A vacation to Goa is the perfect way to relax and explore one of India’s most beautiful states at the same time. This state on the west coast of India, has been known for its beaches, relaxed culture, and especially its parties! Here are 10 amazing places to visit in Goa when you go there on vacation!
1) Anjuna Beach
Anjuna Beach is one of Goa’s most famous beaches. Located about 17 kilometers from Panaji, Anjuna Beach is a lovely destination for tourists to visit. The beach is 2 km long with golden sand and shallow waters making it ideal for swimming and water sports. A charming place with many shacks selling mouth watering cuisines, you can always find delicious food on offer at Anjuna Beach.
2) Miramar Beach
One of Goa’s most popular and lively beaches, Miramar is where you can lose yourself in a book under an umbrella on a sun-soaked afternoon or dance till dawn at beachside bars and clubs. You won’t have to look far for water sports either—motorboats ply around offering parasailing, jet skiing, and waterskiing.
3) Vagator Beach
The ever-popular Vagator Beach, located on one of Goa’s northernmost beaches, is one of India’s most stunning. The name itself means horse carriage in Portuguese, and although it hasn’t quite lived up to its name since the days when horse carriages passed through, it’s still gorgeous—and popular—today.
4) North Goa
North Goa is also a beach destination, however it’s not as crowded as South Goa. The beaches are calm and quiet, with only a few restaurants offering tasty seafood dishes. Don’t miss out on visiting Majorda Beach where you can find some of India’s best water sports activities like diving, snorkeling and paragliding. If you want to explore more than just beaches, head to places like Old Goa which offers churches, temples and monuments from its Portuguese past. Alternatively if you feel adventurous check out Sinquerim Beach where you can enjoy water sports such as sand yachting and para sailing along with sunset cocktails or dinner at one of its many restaurant options.
5) South Goa
South Goa includes Bardez, Pernem, Agonda and Margao Talukas. Some of its famous places are Anjuna beach and Vagator Beach. Chapora Fort is a historical monument located in Chapora which was built in 1540. Arvalem Waterfalls are very popular in Vagator Beach. The North Goa beaches include Baga Beach and Candolim Beach. Calangute & Sinquerim Beach is also included in North Goa tour packages.
6) Panaji (Panjim)
There are several reasons that Panaji, also known as Panjim, is one of our top picks for places to visit in Goa. The state capital is home to a number of historical buildings including churches and cathedrals. Spend some time exploring these edifices. Then head over to Caranzalem Fort to take in panoramic views and learn about local history. Many tour companies offer day-long packages that will take you on a fascinating journey through historic sites around town. A stop at a nearby winery for lunch completes many itineraries and will have you back at your hotel by sunset—perfect timing if you want to spend some time at Guirim Beach!
7) Old Goa
Old Goa was an important Portuguese settlement from 1510 to 1835, when it became part of India. Old Goa was founded in 1510 as a fort named Santa Cruz on May 23. It is known as Velha Goa (Old Goa), as distinct from Nova Goa (New Goa). The city has been renamed twice; it was first called Velha Cabugára (old village) and then Santa Maria de Belem (Saint Mary of Bethlehem). In 1632, Governor-General Gaspar de Souza began constructing a fort with the permission of King John IV of Portugal . The fort took four years to complete and eventually became known as Fort St. Angelo.
8) Aguada Fort
The Aguada Fort is located in Old Goa. The Portuguese built it in 1510 to guard against attacks from Muslim and Hindu armies. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Visitors can enter through two secret doors once inside, one of which offers panoramic views of Old Goa and its harbor. There are some narrow passageways leading to a cannon yard on top, where you can see cannons used during times of war.
9) Dona Paula Jetty / Miramar Beach
As one of Goa’s best beaches, Miramar has attracted beach-goers for decades. The long stretch of soft, golden sand is peppered with beach shacks and seafood eateries, making it a great choice for a day out or an evening outing. Another bonus: unlike many other popular beaches in Goa (which close at 6pm), you can continue to enjoy Miramar till sunset.
10) Chandor Heritage Walk
The Chandor Heritage Walk takes you through a maze of lush green paddy fields, scrubs and rocky hillsides. Located a few kilometers away from Agonda Beach, in southern Goa, it’s about a 20-minute trek from your hotel or residence. You can also take an auto rickshaw or taxi if you are too lazy to walk! From here there is a beautiful view of St Lawrence Fort and beaches like Cavelossim, Colva and Benaulim.