Betalbatim Beach - The picturesque beach of Betalbatim also known as Sunset Beach, is a small stretch of beach that has emerged as one of the thriving beach destinations of Goa. It is located about 8 kilometers from downtown Margaon and is easily recognizable by the presence of cold pine groves. The beach is the perfect place for seeing dolphins and various species of birds.
Palolem Beach - This is a cozy beach with white sand facing a blue bay between two headlands. Palolem has lately been popular for its "Silent Noise" parties that do away with loud blaring music after 10 pm, allowing people access to DJ music on headphones.
Agonda Beach - With its white sands, palms and casuarinas, Agonda is a quiet, lonely beach with almost no tourists, no vendors and no restaurants.
Colva Beach - Colva is a busy beach with all modern amenities like air-conditioned resort complexes, tourist cottages, discotheques, food and shopping stalls.
Majorda, Bogmalo, Benaulim, Arossim and Varca are other interesting beaches in south Goa. Arossim is particularly preferred for its excellent water sports.
India's main domestic airlines, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara have regular domestic services between Goa and Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi (Cochin), Kozhikode (Calicut), Pune and Bangalore. Most airlines have reasonable onward connections to other cities in India from Mumbai or Delhi.
Dabolim Airport, Goa
Dabolim Airport, Goa
India has a comprehensive and extensive public bus system, but most of the state-run vehicles are tired, decrepit and overcrowded. From neighbouring states you'll find frequent bus services into Goa - it's just a matter of turning up at the bus station and checking timetables or jumping on the next available bus. There are also plenty of private bus companies running into Goa from Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Mangalore and other interstate cities.
Private Buses, Goa
Private Travel Buses on Panjim Road
The private buses are marginally more expensive, but are also faster and more comfortable, with reclining seats and the option of air-condition or even 'sleeper' class.
Two railway system cross the state. The South Central Railway has its terminus in Mormugao (past Vasco da Gama) and runs due east, through Margao (Madgaon) and into Karnataka. The main stations in Goa include Pernem, for Arambol (Harmal); Thivim (Mapusa Road) station, for Anjuna, Baga and Calangute; Karmali (Old Goa) station, for Old Goa and Panaji; Margao, for Colva and Benaulim; Canacona, for Palolem.
If coming from Mumbai or Mangalore you can book your ticket to these intermediate stations, but even if you book through to Margao you can get off at any station en route.
Baga beach is one of the busiest and most attracted beach for tourists in Goa. The beach is quite famous for the water sports and fine dining restaurants.
How to reach: Baga Beach is located in North Goa, 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Panaji, the state capital. Buses run quite frequently from these places. The closest railway station to Baga is Thivim.
Dona Paula Beach:
Dona Paula Beach is one of the popular tourist spot in Goa. This Beach is very close to Panaji, 7 km far. The beach is named after Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias.
How to reach: Dona Paula Beach is well connected by road. Regular bus and taxi services are easily available from Panaji. The Kadamba Transport Corporation (Government of Goa Undertaking), and Maharashtra and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations operate buses from and to Goa.
Calangute is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Goa. It is located 13 km from Panaji and 8 km from Mapusa. It is often referred as ‘Queen of the Beache’ and largest among north goa beaches.
How to reach: The nearest railway station is at Thivim, and taxi from there takes about 20 minutes. Other railway stations are at Margao and Vasco da Gama. Frequent state buses go to and from other parts of Goa.
Vegator Beach GoaThe coastline of North Goa starts from Fort Aguada and extend up to Arambol making it a 30 km stretch of beautiful beaches. The white sand beach is dominated by small hill and little bit rocky crags, and is still comparatively uncluttered. This beach is not much fascinated by foreign tourists but still attracts as comparatively it’s not spoilt much. The nearby cliffs are popular for paragliding.
Morjim beach lies just north of the Chapora River in the district of Pernem and is a picturesque portion of North Goa Beaches. This Beach is the breeding ground and nesting site for the protected species of Olive Ridley Turtles which in turn attracts hundreds of tourists and others. Morjim beach is one of the quietest beaches in North Goa where you can relax and live with comfort.
Chapora is a coastal village lying alongside a beach stretch in North Goa that is around 10 km. from Mapusa, a City in Northern Goa. Crouched in the shadow of an Old Portuguese fort on the opposite, northern side of the headland from Vagator, Chapora, it is also close to a trawler-fishing jetty. The main tourist attraction is the Chapora Fort and more reason is that visitors can also go nearby beaches like Vagator Beach & Anjuna Beach. The infrastructure of houses built in dense groves of coconut palms is worth noticing.
Vagator beach is 25 Km from Panjim in North Goa. Because of Chapora Fort and its pristine beauty & white sands, thousands of tourists are fond of visiting Vagator Beach. The accommodation ranges from simple beach shacks to serious luxury resorts. Vagator Beach is split into two main beaches by a seaside headland which holds the car park and lots of stalls selling trinkets, clothes, soft drinks and snacks. As you face the sea, on your right is North Vagator Beach (Big Vagator) and on your left Ozram Beach, more commonly known as Little Vagator Beach. During the tourist season, it is a favorite venue for mid night parties. If a tourist wants to enjoy upto the core and pass good time then it provides excellent and hassle – free atmosphere just like Anjuna Beach. HillTop in Vagator is a popular spot for parties and is a huge tourist attraction for the youth. New Year tends to be the most chaotic with crowds easily in the thousands attending a party at Hilltop.
