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It was a couple of year’s back that I first visited Goa. Being the very first visit, I had not expected much and the idea was to just spend long weekend anywhere away from the city. I had a picture in mind, which was like a regular beach destination in India and it remained so till we landed in Panjim. But the moment we started moving towards the North Goa this perception started to change. Once we reached our destination and started exploring around, it was like a whole knew world waiting for us. A place full of free spirited young travelers, a relaxed yet electrifying atmosphere where you can enjoy to the fullest.
Goa is a paradise, which can be a perfect holiday destination for all kinds of traveler, be a nature lover, party animals or family travelers. After our first visit to North Goa, we were kind of hooked on to it and kept hovering around during most of our subsequent visits.
Sharing the list of some of the most popular beaches and places to visit in North Goa, especially for those planning to visit for the first time.
I would call it “party animal’s paradise”. Popular for its rocking nightlife, party never stops at Baga beach. Enjoy the sun and sea, freshly prepared seafood & chilled beer during the day in any of the Shack or experience the variety of Water sports. Activities include parasailing (one of my favorites), water skiing, banana boat ride, bumpy ride (scary but exciting) etc. Also explore some great street shopping options.
During the evening hop on to one of the nightclubs, the place has a huge selection to offer including some of the popular ones like Tito’s and Mambo’s. If you are not a party person, than take a stroll down the beach and enjoy a candle lit diner by the sea.
Calangute is one of the most popular and most crowded beaches in Goa. One can spend time here enjoying the waves, laze around or taking a dip in the water. A variety of water sports are available here. Though Calangute is not my personal choice as it’s too crowded. But for the first time visitors it’s not a bad idea to explore the place. In the vicinity of the beach you can find a lot of tattoo studios along with the usual stuff.
One of the most popular beaches amongst the foreigners, Anjuna was once home to Hippies and is famous for its rave parties and trance music. Anjuna beach is also an ideal place to enjoy the full moon party specially organized during Christmas and New Year.
Although we could not attend any of the parties, but the natural beauty of the beach was equally captivating, specially the Sun set. This beach is characterized by black rock formation on the shore lined by palm fringes. The hills besides the beach give it a very picturesque backdrop.
Anjuna is also popular for its Wednesday Flea market and Saturday night market where you can find products from different parts of the country. Foreigners also set up many stalls here. I specially loved the Saturday night market, as it was very lively and had a variety of food items to offer. Don’t forget to checkout chunky jewelries and small collectibles.
We accidentally landed up in Vagator beach, while searching for Anjuna on our rented bike. I must stay it was unlike any other beach we had visited earlier. We had to get down the cliff to reach the beach and it was a black sand beach. This was the first time, I had seen the beach with black sand, it was not crowded at all and looked quiet mystique. We spent a lot of time at the Pub, which was on the cliff and offered a great view of the sea.
This beach is split into two large beaches by a strip of land. Hill Top is amongst the popular places for the parties.
Sinquerim is another beautiful beach in North Goa, which should not be missed. It is less crowded as compared to Bagha and Calangute beaches; also I don’t remember seeing any shacks here. This beach is perfect for swimming and offers an array of water activities. We enjoyed all the water sports here, including the speedboat tour to spot dolphins. Sinquerim beach is also characterized by the presence of fort Aguada that was build by Portuguese. The view from the Aguada fort is amazing and its invariably used as the photo backdrop by tourists. You can also find some of the best resorts in the Sinquerim.
Agauda Beach is yet another stunning beaches in Goa, set on the back drop of fort Aguada , this beach has its own charm. On one side of the beach you can find Taj Aguada resort and on other the Aguada fort broder. We wanted to explore the surrounding hills so we walked uphill beside Taj Aguada and trekked till the hilltop. The view from the top was just stunning and serene. We really enjoyed this peaceful time and breath taking view away from the crowd.
Apart from the Beach, Fort Aguada is another spot, which you should not miss. The view of the sea from the Fort is really amazing. The Fort of Aguada was built by the Portuguese to defend the entrance of the enemy into River Mandovi.
One of my favorite beaches in North Goa! Candolim beach is clean and less crowded as compared to Bagha and Calangute. Like other beaches water sports options are available at Candolim beach also. The white sandy beach is complemented by the dunes, which are covered by scrubs. We visited Candolim beach during Mansoon and were surprised to find only handful of visitors. It was like you can have the whole beach to yourself. But during Monsoon the waves were really high, so be careful.
Well these were some of the most popular beaches in Goa, which you should not miss specially when visiting Goa for the first time and for limited period. This list is not exhaustive and North Goa has much more to offer.
Sharing some of the travel tips!
- Water sports are not available during the rainy season mostly June to August; also most of the beach side huts are closed during Monsoon.
- The best time to visit Goa is from October to January. But if you are not looking for water sports, its always better to plan your visit during monsoons as you will hardly find any crowd during this time.
- The best way to explore the North goa is to hire a two-wheeler or 4 wheeler. There are plenty of shops offering vehicle for rent and charges per day basis. Don’t forget to bring your license especially if you are planning to visit South Goa/ Panjim in a rented vehicle.
- Although Goa is considered to be safe, but its always better to be cautious and be aware of your surroundings specially in the secluded places.