-surfing.
Candolim is the first beach that can be approached from the city of Panaji and is like a gateway to the other more famous beaches.
Aguada beach is almost synonymous with the top-notch Fort Aguada Hotel complex, a superb hotel that is built on the cliff, around the remnants of the early 17th century Portuguese fort.
The VIPs on this beach are the Olive Ridley turtles that come to nest here helped by a group of volunteers who guard the nests and help the hatchlings get into the sea.
This is also a foreigners’ haunt with a large number of Tai Chi, non-permanent mehendi or henna, tattoo, yoga and meditation centres. Harmal Beach is the one place you cannot drive on to, but there are narrow lanes that lead to the higher reaches of the coast.
This beautiful ‘urban’ beach, akin to Chowpatty in Mumbai, is located just 3 kms from Panaji. It lies adjoining the estuary of the river Mandovi as it opens into the Arabian Sea.
It was originally known as ‘Gasper Dias Beach’, named after Gaspar Dias, a prosperous landlord and where a Portuguese fort once stood at the fag end of the 16th century.
Palolem is a cosy beach of white sand facing a blue bay between two headlands. The little wooded islands on the northern headland look alluring.
It’s long and lonely, fringed with palms and casuarinas and dominated by a large hill to the south. It’s not safe to swim out too far on this beach. There are very few facilities available here and you are needed to carry all the essentials. Agonda is a 3 km long beautiful cove of white sand, safely secluded in the palms. There are no tourists, no souvenir stalls, no restaurants—just peace and tranquility. Just the trees, the beach, the big beautiful ocean and you.
Betul is an important fishing port where all the mechanized boats and deep sea trawlers bring in their catch. Here headlands from the slopes of the Western Ghats protrude into the shore, imparting an imposing backdrop.
Less than 2 kms south of Colva is the more tranquil beach of Benaulim, is one of the few places in Goa where one can glimpse handicrafts typical to this area. The best of the traditional rosewood furniture is made here. Also, mythically Benaulim is famous as the place where the legendary Parashuram’s arrow landed by which Goa was created. Among the more attractive aspects of Benaulim is that it is still rather undiscovered by domestic tourists even though it is a fishing beach.
This beach, dominated by a 5-star hotel located right on its edge, is cut apart from both the North and South beach circuit. Just 4 kms from the airport at Dabolim, it is a favourite among the elite classes and has an air of exclusivity.
Majorda is the village where the Jesuits, fond as they were of the good things of life, discovered the best Goan toddy (sap from the coconut palm), which they used to leaven the bread.Naturally, then, Majorda is the place where the Goans were first trained in the delicate art of baking European breads. The Majordans are still Goa’s best bakers.
This is the most important beach in the South circuit, equipped with all modern amenities like air-conditioned resort complexes, tourist cottages, discos, besides several stalls, eateries and guest houses—all of which have expanded the village enormously. With 20 kms of virgin white sands, palm fringed, sun drenched beaches, Colva is the most loved beach in Goa.
North of Colva is Betalbatim Beach which begins a long string of beaches with Majorda, Utorda, Arossim and Velsao at the north. It is a ten kilometre stretch of white sand which is not very crowded.
Varca, Cavelossim and Mobor
Varca, Cavelossim and Mabor are a trio of the most alluring beaches south of Benaulim. These beaches are much cleaner and quieter than most of the other more famous beaches of Goa. There are numerous beach shacks offering a variety of Goan dishes and seafood at reasonable prices.