Colva beach, in south Goa, is a hit with tourists looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of other beaches. It remains quiet and uncluttered for most parts of the year. However, in October it gets overcrowded because of a mountain influx of pilgrims visiting Colva Church to pay obeisance to infant Jesus.
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 .It 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.Colva is forty kilometres from Panaji, the Goan capital and two kilometres from Benaulim. 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.While at Colva one can also see the beautiful houses and villas that dot the village. Another interesting thing about Colva is its popularity among the locals. Though the beach is fairly famous with foreign and Indian tourists, it is the locals who can be seen here in large numbers.
How to get there
Colva beach lies to the west of Margao, south of Betalbalim and north of Benaulim. You can take a taxi from Dabolim Airport (26km), Margao Station (8km) and Panaji(36km). Buses operate every 15 to 30 minutes from Margao`s bus stand.
The quality of accommodation is as varied as the price charged. However, one can hire houses for long stays and hotels for short vacations.
What to experience
You can visit the church of our Lady of Mercy or the Colva Church. Dedicated to our Lady Mercy, the Colva Church was built in 1581 and, later, rebuilt in the 18th century. Menion (infant) Jesus statue, reportedly found by a Jesuit priest, was placed in the Colva Church. Apart from a visit to the church, you can go on a trip to spot dolphins.
The place has many opportunities for adventure buffs. They can go parasailing, jet skiing, trips and boat trips.
Water sports on Colva beach comprises mainly of jet skiing and speed boat rides. For speed lovers jet skiing is the sport. The machine is very simple to handle but mostly an instructor accompanies rider. Next to jet skiing in terms of speed is the speedboat ride. It is a group activity comprising three to six people. So go ahead and explore the Goan coastline.
Things to see and do
Colva is god's perfect gift for those who seek solitude in their holidays. Colva offers you with something no other beach offers. Miles and miles of virgin territory comprising of white soft sands, shining sun and the music of waves playing by. Though commercialization is gradually taking roots in Colva, yet with its long stretch it still seems and remains less crowded.
While at the beach
Laze, laze and laze. There is no end to that. Grab your favourite books, tie your swinging net between two coconut trees in a peaceful place and treat yourself through the day.When in season (November to May) seafood restaurants sprout in large numbers on the main beach area.If you have deep pockets, than don't give any second thoughts, just enter and you will have the most romantic evening.With tablecloth, candles, soothing music and large portions to gorge on, you will not complain. And for budget tourists there are plenty of offers in the shacks.
You will get excellent pasta and steak, varieties of Goan prawn curry. Swimming in Colva is another passtime.Colva is fairly safe place to make a splash in water but don't venture in deepwaters unless you are a strong swimmer. Indulge in some trinket shopping or start collecting seashells and make your own collection. Though not in line with established rave party venues like Anjuna, Colva doesn't actually disappoints its visitors. There are few places where you can catch up with the party scene.
Colva is usually considered safe for swimming, but it is advisable not to venture far out into the sea.
There are plenty of beach shacks, serving Goan, Indian and international cuisine.
It is a quiet nightlife, with not much to offer to the wild at heart.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore Beaches in India page.