The best beaches in Goa are spread across North and South Goa. The North Goa beaches are more commercialized and popular, extending to visitors a flamboyant nightlife, shopping and exuberant experience. The ones in the south are less crowded and offer serenity, not to forget luxury stays.
It doesn’t actually matter which of the beaches you decide to spend time on. Depending upon your personality type, the best beaches in Goa will provide you with fun, comfort and peace.
So if you are planning a trip to this part of the world, make sure you go through our list of best beaches in Goa. The beaches have been put in the top slot by us based on my first-hand travel experiences.
The Best Beaches in Goa: An Overview
The state of Goa is lionized for its beaches which are pristine and windswept and are admired by visitors as well as the locals. Tourism is the state’s foremost industry. It is a relatively small state which is situated between the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Goa is home to many beautiful and finest beaches.
Goa is one of the most popular places among travellers. Visitors from abroad arrive in Goa in winter while the Indian backpackers land in Goa mainly during the monsoon and summer months.
Baga Beach, North Goa
Baga Beach is full of life and is one of the best beaches in Goa for nature buffs. If you want to spend some indelible time in the lap of nature, then this is the place for you.
It is a long sandy beach which offers an enthralling view of the pristine sky-blue water and the quivering palm trees. It is named after the ‘Baga Creek’ which flows into the Arabian Sea.
There are a greater number of visitors here as compared to other beaches. This is because Baga offers exciting nightlife, shack life, flea markets, eateries and some amazing food and drink joints.
|Baga Beach is celebrated for its nightlife with some of the well-known clubs such as Tito’s, Britto’s and Mambos. The shacks serve delicious seafood and other delicacies.
There is also a range of water sports activities in which one can indulge in such as parasailing, jet-ski, banana boat riding and other adventure rides. You can also do some fanciful shopping as the beach is lined by an array of shops.
Baga is also home to tattoo parlours, spas, and tarot shops and thus it has something for every kind of traveler.
Arambol Beach, North Goa
Arambol Beach is one of the most alluring beaches in North Goa. It is unexplored and is a good option for people seeking solitude. It is beautiful, and serene and is surrounded by cliffs on two sides.
This is one of the best beaches in Goa for hippie and bohemian crowds. If you want to buy clothes, junk jewellery, and handicrafts, head towards the shops which are located adjacent to the beach.
The shacks on the Arambol beach serve delicious food including local Goa cuisine, finger food and beer. They also serve early morning breakfast in case you come here during the earlier part of the day. The beach also hosts some of the most gripping night parties and rave parties.
|The best part about this beach is a short walk which leads you to a Sweet Water Lake officially named Vagkolam. Here, one can witness a picturesque view of the beach and the lake, side by side.
Arambol Lake is fed by hot springs and is lined with sulphurous mud which is believed to have healing properties. Dip your feet in the warm, freshwater and bask in the beauty of nature.
The beach serves as a perfect place for activities like paragliding and kite surfing. It also offers Dolphin watching boat trips
Anjuna Beach, North Goa
Anjuna is one of the most happening beaches of Goa and it offers both peace and fun. Situated on the west coast of Goa, Anjuna Beach embodies natural beauty with its glowing white sand and it is well-known for its full-moon beach parties.
This is an amazing place to get some delicious food. Shiva Valley – nondescript shack is renowned for its trance parties after 5 p.m. Some of the other places which serve lip-smacking food are Café Looda, Anthony’s Café, Sunset, Shore Bar and Lobo’s.
Anjuna Beach Flea Market is held here every Wednesday. Here you can find jewellery, saris, bags, t-shirts, sculptures and spices. Many tourists come here to shop.
Anjuna is one of the best beaches in Goa for trance parties and psychedelics. Recommended party destinations in Anjuna that are popular are Café Lilliput, Shiva Valley, Café Cotinga and Guru Bar.
|This beach is home to one of the most amazing shacks. Curlies Beach Shack, undoubtedly Goa’s most legendary beach shack, offers an extensive menu of Goan, Indian and International cuisine.
Also, if adventure is your thing, then this is the place for you. You can indulge in activities such as bungee jumping, windsurfing, paragliding, water scooter, bumping riding, parasailing and jet skiing.
Vagator Beach, North Goa
Situated next to the north of Anjuna Beach, Vagator Beach is one of the most appealing and spectacular beaches of Goa. It is divided into two beaches – BigVagator and Little Vagator ( also known as Ozran Beach). The Ozran beach is more secluded and at the far end of this beach, you will find a sculpture of Shiva Face which is carved into the rocks.
Big Vagator is admired for the Chapora Fort where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the adjacent coast. If you have watched the movie “ Dil Chahta Hai”, one of the iconic scenes has been filmed in this fort.
Vagator’s serenity attracts many people and huge black rocks and coconut trees surround it.
Also, there are many shacks on the beach which serve delicious Goan food and other cuisines. Thalassa, Tin Tin, and Al Cove are some of the places which serve mouth-watering food. Thalassa is an open-air Grecian restaurant and the food here is amazing.
|For all adventure lovers, water sports activities are considerably cheaper as compared to other beaches. You can go for banana rides, parasailing, boat rides, scooters and a lot more.
The famous Sunburn Festival is organised here every December.
This beach is also popular for rave parties, trance parties and night parties. Nine Bar and Hill Top are a favourite among the tourists, for such parties.
