Looking for a perfect trip to South Goa? But not sure how to plan it? You have landed on the right page. In this blog, I am sharing the practical itinerary with all the details required for you to plan a memorable trip to South Goa.
Explore the hidden gems of South Goa in 3 Days
With its lesser-known beaches, waterfalls, temples, churches, historical monuments, and eateries, South goa has a perfect blend of culture and natural beauty to offer. With so much to explore, it’s often confusing to create an itinerary that can include a mix of all, especially if you are visiting South Goa for the first time. After many trips to South Goa, I have curated this itinerary which can help a first-time traveler to visit the special gems of South Goa in just 3 days. ( if you want to explore this paradise extensively, you need more than a week for sure, but that’s for the next blog)
Before I share the day-wise itinerary, here are some of the important details
How to get around in South Goa
The two challenges you come across in South Goa are the network and connectivity. Especially when you travel to the hidden beaches away from the popular tourist spots. During our last trip (we stayed at Agonda beach) the network and WIFI were not great, even for GPS, it’s better to save the locations in advance.
The beaches are far from one another and you need to drive through woods, and small villages making it impossible to find a cab or rickshaw.
Hire a two-wheeler/Car
The best way to commute is to rent a bike or a car. You can get it delivered at the airport and return it at the airport. Do carry your original Aadhaar card, driving license, and Pan card as you need to submit it with the bike/car rent agency as security. We hired an i10 car for our 5 days trip and it costed us around INR 12000.
Don’t forget to make a video of the car or the bike, before taking the handover, just to ensure that you are returning the vehicle in the same condition as you took it for.
Best time to visit South Goa
November to March is the best time to visit South Goa. However, you can also visit this paradise in April and May if you can tolerate the summer heat. During Monsoons ( June to September) Goa is green and beautiful, but many of the beaches and water activities are closed during this part of the year due to heavy rainfall.
Where to stay in South Goa
Deciding the right area for a stay in South Goa is a tricky task. During our last 4 visits to South Goa, we stayed at different beaches, right from the popular ones to the not-so-popular ones. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Here is the list of places
1) Beleza by the beach, Colva: Read the review of the property here.
Colva is one of the popular and buzzing beaches in South Goa. It is comparatively closer to the airport and has many pubs and restaurants around to hang out. The only drawback is all the lesser known and exotic beaches are very far from Colva and you need to drive for hours.
2) Holiday Inn & Sal Riviera Goa, Cavelossim: Read the review of the property here. I love Cavelossim beach and the area surrounding it. It has big resorts and hotels, some happening hangouts, and great live music, yet it’s secluded and not extremely crowded. It feels like a small island to me. The best part is that Cavelossim is centrally located and comparatively closer to other beaches.
3) The Shell, Agonda: Agonda beach is situated down south, it’s near most of the hidden gems of South Goa. The beach itself has so many activities that you can enjoy and relax here the whole day. You can find huts and cottages at all price points. However, if you love the party and fun vibes, you may feel a little bored here.
3 days perfect itinerary to South Goa
Also known as the Tiger beach, Kakolem beach is one of the most unique and secluded beaches in South Goa. This hidden beach has 2 waterfalls, making this peaceful paradise all the more special. You can bathe in the waterfall and laze around at the beach. This tiny cove has only one shack that offers food and drinks. There are a few basic rooms also for those who seek solitude. However, there are no other shacks, shops, or any population around.
How to get there: It’s challenging to reach Kakolem beach. You don’t get public transport here, so the best way is to rent a car/bike. A few minutes’ walk will take you to the viewpoint from where you need to trek downhill for around 20 minutes to reach the beach. Read all the details here.
Lunch (at the beach shack at Kakolem beach)
Enjoy the hot and fresh lunch along with chilled beer at the only restaurant on the Kakolem beach. We loved their fried rice. You can carry your liquor or drinks and eatables.
Cabo De Rama Fort
Closing time: 5.30 pm
After lunch, head straight to the Cabo De Rama fort, an ancient fort on the coast of Canacona with a breath-taking view of the Arabian ocean. Although the fort is in ruins, it houses a beautiful Portuguese church inside the complex and you can enjoy a splendid view of the ocean from the fort boundary. Read more about it.
From within the Cabo De Rama fort, the uneven stone stairs will take you to one of the most stunning hidden beaches in South Goa. It’s a short trek consisting of 80-90 stairs and takes 10 minutes. The beach is covered by pebbles of different shapes and sizes, making this rocky beach a unique one.
