Goa’s beaches, some of the best in India, are coveted by international sunseekers, adventurers, hippies, backpackers, and those seeking a retreat. Luckily, all tastes are catered for here. Beginning in picturesque Querim, the stretch of coastline in southwest India hugs the Arabian Sea, travelling southwards to Polem. Those in favour of beach parties frequent the northern beaches, but you can also find tranquil pockets between the more popular hotspots. In the south, you’ll find lovely shallow waters and isolated stretches of sand.
Arambol was a once peaceful fishing village, but now is Goa’s most chilled out beach destination for hippies, meditators, bohemians and backpackers. Here you can practice yoga, enjoy live music, or take a dolphin-spotting trip. Vagator is the destination of choice for trance music beach parties.
Baga and Calangute are bustling beaches full of sun tanners sprawled out on lounge chairs, with a wide variety of water sports and some restaurants in close proximity to the water. Colva is the beach of choice for local tourism, attracting large Indian crowds, particularly on the weekends.
If you’re seeking solitude, you’d be better off heading south. Benaulim, near Marago, is a great destination for a bit of everything: peace and quiet, water sports and dolphin sightseeing trips, and some fine restaurants and galleries tucked behind the dunes. Low-key Varca and nearby Cavelossim and Mobor are located in luxury resort territory, boasting clean white sands and relative isolation. Lovely Palolem in the far south is shaded with palm trees, but it’s becoming more of a backpacker haven. Ten minutes away, Patnem offers pleasant tranquillity between two cliff tops.
ETG recommend beach properties around Coco beach, Cavelossim, Mobor and Majorda in particular for wide expanses of beaches within distance of relaxed, Goan village life.
For quieter beaches, travellers might want to consider those around Mararikulam and Neeleshwar in Kerala. At Christmas and New Year, prices in Kerala are also often slightly lower thus representing value for money.