Former Portuguese colony and now India’s smallest state, Goa, ranks 6th in the world list of ‘Top 10 Nightlife Cities’.
It is the picturesque land known for its breathtaking views, lush forested interior, mouth-watering seafood, brilliant biodiversity, spirituality and of course the white sandy beaches of Goa.
Goa is known to be a coastal state as it has a coastline spanning a whopping 101km.
This Gigantic coastline of Goa…makes us marvel..-‘
“How many beaches are there in Goa?”
Well…there are more than 30 noteworthy beaches in Goa. These crystal clear waters of the Arabian Sea and white sands make it the best beach destination in India.
Also, Goa has a plethora of different adventurous activities, famous destinations and excursions for tourist all around the world which also makes it a perfect place to ramble around.
So, if you want to enjoy beautiful sun-and-sand tourism in Goa, here is a list of top 10 best beaches in Goa which are definitely worth visiting.
List of Top 15 Best Beaches in Goa to Visit
A. Best Beaches in North Goa
1. Calangute Beach
The beach that tops our list of best beaches in Goa is Calangute beach.
Located in North Goa, the Calangute beach and town also feature in several Bollywood movies. Also, it is one of the most beautiful beaches to visit in Goa for both foreign and Indian tourists.
Calangute is the longest beach in North Goa. Similar to Colva beach in South Goa, you can enjoy several watersports at Calangute beach including parasailing and water skiing.
The Calangute town has a host of nightclubs, pubs, bars and local Gadis (traditional street-side speakeasies) where you can get a taste of Goan food and local booze.
If you are looking for daylong activities, visit Calangute beach. There are several lodges, resorts and other types of accommodation available in Calangute.
Alternatively, you can spend a day on the beach and enjoy the nightlife in the town before returning to your accommodation in Panaji or Mapusa.
2. Baga Beach
Baga beach and Baga creek are among the narrowest beaches of Goa.
However, it is a top beach in Goa especially meant for foreign tourists. The beach is dotted with shacks and other commercial facilities during the peak tourist season.
If you love to hobnob with people of different nationalities, visit Baga beach. Informal beach shacks provide the ideal ambience for people from various parts of the world to mingle.
Generally, most visitors to Baga are foreign and domestic backpackers. Hence, you can find some very economical accommodation in Baga village.
Baga is located very close to other famous beaches in Goa including Calangute, Arambol and Sinquerim. Hence, you can visit these beaches by living in Baga during your visit to Goa.
3. Anjuna Beach
Anjuna beach is a very famous beach in Goa among foreign tourists and younger Indians.
You can indulge in all sorts of beachside parties at Anjuna- trance parties, full moon parties and new moon binges.
This beach is also famous for its nightlife: you can find foreign and Indian tourists strolling or sitting on the sandy shore even in wee hours of the morning.
Twice every week – on Wednesday and Saturday- an open market (flea market) is held in Anjuna village.
Here you can buy stuff from various parts of India, brought in by entrepreneurs that wish to make a quick buck selling rare handicrafts. You can also purchase tribal craft at this market.
Anjuna is easily accessible by road from Panaji and Mapusa.
You have some excellent restaurant serving Indian and various foreign cuisines at Anjuna. Traditional pastry shops of Anjuna will delight anyone with a sweet tooth.
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4. Candolim Beach
Another best beach in North Goa to be visited with your family is Candolim beach.
Flanked by Calangute beach on one side and Fort Aguada on the other, Candolim is a very peaceful beach.
Hence it is a preferred destination of senior citizens and those looking for peace and tranquillity.
Candolim beach is very scenic. It has mountains on one side and the small picturesque village nearby.
A distinct feature of Candolim beach and town are its friendly people. You can find excellent restaurants and bars in Candolim. The local church is also a tourist attraction.
Since Candolim has a fairly sizeable market, you can buy Goa cashew nuts and liquor to take back home in this resort town itself.
5. Vagator Beach
Vagator beach is unique in many ways. It has reddish cliffs overlooking the main beach. Two freshwater springs emanate from these cliffs. It is a famous beach in Goa for youngsters that want relaxation as well as excellent nightlife.
If you are looking for rave parties that are not so raucous, visit Vagator beach.
Visitors here are mainly foreigners from Eastern Europe. Hence, you can find beach shacks and restaurants that serve food of their cuisine.
Vagator beach is slightly pricey as compared to others in Goa. This is due to the presence of top-class resorts and hotels that flourish on the beach.
Once famous among backpackers, Vagator is now a destination for discerning foreign and Indian tourists.
6. Arambol Beach
Another famous beach in Goa for bench side parties is Arambol Beach.
Located around 45km from Panaji, this beach is a favourite among foreign backpackers.
Consequently, the Arambol town is dotted with restaurants and eateries that offer food from cuisines rarely found in other parts of India. Arambol is a beach that buzzes with activity round the clock.
