Goa is one of the most visited destinations in India for both foreign and local tourists. So much of Goa is already known of, spoken about, and visited, but there is still so much left to explore for many travelers.
Broadly, Goa is divided into two parts – for parties and for peace. However, while offbeat, peaceful places can be doing in North Goa which is famous for its parties and nightlife, similarly, south Goa too has its own nooks of delight.
Despite its size and perception of being a rather small state, Goa is power packed with history, nature, and architecture. There is a lot to see and explore, you’ll find something new in every excursion that you make.
In this article, we have put together some of the must-visit beaches, sites, party places and restaurants you must visit in your next or first visit to South Goa!
Few questions frequently asked by fellow travelers are:
- Best way / how to reach South Goa
- Where to stay at South Goa
- Beaches to visit in South Goa
- Pubs in South Goa
- Unexplored / Offbeat / Secret things or must visit places in South Goa
- Places to eat at South Goa
- Things to do in South Goa
Best way or How to reach South Goa
Goa is well connected and can be reached in multiple ways based on the budget.
Dabolim Airport, most of the states and countries has direct flights to goa (there can be a layover in between). You can check out the flights to goa using this sites like Yatra, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip & others.
To Book Tickets by Train: https://www.irctc.co.in/nget/train-search
The major station to reach goa is Vasco-Da-Gama railway station, however, to reach south goa destinations, get down at Madgaon railway station. You can hire a taxi from there to the list of south Goa beaches mentioned below.
If you’re looking for the cheapest mode of transport, you can go by bus or bike taxis would cost you around Rs.500 maximum.
As mentioned above, Goa is well connected to other cities/states. Hence, no need to worry about the bus connectivity. The average price of the bus is Rs.1000 for AC seater and it can go up to Rs.2000 for sleeper during peak days/hours.
Get down at Panaji and hire a taxi or bike (if only one person) to reach South Goa.
Where to stay at South Goa
South Goa has a wide range of hotels and home-stays. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can look out for Zostel.com.
Here is the complete list of stay options available on South Goa.
Once you reached south goa, here are the list of places to visit in South Goa.
Beaches in South Goa
While the beaches in the North are famous for their party scenes, beaches down south are ideal for peace lovers. Beautiful, clean beaches stretching beyond one’s vision are a treat to the eyes.
These beaches are not as crowded as the ones in north Goa, so the quality of experience too is different.
- Colva – Ideal for adventure and nature lovers, Colva beach stretches to 2.4 kms.Indulge in regular water sports that Goan beaches are famous for, and let the children have their share of fun building sand palaces.Only 7 kms from Margao station, Colva is also famous for the 17th century Our Lady of Mercy Church.
- Benaulim – If you move 2kms from Colva, you will reach Benaulim beach.Not as explored and frequented by travellers as other beaches are, this one is your ideal spot to sit back on the sand and enjoy the scenic view. You can also go for excursions or shopping.It’s just 27kms from the airport and just 5 kms from Margao station, Benaulim also hosts some bars you must not miss! Still water and soft sands here make this beach ideal for solitude and long walks.
- Cavelosim – Perfect for biking and also dolphin spotting, Cavelosim hosts some of the most luxurious hotels and beach resorts which must give you in the idea of how gorgeous the view here is.It’s a must visit beach in South Goa.
- Cabo-de-Rama – Named after the fort which the Portuguese had conquered the region after beating the local king, the water here is a clear greenish-blue in colour.Owing to its distance from nearby towns, the beach is comparatively deserted and quite offbeat.The views, both towards the sea and towards the fort, are breathtaking.
- Cola – Yet another remote and offbeat beach location in south Goa, Cola is pretty unexplored.Huts and shacks are not allowed here, so instead, you’ll spot tents here.A 20 mins drive from Agonda beach, you might skip the turn to this beach if you miss the sign.
- Agonda – Pretty, pristine and quiet, head over to Agonda for some private time with your partner or group. Lots of good places to eat at, here.If you’re looking for party places in south goa, then you shouldn’t miss agonda.
- Palolem – Unspoilt and mainly inhabited by foreign tourists and fishermen, Palolem is a crescent-shaped beach. Once you are at Palolem, you simply cannot return without visiting the butterfly beach cove.A secluded gem, this place can be accessed by boat. Quiet and peaceful, some people take packed picnics and enjoy here. Remember to clean up afterwards, though!Definitely offbeat, largely unexplored and extremely breathtaking, you’ll forget the time when you reach here.