Calangute Beach, North Goa
On the Calangute beach, you can stroll along the golden stretch of sand and wallow in the beauty of this spectacular beach.
Calangute is flooded with shacks, eating joints and clubs. Drinks, scrumptious food, night parties, psychedelic music – you name it, Calangute has it all.
One of the most stirring aspects of this place is the wide variety of water sports activities. You can go for activities like parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing, water snorkelling and water skiing.
This beach is also great for shopping. Here you can get beachwear, colourful Goan apparel, antiques, hair accessories and a lot more. Handicrafts from different parts of the country are also sold here.
|Calangute Beach is the largest in North Goa and is referred to as the Queen of Goa Beaches. This is one of the busiest and most commercialized beaches in Goa.
This is a perfect place for seafood lovers. Some of the places which are a hub for tourists include Moon Pub, Hipster, Tio Tilly’s Bar and Kitchen, Carvalho’s, Aggie’s Cafe and Souza Lobo. Do try the authentic Goan food.
Colva Beach, South Goa
The Colva beach is situated in the village of Salcete and is one of the largest beaches in South Goa. Colva has fine white sand and is surrounded by swaying coconut palms. It also has a stream flowing through it which makes for a charming view.
Colva is well-known for its Our Lady of Mercy Church founded in the year 1630 A.D.. This church signifies the architecture, history and beauty which it has preserved for all these years. Many Portugal Buildings which are located nearby, are major tourist attractions.
Colva Beach is less crowded. So if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can come here and relax.
During the day, travelers can be seen sunbathing here. You can also try your hand at water activities.
The nearby markets are good for clothes, souvenirs, books, and jewellery which are sold at reasonable prices.
Some of the well-known restaurants and bars thrive here. These include Harry’s Bar, The Garden, Club Margarita, Furtado’s Shack and many more.
|The best part about this beach is the various leisure activities which are offered here. You can come here for sea bathing, long evening walks, jogging, yoga and meditation, and book reading.
Some of the recommended places to visit in and around Colva Beach are Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Agonda Beach and Benaulim Beach.
Palolem Beach, South Goa
Palolem Beach is one of the unspoiled beaches of Goa with a powdery sand line and green background. It comprised of greenery along with rocky outfits covered by trees at one end. This part is locally known as Green Island.
A few fishermen can also be spotted at the Palolem beach along with the visitors. Try some authentic Goan cuisine. A Goan thali is recommended.
You can take a boat ride in the waters of Palolem and spot beautiful Dolphins. You can also go canyoning here.
Hike along the coastline to the north end of the beach. Do this when the tide is low. You will reach Canacona Island, popularly known as the “Monkey Island”
| Palolm Beach is the ideal hangout spot for both thrill-seekers and culture lovers.
A lot of private agencies offer you Yoga and meditation facilities here. Make sure to avail them if you want to garner some positivity from the environment.
Agonda Beach, South Goa
Agonda Beach is the ideal retreat for peace lovers. It is one of the best beaches in Goa that provides tranquillity and seclusion. It is one of the best spots for sunbathing.
The beach isn’t commercialized and hence you will not find many shops or shacks.
You can hike on the hillocks here. Also, the local fishermen won’t mind taking you for a boat ride in the waters of Agonda.
| Agonda Beach consists of a Turtle Centre that protects precious Olive Ridley eggs.
Swimming deep in the waters of Agonda is not recommended because the tides here are really high. Strolling along the shoreline of the beach is what you should most certainly do.
Betalbatim Beach, South Goa
Betalbatim is one of the best beaches in Goa for a perfect sun and sand experience. Make sure you take the jet ski ride here and spot lots of Dolphins.
The location of the Betalbatim beach is such that it does not get affected by strong winds. This is quite comforting to visitors on the beach.
There are a lot of eateries and restaurants on this beach that will satisfy each of your cravings. Grab some delicious items at Martin’s Beach Corner.
A distinct feature of the beach’s topography is that instead of palm trees, its shoreline is covered by pine trees.
| Betalbatim is known as the “Sunset Beach.” It is one of the best beaches in Goa that provides you with the most breathtaking sunset view at dusk.
There are a variety of shacks available here at reasonable prices.
One of the best beaches in Goa for Dolphin sitting.
Benaulim Beach, South Goa
The Benaulim beach has an interesting mythic reference to it. The widespread belief is that an arrow shot by the Hindu God Lord Vishnu landed here. The original name of this beach was Banavli which means arrow. After the Portuguese overtook Goa, the name was changed from Banavli to Benaulim.
Benauli is one of the best beaches in Goa for fishing. The eateries serve fresh fish here. The shack cafes located at the beachfront are suggested places to eat here. Johncy’s is the most reputable amongst all. The beach also has a lot of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to guest houses and small lodges.
A lot of Kashmiri and Tibetian jewellery shops are lined along this beach. Make sure to bargain before purchasing any items here.
| The Church of St. John the Baptist is one of the major attractions of Benaulim Beach.
Benaulim Beach is the annual venue for bullfights that are celebrated each year from the month of October to May.
Beach Bonanza Fair is held on consecutive Sundays.
Now that you’ve learnt about the best beaches in Goa, plan a trip soon. Goa is a destination known for its glorious beaches. People love coming here to indulge in fun and frolic. It is one of the most visited travel places in India. You should definitely visit this amazing beach town and rejuvenate yourself.
The best kind of therapy is beach therapy!
Happy wayfaring 🙂