Goa’s beaches are always fantastic. In fact, in Goa, India, the winter sun is completely guaranteed. Even between November and March the temperature averages around 30C. And although Goa now has a reputation as one of the world’s party capitals, it still has some of the very best beaches in India, and Asia. Goa was never a British colony, like the rest of India. In fact, Goa was a Portuguese colony, but eventually gained independence in the 1960’s. Therefore, Goa has a very unique culture full of not only Hindus, but also Catholics. But, you’ll never have to fear sectarian violence in Goa. Catholics and Hindus are incredibly friendly with one another, often attend one another’s services, and even intermarry without problems.
Now, if you’re heading to Goa, and you want to escape the party scene, you’ll want to try out these four beaches that haven’t quite yet become completely mainstream.
At Mandrem you’ll find groovy beach bars, and beach huts, and plenty of yoga retreats. There’s also a Portuguese fort near Mandrem that you’ll see when you walk out onto the beach. Even though the fort has now been turned into a fancy hotel, the staff don’t mind if you walk around the fort, and take a beautiful view of Mandrem bay.
To get to Mandrem simply take a bus from Pernem via Arambol, and Mandrem will be the last stop on the line.
Expert tip: Stock up on cash before arriving, as there aren’t any ATMs.
Agonda beach is a nice long stretch of pristine beach.On Agonda beach, it’s common to stay in a small hut, rather than an expensive hotel. Attractions include sunbathing, swimming, yoga, and chilling out. Agonda beach is one of Goa’s most relaxing beaches, indeed. However, if you’re up for a bit of activity, there are boat trips available.
Agonda beach is also an endangered turtle nesting site.
Expert tip: Mobile phone connections may not work here.
If you’re looking for the best Goa beaches, you won’t want to miss Palolem. Many travelers agree that Palolem is one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches. Palolem is a natural bay surrounded by headlands. The water is calm, and you can even walk about 100 meters into the bay before it gets deep. Palolem is quite small, and it’s easy to get around here with a motorbike. If you’re looking for a day trip from Palolem, try Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
Expert tip: Although Palolem used to be off the beaten track, it’s becoming more and more saturated with tourists. If you’re not into crowds, and are looking for a Palolem-alternative, try Patnem beach.
Goa beaches like Palolem can be quite crowded. Therefore, Patnem beach is a much more laid-back alternative to Palolem with less development. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of restaurants, and places to stay. There are also shops and bars to cater to your needs.