- Patnem – Yet another offbeat beach which isn’t very crowded, with its crystal clear water and white sand is Patnem beach. Soak in the sun, swim or surf, you won’t want to leave the beach when its time to go!
Go pubbing – Famous Pubs in South Goa
The clubbing scene in the south of Goa is unlike what it is in the north. You won’t find parties happening at every shack. What you will find, however, are nice, comfortable places to party at.
While nightlife is not as loud as in the north, pubs in south Goa is not completely devoid of any. Few of the places you must drop in at are:
- Silent Noise – A silent disco, what fun! By the riverside on the south end of Palolem beach, is Silent Noise where you’ll find the young crowd gyrating to Bollywood numbers on their headphones. There are three different DJs, so be prepared for three doses of fun!
- Leopard Valley – Get into your dancing shoes and slip into a night of partying hard. Parties at this place are spoken about for days afterwards. Located between Palolem and Agonda, parties here can stretch up to the wee hours in the morning.
- Firefly Goan Bistro Bar – Right next to Benaulim beach, this is a small and informal place which also hosts karaoke nights. The ambience is great, food yummilicious and the music, foot tapping! Casual atmosphere and the place opens up to the beach giving a gorgeous view.
- Gatsby’s Pub – Near to Colva beach, this place has a multi-speciality restaurant as well as a coffee shop. However, the attraction here is the music and the dance floor.
- Club Tito’s – Head over to the Radisson Blu resort at Cavelossim beach and you’ll be at Club Tito’s. The music is always loud and the night is young here. A hotspot for all party lovers, this is a must visit a place.
Unexplored places or other things visit / to do at South Goa
- Braganza House – If you are high on culture and artefacts, a trip to Chandor would be worth your time.Here is the Braganza house, a 400-year old now inhabited by two sections of what used to be the Braganza family.One section houses Goa’s first private library, Chinese porcelain from Macau and really exquisite furniture.The other side has a small chapel, artifacts collected over the centuries, grand European chandeliers and more exquisite things.
- Fernandes House – Also in Chandor, this house was first built about 500 years ago and is also open for the public to visit.Ideal place to go into an imaginary hunt for robbers through the basement hideaway and an escape tunnel which opens at a river.
- Tanshikar Spice Farm – At this family-run, organic spice farm in south Goa, you can go for a personalized tour given by the owners through their farm which includes spice farms and also a beekeeping section.There are waterfalls nearby so if one wants, they can go for short treks too.
- Turtle Beach – In a more or less deserted beach called Galgibag, there exists one of the largest reserves of endangered Olive Ridley turtles.If you love nature and its creation, a shortstop here would be worth your time.
- Cabo-Da-Rama Fort – Named after Lord Rama, it is believed that he had spent time at this fort during the period of his exile.It was built by Hindu kings however, it has changed ownership many times in history.The structure had also been used as a jail in the past. Today, it stands with a gorgeous view towards the Arabian sea and the coast named after it.
- Bat Island – How about some snorkeling? Also known as Pequeno island, this place is near Baina beach at Vasco Da Gama.White sand amidst a rocky beach with a hill on the other side, the coral reef here is clear with gorgeous marine life visible through its waters.Hire a trainer and get set to snorkel. You can also go kayaking here.
Eat at – Where to eat at South Goa
If you’re looking to have some famous restaurants to check out in South Goa, then the below list of restaurants are must visit in South Goa:
- Martin’s Corner – A family-run restaurant, Martin’s Corner began with just four tables, two decades ago. Today, it attracts tourists by the dozen, to savor the Goan delicacies cooked in their kitchen. It is located at Betalbatim.
- Fisherman’s Wharf – One of the most visited places in south Goa, this place is on Mobor beach. Famous for their Indian and Mediterranian fare, experiment away with your palate here.
- Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia – This is a very well-kept secret of south Goa and will not come up with suggestions from friends and peers. Situated in Raia village, the place is run by the chef’s wife and attract a large crowd, especially in the evenings when the bands play there. Alcohol is also served in the evening.
The beauty of traveling is exploring places and finding new, offbeat places to spend time in. Could be an eating joint, a beach, a hiking trail or maybe a party place. Keep your eyes open and wings, ready to fly.
And if you find a new place, remember to let me know. Exchanging notes is how the travel community grows, after all.