Tip: Do carry your water bottle, hat, and sunglasses to avoid the harsh sun.
Sunset at The Cape Goa:
On the way back from Cabo De Rama Fort, enjoy the mesmerizing sunset view at The Cape Goa. The Cape Goa is a resort and restaurant overlooking the beautiful ocean. It is situated on the beach road of Cabo De Rama.
Dinner at Cavelossim
After witnessing the glorious sunset view, you can head back to Cavelossim beach( if you are staying in this area) and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in Cavelossim. Most of the restaurants in this area offer cheerful live musical performances during the evenings. If you are looking for amazing live singing and a lively atmosphere head straight to Mike’s place.
Start your day early if you want to take a boat ride and spot the dolphins. Agonda beach has a long shoreline with no shacks, making it a perfect destination for those seeking solitude. During the mornings you can see the beach buzzing with morning walkers, surfers, and people sunbathing. Agonda beach is also one of the three turtle nesting sites in Goa. Some of the fun activities you can enjoy here are horse riding, running, bathing in the sea, sunbathing, reading, enjoying your drinks at one of the resort bars, learning surfing, and enjoying boat riding.
Boat ride (butterfly & honeymoon beach)
Butterfly and honeymoon beaches both appear like dreams into reality. From Agonda beach, you can hire a speed boat to visit these two hidden beaches. The honeymoon beach can be visited only during the low tides. For around INR 2500 -3000, the speedboat will take you to the honeymoon beach and butterfly beach along with dolphin spotting. The boat tour starts as early as 5.30 am and the earlier you visit, the better the chances of spotting the dolphins.
Lunch at La Dolce Vita Pizzeria, Agonda
After spending a fun morning at Agonda beach, enjoy your lunch at La Dolce Vita, an authentic Italian restaurant in Agonda. If Italian is not your preferred meal, you can look for other restaurants in the same area.
Kayaking at cola beach
Post lunch, get ready for some real adventure. Cola beach is another unique beach in South Goa. Once you reach the parking area near the beach, the real adventure begins. You need to drive a few kilometers downhill, through the most uneven muddy road cut from the mountain. So be prepared for the bumpy ride ahead. Once you walk down a few stone stairs, a breath-taking view of the ocean awaits you. But the presence of a serene lagoon lined with palm trees on the other side of the beach is the most impressive aspect of Cola beach. You can swim or kayak in the calm and crystal clear water of the lagoon. Kayaking for half an hour will cost you INR 100
Tip: It is advisable not to drive downhill on your own if you don’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle. The locals at the parking area can drop and pick for as less as INR 100 per person.
Don’t forget to carry a changeover, towel, and swimsuit.
Dinner at Palolem beach
If you are not tired and exhausted yet, you can visit Palolem beach which is a more lively and crowded beach in South Goa. Enjoy your dinner at one of the many restaurants near the beach. You can also visit the Silent discos here or shop for some colorful clothes, artifacts, etc at the local market near the beach.
With white sand and calm water, Palolem beach is a sight to behold. You can visit the beach during the day to enjoy kayaking or experience the eagle feeding in the Palolem backwaters.
If you love to explore the offbeat and picture-perfect spots for your Instagram. Do visit the Sadolxem bridge near Canacona. This 2-decade-old, bright blue color bridge connects Canacona to Pionguinim town. Wide enough only for one four-wheeler to pass at a time, the bridge is at an attractive focal point over the Talpona River, which makes for excellent viewing of the backwaters and mangrove vegetation.
Mentioning the word pristine and Galgibaga beach immediately appears in front my eyes. This lesser-known beach is one of Goa’s best-kept secrets. Lined with tall pine trees, and soft clean sand, the beach is naturally decorated with driftwoods in multiple places. Anyone can mistake Galgibag for one of the havelock beaches.
The beach is a designated nesting ground for Olive Turtles. You can also witness the protected turtle eggs at the beach. While there are only a couple of resting spots on the coast, you can relax at the only shack on the beach.
Dinner at Patnem beach
Enjoy your dinner at Patnem beach, which is buzzing with foreign tourists. You can also check out the local market near the beach.
This 3 days itinerary includes some of the best and most adventurous beaches of South Goa. I hope this itinerary will be of some help to you while planning your trip to South Goa.
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