- Bethan Sweeting
Although it is one of the smallest states in India, Goa offers an abundance of beautiful beaches. Stretching along the Arabian Sea on India’s west side just south of Mumbai, Goa offers a variety of beaches to suit any holiday style. Whether the priority is relaxation, partying or experiencing culture, Goa has beaches to satisfy all visitors.
Crescent shaped and palm fringed, Palolem beach has clean white sand and stunning views. The beach offers a range of activities such as beautiful walks and intriguing boat trips. Typical of a Goan beach, there are a range of beach huts to stay in and restaurants in which to sample the local seafood.
Only a mere ten minute walk from the busier Palolem beach, Patnem is the ideal location for relaxation in an idyllic setting. Patnem offers the best of both worlds: its isolated position between two cliffs generates a distinct feeling of calm but at the same time it isn’t far from attractions and lively nightlife areas in the more touristic Palolem. This is the perfect beach for a peaceful shoreline walk with its finger on the pulse of nearby adventures.
Mandrem, Morjim and Ashwem
Having gained a fashionable reputation, Mandrem, Morjim and Ashwem beaches attract visitors keen to sip on cocktails in chic bars and restaurants. If a drinking holiday isn’t on the visitors’ agenda, there are also a number of yoga retreats which offer the opportunity to detox and re-energize. More than just a fashionable place, these beaches are famous for their work in protecting the turtles which reside in the area, helping to preserve the wildlife which was present long before any tourists arrived.
Situated north of Palolem, Agonda is a true gem of a beach in South Goa. Hidden away from the busy beaches situated in the north of the state, Agonda is a concealed treasure. Slightly secluded, the quiet nature of this beach adds to its true beauty. A small and traditional fishing village nearby makes this one of the most culturally engaging seaside parts of Goa. Visit Agonda and take the time to appreciate the stillness, you may even see some little turtle hatchlings.
Anjuna beach is famous for having attracted the hippie culture in previous years to date. Currently exuding a slightly different vibe due to its popularity, there is still some evidence in the beach of the spirit of bohemian peace and love brought by the hippies. Situated in North Goa just 11 miles from Goa’s capital, Panjim, Anjuna is easy to reach. Look out for the flea market on Wednesdays, ideal for authentic souvenir shopping, and enjoy the psychedelic trance music that often plays at sunset.
Candolim beach features a long, straight coastline view lined with shacks, huts and bars. These commodities are set in a background of sand dunes, a natural element which isn’t present in many of Goa’s other beaches. Close to the extremely busy Baga beach, Condolim is popuar but not exceedingly crowded. The beach has a lively community feel but it also retains a level of calm in high season.
Favored by Indian tourists, Colva beach becomes busy in October when pilgrims make their way to Colva Church. A good destination for witnessing the influence of Portuguese colonization in Goa, Colva is less popular among Western tourists, meaning that its industry is not so driven by nightlife entertainment. This has helped the beach retain its authenticity and culture making it a destination with a truly Indian feel.