Covering 131km of the coastline, Goa has more than two dozen beaches to choose from. In fact, you can have the pick of the best. Each Goa beach is unique in itself.
You will find beaches in both North and South Goa.
Fringed by coastal trees and lapped by waters of the Arabian Sea, Goan beaches make for that perfect picture-postcard setting that enchants you.
Options are plenty - you can soak up the sun for that perfect tan, leisurely sip the famous feni drink, go for a brisk swim or take part in adventure sports.
1Palolem Beach in Goa
If you enter Goa from Karnataka, this is probably the first beach you will come across. Facing a blue bay between two headlands is Palolem. The crescent shaped Palolem Beach is located in the market town of Chaudi in South Goa. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. It is an ideal place to plan for holidays. This beach is an open invitation to swimmers as the depth of the sea increases only gradually and as the waves are not very threatening.
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2Baga Beach in Goa
Baga Beach, situated in North Goa, is a very busy tourist spot and is just 10 kilometres away from the capital of Goa, Panaji. Baga beach is an extension of Calangute beach. In fact, it is difficult to mark where one ends and another begins. A rocky wooded headland marks Baga beach. It is less congested in comparison to Calangute beach. Being one of the most happening beaches on the coast, you can find all sorts of entertainment here. This place is very famous for its night life. The beach also hosts varieties of water sports and many attractions like parasailing, windsurfing and kite surfing, to name a few.
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3Calangute Beach in Goa
Nine miles from the Goan Capital Panaji. Hailed as the "Queen of the beaches", Calangute beach is the largest one in the northern region of Goa. The night life at the beach presents a live wire experience with many foreign holiday makers and locals dancing into the night to great upbeat music. It happens to be a perfect place for partying. Water sports like skiing, surfing and parasailing are also prominently played here.
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4Candolim Beach in Goa
Fifteen kilometers from Panjim, the Goan capital, is Candolim beach in north Goa. Beginning at Fort Aguada and merging with Calangute beach towards the end, it is one of the longest beaches in the state and is located in the Bardez taluka. The beach in itself is very calm and peaceful, at times tourists come here from Rajneesh Ashram in Pune to take a break. A preferred destination for beach goers – the Candolim beach – is located in the northern parts of Goa. Other than regular adventure sports, this beach also offers tremendous opportunities for those who love to do fishing activities. The peaceful ambiance which we can see here brings in people for practicing yoga and meditation. There are also arrangements made here to take travelers far into the sea to have an opportunity to capture spectacular sunsets on their cameras.
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5 Anjuna Beach in Goa
Situated eight kilometers west of Mapusa, Anjuna beach is the most happening of all beaches, one rather say its the mother of all beaches in Goa. This freak capital of the world is on holiday round the year.The magic of Anjuna beach can't be put to words, only experienced, maybe in a hopping beach party under a moon lit sky.Thanks to the curlie’s at the end of the beach – where people meet to have some fun and enjoy music – the good times are not unusual for this place. It is found in the north of Baga and Calangute beaches and close to the south of Vagator beach.
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6Vagator Beach in Goa
Twenty four kilometers from capital city, Panaji, this beach is the north most beach of Bardej Taluka. Perfect for a romantic holiday destination, a red laterite cliff looks down to soft white sand dotted with black lava rocks.Vagator is another renowned beach in the northern parts of Goa, noted for sunset viewing. Tourists throng to this place for it’s beauty. The beach of Vagator is classified into two – the right side of the sea, as you face it, is called as the Big Vagator and its left side is known by the name of Little Vagator . Pretty much a laid back beach it is as compared to other beaches in the state.
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7 Agonda Beach in Goa
Located in the southernmost Canacona Taluka of Goa, Agonda beach is most suited for sunbathing and relaxing. It is a relatively quite beach. Probably this serene atmosphere, aided by less number of visitors, is one of the reasons why it is proving to be an ideal nesting site for Ridley turtle. If you love partying, this is not the place which you should be looking for.
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8Benaulim in Goa
Forty one kilometres away from Goan capital, Panaji and two kilometres away from the longest beach Colva is Benaulim beach. Legend has it that this is the place where an arrow shot by Lord Parshuram, sixth incarnation of Vishnu landed. The arrow shifted back the hills hence forming the Konkan. The place was hence named Banavli (ban means arrow) and later got corrupted to Benaulim by Portuguese.
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9Dona Paula in Goa
With romance is in the air, the beach is bustling with activity throughout the year. Just seven kilometers from the Goan capital, Panjim is Dona Paula, the most happening beach of the state. Dona Paula is nestled on the southern side of the rocky headland dividing Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. The greenery to the beach is lent by palm trees and casuarina groves and it presents an excellent view to the Mormugao harbour. The beach has the obvious advantage of being in proximity with the capital city. During festivals like Janmashtami and the feast of St. Lawrence, Dona Paula is immersed in the colours of festivity.
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10Colva in Goa
Colva is forty kilometres from Panaji, the Goan capital and two kilometres from Benaulim.Till few years back, before the beach resorts had not made their foray on Colva beach, it was an easy escape for those seeking ultimate solitude. Thankfully, the development in the past few years has been pretty fast paced making Colva southern Goa's main tourist beach. Nevermind the activity, Colva still has miles of virgin territory laced with soft white sand for you to explore. Adjacent to Colva is its secret suburb, Sernbatim beach. Longest among all beaches in Goa, Colva stretches twenty kilometres along the Arabian sea, about six kilometres west of Margao. Lined with coconut palms throughout, Colva has Bogmalo in north and Cabo de Rama in south. In the pre colonial era, Colva had the honour of being the retreat zone of Margao's high society. While speaking of history of Colva, the name of Our lady of Mercy Church invariably comes up. More about the church in the later paragraphs.
