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Top 10 Must-Visit Beaches in Goa: A Comprehensive Guide

Which is the Best Beach? Where are the Nude Beaches in Goa? I want a Foreigner Beach. Where are the Secret Beaches? Is it possible to visit Private Beaches?

Being in Goa all these years, I have been getting these questions. A lot of them come from the skewed perspective of Goa that the internet, the film industry and the social media influencers have created. Goa has amazing beaches and the answers to all the above questions are at the end of this post.

Private Beach Goa
Private Beach in North Goa

Here is my Top 10 list with their reasons.

1. Palolem- The wide crescent landscape of this beach is beautiful to capture from a height. Since the gradient of sand is smooth, it is an excellent option to swim, kayak and enjoy the sunset in the water. Even the waves are tiny which make it a perfect place for little kids and new families who are visiting the beach for the first time.

Best Goa Beach
Sunbeds on Beaches in South Goa

Things to do from Palolem

  • Boat Ride for Dolphin Spotting and visiting Butterfly and Honeymoon Beach

  • Kayak Rentals per hour

  • Watersports

  • Beach Shacks for Great Food

  • Street Shopping for Souvenirs

2. Butterfly Beach- One of the most popular beaches of late by adventurous tourists who want to explore the Gems of South Goa. This beach has one of the most gorgeous view points and multiple spots to click great pictures. The water is turquoise blue and also has a spot you can jump from a rock right into the water. This beach does not have direct access by road. If you come by 4 Wheeler you have a walk of at least 30 minutes. 2 Wheelers can go almost upto 5 minutes away from the beach. It requires a basic level of fitness to get to. Another option is to get to the beach by boat from Agonda or Palolem. There are no washrooms, restaurants or proper shade. If you plan to carry food or drinks make sure you bring it back with you. Irresponsible travelers have left back a lot of garbage and trash which is ruining the natural beauty.

Things to do from Butterfly Beach

  • Have a snack at Butterfly beach cafe

  • Visit Honeymoon Beach nearby

  • Climb up the rocks for a beautiful view

  • Great spot for Rock Fishing

How to go to butterfly Beach
Butterfly Beach

3. Candolim-Baga- Calangute- This is one long stretch that is considered the best part of Goa by most Indian Tourists. It has everything you need as a tourist which is why it is super crowded. This beach stretch will give you a true feel of the volume of the indian population and the way people behave when given the freedom to enjoy. There will be families, bachelors, couples, kids, touts, vendors selling cheap merchandise, drugs, souvenirs, tour packages and the list goes on and on. An impromptu Goa trip cannot go wrong if you add these beaches to the plan. The options are immense and you will have fun. The beach is also great to enjoy with a decent gradient and waves to give you a good experience of a Goa beach.

Things to do from Baga

  • Beach watersports

  • Dolphin Spotting

  • Party at the Shacks

  • Party at Nearby Clubs

  • Kayaking at Baga Creek

  • Aguada Fort

  • Sinquerim Fort

  • Aguada Jail

  • Alcohol Museum

  • Enjoy Seafood at Restaurants like Calamari, Bhatti Village, Souza Lobo

  • Snow Park

  • Thunder World

  • Bubble Gum- A Centre for Kids

  • Pick up and Drop Facility available for Cruises, Dudhsagar, Scuba Diving etc

Calangute Beach
Calangute Beach

4. Arambol- One of the only beaches with a bit of the hippy vibe. The strangely adorned foreigners with tattoos, piercings, braids, jewellery is fascinating to observe for a first timer who hasn't seen a different culture. The restaurants, stores and people give you a feeling of being outside India. The melting pot of cultures is what makes this beach exciting and unique. The restaurants and shacks are great. This is a good option to chill and have a laid back vacation. It also is very close to the Maharashtra Border.

Things to do from Arambol

  • Beach watersports

  • Chill at the Shacks with sober music

  • Swim at the Sweet Water Lake

  • Surfing on the Beach

  • Dance at a Latin Socials

  • Hike to Arambol Hill

  • Visit Morjai Temple

  • Braid your Hair or get them Dreaded

  • Shop for Funky Souvenirs

Arambol Sweet Water Lake
Sweet Water Lake Arambol

5. Vagator- Anjuna- Both Beaches are near to each other and are popular for their rocky landscape. The beauty of these beaches is that there are a number of view points around and vagator Beach meets the mouth of the Chapora River. It was once popular among the hippes for the all night moon light parties on the beach with electronic music and substance abuse. Currently there are a number of restaurants that are built on the hill which make them excellent options for sundowners. Their prices also are expensive. These are good options for Friends, bachelors and for insane parties

Things to do from Vagator

  • Chapora Fort

  • Chapora Lane for Bars and restaurants that feel like Thailand

  • Little Vagator

  • Enjoy Sundowers at beach side Restaurants and Cafes

  • Goa Collective Bazaar at Hilltop on Fridays

  • Party at House of Chapora, Romeo Lane, Levels, Raeeth, Antares, Dubki etc

  • Experience Food at Lunas Ristorante, Hosa Goa, Angry Sardar, Taste of Trails, Locura, Ciao Bella, CuebeBar

Vagator Beach
Rocky Beaches in North Goa

6. Majorda- A quiet Beach in South Goa to choose if you'd like to take a leisurely stroll in the evening and early morning. This wide stretch of sand and water has a calming effect. I have witnessed bioluminescence on this beach at night where the water began glowing blue as the waves crashed on the sand. There is not much to do nearby.

