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Goa Beach Guide

Which Beach in Goa is Best For You?

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The multitude of beaches in Goa offer something for everyone, from luxury resorts to makeshift huts, and trance parties to tranquility. The Goa beach that's right for you will depend on the kind of experience you want to have. Here's an overview of what to expect at each of the best Goa beaches. If you're interested in beach huts, this round up of 10 of the best Goa huts will also give you some ideas as to where to stay!

Agonda

www.flickr.com user jmsuarez
The long and isolated stretch of Agonda Beach is perfect for those looking to get away from it all. It's quiet and relatively uncrowded. Anyone looking to relax should come here. Stay in a simple hut right on the beach, and enjoy the stillness and nature. Agonda Beach is fast being discovered, however. Do expect to find some other tourists, souvenir stalls, and restaurants.
  • Location: South Goa, just north of Palolem Beach. 43 kilometers (26 miles) from Marago and 76 kilometers (47 miles) from Panaji. The closest main railway station is Marago. Canacona is the local railway station nearby.

Anjuna

Sharell Cook
Anjuna Beach was once home to the hippies. Most of them have now moved on but their legacy remains. The Wednesday Anjuna Beach flea market is bigger than ever, and after the day is over, the crowds descend on the shacks along Anjuna beach to listen to psychedelic trance as the sun sets. Curlies, right at the southern end of the beach, is the most happening spot.
  • Location: North Goa, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Mapusa and 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Thivim.

Arambol

Sharell Cook.

Arambol, on Goa's far northern stretch of coastline, has become the new hippie haven. Once a small fishing village, it's now full of long term travelers. You'll find plenty of alternative therapies there, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and reiki. Water sports and dolphin sight seeing trips are on offer as well. The nightlife is relaxed, with live music and jam sessions happening. Just north of Arambol are the deserted Keri beach and Tiracol Fort. It's worth the walk there if you want total peace and privacy.

  • Location: North Goa, 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Mapusa and 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Pernem.

Baga & Calangute

Sharell Cook
Calangute Beach is the busiest and most commercial beach in Goa. It's filled with foreigners tanning themselves on the endless rows of side-by-side sun lounges, and Indians who come to watch. 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. If 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 nightlife, including the infamous Tito's and Cafe Mambo.
  • Location: North Goa, 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Thivim.

Benaulim

www.flickr.com user Laertes
Benaulim Beach is only a short distance south of Colva Beach, but there's a huge contrast between the two. Known for its fishing industry, it's a beautiful and laid back stretch of beach. You won't find any wild parties there, but water sports and dolphin sightseeing trips are on offer. It does get a little crowded around peak time in December, but head a bit further south down the beach and the quietness will be restored.
  • Location: South Goa, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Marago and 41 kilometers (25 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Marago.

Candolim

www.flickr.com user x_jamesmorris

The long straight stretch of Candolim Beach is lined with shacks and bars, which back onto scrub covered sand dunes. It's a lively beach that has managed to retain its cleanliness, and even peacefulness in some areas, making it a good alternative to the maddeningly crowded Calangute and Baga. You'll find plenty of tasty restaurants and happening nightspots in the area. Candolim Beach is right next to Aguada Fort, which is also worth a visit.

  • Location: North Goa, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Thivim.

Chapora & Vagator

www.flickr.com user Enygmatic-Halycon
Vagator Beach, north of Anjuna, is the center of Goa's trance party scene. The beach itself is located at the bottom of a steep cliff, and is divided into three sections -- Big Vagtor (the main stretch of beach, overrun by Indian tourists), Little Vagator (past the rocks, known as Tel Aviv Beach due to the number of Israelis there) and Ozran (Spagetthi Beach in the far south, dominated by Italians). Disco Valley is nearby. Accommodations at Vagator are inland instead of on the beach, with many people staying there long-term. Head to Nine Bar, high above Ozran beach, at sunset for early evening partying.
  • Location: North Goa, 9 kilometers (5 miles) from Mapusa and 22 kilometers (14 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Thivim.

Colva

www.flickr.com user thovie333
Busy Colva Beach is a favorite amongst domestic Indian tourists, and day-trippers arrive by the bus loads. On the weekend, the crowd explodes with locals as well. The beach also gets particularly busy in October, when hoards of pilgrims come and visit Colva Church. The area is well developed with plenty of budget hotels, beach shacks, food stalls, and small restaurants and bars. The development hasn't however extended to nightlife, which is minimal apart from a few places. Overall, this beach really doesn't have much to offer foreigners compared to other beaches in Goa.
  • Location: South Goa, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Marago and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Marago.

Mandrem, Morjim, & Ashwem

www.flickr.com user Hallom
These wide open beaches have become quite hip and trendy in recent years. Groovy beach bars and beach huts, as well as a few fashionable resorts can be found there. The area also has a number of yoga retreats. The beaches are renowned for their protected turtle population. Quite a bit of land in the area around Morjim and Ashwem has been bought by Russians, who are settling there en mass. It's possible to walk to Mandrem from Arambol.
  • Location: North Goa, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Mapusa. The closest railway station is Pernem.

Palolem

Sharell Cook.
Picturesque Palolem Beach is a semi-circle shaped beach with shady palm trees and soft sand. Since it was discovered, it's become backpacker heaven, and is getting busier and more crowded with each passing season. Fortunately, so far there remains an absence of any permanent structures on the beach. Instead you can stay in one of the the simple, temporary, coco huts that are erected there each year. Anyone looking for additional comforts will find them at the hotels and resorts a short distance from the beach. For bars and nightlife, head to the hectic southern end of the beach.
  • Location: South Goa, 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Marago and 76 kilometers (47 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway stations are Marago and Canacona.

Patnem

Sharell Cook.
Patnem Beach is no longer a well kept secret, but it's still much quieter than nearby Palolem Beach, which is only a 10 minutes away. This small beach, nestled between two cliffs, is a wonderful place to stay if you want to chill out but not be too far away from some decent nightlife in Palolem. You'll find a range of gorgeous huts, with private bathrooms, to stay in right on the beach.
  • Location: South Goa, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Marago and 78 kilometers (48 miles) from Panaji. The closest main railway station is Marago. Canacona is the local railway station nearby.

Varca, Cavelossim & Morbor

www.flickr.com user RobRyb

These pristine and unspoilt fishing beaches are the territory of Goa's luxury resorts. There are a few beach shacks, water sports, and local vendors but the beaches remain clean, and the sand white. Most of the nightlife happens at the resorts and includes live music, cultural performances, and casinos. You'll also find a handful of low-key bars around Cavelossim.

  • Location: South Goa, 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Marago and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Panaji. The closest railway station is Marago.
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