Goa is a tiny sliver of land on the west of India and is rather famed for its beaches. So when you visit the state, what else would you rather do than hit the beach, frolic in the Arabian sea and lounge on the soft sand. When you’ve done dozing in the shade of a palm tree, grab a beer, tuck into some Goan food at the quaint palm thatched shacks or just go for long strolls to vibe with the sultry sea breeze.
Goa is administratively divided into North and South and the 101 kilometers of coast line is dotted with a number of lovely beaches.
Beaches in North Goa
From way up North, you start with the fairly isolated Arambol, Mandrem, the Olive Ridley turtle nesting site of Morjim, Vagator and then on to Anjuna famed for its flea market. The fort of Chapora turns into a rocky outcrop that reaches out to Baga, Calangute draws the marauding throngs, Candolim and Sinquerim where you bump into Fort Aguada, which is a rather pretty place. Round a little bend, Coco beach at Nerul and then you jump over the river Mandovi and its Miramar on the suburbs of the capital city – Panjim. Dona Paula is not much of a beach really, further down is Bambolim and Sridao, which are wonderfully private little beaches and then you plunge into the river Zuari that actually divides the North of the State from the South.
Beaches in South Goa
In the South you begin with the lovely and quiet Bogmalo, Velsao, the infamous Vasco, Majorda, Betalbatim, crowded Colva where all the hordes descend for a flavor of the south of Goa. Then on to the five star locales of the South, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim and Mobor, the picturesque Betul and Canaguinim. At the extreme south of the state, you encounter the secluded yet gorgeous beaches of Agonda, the coco huts of Palolem and then Talpona.
This is indeed a tall list of beaches to visit in a single trip and a great reason for you to visit Goa again.
To move around, hire a bike, they are rather inexpensive or if you’ll a larger group a self-driven car would be great. This should help you travel cost-effectively. Hiring a car with a driver is exorbitant in Goa, and public transport is pathetic.
Things to do on the beaches of Goa
- Wear light, loose casual clothes that dry quickly. Avoid expensive clothes as the sea water would seriously damage them
- For footwear, a pair of rubber or plastic slippers or thin sandals would ensure they are not ruined even if they get wet
- When you’ve on the beach take time to relax, it’s an extremely beautiful place to be at, especially during sunrise and sunset
- Keep your camera at the ready and take lots of memorable pictures
- The sea is relatively calm in Goa, except during the monsoons, so you could have a great time and venture in a bit if you are a good swimmer
- The shacks are lovely places to hang out at, most offer good music, but they can be expensive and the food is not always the best
- The lady hawkers trawling the beach sell lovely accessories at really low rates. Just the place if you are looking for a bargain
- Carry lots of suntan lotion to ensure you don’t get sunburnt, a wide brimmed hat will be most useful too
- Don’t just abandon your belonging and get into the water, your stuff could get stolen
Things not to do on the beaches of Goa
- Don’t litter the beach with beer cans, glass bottles and plastic. If you don’t find a bin, you will have to wait and dispose of the waste at your hotel
- Do not stare at people, irrespective of how they are dressed or their skin colour. It’s just not cultured or polite – most of us Indians just don’t get this, do we?
- Avoid getting drunk and getting into the sea. Just stay hydrated, that’s going to be difficult enough in hot, humid Goa
- If the lifeguard waves you away from the water, take the advice. They are unlikely to be able to save you in case you find yourself drowning
- Avoid getting into the sea after dark, it’s just not safe
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