Other than foreign cuisine and regular liquor, Arambol is an excellent place to try ethnic Goan seafood and local drink Kaju Feni.
Since the beach is located in Pernem taluka of Goa that borders Maharashtra, it has a dense forest cover that is home to trees of original Goan cashew. This cashew fruit is used in making typical Pernem Kaju Feni.
Waters around Arambol are also rich in fish commonly used for food such as mackerel, tuna, herring, shrimp and squids, among others. Hence, you can enjoy excellent seafood at Arambol.
7. Miramar Beach
Miramar is an urban beach. It is part of Goa’s capital Panaji. You can get a city bus from Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTCL) Terminus of Panaji to visit Miramar.
The beach is very picturesque. Miramar offers one of the most beautiful locations in Goa to view the sunset.
Miramar Residency, an exquisite beach resort operated by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) lies nearby.
You can rent a room or cottage at this resort at very reasonable rates. Miramar has a long, sandy beach that makes it ideal for picnics.
Compared over other beaches of Goa, Miramar is bereft of much activities due since it is part of Panaji city. It is an excellent beach to visit for a few hours.
8. Tiracol (Terekhol) Beach
The Last one to showcase on our list best beaches in North Goa is Tiracol beach.
Tiracol or Terekhol is an idyllic beach that lies on the border of Goa and Maharashtra. It can be accessed easily from Mapusa and Panjim in North Goa or even from Mumbai, by road.
Tiracol is sandwiched between the estuary of an eponymous river on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other.
Tiracol is a beach for those who love luxury. Unlike other beaches of Goa, Tiracol beach is not very crowded.
There is an excellent resort on top of a hillock, located on the grounds of ancient Fort Tiracol built by the Portuguese.
If you love fishing and angling, it is possible to rent a small country craft at Tiracol and try your hand. You can catch some excellent freshwater and marine fish in the estuary.
B. Best Beaches in South Goa
9. Palolem Beach
The beach to top our list of best beaches in South Goa is Palolem beach.
Palolem Beach is located on the southernmost tip of Goa. It can be accessed from Canacona, a small town situated on the Margao-Karwar highway.
Palolem beach has been ranked as the most favourite beach of India and the third topmost in Asia by Tripadvisor in 2017.
Indeed, Palolem is a beautiful beach in Goa for anyone to visit.
This beach is relatively lesser visited because of its distance from major cities. Hence, discerning foreign tourists that reside in India for about three months, rent beach shacks and other dwellings. Other residents of the beach are local fishermen.
Most foreign nationals use Palolem beach as a hopping point to visit the scenic beaches in Sadashivgadh and Karwar in adjoining Karnataka state. If you are looking for serenity and peace, Palolem is the ideal beach to visit.
10. Mobor (Cavelossim) Beach
One of the top-rated beaches in South Goa amongst tourist is Palolem Beach.
Mobor is a small and relatively peaceful beach in South Goa located near Cavelossim town.
It is easily accessible from Margao. This beach is not very crowded. Of course, you will find a few beach shacks here during the peak tourist season.
A beach with golden sands and crystal clear waters, Mobor is ideal if you are looking for peace and serenity. Generally, most tourists to Goa pay a brief visit to Mobor.
But for those wanting to stay longer, there are excellent facilities in Cavelossim town, including resorts and budget accommodation to superb restaurants.
11. Majorda Beach
Another famous beach in Goa is Majorda, also easily accessible from Margao. This beach is also very peaceful and ideal for those looking for rest and relaxation.
You can find a few watersports at Majorda that are operated by local companies.
Majorda is very famous for its street-side bars and restaurants that are operated by Goan families.
As a result, you can enjoy authentic Goan food made with pork, beef, chicken, mutton and fish at these restaurants- a taste that is unique to South Goa.
There are several idyllic resorts and hotels around Majorda. The township is well connected to Margao by bus and rail and to Vasco Da Gama city by shuttle train service that runs once an hour.
12. Cansaulim Beach
One of the most beautiful beaches in Goa for youngsters located in South Goa is Cansaulim.
Cansaulim is located near two other serene beaches, Arossim and Velsao.
In fact, a visit to Cansaulim beach enables you to visit Arossim and Velsao too since all the three are located within a span of 6km. Two-wheelers best access these beaches.
Similar to beaches of South Goa, the Cansaulim beach is also for those seeking rest and relaxation rather than watersports and activities.
Excellent beach resorts and other properties that offer superior quality lodging are available around these three beaches.
Cansaulim is renowned for its ethnic South Goa cuisine. If you love seafood, try any of the street-side restaurants at Cansaulim that offer ‘Fish Rice Plate’.
13. Bogmalo Beach
South Goa’s Bogmalo Beach ranks among the smaller beaches in Goa.
You will not find many beach shacks, and another infrastructure required by foreign tourists since Bogmalo beach has a relatively narrow shoreline.
