Beaches in Goa
To get there: The best way of getting to the Candolim is by Bus and hired taxis. This beach is approximately 13 km from the state capital PAnaji and 10 km from Mapusa. The nearest railway station is at Thivim that is about 19 km from Candolim. Taxi and auto services are available from there to the beach.
What to experience: Among the notable places to be seen in the Candolim Beach is the Church of St. Lawrence. With a beautiful seascape forming an enchanting backdrop, this place has a special appeal amongst the tourists as a hotspot for taking photographs. The Candolim Beach also houses the Candolim Church, built in 1560. dedicated to Our Lady of Hope, this little church is decorated with beautiful stained-glass panels
A number of boat operators offer rides into the sea for spotting dolphins and crocodiles, river cruises and fishing expeditions. A boat ride up the Mandovi is also a pleasurable excursion
One bit of caution is that this beach is very close to the site of the wreckage of the ship, River Princess. Hence, swimming should always be kept in shallow waters and at least 500 meters away from the wreck of the ship
To get there: located at the center of the Bardez coast, it is 16 km from Panaji. There is a bus service to Calangute from Mapusa and Panaji after every 15 minutes.
What to experience: If the road from Mapusa is taken, the church of St. Alex is a good place to see. Particularly interesting is the white dome of the church. Further down the street is a market of mixed baubles. One can find small souvenirs, trinkets, bookshops and designer boutiques there
Adventure Sports: The Calangute Beach is an ideal location for the adventure enthusiasts. Hence, parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing are some of the most practiced sports in this part of Goa. There are also boat expeditions to islands and for spotting dolphins and crocodiles.
Food: Calangute has some of the finest eateries in Goa and hence many tourists flock here. Goan food in all its variety is present here.
Safety Information: Generally the Beach is quite safe for swimming, but the high tide should be avoided. Incidents of huge tides flinging people out from the sea have been reported.
Calangute has some of the finest restaurants in Goa and offers the best of Goan food in all its variety. This is also another reason why tourists mainly flock in this famous beach of Goa.
Nightlife: The night life in the Calangute beach is not a veru happening one. Except for a few bars that remain open till 11 p.m., there isn’t much option for a party animal. Other modes of entertainment are watching shows of classical dance or Kathakali, performed at the Kerkar art gallery, or at a small place at the beach road.
To get there: The Baga Beach is an extension of her sister beach, Calangute. South down to Anjuna, it is just a walk away from the beach.
What to experience: Located in the midst of the Baga Anjuna hill, This beach personifies beauty and charm. A leisurely stroll on the beach, with the sea breeze grazing the face and hair is a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. The captivating view of the beach along with the azure blue color of the sea is another attraction of Baga. A short walk towards the hill will take you to the Baga Retreat House, a community building established in 1953, and dedicated to St. Francis Xavier.
Shopping at Baga: Apart from the lovely scenic elegance of the place, Baga is also an alluring name among the shopaholics. The Saturday Night markets, like Ingo’s Market in the Arpora village and Flea Market in Anjuna, are acclaimed all over Goa for their variety, style and an inexpensive collection of various items, ranging from clothes, trinkets, sculptures, wood carvings, other kinds of handicrafts and other semi precious stones. The most appealing part of these markets is the cosmopolitan crowd that not only makes up the crowd but also constitutes a major portion of the sellers. Cuisines from all over the world are available in these markets. All kinds of wines and liquors are also sold in the open, to go with the excellent food. These markets are also the venues for the performance of Indian Dances and Jam sessions.
Adventure Sports: The Baga beach even offers ample opportunities to the adventure enthusiasts. Paragliding, speed boat rides and jet-skiing are some of the most opted for fun filled sporting activities that the tourists engage in.
Nightlife: In Baga, the beach of Baga offers a vibrant and happening night life to the fun loving tourists. Every year new bars and clubs open in this part of Goa. The Friday and Saturday nights are usually the most pulsating ones.
