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Time and again, I reiterate my love for the beaches of South Goa. What's not to love about them? Right from the virgin beaches to colourful beach shacks and organic cafes in the most picture-perfect forested setting - there's nothing to not love about this region of Goa. In all honesty, I feel terrible about writing this post because I don't want South Goa to end up being crowded and touristy like North Goa. Nonetheless, I'm excited to showcase the relatively unexplored half of Goa.
South Goa Beaches
Almost every one of the South Goa beaches is pristine and unspoiled by crowds. Additionally, there is a wide variety of beaches in South Goa. There's Palolem beach and Patnem beach, which are popular, have lively beach huts and are host some of the best South Goa beach resorts. On the other hand, beaches like Cola beach and Cabo de Rama are cliff-side beaches that are hardly known to visitors. Thus, this South Goa travel guide covers all the South Goa beaches along with all the things to do in South Goa, nightlife in South Goa and restaurant recommendations.
Map of the Best Beaches in South Goa
Best Beaches in South Goa
Without further ado, let's dive into this list of the best beaches in South Goa. Do note that this is not an exhaustive list, but rather, a list of the most noteworthy beaches in South Goa.
1. Bogmalo Beach
Bogmalo beach is the closest beach to the Goa International Airport, located just 5 km from the airport. This beach has scores of beach shacks, with Joet's, John Seagull and Claudi's Corner being the most popular beach shacks on Bogmalo beach. Joet's is my go-to place on a weekend when there's live music playing. During the dry season, they have seating in the open-air as well so you get an uninterrupted view of the ocean. While there are quite a few hotels in the vicinity of the beach, Bogmalo Beach Resort is a 5-star hotel located right next to the beach with rooms facing the ocean and an infinity pool also overlooking the sea.
2. Grandmother's Hole Beach
As weird as the name sounds, Grandmother's Hole beach is actually quite pretty. Located just 7 km from the Goa airport, the beach is a cliff-side beach. To get to the beach you will have to pass through a park called Japanese garden and climb down a beautiful set of stairs. This place looks fantastic during sunset. Once you climb down, walk towards your left towards the rocks. Sitting on these rocks, watching the waves crash at them is the best feeling. Some parts of the beach could use a little cleaning up but the part of the beach towards the rocks is absolutely beautiful.
3. Utorda Beach
Utorda beach is one of those South Goa beaches that are only known to locals. The charm of this beach lies in the fact that there are hardly any visitors or even beach shacks on the beach. This makes Utorda beach untouched, ideal for the times when you want to enjoy having a whole beach to yourself or for a nice quiet dinner without too many people around. The famous Planet Hollywood resort is located close to this beach. Apart from locals, the only people on the beach are those who are staying at this resort. Come to Utorda if you want to visit a beach sans any tourists.
4. Majorda Beach
Majorda beach lies at a distance of approximately 12 km from Margao city, 11 km from Madgaon junction railway station and 18 km from Goa International Airport. This beach is similar to Utorda beach in terms of the lack of crowds but has a few more beach shacks compared to Utorda. Even during the busy month of December, I've found very few people on this beach, most of whom are locals looking for a quiet dinner in the midst of the tourist season in Goa (see picture above). Majorda beach has nothing substantial to offer other than the clean, crowd-less beach.
5. Betalbatim Beach
Betalbatim beach lies just a little ahead of Majorda beach, located at an approximate distance of 20 km from the Goa international airport. Just like Utorda beach, Betalbatim beach too has lots of free space with very few tourists and a handful of beach shacks.
6. Colva Beach
While Colva beach, by itself, has nothing much to offer, it remains popular among the Indian crowd. It's not a beach where you expect to find much calm, let alone, any room to relax by yourself due to the swarm of people. Nevertheless, Colva has some good food joints. Mickeys beach shack is one of the popular beach shacks among the locals. The Red Ginger is popular for its Asian cuisine. The major plus point of this beach is its close affinity to Margao city. However, due to the crowd at this beach, I don't recommend going here.
7. Benaulim Beach
Benaulim beach is located approximately 10 km from Margao city and 26 km from Goa International Airport. Now, this beach is one of the most popular South Goa beaches. The long stretch of the virgin beach, the number of water sports activities, and the plentiful beach shacks along with the line-up of beautiful resorts and hotels (see picture above) make this one of the most sought-after South Goa beaches among locals and tourists alike.
Roger's is the most popular beach shack on Benaulim beach. During the on-season, there's a waiting list to get a table here, especially one facing the ocean. If you're looking for a resto-bar with music and a fun crowd, go to The Southern Deck. It's a popular hang-out spot of those looking for a night of dancing. Apart from that, I also love Farmhouse Bistro, which lies a little ahead of the Benaulim beach. It has the most spacious and beautiful settings, that includes ponds, wooden bridges, and ducks, to name a few things.
8. Cavelossim Beach
Cavelossim beach is popular among a handful of locals as well as foreign tourists residing in the resorts nearby. The area is home to a bunch of beautiful resorts. However, the main appeal of Cavelossim beach lies not in the beach itself, but rather, in the number of great restaurants in its vicinity.
