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Located on the western coast of the Indian peninsula in the Konkan region, the state of Goa is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. Its coastline spans over 125 km out of which about 83 km is covered by beautiful beaches lapped by the Arabian Sea and lined by swaying palm and coconut trees.
It is known for its magnificent scenic beauty, architectural splendours of temples and churches but most importantly for its vast stretches of beautiful sandy beaches. There are scores of these beaches which are divided into North and South Goa beaches. Beaches in North Goa are full of activities while those in South are calmer, more isolated and less commercialised. Let us have a closer look at some of the famous ones.
Exciting and Happening Beaches of North Goa
Calangute: Certainly the best and most popular, it is also known as the ‘Queen of Beaches.’ It is lined by hundreds of shacks and places of stay. It is the most commercialised beach where foreigners can be seen sun-bathing on reclining beach chairs. There are upmarket restaurants in the area too which serve good food and wine. A range of water sport activities like parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing can be enjoyed here.
Baga: This beach starts where Calangute ends and can be differentiated from the fact that it is less crowded and better developed. Its clean white sand, the Retreat House atop a hill and fewer tourists have added to its scenic beauty. Club Tito and Cafe Mambo are the famous nightclubs in the area.
Vagator: This is a crescent shaped beach and is located at the bottom of a steep cliff and near the Chapora Fort. Numerous outcrops of red laterite cliffs can be seen throughout the beach and it is lined by numerous palm trees. Trance parties are also very popular here. It offers plenty of options to eat as there are many cafetarias and restro-bars.
Anjuna: The red laterite rocks found here form a unique combination with the white sands of the beach. The beach is famous for its ‘Wednesday Flea Market’ which attracts huge crowds. It is a must-visit for shopping lovers and good bargainers where items ranging from T-shirts to snacks and ornaments are sold. Anjuna is famous for its trance parties and hippie culture. The Goa Trance music is a hit with tourists from all parts of the world.
Aguada: The main attraction of this beach is its proximity to the ‘Aguada Fort’ which is a historical edifice built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Fort Aguada Hotel complex has been built around the remnants of this fort and the clientele of this hotel is mainly drawn to this beach where there are abundant cafes, vendors and water sports available.
Peaceful and Isolated Beaches of South Goa
Palolem: One of Goa’s most idyllic beaches, this crescent shaped picturesque beach is about a mile long. A number of bamboo hut-resorts and restaurants can be found along the beach for tourists. These resorts range from the basic to the luxurious ones.
Varca: Varca is a small town in South Goa district and the beach gets its name from here. The Radisson White Sands Resort, the Club Mahindra Varca Beach Resort, and Serenity Residency are the popular beach resorts here. Numerous shacks along the beach offer Goan dishes and seafood at a reasonable price. Boat trips are arranged for the tourists for dolphin watching.
Colva: Located on the southern end of Goa’s coastline, the beach is ideal for a relaxed and serene environment. The broad and beautiful coastline is lined with swaying palm trees and washed with sea water lapping against the white sands of the beach.
Whether you visit Goa with your family, as a lone backpacker, with a group of friends or are here on a romantic honeymoon, this land of sun-kissed and beautiful beaches is sure to captivate you.
write by Jimmy Spencer