Goa is all about beaches. This is neither an exaggeration nor a restrictive statement.
People travel to Goa with mostly one thing in mind – to enjoy lazing around in the sandy beaches of Goa with swaying palms providing the perfect backdrop. Water sports activities or simply enjoying other leisurely activities also make the beaches of Goa extremely attractive proposition for tourists.
Here’s a quick guide to the famous beaches of Goa for all those who are planning to go for Goa beach tourism.
Anjuna Beach : — The wavy palms, the rolling and receding surf over the sand and overall beautiful surroundings of Anjuna beach undoubtedly promises a perfect gateway to dreamland. Popular as ‘freak capital of Goa’, this enthralling Goan beach occupies the top slot of every vacationers whosoever visit Goa for a fantastic beach holidays. With its endless arrays of adventure sport and delicious sea food options, Anjuna beach always wins the heart of its visitor at the very first glimpse.
With its fluorescent painted palm trees and infamous full moon parties, ANJUNA, 8-km west of Mapusa, is Goa at its most “alternative”. Designer leather and lycra may have superseded cotton Kaftans, but most people’s reasons for coming are the same as they were in the 1970s: dancing and lying on the beach slurping tropical fruit. While browsing in the area have a day trip to the famous flea market.
One of the main sources of Anjuna’s enduring popularity as a hippy hang out is its superb beach. Fringed by groves of swaying coconut palms, the curve of soft white sand conforms more closely to the archetypal vision of paradise than any other beach on the north coast. Bathing is generally safer than at most of the nearby resorts, too, especially at the more peaceful southern end, where a rocky headland keeps the sea calm and the undertow to a minimum.
North of the market ground, the beach broadens, running in an uninterrupted kilometre long stretch of steeply shelving sand to a low red cliff. The village bus park lies on top of this high ground, near a crop of small cafes, bars and Kashmiri handicraft stalls. Every lunch hour, tour parties from Panjim pull in here for a beer, before heading home again, leaving the ragged army of sun weary westerners to enjoy the sunset.
Baga Beach : — Baga beach is one of the gorgeous Goa beaches which is adorned by the beauty of sun, sea and the sand. This beautiful piece of land is all about miles and miles of silvery sand dotted with sun decks. Baga beach is a visual treat for holidaymakers as it located amidst the lush green Baga-Anjuna Hill. Even the placid Baga river which flows through the north of the beach also enhances its beauty.
A Charming Combination Of Land And Sea
Baga, 10-km west of Mapusa, is basically an extension of Calangute; even the locals are unable to decide where ends and the other begin. Lying in the lee of a rocky, wooded headland, the only difference between this far northern end of the beach and its more congested centre is that the scenery here is marginally more varied and picturesque.
A small river flows into the sea at the top of the village, below a broad spur of soft white sand, from where a dirt track strikes across an expanse of paddy fields towards Anjuna. The old red tiled fishers houses behind the dunes have long been swamped by gaudily lit bars, Tandoori terrace restaurants and handicraft shops, but one doesn’t feel quite so hemmed in as at Calangute.
Leisure:– Thanks to the droves of predominantly British package tourists who stay here, Baga’s nightlife is the liveliest in the area. Most of the revellers end up at Tito’s, which has the only dance floor and hefty sound system outside a big hotel for miles. Women are allowed in for free; “unaccompanied” men and couples have to pay.
Calangute Beach : — Condolim beach of Goa beaches in India is one of the most featured destination on the world tourism map. Positioned in the Bardez taluka of North Goa, Candolim beach is an awesome site for those vacationers who are in quest of some solitude and wants to stay away from the hustle and bustle.
A Topping On Tourist Pie
A mere 45 minute bus ride up the coast from the capital, Calangute is Goa’s busiest and most commercialized resort, and the flagship of the state government’s bid for a bigger slice of India’s package-tourist pie. In the 1970s and early 1980s, this once peaceful fishing Village epitomized Goa’s reputation as a haven for hedonistic hippies.
The Town And The Beach
The road from the town to the beach is lined with Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery. The quality of the goods – mainly Rajasthani, Gujarati and Karnatakan textiles – is generally high. Haggle hard and don’t be afraid to walk away from a heavy sales pitch – the same stuff crops up every Wednesday at Anjuna’s flea market.
The beach itself is nothing special, with steeply shelving sand, but is more than large enough to accommodate the huge numbers of high-season visitors.
To escape the hawkers, head fifteen minutes or so south of the main beachfront area, towards the rows of olf wooden boats moored below the dunes. In this virtually hawker-free zone, one’ll only come across teams of villagers hauling in hand nets at high tide or fishermen fixing their tack under bamboo sun shakes.
Chapora Beach : — As the name suggest, this beach of North Goa has attained its name from the beautiful Chapora river. Located just 10 km from the Mapusa town, Chapora beach is an ideal destination for those who have decided for a long term stay in Goa. The most popular attractionof Chapora beach is Chapora fort and palm thatched huts of fishing village.
A Leisure Paradise
Crouched in the shadow of a Portuguese fort on the opposite, northern side of the headland from Vagator, Chapora, 10-km from Mapusa, is a lat busier than most north coast villages. Dependent on fishing and boat building, it has, to a great extent, retained a life of its own independent of tourism. The workaday indifference to the annual invasion of Westerners is most evident on the main street, lined with as many regular stores as travellers cafes and restaurants.
It’s unlikely that Chapora will ever develop into a major resort, either. Tucked away under a dense canopy of trees on the muddy southern shore of a river estuary, it lacks both the space and the white sand that have pulled crowds to Calangute and Colva.
