Beaches of North Goa
Who hasn’t heard about the beaches of North Goa? In fact, for most, Goa is almost synonymous with beaches, parties and drinks, isn’t it? There are several beaches in Northern part of Goa. Some of them are quiet and serene, while others are famous for parties, dance and drinks. There are many that are tourist friendly, while others are very secluded. Many of them are bustling with water sports, while others are lazy just enough to lay back and relax. The type of beach to visit would vary from person to person. In this post, I will introduce you to various beaches of North Goa, and what the beaches have to offer. If you have a dilemma of which beach to visit in Goa, then this post may act as a guide and help you decide!
Beaches of North Goa
In this post, I will start with the beach that is located on the border of Maharastra and Goa, and move in the southern direction from there on. The first few beaches are very calm and has very few visitors. These are labelled under “Quiet and Lazy Beaches”. The next set of beaches are popular for parties, dance and drinks. I have labelled them as “Party Beaches”. The other set of beaches are close to Panjim, and hence categorized as “City Beaches”. Once you go through all the beaches, do let me know which one you like the most!
|Quiet and Lazy Beaches
|Keri Beach / Querim Beach
|Dona Paula Beach
Keri Beach / Querim Beach
Querim Beach, also called as Keri Beach, is located at the border of Goa and Maharastra. River Terekhol / Tirakol separates the two states and joins Arabian Sea next to this beach. Keri Beach or Querim Beach is perhaps the quietest of all the beaches in Goa. This beach is perfect if you want to just sit, relax, and keep watching the gentle waves at the beach. There are very few options at this beach for food or drinks, and hence the regular tourists hardly pay a visit to this place.
Terekhol River on the right, and Arabian Sea on the left
The view of nature at Querim Beach is very colorful. With the blue water of the sea, touching the golden white sand, and lush green trees on the other side of the river, you can witness the immense beauty of nature at this beach.
For a long distance, the river Terekhol acts as the state border between Goa and Maharastra. The river passes through lush greenery with several trees on both sides of the river. You can also see some river islands if you visit the beach during some of the dry seasons (summer, or late winter). If you are interested, you can talk to some of the local fishermen and request them to take you to those islands on their boat.
At the Querim Beach, you can also spot a ferry terminal, where you can use the ferry to cross the river. On the other side of the river, you can pay a visit to Fort Terekhol, which is now converted into a heritage hotel.
Location: Querim Beach
Arambol is a small village and is quite secluded from the rest of Goa. The village is self-sufficient for the most part, with the shopping street having almost all the daily essentials along with the general shopping items like apparels, jewellery, spices, bedsheets etc.
Arambol Beach is located at the west end of the village, and perhaps one of the best beaches in this area. The beach has golden brown sand, and clear water with gentle tides. The beach has several rock formations that is very appealing. It is very tempting for the adventurists to try climbing some of the rocks!
As the village of Arambol itself is very secluded, the beach too has very minimal crowd. Arambol Beach is yet another awesome beach where you can just sit and relax, enjoying the beauty of the gentle waves.
Arambol Beach, from the top of one of the rocks!
Location: Arambol Beach
In the recent times, Arambol Beach has been slowly turning into a backpackers’ paradise. At one end of Arambol Beach, you can find a narrow lane that has several shops/restaurants on both sides. The lane reminds us of the flea market at Anjuna.
Market between Arambol and Kalacha Beach
The lane also has several guest rooms where you can stay. Some of the guest rooms are right above the rocky beach, and provides some awesome views of the sea.
Guest Rooms at Arambol Beach
At the end of the lane, you will reach Kalacha Beach which is famous for a sweet water lake and is located right next to the salty Arabian Sea. The Sweet Water Lake is the best place that you can visit in this region!
Sweet Water Lake at Kalacha Beach
Location: Kalacha Beach
Moving further in the southern direction, you will reach Mandrem Beach. The beach can be accessed by crossing a water canal. Several narrow wooden bridges are built across the canal which will help you cross the canal with ease! Even though Mandrem Beach is a beautiful beach, the number of visitors to this beach is very less. There are only a handful of shacks on the beach, and perhaps this keeps the tourists away from this wonderful beach.