To get there: The Anjuna Beach is located in the Bardez taluka, to the north of the Baga-Calangute-Candolim Beach. Regular buses, hired taxis and autorickshws ply from Panaji and Mapusa to Anjuna. Taxis from the Dabolim Airport (57 km) and Thivim Station (25 km) are also widely and frequently available
What to experience: The beach of Anjuna is an action filled beach that offers a range of activities to the tourists. A short distance away from the beach is St. Anthony’s Church. Another significant attraction of Anjuna is the Flea market, that is an integral part of most tourists’ itinerary. The history of this Flea market is that it was started by the hippies in the late sixties and seventies. Today however, it is a remarkable contributor in Goan economy. The Flea Market is held every Wednesday and also offers yoga sessions and scope for other adventure sports to the travelers
Adventure Sports: In Anjuna: paragliding, Bunjee Jumping and snorkeling are only some of the fun filled sports that Anjuna offers to the adventure enthusiasts
To get there: The Vagator beach is located at a distance of 32 km from Panaji and 10 km from Mapusa. Hence bus service is the most convenient mode of transport in order to reach Vagator. However, the bus junction where the buses normally leave the passengers is around 2 km from the beach. Hence hired taxis or autorickshaws are the best, though a bit expensive mode of transport.
What to experience: Located about 100 meters from the beach is a freshwater spring. Angling can be practices at the fishing jetty at Chapora village. Another unique attraction of the Vagator Beach is a statue of Lord Shiva, believed to belong to the days when hippies came to Goa in troops. The premier attraction of the Vagator Beach is the Chapora Fort. Situated in 1717 by the Portugese to oust the Maratha Attacks, this fort offers a spectacular view of the surrounding hinterland. The panoramic views offered by this fort have turned it into a tourist hotspot.
Adventure Sports: Trekking can be done for reaching the fort. Chapora, also known for its resourcefulness in trout's, is a paradise for the anglers. This place is also ideal for swimming. The presence of a lifeguard makes swimming even more secure.
To get there: A walk down the south of Keri beach will take you to Arambol Beach.
What to experience: A veritable attraction of the Arambol Beach is the freshwater lake, about 200 meters from the sea, near the Waghcolomb Hill. This is particularly convenient for the tourists who can take a dip in the lake after a session of swim in the sea. A short distance away from the Arambol Junction is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. To the north of Arambol, on the opposite shore is the Tiracol Fort. Being situated on the northernmost tip of Goa, the fort offers beautiful and panoramic views of Keri and the Arambol Beach. Apart from housing the Church of St. Anthony, the fort has now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Adventure Sports: Wind surfing, kite-buggy rides, paragliding, sand speed sailing and dolphin spotting are some of the popular sports that tourists indulge in during their stay in Arambol Beach
Safety Information: Arambol is not considered to be a very safe place for swimming, particularly because of the absence of the lifeguards. However, the nightlife in Arambol is vibrant and fabulous. Some other forms of entertainment are performances of Indian classical music and dance.
To get there: The Majorda Beach is just 26 km away from the Dabolim International Airport. From Panaji, the distance to Majorda is just 37 km and hence is easily accessible by taxis. One can also reach Majorda from Margao via buses, taxis and autos.
What to experience: Mae de Dues Church, found in 1588, was destroyed during the Maratha invasion in 1738. this was again rebuilt in 1739. Casa dos Piedade Costas, built in the early 17th century is a classical example of period architecture
Adventure Sports:This is not a very convenient location for the adventure sports enthusiasts. Though swimming can be done, yet the absence of lifeguards makes it risky. A number of restaurants cater to the diversified cuisine demands of the cosmopolitan tourists.
To get there: The Colva beach lies to the west of margo, south of Betalbatim and north of Benaulim. Taxis and buses are readily available to Colva from the Dabolim International Airport (26 km) and Margao Station (8 km).
What to experience: One of the veritable attractions of the Colva beach is the Colva church, dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. Built in 1581 and again rebuilt in the 18th century, Menino, or an infant Jesus’s statue was reportedly found by a Jesuit priest and was placed in the Church of Colva. Apart from these trips to see Dolphins is also another important aspect of the Colva Beach.
