Travel

Goa Holiday Guide

Goa is known as ‘the beach capital‘ of India. The stunning beaches of Goa attract tourists from all over the world. The place actually made more famous by bollywood as the celebrities rush to Goa whether it’s New Year’s Eve or their birthday or just a simple summer break. The interesting thing about Goa is it is full of beaches! Lol yes! for example, The beach begins at Fort Aguada continues as Sinquerim beach, then as Candolim Beach and merges into Calangute beach and then to Baga beach and then Anjuna Beach and then to Vagator Beach finally ending at Chapora Beach and Fort. And many more amazing small unique beaches are a complete adventure in themselves.

So, we thought to bring a beach guide in case you are planning to visit Goa this summer.

Anjuna Beach:

Goa-Beach-Party

Goa Full Moon Beach Party

Anjuna Beach, known for its infamous full moon parties lies 8 km west of Mapusa.

Since 1970s, it has been on the ‘top favorites’ list of tourists. A hippy hangout because of its superb sea shore that is an idyllic place to dance, lie in the sands and to enjoy tropical fruits.

There are swaying coconut trees and soft white sands lining the seashore, it is safer for bathing too in comparison to the nearby resorts.

ajuna beach

The southern end of the beach has a calmer sea and is more peaceful.

There is a famous flea market that follows the uninterrupted kilometer-long-stretch of precipitously shelving sand merging into rocky lands of low red cliff.
There are lively cafes and Kashmiri handicraft stalls to add the punch.

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Anjuna Beach resort swimming pool

Baga Beach:

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Baga Beach is part of a 30-km stretch of beach coastline along the west coast of Goa by the Arabian Sea, 10-km west of Mapusa, is basically an extension of Calangute beach

A small fishing seashore lined with thickets of shady palm trees that provides a stunning view against the playful sea waves, Baga Beach is secluded enough to gain popularity among the sunbathers. It is difficult to arrange for the transport in the late evenings in the area as there are no buses to the place after the dark and it takes a long walk to the Calangute taxi stand from the beach. However, one can arrange for one’s own transport and relax as long as one wants. Baga is actually an extension of Calangute beach, with the exception of being crowded, precipitous and rendered unsafe by perilous undercurrents. The flat beach of Baga has white clean sands and is safe for swimming. Besides water sports and fishing, there are lively watering holes with dance floors that pep up the Goa’s nightlife. Most of the travellers end up at Tito’s, which has the only dance floor and hefty sound system outside a big hotel for miles. Women are allowed in for free, but men and couples have to pay.

WATER SPORTS AT BAGA:

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parasailing at baga beach

The quiet atmosphere and isolated location of Baga, beside the scenic beauty that surrounds it, with the creek, the Retreat House perched on the hill and the lack of local tourist buses all have contributed to the beach being a favourite of the beach lovers. Baga beach is more popular with western tourists who love to use it as a base for water sports and fishing in the area.

EATING OUT PLACES AT BAGA BEACH:

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Baga has arguably the best range of restaurants in Goa, from standard beach shacks to swish pizzerias and terrace cafes serving real espresso coffee. Tourists can opt for a candlelight dinner at the beachside, or a traditional Goan meal at the shacks and restaurants offering continental as well as tempting seafood.

Calangute Beach:

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A 45 minute bus rides up to the coast from the city of Panjim brings one to Calangute.
Calangute beach is widely known as queen of Goa’s beaches. Here holidays and beat shows draw hundreds of people. Goa’s busiest and most commercialized resort, Calangute has been an epitome of Goa’s beauty and serene fishing villages, since 1970s, have been very popular among the self-indulgent hippies. However, there has been much change of scenery since then with the roads full of Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery.

The high quality textiles from RajasthanGujarat and Karnataka can be bought from here. Steep shelving sands, rows of old wooden boats secured below the dunes and fishermen mark the general picture of the beach. Nightlife has been in control recently with due efforts of Goan police and parties and loud music after ten are not very common.Today, Calangute beach symbolise Goa’s reputation as a haven for beach and coastal splendour. The beach itself is nothing special, with steeply shelving sand, but is more than large enough to accommodate the huge numbers of high-season visitors.

WATER SPORTS AT CALANGUTE:

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water skiing at Calangute Beach

Calangute also makes a perfect beach site if you want to indulge in some water sports activities. Parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing at the Calangute beach starts in the afternoon when the wind is blowing just in the right direction and it goes on till sunset.

