It’s difficult to pin down what makes road trips so endearing. Be it the camaraderie between the travellers that becomes stronger as the wheels keep rolling or the shared experience of discovering new places, these trips do result in a powerful bonding. One such amazing road trip opportunity is to trace the beaches from North Goa to South Goa along its magnificent rugged coastline. Here we will bring you the 8 best beaches to cover on a road trip in Goa.
September marks the end of the rainy season in Goa. However, there might be wet days in October. If the occasional shower doesn’t bother you, a two-wheeler ride is recommended. Goa, post-September is beautifully bathed in the hue of monsoonal green with pristine sandy beaches lined with swaying coconut palms. There are plenty of opportunities to unravel new spheres of unknown sitting side by side waiting to be discovered.
Road trip in Goa: 8 of the Best Beaches to Visit
There are more than 50 beaches along the 100 km long Goan coastline, each with a story of its own. Here are some handpicked ones.
Best Beaches in North Goa
8 Arambol Beach
The northernmost beach of the state, Arambol, is a place for dreamers and stoics. One of the longest stretches of fine sand, this place is an anomaly with respect to the party atmosphere North Goa beaches are known for, although it has become popular for another facet.
It has recently evolved as the quintessential Yoga destination of Goa.
Visitors from across the globe come here to get Yoga lessons. Various small schools have propped up in the vicinity offering courses not only in Yoga but other fascinating arts forms such as Tantra, Meditation, Zen, Sufi, Tai Chi, Painting and innovative dance forms such as Contact Dance. There are around 35 Yoga Centers, Schools and Ashrams here. Barring a few, most of them operate all year round. During monsoons, the participants are less, the prices low and it is the perfect time to learn the spiritual art forms.
7 Morjim Beach
10 km from Arambol, is the unique Morjim Beach adjacent to the banks of Chapora River. There are plenty of reasons why Morjim is the most spectacular beach in North Goa.
It is the nesting site of the Olive Ridley Turtles
A phenomenon which happens every year during October to March. The Chapora River joins the sea here with the splendid backdrop of the famous Chapora fort (Dil Chahta Hai fame!). The river sand merges into this beach making the stretch unique for its greyish black colour.
The Chapora River estuary is the ideal place for fishermen with an opportunity of both salt and fresh water catches. The western end of the beach is a wall of rocky outcrop earmarked with coconut trees. Unlike almost all other famous beaches of Goa, this beach is devoid of any settlements (hotels and shacks), barring a few fishermen huts.
A trip to Morjim promises magnificent sunset views and is the ideal place for a leisurely evening stroll.
6 Vagator Beach
The party culture of North Goa starts from Vagator. The crescent-shaped beach is known for its midnight parties during the tourist season. Characterized by rocky outcrops, there are many resorts and shacks near the beach.
Secluded in its initial days of discovery, the party vibe at the nearby beach of Anjuna rubbed off on Vagator quickly, which saw a plethora of hotels cropping up in the vicinity. The road to Vagator Beach and Chapora fort passes through the picturesque narrow road flanked by tall palm trees on either side – a part of almost all Bollywood movies shot in Goa.
The twin view from Chapora Fort
The present fort was rebuilt in 1717 by the Portuguese. Nothing much remains of the fort except the walls. It’s like an open bumpy ground on top of the hill with boundary walls of red laterite stones. With the absence of any symbolic structure, the fort has negligible historical significance.
However, the fort arguably offers the best view point in the state.
A large door like crevice on the northeastern part of the fort offers the opportunity for a small trek to the end of a protruding hill. This particular place provides a stunning view of the magnificent Arabian Sea coupled with the twin view of Vagator Beach on the southern end and Morjim Beach along with the Chapora River estuary on the northern end. There is something about the view – its magnificence, its uniqueness, its scale and glorious loneliness which make it the perfect vantage point of Goa.
