Heading to Goa to lie on one of its glorious beaches? Our local Goa expert, Jules, is here to give you an idea of which beach is best for you.
Goa is a state with a coastline of beautiful beaches running all the way from top to bottom. It is famous for them and it would be pretty much impossible to take a trip to Goa without visiting at least one. The amount of beach options may be slightly overwhelming so I, Jules, am here to give you a little explanation of what each beach has to offer and hopefully help you decide which beach meets your holiday needs best.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself –
Do you want an actual sunbed? Do you want to be able to order food and drink? Do you want a calm sea or are you more of a wave surfer? Do you want peace and quiet or keen for some tunes on the beach? Are you looking for seclusion or do you want to meet some people, maybe make a few beach friends? Are you interested in water sports?
Please note I am not listing all the beaches in Goa as this blog would go on and on and on but hopefully below are some options that work for you. Also note that beaches look how they look below during the high season which runs from November – April. Outside of these months is when beach shacks are taken down, monsoon sets in and the beaches feel like a whole different Goa.
Location: South Goa
Sunbeds: Sun beds are not actually allowed onto the beach here due to the turtle nesting but there are a few sneaky ones at the top edge of the beach near the restaurants. Otherwise there is lots of place for your towel or lungi to be put down.
Food and Drink: Lots of beach front restaurants serving food and drink.
Overnight Options: A large option of beach huts all along the front for rent.
Peace and Quiet: Many travellers will choose to stay here for a few nights to lap up the peace and tranquility. It very rarely gets too busy or crowded. You won’t find any water sports but there are options for dolphin and sunset boat tours.
The Sea: The water is a lot clearer here than most other Goa beaches. As this beach is set between two bays it is usually calm and friendly.
Location: A smaller beach in South Goa.
Sunbeds: Lots of sun bed options set a bit further back from the sea.
Food and Drink: Lots of beach shack options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few great restaurants on the main road behind the beach too.
Overnight Options: Beach huts are available for rent.
Peace and Quiet: Being a smaller beach it feels a bit busier but this beach is very quiet with no nightlife at all. By about 10pm, with dinner being over, lights will most likely be out and the glorious stars above will have come out to play.
The Sea: The sea can sometimes be a bit rough as it is a smaller beach and sometimes the waves can creep in but it is still calmer than most beaches up North.
Location: South Goa, the neighbouring beach to the above Patnem Beach.
Sunbeds: Lots of sun beds available all along the stretch of beach.
Food and Drink: A large amount of options for food and drink from beach shacks all set along the front.
Overnight Options: This beach is where the stilted beach huts originate from. Think colourful huts on stilts facing the sea. Lots of options for rooms and huts.
Peace and Quiet: This is one of the busier beaches in South Goa and probably the most famous. It has the most beautiful set of palm trees lining the whole beach leaning towards the sun. The beach is quite a big stretch so there are definitely some quiet patches that can be found.
The Sea: The waves here are not so strong and the sea here feels more safe and chilled. There are lots of options for kayaking, boat trips and paddle boarding.
Location: This is pretty much one of the furthest South beaches. You used to have to drive over a teeny tiny blue bridge to get to it but now with the introduction of a highway it is a lot easier to get to.
Sunbeds: There are no sun beds at all on this beach. I think this must be the strictest turtle nesting site as there is not much sign of human life at all.
Food and Drink: There are 2 or 3 beach shacks on this beach serving food. All set back from the actual beach, because of the turtles, they serve delicious sea food and most famously oysters which are found in the backwaters of Galgibaga.
Overnight Options: There are a few options of places to stay in this very sleepy village. A few beach hut options that are set back and some set in the main village.
Peace and Quiet: This is probably the most peace and quiet you will ever find in Goa. Now with the highway I think there is a little bit more footfall but it wouldn’t be uncommon to find you are one of about 5 people on this beach.
The Sea: The sea is usually very calm but if you find it too choppy or the waves are too big you can walk to the most Southern point and swim in the part where the sea meets the river.
