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Updated by Natasha Hervatta on Jun 22, 2017
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Go Goa!

Your handy-guide to the beaches Goa! Go on, rank them by your preference.




Twelve kilometres south of the turn-off to Cabo da Rama (and 8km north of Palolem), the coast road passes the small village and spectacular beachfront of Agonda, a gorgeous 2km of white sand and a favourite with visiting olive ridley marine turtles.




Anjuna, that stalwart on India’s hippy scene, still drags out the sarongs and sandalwood each Wednesday for its famous – and once infamous – flea market. Though it continues to pull in droves of backpackers, midrange tourists are increasingly making their way here for a dose of hippie-chic.


Arambol (also known as Harmal) first emerged in the 1960s as a mellow paradise for long-haired long-stayers. The village’s main covelike beach is gently curved and safe for swimming. If you’re looking for a committed traveller vibe, this is the place to come.

Calangute & Baga

If you’re coming to Goa seeking spiritual solitude and swathes of quiet tropical sand, you’ll find quite the reverse here. But if you’re looking for Ibiza-style action, dance-around-your-handbag clubbing, exquisite cuisine and nonstop shops you simply couldn’t hope for better.


A long stretch of largely empty sand, peppered with a few hawkers and stray dogs, laid-back, windswept Benaulim has the distinct feeling of a Welsh seaside resort.


Candolim’s long, narrow, busy beach, which curves round to join smaller Sinquerim Beach to the south, is fringed with an unabating line of beach shacks, all offering sun beds and shade.


Cavelossim village – a straggling strip of jewellery shops, souvenir shops, ATMs and one quite swish department store, and with a strange proliferation of dentists – is a place of large, down-at-heel hotels and time-share complexes strung along the main road. For all that, though, the beach remains long, wide and beautiful, dotted with water-sports vendors and beach shacks, and makes a nice place for a paddle.

Dona Paula

Situated on the headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi Rivers, 9km southwest of Panaji, Dona Paula allegedly takes its name from Dona Paula de Menenez, a Portuguese viceroy’s daughter who threw herself into the sea from the cliff top after being prevented from marrying a local fisherman.


Approached through pleasant, leafy Majorda village, Majorda Beach has about half-a-dozen Russian-oriented beach shacks, all serving up the standard beach fare with menu boards chalked up in Cyrillic.




Miramar, 3km southwest of the city (follow Dayanand Bandodkar Marg west along the Mandovi waterfront), is Panaji’s nearest beach. It is one of the most visited beaches of Goa. Originally named Porta de Gaspar Dias by the Portuguese, the name was then changed to Miramar. Gaspar de Dias club and a popular café are nearby.




If you’re looking for a good place to lay up, rest a while, swim in calm seas and choose from an infinite range of yoga, massages and therapies on offer – without expecting a quiet, rustic beachside scene – Palolem may well be the ideal destination for you.




A series of rusty cliffs and headlands bursting out of thickets of greenery help to give Vagator and charming Chapora one of the prettiest settings on the north Goan coast. Large contingents of long-stay backpackers and party people religiously set up camp here for months on end every season.




A seemingly endless palm-backed strip of sand punctuated, here and there, by the grounds of a luxury resort or a whitewashed Christian shrine, Varca is quiet, calm and almost entirely hawker-free, making it easy to find a quiet spot all to yourself.