Things to do from Majorda

Best South Goa Beach
Quiet Beaches of South Goa

7. Agonda- The clean and quiet vibe of Agonda attracts a number of travelers. The beach side cottages with limited number of tourists due to the narrow roads and infrastructure keeps the crowd limited. Most tourists walk and get to nearby restaurants and bars because the narrow roads are a pain to travel with a 4 wheeler. This is a beach for couples and those who want a secluded escape with a few shacks to enjoy.

Things to do from Agonda

  • Backwater boat Ride to spot birds and watch Mangroves

  • Eagle Feeding Experience

  • Leopard Valley to Party

  • Agonda Church is Nearby

  • Camping overnight on the Beach

Goa beach
Clean White Sand Beaches of Goa

8. Cola Beach- Another difficult to access beach because of the horrible road and narrow stretch. It is a beautiful location where the lagoon almost connects to the ocean when the tide is right. The shacks here are located perfectly on the beach with a great view. The beach isn't the best for your 4 Wheeler. Its great to go with friends or your partner for the experience and the pictures.

Things to do from Cola Beach

  • Kayak through the lagoon

  • Visit Cabo De Rama Fort

  • Enjoy the afternoon at a Shack

9. Benaulim- When in South Goa, if you would like to enjoy an evening at a shack with live music and have a fun evening, Benaulim Beach is the place to be. You have the good shacks of south Goa, Decent parking, the beach is clean and not as crowded as Colva and also is easy to access. This is a good option with Families and Groups when you are in South Goa.

Things to do from Benaulim Beach

  • Visit Goa Chitra Museum

  • Chill at Southern Deck, Little Tiger and Rogers

  • Try Italian Food at Good Fellas

  • Go for an Ebike Tour through the Villages

  • Experience Goa Watersports on the Beach

  • Visit Colva Beach and the options for shopping nearby

Best South Goa Shacks
Beach Shacks on Benaulim

10. Miramar- The most easily accessible beach in North Goa. The best option to visit if you are in Panjim. This beach does not have any shacks or watersports but the location is such that you have a number of things to do nearby. The beach has a kids area unlike any other beach. This beach is at the end of the Mandovi River. It is nice to take your family, friends and partner just to relax. It is crowded and is part of a number of bus and Taxi Tours. Not the best to swim in but good for activities on the sand. A number of Goans visit Miramar Beach for walks and activities.

Things to do from Miramar Beach

  • Visit Dona Paula Jetty which is a great View Point

  • Panjim Church

  • Fontainhas to see Portuguese influenced Architecture

  • Old Goa Churches are great to Visit

  • Shree Maruti Mandir

  • Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Mangrove Boat Ride

  • Divar Island Cycling Tour

  • Sunset Cruises

  • Dinner Cruises

  • Private Yacht Hire

  • Heritage Walking Tours

  • Village Cycling Tour

Now that you have a fair idea of what to do, here are the answers to the Questions at the start

Which is the Best Beach?

Depends on what you want out of a beach. View wise the beaches in South Goa like Butterfly, Cola, Patnem, Palolem are good. For Shacks and restaurants Baga has the best options.

Where are the Nude Beaches in Goa?

Nudism in public is illegal in India. There are no Nude beaches in Goa anymore. The days when Foreigners would lay bare and nude on the beaches are long gone. Don't waste your time looking for this.

I want a Foreigner Beach.

Arambol, Ashwem, Mandrem, cavelossim, Palolem, Agonda. There is a good chance you will see Foreign Nationals here. Be mindful and respect their space. The reason they do not hang out much at the crowded beaches is that Indian Tourists gawk, stare and disrespectfully click pictures of them without permission.

Nude Beach in Goa
Foreign Nationals Enjoying a Swim in Goa

Where are the Secret Beaches?

No beach is secret in Goa anymore. Influencers have posted everything that there is in Goa on the internet. The harder the access to the beaches, lesser the crowd and the more secluded you feel. If you wanna do the hanky-panky, be careful because locals do not appreciate this behavior and it could be messy if you get caught.

Secret Beaches in Goa
Hidden Beaches of Goa

Is it possible to visit Private Beaches?

Yes it is possible. Some Resorts have private access to the beach touching their boundary. Ask politely and you can access any private beach in Goa

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