Calangute and Baga Beach
Location: These beaches sit next to each other and are probably the two busiest beaches in North Goa.
Sunbeds: Sun beds are on the beach and are usually free of charge if you are spending money at the shack.
Food and Drink: There are lots and lots of beach shacks, some playing very loud music and all offering food and drinks.
Overnight Options: There aren’t many places to stay overnight directly on the beach but Calangute and Baga have a lot of hotel options in the towns.
Peace and Quiet: There are some quiet parts of Calangute Beach that are more towards the Southern side and towards Candolim but mainly it is busy and can get very crowded, especially at the Calangute main beach entrance. You won’t find that much peace and quiet here but you will be able to partake in a lot of people watching and can also tick jet skiing, parasailing or a banana boat ride off your list if it’s on there.
The Sea: The sea can be a little bit more rough here, more suited towards some wave surfing championships.
Little Vagator Beach
Location: This beach can only be accessed down some very steep steps that lead to a little secluded beach spot.
Sunbeds: There are sun bed options at the few beach shacks on the front.
Food and Drink: Food and Drink can be ordered and eaten and drunk on your sun beds.
Overnight Options: There may be a few beach hut options but it is not so common to stay overnight on actual Little Vagator Beach. There are places to stay back up the steep steps and along the roads.
Peace and Quiet: This beach can be very peaceful especially in the mornings unless an all night rave is still continuing from the previous night. There is a party place at the end of this beach which can sometimes have very loud trance music playing.
The Sea: The sea is usually very welcoming on this beach but there are a lot of rocks both on the beach and in the sea so see where others are swimming before diving in.
Location: The first of a very large stretch of beach along the North coast that begins with Morjim, moves on to Ashwem, Mandrem and then Arambol.
Sunbeds: This is also a turtle nesting beach so some areas won’t be allowed to have sun beds and will feel pretty secluded and other parts have sun beds and are much busier.
Food and Drink: There are quite a few beach shack options on the front as well as a few restaurants and bars set a bit further back.
Overnight Options: There are some hotels on the beach front in Morjim and a few beach hut options facing the sea and also set behind the beach.
Peace and Quiet: When the tide is out this beach can feel very vast and open. Water sports are not allowed and there usually aren’t bars or shacks playing music until the evening.
The Sea: The sea can be calm here in the mornings though there are also a few surf schools in this area which would of course suggest potential waves.
Location: To get to a certain part of this beach you have to walk across a river which can usually be pretty full in high tide and may mean you need to hold your belongings on your head.
Sunbeds: There are not any sun beds at all on this section of beach. Expect to take your own towel or lungi to lie on and if you are an avid beach goer, then your own umbrella too.
Food and Drink: There are one or two beach shacks along this stretch and lots of food options on the main road behind the beach (accessed via the river) so a beach picnic may be a better idea.
Overnight Options: There are lots of overnight options on the main roads and a few on the actual beach front.
Peace and Quiet: This is a very secluded and tranquil beach as there are no sun beds and due to the river crossing access point.
The Sea: The sea is usually very calm here. When the tide comes in there are usually little pools made on the beach and when the tide is out the beach is huge. This is a great beach to paddle board on, on a nice flat day.
Please note any beach that has direct road access is likely to be busier than others. South Goa beaches are a lot quieter than North Goa beaches with a lot less nightlife and crowds. Most beaches won’t be as busy during the peak sunshine hours but as the sun starts to set is when everyone will start to come out.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite beach in Goa is.
For More on Goa
- Should I Go to North or South Goa?
- Safety Tips For Solo Female Travel in Goa, India
- 75 Unique Things to Do in Goa
- Goa Nightlife: the 6 Most Popular Party Places
- Goa One Week Itinerary for the Beach Lovers and Foodies
- 8 Romantic Things to do in Goa
For More on India
- The 30 Best Places to Visit in India
- 10 Travel Essentials For India
- How to Dress in India: the Ultimate Dos and Don’ts
- 10 Epic India Landmarks
- 10 Safety Tips for Train and Bus Travel in India
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