The Pit Stop
If one has one’s own transport however, Chapora is a good base from which to explore the region: Vagator is on the doorstep, Anjuna is a short ride to the south, and the ferry crossing at Siolim –gateway to the remote north of the state – is barely fifteen minutes away by road. The village is also well connected by bus to Mapusa, and there are plenty of sociable bars and cafes to hang out in. Apart from the guesthouses along the main road, most of the places to stay are long stay houses in the woods.
Chapora Old fort
Chapora’s chief landmark is its venerable Old Fort, most easily reached from the Vagator side of the hill. At low tide, one can also walk around the bottom of the headland, via the anchorage, and the secluded coves beyond it, to big Vagator, then head up the hill from there.
Condolim Beach : — Condolim beach of Goa beaches in India is one of the most featured destination on the world tourism map. Positioned in the Bardez taluka of North Goa, Candolim beach is an awesome site for those vacationers who are in quest of some solitude and wants to stay away from the hustle and bustle.
What can easily be termed as one of Goa’s most serene beach, blessed by Mother Nature, Candolim beach in India is a loner’s paradise.
Hemmed by the crystal clear water of vast Arabian sea, a 7km sandy stretch of sun kissed sands, starts from Aguada and ends at Chapora beach, greets when one visits Candolim. This beach is a fave destination for those vacationers who are in quest of solitude. Generally, elite foreign vacationers who are wish to spend some leisure moments while simply lying on the beach, visits Candolim.
If you are not willing to engage yourself in sunbathing,than you can participate in someother unusual activities. Many tour operators provides options for expeditions to nearby islands, river cruises, trips for spotting dolphins, crocodiles and fishes. A boat ride to Mandovi river at the time of sunset is surely an enthralling experience for vacationers. Every day with the descend of sun, Candolim beach dressed up in completely different attire. It boasts some well stocked bars and pubs within its kitty, which are ideal place to lighten up your evening.
Vagator Beach : — Located in the northernmost point of Bardez Taluka of North Goa, Vagator beach is another beautiful stretch of sand in Goan beaches. Positioned opposite to the Chapora river from Morjim, Vagator beach is beautified with dramatic red cliffs which looks down to the shore. This beach also encompasses two fresh water springs within its territory. It is a haven for hardcore party animals as it offers excellent array glamorous party venues.
Barely a couple of kilometres of cliff tops and parched grassland separate Anjuna from the southern fringes of its nearest neighbour, Vagator. A desultory collection of ramshackle farmhouses and picturesque old Portuguese bungalows scattered around a network of leafy lanes, the village is entered at the east via a branch off the Mapusa Road, which passes a few small guesthouses and restaurants before running down to the sea.
Dominated by the red ramparts of Chapora Fort, Vagator’s broad white sandy beach – Big Vagator Beach also known, as “Little Vagator” is undeniably beautiful, just like a picture postcard.
For better, then, to head to the next cove south. Backed by a steep wall of crumbling palm-fringed laterite, Ozran Vagator beach is more secluded and much less accessible than either of its neighbours.To get there, walk ten minutes from Big Vagator, or drive to the end of the lane off the main Chapora-Anjuna Road, from where a footpath drops sharply down to a wide stretch of level white sand.
At this southern end of the beach, a row of makeshift cafes provides shade and sustenance for a predominantly Israeli crowd. Like Anjuna, Vagator is a relaxed, comparatively undeveloped resort that appeals, in the main, to budget travellers with time on their hands. Accommodation is limited, however, and visitors frequently find themselves travelling to and from Baga every day to find a suitable place to stay.
Miramar Beach : — Often regraded as the ‘Marine Drive of Goa’, Miramar beach is very close to Panaji. Miramar beach is considered as the leisure zone of Panaji city as it provide good option for shedding tiredness of entire day. It is particularly crowded after sunset and on Sundays by both local residents and holidaymakers.
On the way to Dona Paula, 1-km ahead of the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandvi River, under the palm shade, is “Gasper Dias” or Miramar Beach and is just 3-km away from the capital city of Panjim.
In Portuguese language ‘Miramar’ stand for viewing the sea. Situated on a good location for evening walks, the coast is spread upto 2-km, having a fine silvery sand bed. From here one has an excellent view of the Aguada fort just across the Mandovi River.
Dona Paula Beach : — Similar to Taj Mahal, Dona Paula beach of Goa is a perfect testimony of true love. Till date this beach is haunted by mysticism and divine beauty of Dona Paula de Menzes. Dona Paula, a Viceroy’s daughter of colonial era and her lover Gasper Dias, a fishermen son had jumped off the cliff to death as they were not permitted to get married. Since then, this beach is called as Lover’s Paradise. This secluded bay, located at the meeting point of Zuari and Mandov rivers is also very popular among adventure buffs as it offers options for thrilling water sports.
At the place where two of Goa’s famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagao Harbour. 7-km from Panjim, nestled on the south side of the rocky, hammer-shaped headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries, this former fishing village is nowadays a commercialized resort. This is an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scootering facilities are also available over here.
The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa.
A Love Story
Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, this place is called the Lovers Paradise due to a myth that has been attached to this place. According one legend the Viceroy’s daughter after facing objections from her family about her love affair with a poor fisherman jumped of the cliff.
Another legend says that punished for captivating Francisco de Tavora, the Count of Alvor with her charm the Viceroy’s daughter was pushed off a cliff to drown in the waters below. Her irrepressible spirit still continues to haunt every visitor with legends of her lovers. She is even supposed to have been seen emerging from moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace.
Tranquil and blue, Dona Paula unravel the ultimate in aquatic sport and fun.Dona Paula Sports Club, Dona Paula offers some of the best water sports facilities to the sports enthusiasts including Water-scooter rides, Motor-boat rides, etc.