FOOD JOINTS & RESTAURANTS:

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Calangute’s restaurants are mainly grouped around the entrance to the beach and along the Baga road. As with most Goan resorts, the accent is firmly on tempting seafood, though many places also serve vegetarian dishes. Western breakfasts also feature prominently at some of the restaurants in Calangute.

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English breakfast – at Calangute beach

Candolim Beach:

candolim beach

Candolim is a beach that is very much in North Goa. The most basic attraction is Aguada Fort & Calangute Beach. The best time to visit this place is from December to February.
Candolim Beach is quite peaceful than other beaches of Goa. This sandy stretch runs into Calangute Beach, a busy and commercialized center. The beach itself is long and straight, backed by scrub-covered dunes, which is very popular with package tourists. These beaches are quite peaceful and it is a dispersed village with no real center. Candolim is very quiet, and this is due to the fact that there aren’t resorts all around the beach. It’s a subtle mixture of people taking break from the Rajneesh Ashram in Pune, tourist for long and short-term period, and nature lovers.

Candolim Beach is a part of a long stretch of beach coastline along the Arabian Sea that begins at Fort Aguada and ends at Chapora Beach. This beach has got a lot of inns which have real good facilities. This has made Candolim Beach a place where one can easily find a large number of starred as well as non-starred hotels.

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jet ski ride at candolim beach

FORT AGUADA:

stunning view of Fort Aguada

stunning view of Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada was built in the year 1612 by the Portuguese. This is a famous Fort in Goa and is worth visiting. On the Northern side of this Fort there are two beaches. One of these is Candolim and the other being Calangute.

HOW TO GET THERE:

There are a number of buses that help people reach Candolim from Mapusa and Calangute. The nearest interstate bus station is at Mapusa, which is the KTC bus station.
Buses from Panjim stops frequently, at the bus stand opposite to the Casa Sea Shell. A few also continue south to the fort Aguada Beach Resort, from where services depart very frequently for the capital via Nerul village. Taxis are also available outside the major resort hotels.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

Accommodation at Candolim is little expensive for most of the season. But there are a variety of accommodations available nearby.

Dona Paula Beach:

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It is 7-km from Panjim. At the place where two of Goa’s famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagoa Harbour. An idyllic and picturesque picnic spot, overlooking a fine view of zuari estuary and Marmagoa harbour.
The Dona Paula Beach is aptly referred to as Lover’s Paradise and happens to be one of the most popular beaches in the Beach Capital of India Goa. The swaying palm trees and the casuarinas groves add to the holiday mood on the shore of the Arabian Sea. The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and enjoy water scootering and motar boat rides, besides enjoying the nature at its best at the Dona Paula beach. The Dona Paula beach has been a used as a backdrop for various film shootings too. . In order to enjoy the natural beauty that is present in bounty at the Dona Paula beach you may take a river cruise on the Mandovi River. The sensuous sunrise, sunset, and full-moon cruises are so soothing and unique.

NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHY INSTITUTE:

 

CSIR - National Institute Of Oceanography

CSIR – National Institute Of Oceanography

Another nearby attraction of the Dona Paula beach site is the National Oceanography Institute. Set up in the 1960s, the National Oceanography Institute delves not only upon marine biology, but incorporate almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.

ATTRACTIONS AROUND DONA PAULA BEACH:

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windsurfing at Dona Paula beach

While at Dona Paula you make indulge in sports like windsurfing, parasailing, water-skating, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting on the beach. Though water-scooter, cycle, and motorboat rides are also available. The Dona Paula beach hosts the famous annual water sports festival every November. Water scooter and cycle races along with the surfing competitions are held and participated in with much fun and frolic.

SHOPPING AT DONA PAULA:

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people shopping at market near dona paula beach

Shopping can become a much more enjoyable experience at the beaches of Goa. Dona Paula is one such place where several shops are located along the beachside, selling variety of goods ranging from eatables to clothes. Fishermen-turned-local vendors also sell straw hats, lace handkerchiefs, and spices in these shops. If you are interested in buying Indian handicrafts and jewellery, then visit the Indian Arts Emporium in Dona Paula.

You may plan your trip to Dona Paula Beach any time of the year but the months from June to September may be avoided owing to the heavy rainfall. Rest of the months is pleasant and it’s a pleasure to be at Dona Paula. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses that take care of accommodation at Dona Paula. There are even some of the beachside huts that may be tried.

