How to find the right beach for you in Goa.

I loved the spiritual beachy bohemian vibe of Goa and the fact that every beach has shacks serving authentic home cooked Indian food and you can always find a good cocktail.

There are few things as amazing as watching the sun dip below the horizon with a frosty cocktail in hand, a chapatti in the other and with the waves lapping at your toes and ringing in your ears.
I also liked that most beaches in Goa offer opportunities to indulge in a little yoga on the beach, which is one of the most relaxing and awe inspiring experiences. Wherever I go in the world, if there's a yoga class on the beach at sunset, I'm there. 
courtesy of Shutterstock
Each of the beaches has a slightly different vibe, from large and bustling, to those fringed by luxe resorts offering abundance and then there are quiet, barely a soul around for miles and miles beaches, which are my personal favourite. 

Goa is a large region and you'll find very different experiences in the north versus the south, so here's a round up of some of the beaches and what they each offer. 

North Goa:

Calangute beach was crazy when we were there as it coincided with Easter and a lot of Indian tourists come from all over to escape the immense humidity in the cities and I don't blame them. There was honestly not a spare patch of sand for about a mile but luckily there were lots and lots of amazing beach shacks serving drinks and local cuisine. Families laughed and played around us and it was a great place to people watch. Cows plod along the beach alongside people and market sellers call out to people to buy their wares. Plus the sunsets here are beautiful but then they are on most beaches in Goa. 

Candolim beach was nearest our main base and was definitely less busy than Calangute but also not as big. It still had a variety of beach shacks to get tasty food from but you don't have to fight your way past crowds and cows to get to it (generally). It has a much more relaxed vibe and here's a top tip, don't just get onto the beach and flop. Walk down to the far end of the beach (towards the cliffs) and you'll find it easier to get a bed, plus you have uninterrupted views of the sea and share the beach with less people. You do have to make it past the hawkers though who all want you in their shack but stay strong, you can make it! Tom's Beach Shack became our favourite as the staff were just so lovely. My favourite time of day was when the cows came for their sunset stroll. 
Vagator is a party beach with no shortage of watersports, hip surfer hang outs, sultry beats in cool hotel bars late at night and lots of hippies. There is also the most spectacular sunset and I scouted out the best place for you to see it in this previous post. The Cove does fab tandoori food, decent cocktails and the best thing is the view that goes over the ocean for miles and the way the orange glow of sunset hangs on the horizon whilst you eat. 

Ashwrem is the quietest of the beaches in the North and has an excellent reputation for being one of the nicest in the generally over developed north of Goa. The best palm fringed beaches are definitely in the south but Ashwrem gives them a run for their money without the 2 hour journey. Pick a good time of day and you could almost be the only people on this beach. The gentle breeze ruffles through the palm trees, whilst you lay under a bamboo parasol and enjoy a refreshing cocktail. The beach is one of the cleanest in the north, the sea is clear and this is definitely one to visit.

South Goa:

Palolem is the larger of the beaches in the south but when I say large, it is not over crowded or even that well developed like it's counter parts in the north, If you are going to Goa for relaxation and a taste of real india, complete with tropical beaches, this is the place for you. There are some facilities but they are basic so be warned, The beach shacks that line the beach offer rustic accommodation but the view is second to none! For some the beach shack life will sound idyllic but for others it may be a little too remote, so if that is the case, you can do a day trip without staying over. You won't find any resorts or even hotels in this area and that is the beauty of it. One thing you don't have to compromise on is the food and you'll find some of the freshest tastiest seafood in the shacks and it is super duper cheap with £10 a night taking care of dinner, bed and breakfast.
Patnem beach  - Fancy waking up with the sound of the waves lapping at your beach shack and walking out of your door and running straight into the sea a la James Bond? Well you can do just that at April 20 villas where Casino Royale was filmed. The colourful little huts line the shore but this beach is even smaller and more rustic than Palolem. It is for those who really want to get away from it all and live the beach bum lifestyle. Grab a hammock and drift off to the sound of the waves, as at the right time of year you won't find many people sharing this beach. If you're of a more sociable persuasion, the owners of the beach shacks will gladly keep you company and are some the warmest friendliest people you can meet. Most shacks also offer some kind of holistic elements such as yoga classes on the beach or treatments, should you want them. 
On all of the beaches there are many opportunities to find relaxation and for about £2-£5 you can get an hour long massage on the beach. You don't even have to leave your sun lounger, Bliss. 

If you want to read more about my trip to India and what I got up to you can find other Goa posts here, here, here.and here.

Are you a beach bum who is happy to stay in shacks or do you need a bit more luxury on your beaches? I guess there is a time and a place for both.


  1. Goa is a beautiful place and best place to enjoy the picnic or have a good vacations with kids and family, hundreds visitors love to explore its beauty from throughout the world. Getting the beach life is one of the beautiful moments of everyone life but what after the GOA and those who lived in the goa looks for some more places, and for them take a family trip to dhanaulti trough kanatal resorts as you are enjoying a beautiful peaceful hill station. India is the best place for travelers and all things done in the budget price and a traveler discover what he or she is looking while traveling.


I love to hear from people so please don't be a stranger and say hello!