From Seclusion to Trance Parties – Goa’s Best Beaches

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On the long stretch of sand which makes up Goa’s glorious coastline, there is a beach for everyone, it simply depend what you are after. Depending on the experience that you seek, you can find anything from tiny beach huts on secluded stretches of golden sand to absolute luxury resorts. There are endless miles of unbroken coastline here, offering everything from scuba diving experiences to pure tranquility to all night beach parties. Some of Goa’s beaches have been overrun with tourists, and as a result have suffered in cleanliness and such, but you get out of the experience what you put into it. There is still nothing quite like the magic of Anjuna, and while Calangute maybe be packed with foreign tourists, the nightlife and choices of places to eat or drink are astounding. Anyway, your stay in Goa is best if you explore more than just one beach, as you will be rewarded with a rich and varied experience. In an attempt to get you in the right direction, here is a list of some of the best beaches that I love in Goa, but there are more to choose from then I can possibly describe here.

Palolem Beach

Goa Palolem Beach

Palolem is in South Goa, the nearest train station being Marago about 25 miles away. It used to be a well kept secret, but those in the know have discovered this amazing place. Imagine a lovely picturesque beach dotted with palm trees and soft warm sand. Shaped in a crescent, this beach has recently become very popular with the backpacker crowd, getting busier each year. High season sees more and more little coco huts going up on the beach to accommodate travelers. On the south end of the beach, you’ll find a group of bars and clubs. If you want more comfort then a beach hut has to offer, you can find hotels and resorts not far from the beach.

Anjuna Beach

Goa Anjuna Beach

Easy to get to in the north of Goa, Anjuna is just 5 miles from Mapusa.

The grand daddy of all the Goa beaches, hippies came here in the 60s and 70s and made this beach thier home. An entire industry built up around them in the early 90s a musical style called Goa Trance gave rise to an entirely new influx of travelers, with more emphasis on spirituality, transcendence and lots of partying. The beach has changed a lot and the trance scene has moved, though the atmosphere remains. Every Wednesday, there is a massive flea market which attracts thousands of people, all who head to the beach afterwards to watch the sun go down and dance to psychedelic trance. In the old days, the parties would go on for days, or even weeks at a time. Things are a bit more tame now although if you head to the north of the beach you can still find a couple of places that won’t close till dawn.

Arambol

Goa Arambol Beach

In Northern Goa, slightly harder to get to but worth the effort, Ambol is the new home of the modern hippie generation. It is said to be a lot like what Anjuna used to be before the trance scene. There are lots of places to practice yoga, meditation and tai chi, as well some very relaxed nightlife with live music and charming beach cafes. Keri beach is located just to the north, and if you are up for a walk, it is totally deserted and private.

Patnem Beach

Not far from Palolem is a small beach that until recently was a very well kept secret. It’s not far away, something like 10 minutes but much quitter than Palolem. Sitting between two cliffs, you’ll find some outstanding little beach huts most with private bathrooms, right on the beach.

Vagator Beach

In North Goa, north of Anjuna, is Vagator beach. This is home to the famous Goa Psy Trance scene. Set at the bottom of an impressive cliff, the each is kind of broken into three parts. The big part of the beach is mostly Indian tourists, Little Vagator and Ozran are filled with westerners, parting every night to psytrance. There are many expats that stay here long term.

Colva Beach

Hugely popular with Indian tourists, this place gets packed on weekends. There is little in the form of nightlife, but plenty to eat and drink. There is not much here for the foreign traveler really, but you will get a slice of Indian life here.

Benaulim Beach

Located near to Clova beach (which personally I think is completely overrun) is an amazing fine stretch of sand which is the opposite of Colva. It’s not the place to come for a wild party, but rather to get away from it all, perhaps go scuba diving or go swimming with dolphins.

Calangute Beach

Goa Calangute Beach

In the north of Goa you will find Calangute. This is probably the best know and most popular place with Indian visitors. It’s commercial, it’s busy and there is lots going on. If you want to get away from it all, choose somewhere else. If you want to be in a happening place, choose Calagute. You’ll see rows upon row of babes tanning themselves on sun lounges, and loads of Indians that come to gawk at them. Baga Beach starts where Calangute ends. Baga is a bit less crowded. There are loads of choices of places to eat and drink and this is also where you will find the famous clubs known as Club Tito and Cafe Mambo.

JayB

A self-described travel enthusiast...

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