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11Arambol Beach in Goa
Arambol Beach is the North Goan Beach. It was the first beach in Pernem in 1980's to be invaded by tourists, who actually were hippies and had come here to get away from the fast commercialising beaches. There are shops selling sarongs and some beach shacks also. Other attraction of this Goa beach is Our lady of Mount Carmel Church.
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12Mobor in Goa
A series of luxury resorts mark this stretch of water front beach which till the 80's was home to just a few fishermen huts. However not all has been touched by the humans, there are still spots such as near the mouth of River Sal which are very picturesque. The beach also has a range of water sports activities, jet skiing, speed boat ride, wind surfing, banana and bump rides. Then there are also available full day tours of River Sal and the Arabian Sea. Or you can also hire a cycle and take a trip of the beach. There are also some casinos and lounges on the beach in case you are looking for some nightlife.
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13Bogmalo Beach in Goa
This Goa beach is very close to airport, you can see the flights literally landing and taking off from this beach. Covered with Western Ghats from three sides, the beach looks very different from other beaches in Goa. With golden sand, white waves and a green carpet from three sides, Bogmalo looks pretty beautiful. It is a perfect place for a quick stopover in case you have to take a morning or afternoon flight from Dabolim airport.
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14Varca Beach in Goa
Varca is the longest stretch of beach front in Salcete. It is also the loneliest of all. There are few beach shacks here and you can move here around undisturbed. There are quite a few resorts near Varca. There is also a seventeenth century church, Our ladies of Glory church in Varca which you can visit.
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15Sinquerim Beach in Goa
One of the most beautiful stretches, Sinquerim Beach is fast gaining popularity. It is fairly safe for swimming and not very crowded. What makes Sinquerim so special is its golden sands and sapphire waters. Also on the beach is Fort Aguada, a must visit historical monument of Goa.
16Arossim Beach in Goa
The beach front of Goa's one of the largest and beautiful village Cansaulim is Arossim. This beach in Goa is reasonably safe for swimming. The beach front is very beautiful and not very crowded. Once on the beach you can visit the sixteenth century Church of Sao Tome (St.Thomas the Apostle).
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Those who yearn for peace and want to de-stress, should head to Keri Beach, the perfect place to be in. It is one of the least frequented beaches on the northernmost extreme of Goa's coast.
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Down to the south from Arambol beach is the stretch of three beaches in Pernem taluka. Immediately down, south to Arambol is Ashwem. Unlike other Goa beaches in the south this beach is quiet and an ideal place to relax. The wind-touch, white sandy stretch adds to the beach`s charm.
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Compared to Morjim and Ashwem, Mandrem is the most captivating beach and offers the best option to spend the night. However, during high tide, access to the beach is difficult. So, hoteliers around the area have constructed a makeshift bamboo bridge to reach the beach.
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Morjim, located in Pernem, is the southernmost beach of the taluka. Interestingly, the beach is a natural choice for Olive Ridley turtles for breeding. The hatchlings can be spotted easily during the nesting season, which lasts from November to March. It is an unusual sight to see the tiny hatchlings make their way from their nests to the sea. Local authorities, however, want to avoid a stampede of tourists and visitors which could affect the turtles' breeding.
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Often regarded as the Marine Drive of Goa, the Miramar Beach is close to the heart of Panaji. Located at the place where Mandovi merges into the sea, it is considered the city's leisure zone. It is particularly crowded on evenings and on Sundays. During mid-May, many women visit this beach to take what is called the sea cure by bathing in its salty waters. It is believed that during high tide, if you can brave the crashing waves on your back, you will be cured of arthritis and joint pains.
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The fact that this seaside village was short listed as a venue for the Inter-national Film Festival of India speaks volume about this place. The beach here is quiet and peaceful.
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To the south of Majorda and north of Colva is the Utorda beach, which has some resorts on the beachfront. A decided plus is the exotic seafood sold in local restaurants and beach shacks.
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Majorda Beach, unlike other famous beaches of Goa, is not crowded. The fact that the village has few places to accommodate visitors helps to keep the beach quiet and serene.
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The Sernabatim Beach, which is quiet and secluded, is near Colva. It's a perfect time for visitors to spend some time by themselves.
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The Sal River forms the Mobor Peninsula when it merges with the Arabian Sea. Earlier, this was a lonely stretch of sand, with only the Cavelossim Village and a few huts of fishermen. Now there are luxury resorts, bustling with tourists. Mobor is towards the south of Colva, at the southern end of the Salcette coastline, where Sal meets the Arabian Sea.
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The Betul hillock rises on the opposite bank from where the Mobor sandbank ends. Witnessing the sunset from the beach is an exhilarating experience. With fruit trees surrounding the beach, it makes for a beautiful sight - one that is not to be missed.
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Palolem is the beach in Canacona, the southernmost town of Goa. The market town of Canacona is also known as Chaudi. This mile-long beach is very picturesque, with shady palm trees and silvery sand. At the far end is an island-like promontory and you can walk to it during low tide. During evenings, the beach is beautifully lit. There are colourful lampshades in shacks made of rice straw, jute, bamboo, papier mache or plain cloth. The shacks lend colour to the coastline at night.
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Chapora Beach is on beach in Goa that has managed to perfectly combine its traditional boat buildingAnd fishing heritage with the introduction and growth of tourism.A walk down Chapora main street will take you past traditional buildings still required Chapora Beach.For the local industry as well as modern restaurants, bars and stores.
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More great destinations can be found in the Explore Beaches in India page.