It’s hard to tell where the coast ends and the towns begin in Goa. With more than 36 gorgeous beaches down the west side of its 2295 square mile, this tiny state is India’s most famous resort destination. Most tourists go to Goa for its beaches, below is Swan Tours‘ list of top 8 most beautiful beaches in Goa:
#1. Arambol Beach
Also known as Harmal, Goa’s northernmost beach is ruggedly lovely. You enter through a lively but slow-paced hippie colony where young foreigners live in small huts. The best beach is a 20-minute walk to the right, beyond the ragged food and drink shacks. Here, the scenery is spectacular: a freshwater pond nestles at the base of the hillside just 50 yards from the crashing surf below, and the ocean foams around dark rocks rising just offshore. The sea is rougher here than at other beaches, still good for swimming but a bit more fun for surf-seekers. It can be crowded in season, but if you walk beyond the pond you’ll find quieter tide-dependent inlets and rock ledges. Pernem district.
#2. Baga Beach
This small beach north of (and technically part of) Calangute Beach is a lively place known for its hopping “shack life. The many popular food and drink joints are headlined by St. Anthony’s for seafood and Tito’s Bar for nighttime revelry. The beach drops steeply to the shoreline, where fishing canoes make use of the easy boat-launching conditions to provide rides, often to the Wednesday market at Anjuna Beach just around the bend (the ride to Anjuna takes 15 minutes by sea, but significantly longer by road). Farther down the beach to the left of the entrance are more open, less crowded areas where you can spread out your towel and sunbathe. Bardez district.
#3. Bogmalo Beach
Picturesque and rarely overcrowded, this tiny crescent of fine sand is perfect for swimming and sunning. It’s overlooked by a low, verdant hill topped by a few modern buildings on one side and the Bogmalo Beach Resort on the other. Two tiny islands look back at you from about 10 km (6 mi) out to sea. For the most privacy, walk down to the far right—fewer fishing boats, shacks, and people. Another of Bogmalo’s assets is its boating and water sports facilities. Water sports Goa, operating out of a shack on the beach, offers instruction in various sports and excursions to nearby islands. Trips to the islands are also run by the experienced young staff at the Sandy Treat snack shack (the first one jutting out on the right); reserve in advance. For a lunch break, try the Seagull: This simple, thatched-roof shack right on the beach serves some of the best prawn-curry rice in Goa. Bardez district.
#4. Calangute Beach
Stretching some 16 km (10 miles) from Sinquerim Beach north through Vagator Beach, Calangute actually comprises several smaller beaches including Baga and Anjuna. The main part of Calangute Beach, about two thirds of the way down (just south of Baga Beach) is an open stretch of sand accessible by cement steps. Palm trees provide patchy shade. A sign warns that swimming is dangerous, as there’s a fairly strong undertow. Calangute itself is bustling: the entrance area is crammed with stalls and shops. The government-run Calangute Tourist Resort has general information and changes currency and traveler’s checks. Bardez district.
#5. Colva Beach
About 6 km (4 miles) west of Margao, this is the most crowded beach in south Goa. Its large parking and entrance areas are crowded with shacks selling snacks and souvenirs and young men offering their mopeds for rent. The first 1,000 ft of the beach feel hectic—they’re stuffed with vendors, cows, and fishing boats—but the sand, backed by palm groves, stretches in both directions, offering plenty of quieter spots to settle down. The water is good for swimming, with only nominal waves. The row of restaurant and bar shacks is the focus of nightlife for the whole region. Colva Beach officially stretches nearly the entire length of the Salcete district, but it’s broken up into smaller sections. The government-run Tourist Cottages doubles as an information center. Salcete district.
#6. Palolem Beach
For seclusion and idyllic scenery, Goa’s southernmost sandy stretch—nicknamed “Paradise Beach”—is a dream. Palolem receives only those nature lovers and privacy-seekers willing to make the rugged, two-hour drive from the nearest resort (Leela Beach). It’s a long, curving stretch of white sand backed by palm groves and low, green mountains, and, depending on the tides, you can wander past secluded coves and nooks sheltered by rocks. Far to the right, the beach ends in a rugged, rocky point teeming with crabs. The water is shallow and warm, with very little surf. Shacks sell refreshments near the main entrance; an occasional vendor dispenses pineapples and bananas from a weathered basket on his head; and local men entice people into wooden canoes to go and look for dolphins. Canacona district.
#7. Sinquerim Beach
Along with Bogmalo Beach, Sinquerim is one of the few beaches where you can rent windsurfers, water skis, and other aqua toys without having to be a guest at a hotel. Stretching in front of the three Taj resorts, this small sandy beach gets fairly crowded with tourists and vendors. The water is warm and clean, and its slightly higher waves are good for bodysurfing. Bardez district.
#8. Vagator Beach
At the north end of Calangute Beach (entrance beyond Mahalaxmi Bar and Restaurant), this tiny, semicircular getaway is backed by high palms. To the right and behind, Fort Chapora’s dark-red walls rise above a low hill; to the left, a rock jetty is topped by a striking white cross. The picturesque setting makes Vagator a popular lunch spot on organized sightseeing tours. The surf is gentle, good for swimming. Some shacks sell food just beyond the dirty, rocky rise on the right. Bardez district.
There are hotels and resorts close to the above beaches, for making reservation at these resorts and for more information on beaches in Goa, get in touch with Swan Tours – A leading Travel agency in Delhi, India, promoting tourism in Goa since 1995.