Renowned for its World Heritage architecture, exquisite cuisine and ancient places of worship, Goa remains one of India’s most loved holiday destinations. With tourists flocking to this West Coast paradise for over 50 years, India’s smallest state is undoubtedly the country’s spiritual centre, and a biodiversity hotspot in its own right. But for many it is Goa’s incredibly scenic beaches, from the sunbathing solitude of Patnem to the vibrant nightlife of Calangute, that has put this amazing part of India on the world map. Goa beaches are easily its biggest draw for holidaymakers.
Here’s a quick look of the at the best of Goa beaches, for a beautiful holiday in the sun.
The Best Goa Beaches
1. Anjuna Beach
Once home to the hippie movement of the swinging sixties, Anjuna Beach is one of Goa’s most stunning natural relics. Overlooked by some of the best traditional diners, and hosting a wonderful array of spiritual leaders, soul searchers and artists, Anjuna Beach is the tranquil yet diverse music hub of Goa.
2. Arambol Beach
Located on Goa’s northern stretch of glorious coastline, Arambol Beach is the new hippie-haven just 50 kilometres from Panaji, the state capital. Historically a fishing village, Arambol is now frequented by those looking to experience the alternative therapies of yoga, reiki and tai chi, as well as water sports and dolphin spotting. These sands offer total peace and privacy, with a relaxed, East-meets-West nightlife perfect for couples.
3. Calangute Beach and Baga Beach
On the list of Goa beaches, there are 2 that come as a neat little sunny package. As the charming Calangute Beach ends, the dazzling lights of Baga Beach begin, providing one of the most unique fusions of culture in Goa. Calangute is traditionally the most commercial and tourist-centred beach in Goa due to the wealth of water sport activities, places to eat and short distance from Panaji – just 10 miles. Baga however, is a little more developed than its neighbour, home to traditional fine dining, luxurious beach apartments and a stylish selection of bars and clubs, including the famous Café Mambo.
4. Benaulim Beach
Benaulim Beach, just a short drive south of Colva Beach, is as laid-back as you can get in Goa. You won’t find any wild parties or defiant ex-hippies on this Goa beach; just wave after wave of crystal blue surf slowly ascending up the golden sands. Benaulim Beach’s biggest pull is undoubtedly the marine life, with pods of dolphins frequently interacting with sightseeing boats. Because of this Benaulim does get a little crowded during peak season, but just a 20 minute walk south down the beach reveals a charming stretch of art galleries, inviting places to eat and most importantly, quietness.
5. Colva Beach
Favoured by domestic Indian tourists, Colva Beach is the ultimate day excursion to Goa’s coastline, buzzing with locals during the weekends. Although not as developed as Baga or Arambol Beach, there is no shoreline or wider Goan landscape more natural than Colva, with tourists and wildlife alike sharing the vast stretch of soft sand and striking sunsets. A great choice for enjoying Goa beaches.
6. Mandrem, Morjim and Ashvem Beaches
Mandrem beach, Morjim beach and Ashvem beach play host to Northern Goa’s trendiest resorts, chic bars and yoga retreats. Popular with younger travellers from all over the world, it’s not just the sense of health, well-being and serenity that make these some of the most beautiful beaches in Goa; there’s also a huge conservation effort here too, with the delicate turtle population protected by law.
7. Patnem Beach
Patnem Beach, quietly nestled between two cliffs just a short distance from Palolem, was once Goa’s best kept secret; small, charming and effortlessly stunning. With private huts sparsely dotted between the trees, and traditional restaurants opening out onto the emerald waters, Patnem is low key and quiet – yet close enough to Palolem’s nightlife to warrant some evening exploration.
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