The delightful beach of Dona Paula is well connected with the rest of the places. The Dabolim airport is the nearest. The Karmali railway station takes care of the tourists who travel by train. For road transport there are plenty of bus services provided by Kadamba Transport Corporation besides motorcycles, auto rickshaws and taxis that may be easily hired.

In order to make the most of your holiday at the Dona Paula beach keep away from drugs and nudity. Even though swimming is considered safe you must check out with the lifeguards for the strength of the undercurrents. Get ready to get drenched in the delightful experience at the Dona Paula beach!

Aguada Beach:

GOA- FORT AGUADA AERIAL VIEW

Aguada Beach is almost synonymous with the top-notch Fort Aguada Hotel complex, a superb hotel that is built on the cliff, around the remnants of the early 17th century Portuguese fort. Although access to the beach is not possible through the hotel grounds, which are private, you can walk along Aguada beach, for in India private beaches do not exist. The hotel has been constructed in three parts, consisting of expensive cottages on the upper reaches of the hillside, the fort jutting out to sea, and a delightful Goan village, with individual cottages. Drawn by the clientele of the hotel, Aguada beach has cafes, itinerant vendors of everything from Kashmiri carpets to massages, and a good range of water

At the center is a circular lighthouse tower. The Fort presently houses the central jail.

Majorda Beach:

Majorda Beach Resort 3

Majorda beach is situated along the southern part of Goa. It is 2-kms far from North of Colva This beach stretches about 5-kms North of Colva beach. Though smaller in size many new resorts have sprung up at the Majorda beach in Goa.

A number of hotels have been built in the close vicinity of Majorda, offering a wide choice of resorts, less luxurious accomodations, and even old houses that can be rented, for a longer time period. For those who prefer to move on their own, you can hire a bike for a day or two and explore the village. Along the road that leads to the beach you will find shops and restaurants.

Colva Beach:

colva beach...

Colva Beach is 6-km from Margao which is the largest commercial city of south Goa. Colva is surely a jewel in Goa’s crown of beaches. The oldest and largest of South Goa’s beach resorts, Colva is marked by Vaddos’, or wards, colonial style villas and dilapidated fishing huts. Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scenic splendour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unharmed by men. It has good accommodation facilities; particularly at the tourist cottages. The beachfront is studded with concrete hotels, souvenir stalls and snack bars. Swimming is safer here and away from the crowded beachfront, one can find clean and soft sands with beautiful shells.

sunset at Colva beach

sunset at Colva beach

Young tourists have added new attractions to Colva’s nightlife, the major ones being in the dunes south of the beachfront area, especially, ones with big MTV satellite screens and floor-smashing music and the late night watering holes. The dance floors are as popular among the tourists as the cool breeze and the dancing sea waves on the beach.

Benaulim Beach:

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It is situated at Benaulim village , 7-km west of Margao. It is one of the famous beaches of south Goa. As the legend goes, Goa was created when the great warrior-sage Shri Parasurama, shot an arrow into the sea from the Western Ghats and ordered it to recede. The spot where it touched the earth is known in Sanskrit as ‘Banali’, which was modified into ‘Benaulim’ by the Portuguese.
In the centre of the Colva Beach, this village had fishing and rice-farming as its major occupations only a decade ago but now, one can see guesthouses and souvenir stalls springing up in the place of the paddy fields. Tranquility still rules the beach with its soft sands, pretty wooden fishing boats and palm trees. Free from jellyfish in general, the sea is safe for swimming. It has reasonably good accommodation facilities with fine restaurants. Benaulim’s accommodation largely consists of small budget guesthouses, scattered around a radius of a few kilometers. It’s fast gaining popularity is turning out to be a strong competitor to Colva Beach.

Dolphins & Rare species of birds are often spotted on Benaulim beach

Dolphins & Rare species of birds are often spotted on Benaulim beach

There are many other beaches in Goa to be considered such as Palolem Beach, Patnem Beach, Agonda Beach, Chapora Beach, Arambol Beach, Cavelossim Beach etc.
So what are you waiting for? Go and pack your beach bag!

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sara Essop

    April 20, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Goa looks beautiful. It’s been on my bucket list for ages.

  2. editor

    April 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Sara 😀 Yes Goa is beautiful! You should definitely visit the place.

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