But you can definitely find excellent lodging, boarding and shopping facilities in Bogmalo town.
Bogmalo can be accessed from Margao by local buses. Yet, it is highly recommended to rent a two-wheeler and ride it to Bogmalo since public transport tends to be erratic.
Bogmalo is considered a beach for lovers because it offers privacy.
Generally, Bogmalo beach is not crowded. Hence, it is ideal if you want to chill by the seaside with a few beers alone or with friends.
14. Agonda Beach
Located to the extreme south of Goa, the Agonda beach is ideal to get away from the maddening crowd.
It is one of the most secluded beaches in Goa. Hence, you will find very few foreign and domestic tourists here.
Tourists that wish to indulge in sunbathing or other seaside activities (not watersports) visit Agonda Beach.
Agonda Beach can be accessed easily by road from Cancona.
However, the beach is a few miles away from this city. It is advisable to carry sufficient stocks of booze, snacks and other requirements before deciding to spend a day at Agonda.
Most shops are located at a distance, and you may not find the desired brands.
Also, ensure you carry more than one SIM card from a reliable Indian operator: Agonda beach has very sparse mobile coverage.
15. Colva Beach
The last beach to showcase on our list of best beaches in Goa which is located in South is Colva beach.
Anyone that has watched the famous Bollywood movie, ‘Singham’ will be well versed with the name ‘Colva’.
Located about 5km from the KTC terminus in Margao, South Goa, this beach is a favourite venue for shooting movies.
There are lots of venues in Colva village where you can take pictures of locations where these movies were shot. Colva beach is excellent for those visiting Goa for the first time.
There are several hotels and resorts available to suit all budgets.
A lot of operators offer day-long trips to North Goa and South Goa with Colva as the starting point.
You can find all facilities including foreign exchange bureaus and shops of top global brands in Colva town.
At the beach, you can indulge in some watersports offered by licensed operators that have qualified and experienced staff. These include parasailing and water skiing, among others.
Visiting Best Beaches in Goa
As mentioned above, all beaches in Goa are located within its coastline of 101km.
While some of these beaches are popular among tourists because of nearby infrastructure, others remain relatively unknown.
The betalbatim beach in south Goa and Sinquerim beach in north Goa are other excellent examples of some of the less crowded beaches in Goa where tourism has yet to make a significant mark. Hence, you can visit these beaches too.
The best way to visit a large number of beaches in Goa is by hiring a scooter or motorcycle.
These can be rented easily from small agencies or directly from your hotel or lodge. Prices are fairly reasonable.
Renting a two-wheeler makes sense because public transport in Goa tends to be erratic. In most places, you cannot find public buses after 9 pm.
Taxis, auto-rickshaws and their likes charge exorbitant rates from unsuspecting visitors. You can overcome this problem by merely renting a two-wheeler.
Booze at Goa Beaches
Generally, consuming alcohol on beaches of Goa is permitted. You can get liquor at beach shacks or carry own stock.
However, getting into drunken brawls or littering the beach can land you in severe trouble with the law.
Goa follows a stringent environmental protection policy after its beaches were ridiculed worldwide as the dirtiest in any country.
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Word of Caution
While these beaches of Goa are world famous, you need to exert some precautions while visiting any.
Unfortunately, these beaches have become a preying ground for petty criminals.
Drug peddlers also ply on these beaches to conduct shady deals.
Shun self-styled agents that offer cheap accommodation or shopping since most of these are conmen.
The Goa government deploys Tourist Police to patrol its scenic beaches. You can approach these cops for any assistance.
These local cops speak English, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani languages with expert level fluency and are very helpful.
Another caution you must exercise is to avoid venturing into the sea where prohibited. Seas around Goa can get pretty rough, and those who wade into the waters can get swept away quickly.
Notices warning tourists against swimming or venturing into the water are prominently displayed at such spots.
All beaches in Goa are monitored by Goa Police, Coast Guard, Indian Navy and local organisations that provide lifeguards for your safety.
The Final Thought
Goa is renowned as the most magnificent tourist paradise.
Not surprising since this tiny state receives an unusually high number for foreign and domestic tourists round the year to visit some of the best beaches in Goa.
Peak tourist season in Goa begins every September to conclude in March. Hence, we have myriad Indian festivals and celebrations held across Goa during this period.
Also remember, a holiday in Goa can prove a bit pricey due to the large number of foreigners who visit the state.
Getting amenities like accommodation and sightseeing tours during peak travel season can prove difficult. Hence, it is ideal to plan your trip and make bookings in advance.
Some of the best facilities in Goa are available at reasonable rates from Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) and the state’s tourism department.
They own hotels and resorts as well as operate day tours around the state. Accommodation and sightseeing facilities available from Goa government departments are relatively economical and of the very high standard.
Hence, you are assured of getting value for money spent.