Best Beaches in Goa
Goa’s 70km-long coastal strip from Pernem to Candolim is famous for its stretch of more than 20 tourist-friendly beaches.
Here, you can discover flimsy oceanfront beach shacks serving cold beer and fresh spicy seafood, as well as a range of beachside accommodation to suit all budgets.
Here’s a round-up of the best beaches in Goa…
(South Goa) – Relax on what is arguably Goa’s most beautiful beach, a 2km-long crescent of gorgeous golden-white sand framed by rocky headlands and fringed by swaying coconut palms.
Imbued by its long hippie history and with no nightclubs in sight, Palolem Beach is the perfect spot for sunbathing, quiet contemplation, practicing yoga, and safe swimming in tranquil waters.
Swim across to pretty Kankon Island or stroll along the beach past cud-munching holy cows – a unique sight for most visitors but perfectly normal in India.
Be inspired by one of Palolem’s unforgettable, mesmerising sunsets then unwind with a cold beer and feast on spicy fresh seafood at one of the numerous beachside shacks.
To escape weekend and high season crowds, take a short hike across the southern headland to palm-fringed Patnam Beach, a secluded stretch of pristine golden-white sand.
Popularised in the opening sequence of the 2004 movie The Borne Supremacy (as Jason Borne’s residence), this long-time favourite beach of hippies and backpackers now offers a wide choice of accommodation.
Discover low-budget Thai-style palm-leaf guesthouses and eco-friendly Indian-style stilt huts to pampered luxury in the 5-star InterContinental Lalit Goa Resort, situated just a short walk away at the southern end of nearby Galjibag Beach – another stretch of pristine golden-white sand.
Palolem Beach is located in the Canacona district of southern Goa, roughly 64km south of Dabolim Airport – a 70-minute drive.
(South Goa) – Discover an isolated, 3km-long golden-sand beach just a short 12km drive or bike ride north of Palolem Beach.
Swim in crystal clear waters and sunbathe on this empty palm-fringed stretch of sand where the only footprints will probably be your own.
(South Goa) – Relax on this wide crescent of golden sand that shelves gently into the calm waters of Colva Bay facing San Diego Island.
Framed by palm-fringed headlands, Bogmalo is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, water skiing and diving.
Of course you can also simply relax with a cold drink beneath the shady palm trees. The beachside Bogmallo Oberoi hotel offers a wide range of creature comforts
(South Goa) – Pick your own spot to unwind on this 25km-long, palm-fringed white-sand beach that lies 6kms west of Margao.
Sunbathe, swim, stroll along the beach then try some tasty snacks at one of the beachside shacks.
Facilities include jet skiing, paragliding, water scooters, speed boats and rest rooms.
If you’re feeling adventurous hire a bike and explore nearby attractions, such as is the ‘Menino Jesus’ statue at the local church of Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade (Our Lady of Mercy) founded in 1630. The church is famous for its annual religious event – Fama of Menino Jesuse (Child Jesus) – celebrated on the third Monday of October annually.
Benaulim beach is nearby. Colva Beach stretches from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south.
(South Goa) – Relax on the gorgeous white sand of this secluded beach located just south of (the usually crowded) Colva Beach. Go swimming, take a dolphin-watching cruise or visit the hilltop church of St John the Baptist.
(North Goa) – Goa’s most northerly beach offers a spectacular and unspoiled crescent of soft white sand fringed by a tree-covered hillside and bisected with rocky outcrops.
Meet friendly villagers and ageing hippies and go swimming, surfing, boogie boarding and dolphin watching.
Wander beachside tracks to deserted beaches from where you can truly appreciate the rugged scenic beauty of this less-travelled region.
Behind the main beach lies a hot sulphur spring that flows into a freshwater lake – known for its medicinal properties – where you can swim and relax.
(North Goa) – Choose from two beautiful white-sand beaches set in a small cove fringed by red cliffs, black lava rocks and swaying coconut palms.
Swim in the gentle surf, sunbathe at the more secluded south beach (known as Ozran Beach) or hike to the 500-year-old Portuguese hill fort of Chapora for panoramic sea views.
Relax with a cold beer at a beachside shack and party-on during the tourist season when the beach comes alive with nightly raves.
Vagator Beach is around 88km north of Palolem Beach.
(North Goa) – Fringed by a grove of shady palm trees, this small and clean white-sand beach is a quiet alternative to bustling Calangute Beach from which it extends.
Go swimming, fishing and sunbathing or simply relax with a cold beer and fresh seafood at one of the beachside shacks.
Baga offers the liveliest after-dark scene in Goa, as well as a Saturday night flea market where you can browse for colourful handicrafts. Don’t go past Tito's, Baga’s legendary bar-cum-nightclub.
(North Goa) – Discover a small white-sand beach that offers several watersport activities including boogie boarding, windsurfing, parasailing and water skiing, with rentals available on the beach.
On a nearby hilltop sits the historic Fort Aguada, with panoramic views across the Arabian Sea and Aquada Bay to Panaji. Hire a taxi or hike the 4km from the beach to explore this 17th century Portuguese fort.
(Gokarna) – Explore this sweeping crescent of golden sand – framed by rocky headlands and divided by protruding rocks into three separate bays that resemble the Sanskrit ‘om’ symbol.
Located an hour’s drive south of Palolem Beach (in the neighbouring state of Karnataka), Om Beach is considered by many to be one of the best beaches in India.
Sunbathe, snorkel, swim from the golden sands or unwind at the nearby yoga retreat of Saswari, which sits on a hilltop bluff overlooking the beach.
Just over the northern headland lies Kootlee Beach, a gorgeous kilometre-long sweep of golden-white sand.
To the south of Om Beach lie Half-Moon and Paradise beaches – isolated crescents of golden sand centred in small, sheltered coves that are perfect for quiet contemplation and secluded sunbathing.
Latest update Goa honeymoon destination: 6 February, 2017