Monday, February 20, 2012

Goa: A Beach Lovers delight - Part 1 (South Goa)

Goa is a very popular destination in India where travellers never tire to visit. I had plans to go to Goa a number of times but unfortunately I did not have that in my travel bag till last year. And after going I still have the urge to go there many more times.

As always, I do a little background work before going to any place to find my areas of interest. Travelling in any package tour does not delight me since it does not leverage me to spend more time on my interest.

I have often heard people suggesting to go to North Goa since there are lot of fun activities, crowd and beaches in a row. Yet, I did an extensive search to look for some of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. To my surprise, I found some of the most serene and beautiful beaches are in South Goa. I made up my mind immediately to list out all of the beaches in Goa right from the extreme south to north. I landed up in making a list of 33 beaches which may not be all but that is what I found as per the different maps in google.

The best time to visit Goa is during from November to March. We planned in March, when it started to become hot and humid. We choose to stay at Calangute which is the center of all attraction\water sports. You will find a numerous hotels lined up near the beach. After taking a little rest in the afternoon post lunch we set out to see few beaches in North Goa near to Calangute starting from Coco Beach. Coco Beach is most popular for the Dolphin rides in the early morning. We spent some time on the beach clicking few snaps here and there. The taxi driver dropped us at a serene beach and misguided us claiming that to be Candolim Beach and we can reach Calangute if we walk 5-10 minutes along the beach. However we came to know later on that it was Sinquerim Beach and we walked along the beach till we reached Candolim. Though we were misguided, but it was a blessing in disguise. It was a lovely experience walking along the beach with the water touching our foot as the sun set.

Coco BeachBeach Shack at Candolim

Next morning we had plans to hire a car and start exploring the beaches from the extreme South Goa. As planned, we had our breakfast and hired a car to set out for the venture. First we went to Palolem Beach. It was about two and half hours journey from Calangute crossing a stretch of mountain in between. The distance payed off when we reached the beach.

Palolem Beach


It was a serene beach with the sides being bordered by coconut trees; it looked like as if someone had given a boundary of the beach, boundary wall being the coconut trees. We took a boat from the beach to see the Dolphins as well as go to a trip of the Butterfly Beach. It was about a 10 minutes journey and we would see  number of dolphins jumping and playing around. Alas!!! I did not have a Tele Lens to capture the moment, anyway had to console myself with the long shots.

Butterfly Beach

The drivers turned the boat towards the Butterfly beach passing by the Monkey Island. As it approached more and more, we became more and more excited by the beautiful colors amidst the sea and the sand. This is a beach where you can spend some lonely hours in the beach with your near ones. One can contract a boat in such a way that they will drop you in the beach and pick you up after an hour or so. But mind it!!! There is no other way to go back to the shore as it is in the middle of water surrounded by hills. We could see some foreigners peacefully enjoying sunbath. Due to scarcity of time, we choose not to get down and return after taking few snaps here and there.



The next beach in line is the Agonda Beach. The beach road has a variety of shops where in you can buy collectibles for your friends and families. If one wishes to peaceful enjoy the beauty of the waves, you are the right place. Grab any beach shack lines along the beach and relax the whole day. This might be the reason why we can see a lot of foreigners in this part of Goa.

On the way back from Agonda Beach our driver plucked a cashew fruit and explained the benefits of the fruit and the seed. Frankly speaking that was the first time I saw a cashew fruit and knew that all parts of that was edible. But mind it!!! Don't gulp the fruit in large number or you mind end up sitting at your hotel for the rest of the trip. :)  This was a word of caution from our driver.

The other beaches worth mentioning in the same stretch of South Goa were Canaquinim BeachBetul Beach, Mobar Beach and Benaulim Beach. All these beaches are serene and have its own picturesque beauty. Since time was a constraint to cover all the other beaches, we had to skip a few as well and ultimately reached Colva Beach - which is the center of attraction of all water sports in South Goa. Deciding to have our lunch, we took an hours break here. We choose a beach shack and ordered a light lunch along with Sex on the Beach to make it more meaningful. The drink did not please us.

Colva Beach

While having our lunch,we decided to have a round of para-sailing. Believe me, it was one of the most wonderful moments of the trip. Seeing the sea from above with everyone below you like Lilliput is amazing.

After our lunch and while returning to our hotel tired yet refreshed, we visiting few other beaches like Betalbatim BeachMajorda Beach and Utorda Beach. I specially loved the backwaters of the Majorda and the Utorda beaches. These beaches are little lonely with little or no crowd at all; But that does not take away the natural beauty. It is of course worth visiting them and I am glad that I added them to my list.

Utorda beachMajorda Backwaters
Though we skipped few others beaches worth mentioning like Bagmalo, Miramar Beach etc., this comes to the end of my South Goa trail. Hope I could have some more time to spend on each one of them. Don't go away, I will be back with North Goa trip which will contain few unexplored beaches as well... :P