Goa is home to some incredibly scenic beaches and plays host to umpteen tourists who travel to this land of beaches, with their varied interests. Each unique and very different from the other, Goan beaches have the magnificence to keep you mesmerized throughout your stay. On one hand they can be the ultimate party place for youth looking to dance through the night, on the other, they can be the soul searchers paradise for those looking to recuperate in solitude. While they have the potential to bring about an adrenaline rush to the adventure seekers with the water sports and water rides on offer, they can also convert into a blissful retreat for a family wanting to spend some quality time bonding together.
Whatever be your reason, Goan beaches have something for everyone to experience and explore. While it is virtually impossible to rate them, here’s a checklist of the Top 10 popular beaches of Goa that most definitely are a must visit to discover.
One of the most popular and also the best known beaches of India is the Agoda beach. Situated in South Goa, it is about 90 minutes drive from the Dabolim airport, and boasts of a remote shoreline. A delight to soar eyes, Agoda is a versatile beach, where numerous backpackers, beach bums, swimmers, and sunbathers arrive to chill and relax.
The beach feels secluded and blissful because of its simplistic beauty and natural environ. A cool breeze and the sound of waves for company, many honeymooners and couples hire tents and camp by the shore, to soak in the spirit of the place and star gaze the night away.
Dolphin spotting is also quite popular here and people take boat rides to spot them. This beach is also the nesting ground of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles, who can be spotted at the Turtle Center near the beach.
World famous for its full moon parties by the beach, Anjuna Beach is known for its gently swaying palm trees, unusual rock formations and a vast expanse of sand. Besides dancing to trance music and absorbing the beauty of the place, a must visit place here is the Wednesday Flea Bazaar, that operates from dawn to dusk selling exquisite ware, trinkets, Goan apparel, funky jewelry, souvenirs, and much more.
A popular beach, that represents all that Goa stands for- amazing nightlife, sizzling parties, water sports, and the shacks that outline the beach’s periphery serving delicious seafood. This beach also plays host to the National Wind Surfing Championship held each year between September and November. Another interesting to-do here is the dolphin cruise that many take to meet the friendly giant. Other activities include wind surfing and banana boat rides and parasailing that you can enjoy besides exploring the local bazaar selling quirky trinkets, footwear and funky bags. A must for the eternal shopper and adventure junkies alike, this beautiful beach of Goa is must on your radar.
Known for its scrubbed sand dunes, and its proximity to the famous Princess River, a ship that has been at the shores of Candolim from 2000, this beautiful beach is situated about 13 km North of Panaji, and hosts thousands of tourists and visitors every year. Unspoiled scenic beauty and a serene atmosphere intoxicated by the laidback Goanese vibe make this a favored destination to unwind and relax. Candolim is comparatively a lot less crowded than its closest beach Calangute making it a perfect place for a rejuvenating holiday with family and friends. You can soak in the beautiful sunset views here, or walk the long stretch of road that leads to Candolim beach exploring the line of restaurants and shops selling all kinds of interesting stuff. For those who love adventure, the beach has many water sports activities like water skiing and also parasailing. Unlike other beaches you also wouldn’t find any resorts on the beach but there is no dearth of accommodation options around it. This area is home to many popular getaways, hotels and resorts as it offers a pleasant escape from the maddening crowds found on other beaches. One of the longest beaches of Goa, Candolim is a beach that must not be missed.
It is the largest beach in North Goa and referred to as the Queen of Goa Beaches because of its panoramic beauty. Surrounded by palm and coconut trees, the beach is spread four miles along the Arabian Sea and about nine miles from Panaji. Flocked by both domestic and international tourists alike, Calangute Beach is famous for its golden shimmering sand and a horde of amazing shacks offering authentic Goan cuisine and drinks. Full of Uber cool clubs, restaurants, souvenir stalls, trinket shops and pawns, it naturally is a must visit place for all seafood lovers and shopping buffs. Water sports and parasailing are also a big hit here. Water-scooter rides are a must do.
Dona Paula Beach
Dona Paula Beach is a very famous beach frequented by tourists round the year. While during October to March it is overly crowded, during monsoons it transforms into a calm beautiful place. One of the main tourist attractions here is the whitewashed statue sculpted in 1969 by Baroness Yrse Von Leistner. Perched on the rocks near the popular ferry jetty, the origin of this statue is shadowed in mystery. Named the ‘Image of India’ the statute depicts a Mother and child, and is symbolic of Mother India and Young India both looking in different directions from East to West. The Wheel of Ashoka is in the middle half, buried in stone, to represent the ancient culture that nurtured this blend of ideas and emotions.
This crescent shaped beach is set amidst unique tree covered rocks on one side and umpteen beach shakes on the other. Unspoilt and rich in natural beauty, it is home to both local fishermen and foreign tourists, who choose to live in shacks along the shore. About a mile, one can view the entire beach from either end. Both arms of the beach consist of rocks jutting out into the sea. Since the depth of the sea increases gradually and the currents are not fast, the northern side of the beach is very safe for average swimmers. Atop the island near the Beach is a stone sculpture called the ‘Money Stone’ or ‘Give if you can- Take if you have to’. Built by an American land artist, here people can leave money or pick the Money lying around at will.
Set around the scenic backdrop of Fort Aguada, Sinquerim Beach is scenically set in the North of Goa amidst a vast expanse of golden sand. Snorkeling, banana ride, and parasailing are some of the popular activities here but the main attraction for the tourists is the 17th Century Portuguese built Fort Aguada an engineering marvel that has stood the test of time and the 1864 built Aguada Lighthouse, the oldest in Asia.
The northernmost beach of Bardez, Goa, Vagator is located on the bank of the Chapora River. Famous for the Sunburn festival, rave culture and the Chapora Fort and two fresh water springs, the red-cliffed Vagator Beach attracts people with its quiet calmness and serene atmosphere. A great place to relax, stroll, meditate, or simply unwind, Vagator has been blessed with unspoilt rustic beauty and quaint foliage that finds many admirers.
A refuge from the hustling beach cultures, it offers mesmerizing views of the sunset through rocks and is home to a number of places hosting dance & trance parties during the tourist season.
Varca Beach is about 30 Kms from the Dabolim International airport in South Goa and is sought for its serene and calm atmosphere. It is equally thronged by couples looking to enhance the romance in their lives and adventure seekers who arrive here to indulge in several activities like skiing, windsurfing, sailing, parasailing, jet skiing, boating, diving and fishing. The Our Lady of Gloria church, one of the oldest buildings in Varca is another attraction that brings tourists here to attend its services.