The first leg of our trip to India was the south of Goa where we had planned to join our friends Mario and Jeanne who had already been travelling the country for two months. Located on the Konkan coast, the state of Goa, whose capital is Panaji, differs greatly from the rest of the country. While the rest of India is all about visiting and discovering a new culture at the antipodes of our Western life, Goa is all about relaxation in the south and festivals in the north. We strategically chose Goa as our first destination because it was our first trip to such a distant and foreign country and we wanted to take our time to settle in.
Goa, particularly the south, is best known for its beautiful beaches. More than a hundred kilometres of fine sand and palm-fringed coastline, sometimes interrupted by cliffs, creeks and rivers, offer wonderful swimming opportunities and the sunsets were always a highlight of our day!
I recommend renting a scooter or a car when exploring Goa's most beautiful beaches, as the distances between the beaches and coves can be long and public transportation is not very reliable. It also offers more freedom and the possibility to discover less known places. A scooter is a great way to get around but you have to feel confident behind the wheel. I would not have been able to drive on Indian roads, so I sat in the back seat and Ismail drove!
We rented our scooters from Fransisco Taxi and Bike Rental which was recommended by our Airbnb hosts. It cost us 500 INR (~5€) a day and the scooters were brand new. Be sure to go there in the morning as they tend to all be booked by 11 am. They will ask you for cash or a passport as a guarantee, but never give your passport. We gave 150€ in cash for all five of us and that did the job.
We explored a total of four beautiful beaches in South Goa including the famous Butterfly Beach. I’ve decided not to feature this beach amongst South Goa's most beautiful beaches as I personally was a little disappointed. I had seen many vlogs and people saying that Butterfly Beach is Goa’s most beautiful beach, but I disagree. It’s very small and crowded and although the setting is nice there are nicer beaches around the corner.
So that being said, let’s start exploring South Goa's most beautiful beaches!
Majorda Beach was just a 15-minute walk away from our Airbnb. It is part of Goa's 100 km coastline and the beach stretches endlessly on both sides. Majorda is a surprisingly clean beach with fine white sand, palm trees and many shacks. You can have a cold drink at one of the bars and use their sun loungers for free. The sea is often rough with pretty big waves, not my cup of tea, but the boys had a lot of fun jumping in them!
Of all the beaches we visited, Majorda is the most family-friendly and easiest to get to as you can park in front. Be prepared to be approached by touts trying to talk you into going to their restaurants. I recommend Kameron restaurant, the food is good and the prices, although above average, are very reasonable. It’s also a perfect beach to watch the sunset!
Canaguinim Beach was the first beautiful beach we explored other than Majorda. It took us an hour's ride on a scooter to get there (quite an adventure!), but it was an integral part of the outing as the scenery was beautiful. We were not sure what to expect, but we were very pleasantly surprised. The parking is at the end of a beaten track from where you have to walk down to reach the beach (a 5-minute walk). The view alone from the top was breathtaking, a paradise beach with blue water, white sand and palm trees. Bonus point: we had the place all to ourselves!
It is possible to swim and the sea was much calmer than at Majorda. The palm trees allowed us to rest in the shade and enjoy the beauty of the place.
Kakolem Beach is further south than the previous two beaches and is not far from Butterfly Beach so you can visit both in one day. You have to pay 50 INR (~ 0,60€) per person to access the track that reaches the car park. Then follows a short shaded descent to the beach on foot (10 minutes). Without a doubt, Kakolem is one of South Goa's most beautiful beaches. Surrounded by cliffs and palm trees, this beach provided an idyllic setting. There was a small shack offering drinks and sun loungers, but we decided to sit on the sand as it was once again empty!
I hope you enjoyed exploring South Goa's most beautiful beaches with me! I'm aware travelling to India can seem quite intimidating, that's why I highly recommend starting your trip in Goa as it's a gentle introduction to this amazing and intense country!