Wooden Bridge over water canal near Mandrem Beach
There is a small cliff opposite to the beach. If you climb to the top of the cliff, you get a bird’s eye view of the stunning beach. With the greenery of the trees on the cliff, the water canal next to the beach, the golden white sand of the beach, and the blue water of the sea, you get to see various colors in a single glance. The orange color of the sky during the sunset just adds on to the beauty.
Location: Mandrem Beach
Ashwem Beach is yet another less crowded beach in the North of Goa. This beach too, like the other beaches seen above, is extremely beautiful. Ashwem Beach has patches of golden sand beaches separated by various rock formations. Depending on the weather and the tides, the rocks may be completely submerged! However, most of the time, you can spend awesome time sitting on one of these rocks, and enjoying the sea breeze.
Location: Ashwem Beach
Morjim Beach is the last of the “less crowded” beaches in this region. The road to Morjim Beach runs next to River Chapora. This river joins Arabian Sea at Morjim Beach.
Location: Morjim Beach
Morjim Beach and River Chapora, as seen from Chapora Fort
This beach is the most beautiful of all the beaches in North Goa, and is my personal favourite. Vagator beach has hillocks surrounding it on one side, and of course, the sea on the other. The entry to this beach is through a road that ends on one of the hillocks. From that hill, you can find some amazing views of the rocky beach. On one side (right side when you face the sea) of the hill, you can get the glimpse of the beach from a height. You can also spot the Chapora Fort, which is popularly known as Dil Chahta Hai Fort, after the famous movie was shot there.
This part of the beach is also called Chapora Beach or Big Vagator beach. This beach offers stunning views of the sunset. Most visitors to Vagator Beach visit this side of the beach as the water is very shallow, and has more rocks close to the beach. You can see many visitors climbing onto these rocks and clicking photographs.
Tourists watching the beautiful sunset
Vagator Beach, as seen from Chapora Fort
The other side of the Vagator Beach is called Ozran Beach or Little Vagator Beach. Ozran Beach is a very tiny beach, but has few shacks and bars on the beach. This beach is also accessible by getting down few steep steps from the hillock, and also offers some amazing sunset views. If you are around Little Vagator Beach, look for the carving of Lord Shiva’s face on one of the rocks. This carving was done by one of the Italian travellers, however, the exact details of him is still unknown!
Little Vagator Beach
Sunset at Vagator Beach
Location: Vagator Beach
Anjuna is a small town located between the Vagator and Baga Beaches. The beach at Anjuna is very small yet very beautiful. You will be amazed by the landscape around Anjuna Beach. The Arabian Sea rests its waves on the golden sand of Anjuna amidst the red laterite rocks. You can reach Anjuna Beach by road, and by getting down a small hill by foot. The beach is surrounded by hills, and hence there are several view points from where you can get the view of the sea from a raised platform! When you are at Anjuna, you should also try some watersports. Watersports activities at Anjuna Beach are a must try when you are going with your friends.
Anjuna is also synonymous with the ‘trance party’ that is held after the sunset for most part of the year. These parties are held on the beach, and the area becomes lively on a full moon night, with the parties extending almost till sunrise!
Location: Anjuna Beach
Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Sinquerim
The next set of beaches on this post is a continuous stretch of beach that spans over 10 kms, but is known with different names. It starts with Baga Beach on the north, and extends till Sinquerim Beach on the southern direction. If you start your walk from Baga Beach towards South, you will come across Calangute, Candolim, and Sinquerim Beaches in that order. While walking down that path though, you will not realize when one beach has ended, and the other has begun. There is also no clear demarkation of the beaches.
The stretch from Baga Beach to Calangute Beach is always the most happening place in Goa. There are several shacks and shops right on the beach, and this perfectly describes the laid back attitude of the visitors to Goa. Just shop, eat and drink! 🙂
Sunset at Baga Beach
These beaches also have several water sports that visitors can try out. From jet ski ride, to banana boat ride, to parasailing, surfing, motor boat ride, or even just get into the water and splash it around. While the prices for all of the water sports are fixed, you can negotiate with the operator directly for some extra fun (for some extra money, of course). Watersports activities at Baga Beach are a must try when you are going with your friends.