5 Anjuna Beach
It’s the quintessential destination for rave parties, midnight musicals, binge drinking, smoking joints and carefree dancing. If you love the wild side, you must include this on your road trip in Goa. Primarily consisting of Western Backpackers, mostly Russians, this place is a dream destination for the Hippies.
The direct flight connection from Moscow to Goa by a public sector carrier ensures year-round visitors at Anjuna. Characterized by reddish-brown rocky outcrops along the palm-fringed coastline, it portrays a different charm. Full of beach facing bars and shacks, the Southern end is the busiest.
Also read: How to spend smarter and save better in Goa
Best Beaches in South Goa
4 Candolim Beach
With the sturdy walls of Fort Aguada in the North and the famous (read busiest) beaches of Calangute and Baga to the South, Candolim is the ideal place for the perfect beach experience. The entire stretch of Candolim-Calangute road boasts of a plethora of resorts, shops, sit down bars and restaurants. Candolim is famous for its beach scrub (vegetation) which comes to life during and post monsoons and makes the coastline even more spectacular.
Margao is the headquarter of South Goa. As one goes further down, the roads begin to wind and a phalanx of mountains emerges announcing the region of South Goa. Its character is quite different from that of the North. Nestled amidst lush green vegetation, the Southern part is much more serene. The drive through the steep winding roads amidst towering green hills is pure bliss.
Cabo De Rama Fort
Around 30 km from Margao, Cabo De Rama in South Goa is another crumbling fort of the state with just a few walls remaining. The trip to this fort is much more enticing than the place itself.
As one nears the destination, a short straight road seemingly ending beyond a cliff comes into view.
The road and the horizon of the Arabian Sea seem to merge at the end. The breathtaking short drive on this road is unique and ought to be experienced on a two-wheeler. Sunset views from the fort and the adjoining cliff are mesmerizing when the horizon gets spattered in paintbox colours creating surreal reflections on the Arabian Sea.
3 Agonda Beach
One of the most picturesque and secluded beaches of Goa, Agonda has evolved in the last two years with few upscale resorts and beach shacks cropping up on the shore. Not much crowded even during the tourist season, it’s blissfully quiet.
More often than not, you will be the only person on the entire stretch of the beach.
Flanked by mountains on either side, it is considered to be the most beautiful beach of Goa. If you are looking for a beachfront property with unmediated views of the ocean and a sparse crowd, a trip to Agonda is a must.
2 Palolem Beach
This place is the answer to the flamboyant Anjuna Beach in North Goa. Probably the only beach in the South where there are party joints and lounges. A favourite among Westerners, it has some delicious food joints serving Italian and Spanish cuisine. Apart from the nightlife, this horseshoe-shaped palm-fringed beach has a small outcrop of granite boulders at the Northern end reminiscent of such formations found in the luxury destination of Seychelles.
Due to its unique shape, it also has backwaters where you can opt for a boat ride.
There is also an option of spotting Dolphins in local motor boats and visit the elusive Butterfly Beach (which cannot be accessed by road). An hour’s trip will cost you anywhere between INR 500 – INR 1000 depending on the number of people. Bargaining is the key.
1 Rajbag Beach
Not much spoken about and usually mistaken to be the private beach of an upscale resort, this is another stunning beach in South Goa. The access to this beach is through the property roads with large manicured lawns opening up to the Arabian Sea. The beach at its Northern end has some beautiful black rocky outcrops ideal for a sit down to watch the setting sun while enjoying the occasional ocean spray on the face.
It is the perfect place for couples away from the din and hubbub of the usual beach crowd.
There are daily flights from all major destinations of India to Goa.
WHEN TO GO:
November to February is the peak season. October is mostly dry but can have occasional showers.
WHERE TO STAY:
It is ideal to base yourself in Candolim. With its array of accommodation, shopping and dining options, it is the perfect place to explore the amazing beaches of North and South Goa. Candolim offers plenty of upscale and budget options.
You will find bike and car rentals very easily in this state so you can go on your epic road trip in Goa.