South Goa beaches are the best in India IMHO

South Goa Beaches are the best in India, in my humble opinion. They’re the cleanest, longest, widest, most beautiful beaches. In fact, they rival world-class beaches anywhere on the planet.

The coastline is 64 miles long with more than 20 beaches, according to the South Goan government. We saw several of them around the Margao area.

South Goa beaches are the best in India

Not only are the beaches I saw beautiful – but they were not crowded! Even at sunset and the Christmas holiday, South Goa beaches weren’t as mobbed as you might reasonably expect them to be, since India is the world’s most populated country.

I walked miles and miles on the shoreline, from Cansaulim to Colva, alone in the early mornings and in the mid-afternoon. Blissful!

Long, wide beaches line the coast in South Goa, India.


We stayed in Majorda, at Good Faith Homes just a six minute walk to the beach. Definitely recommend it. The property is nestled into a quiet neighborhood with plenty of palms and pines in green space. The roads are narrow and there’s not too much traffic. The back roads are perfect for early morning walks and jogs.

Our unit was a large studio on the top floor with two balconies. A convenience store was on the ground floor. There are plenty of restaurants, other stores and beer shops – even a bar for Theo to drink with other expats. There is enough there where you never have to leave Majorda if you don’t want to.

Theo at The Pentagon, a popular garden-view restaurant in Majorda.

South Goa Beaches

Each individual beach has an entry from a small road. At these areas, naturally it can get crowded at sunset and on weekends and holidays. But take a short walk away from these entry points and you’ll find the pristine, glorious clean beaches I raved about earlier.

The Goa government website doesn’t even have all of smaller, practically unpopulated beaches listed. From the official website: “There are unspoilt pristine stretches of sand for the solitude seeker and there are those ones jammed with people in every square feet of sand.”

You can walk for miles and miles at the shoreline in South Goa, India.


One of our favorite beach restaurants was Aarons at Arossim Beach in Cansaulim. It’s just a beach shack – like most of the facilities on the beaches – but the cook has been there several years and the food was extremely tasty.

You will pay way more for food at beach restaurants, but it’s still a bargain for us Westerners. An example is a bowl of veg biryani, which cost 350 rupees at Aarons – two or even three times higher than in some city somewhere. But that’s only $4.20!

A 650 ml bottle of Kingfisher beer averages 180 rupees ($2.15) at most beach bars and restaurants. A 500 ml can from a carryout store ‘in town’ is 85 rupees ($1).

Most of the bar and restaurant shacks are closed during monsoon season. They reopen with government permits after monsoon.

One of the many beach shack restaurants in South Goa, India.

Day trip to see Catholic saint’s remains

Most tourists rent cars or motorcycles to get around in Goa, or they hire expensive taxis. Caucasian tourists are typically charged five times what Indians are charged – this is the norm, and haggling generally won’t work.

However, we aren’t tourists – we’re travelers. We took public buses to get to Basilica of Bom Jesus, which houses the remains of St. Francis of Xavier. (Google map here.) It wasn’t far from Majorda, but the roads are not fast, and buses are slow.

Budget slow travel tip

An air-conditioned shuttle bus runs from Margao to Vasco for 50 rupees (60 cents). Another AC shuttle runs from Vasco to Panji for the same price. The bus from Panji to the Basilica is a local bus – no AC with many stops along the route.

Of note on the way there: a magnificent brand new cable bridge that speeds up travel around South Goa. It’s part of India’s major infrastructure development in recent years.

Also of note: the tomb of Saint Francis Xavier is taken down from its perch and paraded around town for several weeks every ten years. The next procession is in late 2024. Many thousands of devotees will descend on this region for the special event.

Locals believe Saint Francis Xavier protects Goa from major natural disasters like cyclones and flooding that plague many other parts of India.

The ‘mostly incorruptible’ remains of St. Francis Xavier at Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, India.

Day trip to Margao

I took a solo day trip to Margao by bus to nose around. There are Portuguese ruins and many churches that still have large congregations today. There are also places where Portuguese remnants are seen mixed in with today’s Indian culture.

Everything in Margao is spread out beyond the old and new market areas. There aren’t many tuktuks, and they won’t ever use a meter for a foreigner.

It’s amazing to me that Goa was a Portuguese colony from 1505 to 1961!

An old facade of a Portugese administration building in Margao, Goa, India.

A news event!

There was a big event the day I roamed around Margao — a fire at a shop in the market. It destroyed a couple of stores and damaged a few more.

The firefighting ordeal lasted hours, with roads blocked and cell signals jammed as people took pictures and video. The public pitched in to help firefighters by holding up the hose to help aim the water spray.

The experience was a good reminder that as beautiful as South Goa beaches are, once you get inland a bit, you realize you’re still in dear India, which has some issues. The fire took so long to put out because of three reasons:

  1. the hydrants were empty
  2. too many parked motorcycles blocked fire engine access
  3. traffic on inadequate roadways slowed firefighters’ response
Bystanders help firefighters aim the hose at a market fire in Margao, Goa, India.

South Goa beaches rock for budget slow travelers

There are many beaches I never got to see in South Goa, since we only stayed eight nights instead of our usual month-long visit. One is Benaulim Beach, which was recommended to me by a former fellow vipassana student – an Indian woman from Goa.

I would love to go back to South Goa one day for a full month! I’d enjoy staying at the same place, too.

Next we are headed to the more popular, ‘party’ beach area, known as ‘North Goa’. I’ll keep an open mind, but it’s gonna be hard to beat those South Goa beaches…

Life is Now – so travel now!

Sunset in South Goa, India.

Thanks for reading, “South Goa beaches are the best in India IMHO.”

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