If you have never been to Goa, India, you are missing out one of the most exotic culture filled trips of your life. If you are European and heading to the beaches of Spain every year, you should seriously rethink your destination. Here we will show you the best beaches in Goa to help you change your mind.
Goa on the southern coast of India is filled with beautiful beaches, mystical temples and friendly happy locals. Most importantly, it is also dirt cheap. For 300 rupees ($4) you can eat at one of the many restaurants of Goa and bury your feet into the sands of the beach. Imagine being sat at your table next to the ocean, eating your fresh tuna steak as the sun goes down, all for just 300 Rupees. A beach hut just a stone’s throw from the ocean, is less than $10 in some places. Goa is a dream destination that all should visit.
If you are thinking about visiting this wonderful country, here are a couple of articles that will help you before you land. India travel budget: the costs , Step by step: how to plan your trip to india and Scams in India to watch out for. To see all of our articles on India, visit our India destinations page.
The Best Beaches in Goa, India
Once home to the hippies of Goa, Anjuna is a great place to kick back, relax and just “chill”. Although most of the hippies have now left, their legacy still remains. Anjuna has resisted the big influx of giant hotels and is still dominated by little wooden beach huts and small beach restaurants. However the luxury accommodation is slowly creeping in and it is this which has made the hippies move on. The main strip is still a hippie haven even today and a great place to get your baggy trousers and magical peace stones.
If psychedelic trance is your thing, then you will love Anjuna as this is its spiritual home. Each night as the sun sets, the beach huts and restaurants echo to the psychedelic sounds of the 80s and 90s. This is also the place to visit in Goa if you are looking for an “ecstasy filled night”.
Location: Anjuna is on the northern coastline of Goa. The beach town is 8 kilometers from the main city of Mapusa and the closest train station is Thivim, which connects the beach to the northern regions of India.
Located to the north of Anjuna beach, Vagator beach is another hotspot for psychedelic trance music. The beach itself is divided into three sections. Big Vagator, which is an Indian tourist destination. Little Vagator, which is just beyond the rocks and is also known as Tel Aviv beach. This is due to the high number of Israelis that are there. And Ozran beach. This also has the name of Spaghetti beach due to it being a favourite among the Italians which visit Goa.
There is no beach accommodation here at Vagator. All of the places to stay are a little inland instead of on the sand itself. This is the home of Disco Valley and has some great nightlife if you choose to visit.
Location: Vagator is at the north end of Anjuna beach, make your way to Anjuna and you will have no troubles reaching Vagator.
Arambol is the new home of the hippie population of Goa. Far smaller than Arambol with no serious developments, this is a great place to find your hippie vibe. What used to be a sleepy fishing village has now turned into a travelers haven. If you are a backpacker, this is definitely one of the best beaches in Goa for you.
In recent years, the new age population have built up many huts offering therapies such as Tai Chi, Meditation, Yoga and Reiki. It is also possible to take dolphin sightseeing tours from Arambol beach.
The nightlife here is very relaxed. Instead of all night trance raves, here jamming sessions are more the thing. Sit on the sands of the beach eating freshly caught seafood and listen to the gentle rhythms of the guitars and bongos. Arambol is a nice and chilled place to visit. The likes of which you will rarely find the likes of anywhere in the world.
Location: Arambol is a little ways south from Anjuna, however still in northern Goa. The beach is 32 kilometers from Mapusa and the nearest train station is at Pernem. Which is just a short auto-rickshaw ride from the beach.
This is the place to stay if you are looking for a proper hotel to vacation in. Candolim is perfect for packaged family holidays. Although not as busy as its neighbours, Calangute and Baga. This is still a high end beach for Goa. Which means that you will be paying at least $20 a night. For the backpackers of the world, this is a lot, so you should give Candolim a miss if you are traveling on a budget.
Candolim is a lively beach, which has many restaurants and huts right there on the sand. It is also possible to do watersports here, with both banana boats and parasailing available.
If you do make it to Candolim beach, head to the southern side and you will see the quiet Sinquerim beach. There is a cool fort here up on the hill just waiting to be explored.
Location: Again, Candolim is on the north coast of Goa. The beach resort is only 10 kilometers from Mapusa and the closest railway station is Thivim.
Palolem is the one of the best beaches in Goa, if not The best. It have it all, activities, nightlife, beach, side bungalows and a beautiful sheltered cove. If restaurants, soft sand, palm trees and beach huts are your thing, head to Palolem. There are no major building projects on the beach, only wooden beach huts and beautiful cafes and restaurants. This makes Palolem a beautiful place to visit. But do not worry, if you are looking for a more solid structure, then stay in one of the hotels which are located on the roads just a short walk from the beach.
Palolem beach also has a small river which spills out into the ocean there. It is possible to rent a Kayak and paddle upstream and explore the backwaters. There is some beautiful nature here and is a great way to spend a few hours. Also if you would like, head out onto the beautiful waters of the Arabian Sea and paddle until you find your own private cove to relax for a few hours. A visit to Palolem will never be forgotten.
Location: Palolem is located in the south of Goa, 43 kilometers from Margao, one of the major cities of the state. The closest train station is Canacona, which is only a few kilometers from the beach.
Agonda beach is the perfect place to escape all of the crowds. This isolated stretch of sand is great place to just kick back and unwind. However you had best be fast, as over the last few years the secret of Agonda has got out. Slowly, tourists have started to visit the beach and slowly the inevitable souvenir stalls and restaurants have started to pop up. For now at least, this is still one of the best beaches in Goa to relax.
Location: Agonda lies just to the north of Palolem beach, around 40 Kilometers from Margao. To reach this beach, use the same station as Palolem beach, Canacona station. From there it is a short Tuk-tuk ride to the blissful relaxation of Agonda beach, one of the best beaches in Goa.
By now we hope that you have a pretty good idea of which are the best beaches in Goa and also which ones you would like to visit. Whether it is the party beaches of Anjuna & Vagator or the more relaxed beaches of Agonda and Palolem. You will have a great time which ever places you choose. For more information on Goa have a read of this Ultimate guide. The Ultimate Guide To Goa (By Global Gallivanting)
Other great posts on India
To learn more about traveling this incredible country, have a read of some of our other articles on this mystical place.