Adventure Sports: Parasailing, jetskiing, trips to spot dolphins and crocodiles, fishing trips and boat trips are some of the adventure sports often enjoyed in this part of Goa.
There are plenty of shacks that cater to the tourists by offering classical Goan and other International cuisines. The Colva beach is mainly for those who are looking forward to a quiet and laidback holiday. Hence the nightlife here is not very vibrant and active
To get there: The Benaulim Airport is just 28 km from the Dabolim International Airport. It can also be reached from the Maragao station in a taxi or autorickshaw. Geographically, the Benaulim is located at the center of the coastal Salcette taluka and is just 2 km South of Colva.
What to experience: The main attraction in the Benaulim Beach for the tourists is the St. John the Baptist Church. Built in 1581, this church shows a definite influence of the Hindu form of architecture. The Holy Trinity Church, built in May 1992, is at mazil Vaddo at Banaulim. The tourists can experience the past glory of the portugese royals by visiting Manthan, a heritage gallery, converted from a house belonging to the Portugese era.
Adventure Sports:Trips for spotting Dolphins and Crocodiles and island tours organized by the locals are some of the adventure sports that travelers can enjoy in Benaulim
The number of eateries in Benaulim are not as many as in Colva or Margao. The wild at heart might be disappointed with the Benaulim beach because of the absence of night clubs and bars.
To get there: Buses ply from Margao and Colva. One can also reach Varca in a cycle or motorcycle or taxi from Benaulim.
What to experience: The walk down the road from Benaulim through a thick canopy of palms, coconut trees and paddy fields form a never to be forgotten experience for the traveler. The whitewashed churches are also quite impressive and bear upon them the old world elegance
Adventure Sports: A boat trip on the Sal River, river cruises, bird watching, dolphin spotting and fishing trips are some of the sports that the adventure enthusiasts can engage in.
To get there: Taxis are available from the Dabolim International Airport (35 km) and Margao Station (15 km). Bus service is also available from the Margao bus stand. Even ferries operate from Assolna every 15 minutes to connect it with Cavelossim.
What to experience: In the adjoining Kanakona taluka, located to the south of Mobor is the Cabo da Rama fort, that can offer the tourists a glimpse of Goa’s rich history. There is also a temple of Shree Chandreshwar Bhoothnath temple, near Paroda, in the neighboring district of Quepem Talukae
To get there: Palolem Beach is in the center of coastal Canacona in South Goa. Taxis are available from the Dabolim International Airport (63 km), Margao Station (43 km) and Panaji (76 km). Buses also operate every hour from Margao to Palolem.
What to experience: There is a cup shaped rock at the southern end of the beach. This is popularly known as the Pandava’s drum. Tourists are encouraged to throw stones into the drum and listen to the sound that is emanated from there. At the northern end of the beach lies an island, where hours can be spent in watching the playful banter of the Sea urchins, mussels and sea cucumbers.
Another attraction very near to the Pandava’s Drum is the Figueiredo House. It was built by the Figueiredo family in the twentieth century. Known for its architecture and design, this house was a popular attraction amongst the natives as well as the foreigners. However, later it was vandalized. Today it stands integrated as part of the Neptune Point Hotel.
Adventure Sports: Canoe rides are very frequently accessed by the visitors to spot dolphins and crocodiles. For canoeing another favorable beach is the butterfly beach that lies between the Palolem and the Agonda Beaches. However, swimming in this part of the sea has to be done carefully as the water gets deep here.
If you get tired of the incessant crowds that throng the other beaches of Goa, come to this relatively unpopular beach of Agonda. Stretching over 3 km, this beach is located about 3 km from Palolem, on the Canacona coast.
To get there: Buses ply every hour from Margao to Palolem. However, you can even take a cab from the Dabolim International Airport(67 km), from Margao Station(43 km) and Panaji(76 km).
What to experience: The Agonda Beach is a relatively quiter beach with nothing much to see or do apart from indulging in an indolent holiday. The absence of lifeguards and a dodgy undertow makes Agonda a highly unsafe beach for swimming.