Anjuna Beach GoaThis beach is situated about 18kms from Panajim, the capital city of Goa which is surrounded by immense coconut groves. It was a famous destination for hippies during the sixties and seventies. It currently faces the problems that all of Goa faces: garbage disposal, unauthorized land conversion, usurpation of community land, and a disregard for the rule of law. Main attractions of Anjuna Beach are the magnificent Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920. Anjuna is known throughout North Goa and to travelers from all over the world for its flea market at the Beach (Wednesdays), where one can find anything from Indian souvenirs to Trance music. Anjuna is often called the birth place and home of Trance Music and Electronic Dance Music by many famous DJ's. Anjuna is also known as the hippie capital of Goa, although its star seems to be fading as tourism takes hold. But now it has become one of the aging tourist destinations of the state, with too many so-called "Binktakars" posing a threat on the beaches.
It is situated just south of the famous Calangute beach, and is popular tourist destination. Candolim beach is much popular with backpackers, and tend to be a little more sober compared to the Calangute Beach. Candolim is very quiet, and this is due to the fact that there aren’t resorts all around the beach. If you find Candolim beach lit bit expensive then there are a variety of accommodations available nearby. The scenic beauty and the water sport activities of the beach keeps attracting many tourists to live up the life with ease and comfort.
Mira Mar Beach GoaThe beach lies 3 km away and is the nearest beach from Panajim, the capital city of Goa. Situated on the Mandovi River, it is a small beach that hosts some events occasionally. It is the nearest beach to the Goan capital and unarguably the most visited beach of Goa. Hordes of people, mostly tourists, are found every day flocking to this beach. A range of budget hotels and a youth hostel are available here. It is not a safe beach to swim. Originally named Gasper-de-dias because of the Portuguese influence, the name was then changed to the ever-popular Miramar. One can also have a closer view of the graceful and playful dolphins over here. Main attractions are ‘Dayanand Bandodker Marg’ and ‘Dona Paula beach’ which are closely located from this beach.
Sinquerim is famous beautiful beach and 16 km away from Panajim. The famous coastal fort built by the Portuguese, Aguada Fort is located here. The beach is clean and is considered an ideal place for swimming.
The beach is located 7 km away from Panajim city. The beautiful beach has been converted to a beach resort, called as Bambolim Beach Resort. The resort is also an ideal place for those who wish to rejuvenate their body and mind. The beach has excellent facilities for water sports like surfing, sailing, scuba diving and a safe spot for swimming.
Aguada Fort: 18 kms. Built by the Portuguese in 1609-1612, to command the entry into the river Mandovi, in order to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks. A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there. The fort houses presently the central jail. A lighthouse is situated nearby, the visiting hours for it being 16.00 to 17.00 hrs.
Arvalem Caves: The celebrated caves of Arvalem, belonging to a remote era, are in a westerly direction not far away from the temple of Rudreshwar and are of archaeological interest. A mythical background is attached to these caves. Some are of the opinion that these caves have been carved by the travelling Buddhist monks. An inscription is noticed on a Shivalinga with a circular top in cave No.2 Its is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters of the 7th century A.D. It reads as Sambalura-vasi Ravih.
Arvalem Waterfalls: Leaving the temple of Rudreshwar, one can descend the staircase to look at a majestic waterfall shedding its exuberant silvery showers. The beautiful fall, with a head of about 70ft., forms a sizeable lake at the bottom which offers a temptation to seasoned swimmers. The fall is best seen when in full flux, just after the copious monsoon, when it presents a raptures, ravishing and riotous aspect.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: 60 kms. (10 kms from Colem Railway Station) is accessible by train only. Water plummets hundreds of feet in large volume, in cascades, forming one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena in Goa and a life line of our ecosystem in one of our Sanctuaries. A popular destination to hikers and trekkers. It is also acessible by jeepable(4 wheel drive) route (14 kms) through the Bhagvan Mahavir Sanctuary. However, one needs to obtain permission in advance from the Department of Forests at Junta House, Panaji.
Jama Masjid: 26 kms from Margao at Sanguem. Built in the last century, the Jama Masjid was completely renovated in 1959. The new structure is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and elegant simplicity. It has four minarets whilst the entrance façade is flanked by two elegant towers surmounted by pillared kiosks. A domeshaped kiosk rises in the centre of the minarets. Festivals are celebrated here with due solemnity by the rejoicing devotees.
Safa Masjid at Ponda: The Shahouri Masjid in Ponda Taluka, the biggest and most famous of the Mosques, was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adilshah of Bijapur. Adjacent to the Mosque is a well-constructed masonry tank with small chambers with ‘meharab’ designs. The Mosque and the tank were formerly surrounded by an extensive garden with many fountains. The two major festivals Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha are celebrated at this mosque with great pomp and are attended by a large number of people.
Old Goa: (10 kms). East of Panaji, lies the site of Old Goa, founded by Adil Shah in the first decade of 16th century. It was being developed by them with a view to shifting their capital from Bijapur. However, Afonso de Albuquerquw made a short work of it when he stormed and took it over to house the centre of power of the Portuguese colonies.
Basilica of Bom Jesus: Built in 16th century is the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. This church dedicated to Infant Jesus is now a world Heritage Monument. Timings: Sunday: 10.30 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays: 09.00 to 18.30 hrs. Masses: Sunday: 08.00 & 09.15 hrs. Weekdays: 07.00 & 08.00 hrs.
Se Cathedral: Most imposing of all churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior overwhelms the visitors by sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells of which one is the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the World. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine. Masses- Sunday 7.15 a.m.; 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. Weekdays: 7.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
Church of St. Francis of Assissi: The entrance and the choir are in Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. Ther interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.