For most of the people heading towards Goa, it is one long beach. But once they are there they realize this folly of them. Goa is a state though a small one and there is a large number of beaches, many towns and a good network of roads. It is a state of seven rivers and their estuaries, there are hills with lush green vegetation, and most of the tourists are needed to cover large distances to move from one place to other. Goa has a total coastline of 125 km and that makes people believe that it is a long big beach however illusionary it is.
Beaches of Goa are much ahead of other beaches in India in terms of
popularity and the facilities that are available here. The beaches here have
been accepted as a matter of life, there are exotic cuisine backing the
pleasure of have on sun and sand, and water sports facilities that include
from water scooters to water gliding. To add on you can shake your legs for
some time with a glass of feni and beer, engaged in shopping on the
beachside, or have midnight bonfire on the beach.
There are some more aspects of Goa beaches that attract tourists every
year. Whatsoever times you have visited these beaches they tend to change
their look and get new designs every new season. These beaches refurbish
themselves every new season and enhance the excitement of visitors who are
never tired of appreciating Goa. Out of 125 km of coastline the beaches of
Goa cover not less than 83 km and there is one for you also waiting to be
explored. Go and find it!
Anjuna was once the most celebrated of Goa's many beaches, for this is
where the hippies would hang about. Their departure has done nothing to rob
the wide shelf of sand of its beauty, and almost every visitor heads here,
for it has gone on to become one of the most photographed of beaches, which
means, rightly, that you're unlikely to find isolation here.
The beach that is to the furthest north: Arambol also called Harmal. The
sand is soft and white, there are cottages on the red laterite slopes, rocks
in some places, a freshwater pond, and the approach road is lined with
shacks offering souvenirs and clothes. At one end of it runs the Tiracol
River and beyond rises the Tiracol Fort, now an interesting little hotel.
Baga lies between Anjuna and Calangute. Where Anjuna is in the north and
Calangute is on the south. Baga is also termed as the extension of
Calangute. It is difficult to make out where one ends and the other begins.
Baga is a comparatively clean beach.
Benaulim, is relatively undiscovered by domestic tourists even though it is
a fishing beach. However, it gets fairly crowded during weekends and
evenings with local visitors who get off buses about a kilometer away and
pour onto the beach. The breaking wave height here is half a meter and the
slope is 1 in 30 in September.
The last southern beach before you get to Panaji is the first southern
beach to be discovered by visitors: Bogmolo. This broad beach, backed by
palms, is now shared by visitors and fishermen alike. You'd find
bathers relaxing on sun beds under bright beach umbrellas. Bogmolo is
considered a safe beach for swimmers.
Calangute was the first hippie beach resort at the height of the Flower
Children era. The successors to these dropouts have moved on as domestic
tourist moved in and converted Calangute into a paddling, snacking,
shopping, picnicking, vacationing beach.
Colva is on the northern end of this long, continuous strip of coastline.
It's broad and beautiful, has a stream coursing through it and is
backed by palms. Sadly, its beauty has made it popular and its popularity
has cheapened it: its off-beach shops and restaurants, brightly lit and
crowded, give it the feel of a funfair rather than a serene, unwinding
beach. This is essentially our domestic tourists' paddling beach.
Dauna Paula Beach
On the other side of this headland is the little bay and tiny beach of Dona
Paula. Water scooters and speedboats buzz across the bay and, at the drop of
a hat; guides will embroider on the woeful tale of a star-crossed maiden who
fell in love with a handsome man below her status. Conventions could not be
breached in those distant days and so she leapt into the sea and to her
The Southern coast of Goa is stretched by white sand. Until a few years
back, it was among the virgin beaches of Goa. However, it couldn't escape
from the eyes of the tourists. Although a few developments have taken place,
the beach still has a soothing aura to it.
Vagator is a popular beach with the tour operators. However, a little
further south of this main beach is a more sedate beach known as 'Little
Vagator' or Ozran beach. This beach accommodates a fresh water pool. Little
Vagator also has a number of good eating places.
Other Beaches in Goa
Mabor beach is very beautiful, very clean and, in spite of warning notices
put up by a luxury beach hotel, it is a public beach. All beaches in India
are public beaches. Private enterprise has, however, responded well to the
needs of visitors: there are beach umbrellas and chairs and tourists happily
broiling themselves in the Goan sun.
Though Mabor, Cavelossim, and the next three beaches are really a single
strand, they are treated as separate beaches because of the villages they
were once associated with. Thus the next one north, Varca, may in time
develop a character of its own. For the present, it's really an
extension of the others. It does, however, have deep rows of casuarinas and
is long, clean, and quite lonely.
The sands of Majorda, next on your northern drive to Panaji, are not as
white as those of Colva but it is popular in a slightly more up-market way.
Here people relax under beach umbrellas and recline on pool chairs. There
are shacks backed by stands of screw pines and palms and a small stream lost
itself in a puddle patronized by flocks of white gulls.
Miramar (Gaspar Dias)
Panaji's beach, Miramar or Gaspar Dias, is 3 km from the city center
and spreads beyond a small forest of casuarinas. This is a popular beach
with joggers, strollers, children, and careful paddlers. However, it is not
considered safe for swimmers.
Driving out of the capital, heading north along the coast, you come across
the famed Aguada beach dominated by the battlements of the Old Portuguese
Fort Aguada. A luxury hotel spreads here with its more informal clone, the
Taj Village, clustering at its feet. It's a good, clean, swimmers'
beach popular with well-heeled tourists. It is also at the southern end of a
very long stretch of beach that goes all the way up to the mouth of the Baga
River. Here, too, as in the case of many of the southern beaches, individual
segments of this extensive strand have been given separate identities
associated with the villages that lie behind them. Their names sound like
the strumming of a Goan guitar: Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute and Baga.
Sinquerim is popular with foreign visitors because it's broad and not
very crowded. One reason why domestic tourists seem to be wary of this beach
is possibly that its foreshore slope is a steep 1 in 10.
Candolim is more popular than Sinquerim. Its immediate hinterland gives you
the quietly disciplined feel of a coastal village in Spain: warm, friendly,
and happy to mind its own business. Its foreshore slope is the same as
Sinquerim and the waves break at a meter.
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