For so many people around the country, the best place to start the new year is Goa. The atmosphere here probably has some magical appeal that attracts people of all ages. Beaches of North Goa, are in the true sense, the Goa you hear and read about. Unlike the untouched beaches of South Goa, most of the beaches here, especially Candolim-Calangute-Baga-Anjuna stretch is always crowded. The most happening parties, popular resorts, and beach shacks are located near these beaches. So here we go, starting 2018 with places to see on your next road trip to Goa.
Let’s start our journey from the northernmost beach on this road trip to Goa.
Querim or Kerim Beach
The northernmost beach in Goa is the Kerim Beach (58 km from Panaji). This beach follows where the Konkan beaches end. The white sands of the beach entice you to walk along the shore. However, swimming in these waters is not recommended. The majority of the people you would see here are a local fisherman and a few avid travelers hanging out at the shacks. The Terakhol/Tiracol fort and a 17th Century Church are the major attractions here.
Arambol Beach (50 km from Panaji) is one of the beaches in North Goa that has recently gained popularity. The beach is quite beautiful with cliffs on two sides, giving it a cove-like structure with magnificent views. The area attracts many international tourists and domestic budget travelers. There are many interesting places to check out nearby, like the sweet water lagoons of the Kalacha beach that you can only reach the lagoons by foot. Or the local ‘hippie’ market where you could bargain to your heart’s content and buy knick-knacks as gifts for friends. Arambol would be a great place to stay at if you are on a budget road trip to Goa.
Mandrem Beach (32 km from Panaji) is one of the lesser-known beaches of North Goa. Because it is connected with Arambol Beach and Ashvem beach, the three beaches seem like a continuous entity. You can spend time walking along the calm waters of or spend a lazy afternoon exploring the Mandrem village. The Mandrem creek runs parallel to the shoreline and fills up during high tide. You can find many couples, sitting on the bridges over the creek, their feet dipped in the shallow waters. What a romantic sight! The white-bellied fish eagles are seen in this area. Furthermore, even the Olive Ridley turtles are seen here from time to time. This is another great place to base your budget road trip to Goa.
Morjim Beach (29 km from Panaji) is the last of the quiet beaches of North Goa. A small part of the beach is only open to tourist as the rest is protected for Olive Ridley turtles. If you suddenly start seeing signs in Russian during your road trip to Goa, you would know you are in Morjim. The place is also known as Little Russia with a huge population of Russian immigrants settled here. Loud music and night parties are discouraged here due to the protected area status. So if you are looking for a quiet haven nearer to the commercial areas, this is your destination.
Chapora Beach (24 kms from Panaji) is a one of the must visit beaches of North Goa, thanks to Bollywood movies. Dil Chahta Hai had the iconic shot of friends at the rugged Chapora fort and many have come to recreate it. The white sands, black lava rocks and the grand fort in the background, what’s not to love about this spectacular sight. Though different in architecture, the fort reminds you of the sea-fort at Murud Janjira, one of the many forts of Maharashtra. Check out the local shacks for some awesome seafood and don’t forget to get an Instaworthy shot of the beach from the fort.
Starting with the Vagator Beach (21 km from Panaji), you are now in the famous beaches of north Goa territory. The rocky beaches of Vagator with the splendid background of coconut trees is must-visit on your road trip to Goa. The beach technically starts from the Chapora fort and extends towards the Anjuna beach. If you want to bathe in the water here, you can head to the southern part known as Small Vagator. While it mostly attracted European and Israeli tourists in the past, Vagator has gained popularity in the last few years. Many raves and beach parties are known to be held here, most noteworthy of them being the Sunburn Festival.
One of the world famous beaches of North Goa, Anjuna Beach (21 km from Panaji) is as bohemian as it gets. Anjuna is known for its trance music and outdoor parties and is considered a haven for ‘hippie’ culture. In fact, if you go on a road trip to Goa during Nov-Feb, you will find a party every night. The clubs, restaurants, ambiance, rocky beach – people here are in a constant party mood. Many artists and musicians are known to come to the Anjuna beach for inspiration. Don’t forget to visit the Wednesday Flea Market to pick up knick-knacks and bohemian clothes
You have now entered the triumvirate of commercial beaches of North Goa. Named after the eponymous creek, Baga Beach (19 kms from Panaji) has something to offer for all age groups. You can chill on the beach in the many, many shacks and enjoy all kinds of water sports. Jet skiing to parasailing to diving to speed boat rides, just take a pick. Enjoy your evenings at Brittos, Mambo’s or Cape Town Cafe or sing your heart out at a Karaoke Bar. This isn’t the best place to go for quiet walks with your loved ones but you could get foot massages together on the beach. Explore the bylanes of Baga and don’t forget to check out the Arpora Flea Market & Mackies Night bazaar!
Quite literally right next to Baga beach is Calangute Beach (16 km from Panaji). It is probably the most popular beaches in Goa and tourists come here in swarms. The beach is crowded almost throughout the year but the Nov-Feb peak season is the best. Luxurious resorts and budget accommodations, you would find choices of everything here. While you could spend the day lazing at the beach, the place is teeming with nightly activities. Clubs, restaurants, spas, night markets, you name it and it’s here. You could also spend a day exploring Old Goa. The Churches, old Goan homes and inner parts have a beautiful old-worldly charm. Like in the movie Finding Fanny, it reminds you of the Goa that was.
Finally, we come to the last of the beaches of North Goa, Candolim Beach (13 km from Panaji). This beach and the nearby Siquerim beach are immensely popular clean beaches you will see on your road trip to Goa. Candolim beach runs from historical Aguada Fort till the Calangute beach, roughly 30 kms. The place got even more famous since 2000 when River Princess, the ship, got stuck at the beach. It was stuck there till recently and attracted many tourists. The Portuguese fort and Hotel Taj Aguada near it are major attractions of the Siquerim beach. The view of the sea from the fort is awe-inspiring. You must check it out on your road trip to Goa.
There is also the Dona Paula beach and Miramar Beach in Panaji. These beaches are relatively cleaner but not very crowded. If you are planning a road trip to Goa, you may consider checking our package here to plan a more personalized trip. There is a lot to explore in Goa and knowing local scouts in the area always helps.
If beaches are your dream destination, you may also want to check out Konkan Coast, Tamil Nadu coast and the beaches near Kolkata. Why don’t you tell us where you would like to go here and we could plan your next trip to Goa for you, free of cost?