One of my absolute favourite restaurants in South Goa, which is arguably one of the best restaurants in Goa is located at Cavelossim, known as Fisherman's Wharf. It happens to be located on the riverside. You can sit there on a quiet afternoon and enjoy freshly prepared food while watching the lapping waters of the river. This restaurant is a must-visit if you're in the vicinity. Star Light Riverside Restaurant is another one of the best seafood restaurants in Goa which is located on the riverside, just 5 km from Cavelossim beach.
9. Cabo-de-Rama Beach
Cabo de Rama beach is a cliff-side beach in South Goa, located roughly 28 km from Margao city and 48 km from Goa International Airport. While this beach used to be frequented only by locals at one point, it has gained popularity among tourists as well. One of the reasons why this beach is one of the best beaches in South Goa is because apart from the clear water and clean sand, there's even a freshwater lagoon and coconut trees providing shade from the sun on this beach. Thus Cabo de Rama beach is the perfect beach for a picnic. Not just that, the cliff at Cabo de Rama is perfect for laying out a picnic blanket and watching the sun go down with a couple of drinks in hand.
There is a nice resort called The Cape at the Cabo de Rama cliff, which has huts overlooking the ocean. Each hut comes with a spacious balcony, open-air bathtub, an open-air shower and the most incredible view. The resort also has a restaurant with a view of the ocean where visitors can dine in, even if they're not staying at the resort.
10. Cola Beach
Cola beach is one of the unexplored and untouched beaches in South Goa. The beach is located approximately 15 minutes from Agonda beach. However, there is no concrete road for a short stretch before arriving at the beach, which requires off-roading for a little while. Keep in mind though that both 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers can navigate through this stretch. Once you reach the end of the road, you'll be at the top of a cliff with steep steps to get down to the beach. As you climb down these steps you'll get an enchanting view of the beach and lagoon. The hill is dotted with huts and the only people on the beach are the ones staying in them and a few other curious souls. Furthermore, the shacks and lounge chairs there are mostly unoccupied. Apart from an untouched beach, there's an iconic lagoon at Cola beach. You can kayak, swim or simply play around in the lagoon, where the water is fairly shallow. My picture above, taken before I learned to take decent photographs, does not do justice to the untamed beauty of Cola beach.
11. Agonda Beach
Agonda beach is yet another one of the gems among all the South Goa beaches. Frequented mostly by foreigners and very few Indians, Agonda is a secluded beach known only to a handful. I love Agonda beach due to the vibe here. While there are shacks lined up along the beach, there's a road that goes parallel to the beach. There is myriad of cute little shops selling boho dresses, bags and decorative items on this road. Additionally, there are numerous boutique and vegan cafes on this stretch. Walk along this road to soak in the bohemian vibe.
Blue Planet Cafe is a vegan/ vegetarian cafe serving organic food that is located just 2 minutes from Agonda beach. The cafe is set inside a forested area with only trees and birds for company. The menu here has some exciting vegan and vegetarian breakfast items and meals. All the food here is prepared freshly with fresh organic produce. They even have wooden chalets for visitors to stay. Do check this cafe out while you're hopping along the beaches in South Goa.
12. Palolem Beach
It's not difficult to guess why Palolem beach is one of the most popular beaches in Goa, not just in South Goa. Coupled with colourful beach huts and a fantastic crowd, Palolem is the place to be if you're looking for the freedom to wear whatever you like, without any unwanted eyes on you. I highly suggest staying in a beach shack right by the beach. Spend an entire day bathing, eating and reading a book in one of the many colourful huts on the beach. Next, have a romantic dinner on the beach then head to a night club, such as Silent Noise, nearby. Silent noise is a unique night club where music is played on headphones and not on a loudspeaker. It doesn't get better than this. There are some popular cafes in Palolem such as Little World, Art Resort Cafe, Ferns and Magic Italy. Read my complete guide to Palolem Beach Goa to discover more about this beach and to read my guide to the Palolem beach huts.
13. Patnem Beach
Patnem beach, located 40 km south of Margao city, lies at a distance of just 2 km from Palolem beach. The road leading up to the beach is a vibrant and colourful narrow lane dotted with shops selling colourful beachwear and other knick-knacks. The beach is equally cheerful, lined up with huts which appear rustic yet bright. Almost all the shacks have lounge chairs outside for visitors to sit and enjoy on the beach. Alternately, you can sit inside the shack, sip a cocktail and observe the waves from a distance. I had the best day out at Patnem. Because Patnem beach is very similar to Palolem beach in terms of the look and feel and is located close to Palolem, you can explore both these beaches in one go. Read my entire experience of chilling at the beach huts in Patnem beach.
Nightlife in South Goa
At Silent Noise, wireless headsets allow those people that want to party to do so, while nobody else is disturbed by the noise. You can rock all night long while anyone passing by can't hear a thing. Each headset has 3 music channels. You can change the channel on your headset and dance to your tune. Silent Noise is located right next to Palolem beach. It's situated at a prime location and is a unique nightclub in Goa.
Leopard Valley is the perfect combination of a jungle, pool, music and fire shows. Located close to both Agonda and Palolem, it's a great spot in the middle of nowhere. This being said, ensure that you have a ride back to your hotel/ resort as there won't be any taxis nearby. All in all, it's going to be a great experience.
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