Goa has been luring in travelers with its long stretches of sandy real estate since its heyday in the 1960s and 70s, and while the crowd may have diversified to include more than just hippies, the beautiful beaches remain. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to try your hand at a new water sport, a family with kids looking for some fun in the sun or a weary traveler looking to laze the day away by the shore with a book and a cocktail, the best beaches in Goa have something in store for you.
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Calangute/Baga Beach- Best for Water Sports
If your idea of a good beach includes plenty of people and plenty of activities, head to Calangute and Baga Beaches. The neighboring stretches of sand don’t really have any border separating the two, but the Calangute side tends to be a busier hive of activity. Here you’ll find lines of sun chairs, plenty of beach shacks selling refreshments, outfitters for all the water sports you could want and calm, gentle waters perfect for swimming.
Vagator Beach- Best for Trance Parties
Goa’s reputation as a party destination was earned on the sands of Vagator Beach. It is here where travelers come to watch the sunset before dancing the night away with young Indians and hordes of predominantly European backpackers. Dramatic red cliffs and black rock outcroppings make Vagator a rather scenic spot to enjoy the sun as well.
Anjuna Beach- Best for Shopping
In Anjuna, you’ll find Goa’s famous Wednesday flea market, a legacy of the hippie crowd who once called the beach home. The beach isn’t the most beautiful in Goa by a long shot, but it’s worth a visit for the market and the nightlife, as Anjuna is home to Goa’s most famous bar, the Paradiso Disco.
Palolem Beach- Best Views
Palolem Beach, nicknamed Paradise Beach, is arguably the most scenic in the state, and while it gets busier every year, it remains mostly undeveloped. Here you’ll find temporary huts for accommodation, safe swimming waters and Goa’s trendy “silent noise” parties, where party-goers don headphones and dance their hearts out.
Varca Beach- Best for Isolation
Varca Beach, along with nearby Cavelossim & Morbor, offers white sand unspoilt by the hawkers and beach shacks of Goa’s more popular beaches. Since many of Goa’s resorts are located nearby, you’ll have options for dining, drinking and entertainment without the hordes encroaching on your relaxation time.