Water Sports at Baga Beach
That’s me… Parasailing at Calangute Beach 🙂
It is during the evening time that this stretch of the beach becomes very lively. The stretch from Baga to Calangute is the most crowded beach in the whole of Goa. During the peak season (end of December), don’t be surprised if you do not find a place to sit and relax! Moreover, as the beaches are crowded, it becomes noisy too, with people screaming with excitement, calling each other, and so on. The beaches also turn dirty as many mindless visitors litter everything possible from plastic to beer bottles to everything else. If you are planning to walk from one beach to another, please make sure you have comfortable footwear on. Otherwise, you may walk on the broken plastic or bottles and end up hurting yourself!
Awesome sunset at Calangute Beach
Closer look at the parasailer!
From Calangute Beach, you can walk further south to reach Candolim Beach. While this beach is also popular, it is less crowded as compared to Calangute and Baga. For those visitors who want to enjoy the water sports, and watch the beautiful sunset, but want to avoid the crowd of Calangute and Baga, Candolim Beach is a good alternative.
The last beach in this stretch is the Sinquerim Beach, and has the least crowd too. The landmark of this beach is the presence of the ruins of an old fort called Sinquerim Fort. The fort was built as an extension to Fort Aguada which is located closeby. This fort was built in 1612 with the intention of guarding against the Marathas. However, during the Portuguese rule, the fort was mostly used to trade in and out of Goa.
Sunset at Sinquerim Beach
The fort is located overlooking the Sinquerim Beach. The fort has a bastion and there are steps to climb on to the wall and reach the bastion. From the top of the fort, you can get some stunning views of Arabian Sea!
Coco Beach is a non-toursity beach that is located next to the place where River Nerul joins Arabian Sea. It is also located few meters away from the confluence of River Mandovi and Arabian Sea! This beach is very less explored by visitors as the beach is facing south, and you cannot get a good sunset or sunrise views! Moreover, local fishermen use this beach to get into the sea and carry out their daily work of fishing! The water at Coco Beach is shallow near the shorline, however, it gets too deep very quickly. Hence, you should avoid getting into water at Coco Beach. Also, there are no lifeguards available at this beach!
Location: Coco Beach
Miramar Beach is located in the capital city of Goa, Panjim. This beach is quite popular among visitors to Goa due to its close proximity to the town. Miramar Beach is located close to where River Mandovi joins Arabian Sea. Unlike the other beaches seen above, there are no water sports options in this beach. Miramar Beach is a good visit if you want to just stroll around, or walk on the soft sand along the shoreline. You can even get into and play with the sea water.
The beach at Miramar is visited by locals as well as tourists. The locals visit here in the evenings to watch the beautiful sunset. There are also several parks built near the beach which also has kids play area. Towards the evening, these parks are filled with kids playing around.
The Beach at Miramar
Location: Miramar Beach
Dona Paula Beach
Dona Paula Beach is a very popular beach that located at 7 km from Panjim. A view point is built on a small hillock that offers beautiful views of Arabian Sea. The view point is located on the triangular land that protrudes into the sea. Hence you can see that the view point is surrounded by water on three sides!
Dona Paula Beach
The beach and the view point is named after Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior, who was the daughter of the then Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka. Paula moved to Goa in 1644 and is known for her charity work. She is believed to have helped the local villagers a lot for their betterment. Hence, after her death, the locals decided to name this place after her.
View from Dona Paula Viewpoint
Dona Paula has several fictitious stories floating around about the place. The stories are so strong that even the travel guides around Dona Paula share them as real stories to all the visitors! One of the mythical stories say that Dona Paula, who was the daughter of Viceroy during Portuguese rule, fell in love with one of the fishermen in this village. However, their love was disapproved by the Viceroy and the family. Hence she decided to end her life by jumping off the hillock. The guide also goes on to say that the hillock is named ‘Suicide Point’ after this incident!
Dona Paula View Point
You can also find the statues of two people on the view point. These statues are sculpted by a Dutch traveller and is dedicated toMr. and Mrs. Robert Knox. Rover Knox was a great philosopher whom the sculptor admired a lot. However, another fictitious story says that these statues are of Dona Paula and the fisherman, and is dedicated to her as she ended her life here!
Location: Dona Paula Beach
Which is your favourite?
Now that you have (virtually) gone through all the beaches of North Goa, which one is your favourite? Are there any others you think should get into this list? Let me know 🙂