which resort/ beach/ area ? what are they like? who goes to where in goa?

if you want to do goa for your hols , the first logical question you will ask is what area to visit . i see this question every day . this is the way i saw it . goa is split into sections , look on map.
you have the following distinct areas which are colour coded on this map too :


south goa – agonda , palolem , patnem , cola, polem etc
central goa – colva , banaulim , varca , cavelossim etc
north goa [south of chapora river] candolim , calangute , baga etc
north goa [north of chapora river incl anjuna/vagator] morjim , ashvem , arambol , querim etc


south goa is very chilled , has a few lovely beaches that are cleaner and quieter than elsewhere . agonda , cola , palolem and patnem are within 10-15 mins of each other . relaxing is overall summary . some nice restaurants . roads are very quiet . its not like north goa . agonda and palolem are the 2 main places in the south

agonda – is nicest quietest beach , has classy places to eat , and huts on beach incl really nice deluxe ones ie: h20 , dunhills , whitesands are popular. suit families or couples wanting to relax away from big touristy crowds . it doesnt have big hotels or hotels with pools . accommodation prices vary from a simple room to a designer glass property , and lots directly on the beach . most would say goas cleanest beach . if reading a book , being with family , honeymoon , or quiet drinks and no crowds at night is for you , choose agonda . its a turtle protected beach hence zero late night action bar a quiet cocktail in a shack . you can stay in palolem and day trip to agonda in 10 mins on a moped on a simple quiet back road .




palolem – is main place in south , compared to agonda has a lot more choice of food n drink , more people [but still not by any means as busy as north] , cheap huts on beach , tons of eats , mixed ages and nationalities crowd , beach fun . good as a base camp to visit other southern places . has the main sat night ‘silent disco’ party , and the immense leopard valley jungle party – one of the best in goa for sure on friday nights till 6am . its just got more going on at night in the beach shacks and bars than agonda . you might find beach shacks playing rock , funk , chart edm or pop dance music . youll usually have a handful of bars with people unlike agonda , plus totally quiet places too . there are a few small hotel resorts with pools , but mostly the accommodation is fairly inexpensive huts on the beach or simple guest houses . i stayed here cos of more choice at night and day tripped to the other southern beaches on a moped to mix it up . this is where jason bourne filmed “bourne supremacy” movie and is running along the beach before the car chase . a palm fringed stunning bay .




palolems next door neighbour beach is called patnem which is a quieter and less developed beach than palolem , and has great selection of nice restaurants and quite a young at heart hip crowd with a large section of 30-40 year old southern england hipsters . its a bit more low key , but a small compact stunning bay . good food and cocktails . its kind of in the middle of agonda and patnem in terms of numbers of people and rarely is spoken of . a cool place .



cola – is a little different to a lot of other goan beaches in that it has a big lagoon at one end . you walk down steps to the beach . looks amazing in photgraphs and a top day trip beach . apart from a small cluster of huts and tents over the lagoon there is pretty much nothing else there apart from 1 bar/shack serving drinks and food to people . that is the charm , a robinson crusoe style place to chill . sea isnt really swimmable , lagoon is tho . great day out for sure with some cool pictures . youll be lucky to see 15 people on this big beach . great day trip place unless you want almost total solitude at night .



polem – is a deserted small bay just before you leave goa state . there is nothing apart from 1 shack serving drinks and food to people and less than 5 rooms/huts . not another person was there when i arrived , its totally deserted … your own little beach right off the grid away from tourists ! accommodation and facilities are minimal to say the least . day trip ? totally unspoilt and under the radar .



galibaga is another turtle beach , unspoilt by tourism .


central goa heres are lots of 4 and 5 star resorts , big brand names , big complexes where youll go for all inclusives and lounging around a pool etc . the beaches are big and wide and long . its lots quieter than ca;/cand/baga . i didnt go here , but there are lots of restaurants and hotel bars .

colva seems to be one of the main places for domestics , cavelossim and betalbatim are two more places people enjoy , with big wide open beaches . people who object to goas grimy dirty underbelly [which is half its charm!] can find a lot cleaner and more modern hotels here . i can imagine the beds would be comfy , furniture would match along with the bedding , pools clean , service excellent , neat gardens , lots of staff , gated complexes . heck maybe you might not leave the resort lol [if you do this you will miss a lot] . you also have banaulim and varca . if you cant stand the congested c/c/b resorts , but you need more accommodation luxuries than hut type accommodation , then this might be an area to consider ? plus you can day trip north or south easily and cheaply and have the best of the rest too .


north goa [south of chapora river] is where all the package holidays from britain and russia go – ie tcook/thomson etc , plus some domestic tourists . mass tourism overload ! throw in all the long stay retirees from britain too for long winter stays . if you want mad busy crowds , lively atmosphere , where everyone else goes type of place – this is the place for you ! c/c/b are all within 5 mins of each other . make up , clothes , hair driers , white linen trousers , and pension books will get packed for hols here lol . watch out for the daily bag snatchers and hustlers [very important to be aware/seek info on this if you choose here , particularly candolim] . most places have a 10.30 music curfew except a few indoor clubs in baga . youll find fake bags , cheap prices and lots of options . 9/10 brits go here cos everyone else does

candolim – is a very busy brit resort . beach is packed out with beds , you can get anything you miss from ‘back home’ food wise . its quite dead in evenings apart from karaoke , quiz nites , or places with older people . nite times are quieter than baga cos everyone goes to bed with their coco lol , but still very noisy during the day . some well rated food places . a home from home / chips with everything place .




baga – the biggest resort . has tons of restaurants , bars and people , mostly british and russian clientele and indians out of season , 2 main commercial clubs [“tito”/”mambo”] plus “cubana” nearby , and the busiest beach . everything is close together and easy to access . its the main and busiest resort where the majority go to , so many package holiday tourists and sellers , etc . its extremely noisy and congested . youll find watersports and jetskis and people galore if that is your thing . streets are manic with traffic . there are 2 large nearby sat nite markets , go karts and a waterpark . out of season most people go here , as its busy all year round with a lot of domestic tourists during monsoon . the beaches are packed with beds .

calangute – is again very british/russian but with quite a lot of domestic tourists too . its in between candolim and baga . its dirtier than the other two . and extremely busy . lots of traffic . staying here will give easy access to candolim or baga . dirty seems to be a recurring theme !


north goa [north of chapora river … plus anjuna/vagator/chapora] this is all the resorts north of baga basically . its more independent travellers , mixed nationalities . its cooler than c/c/b . its completely different to c/c/b holidays and nowhere near as busy as c/c/b . technically anjuna and vagator chapora and siolim are south of chapora , or on banks of chapora , but they are not anything like the c/c/b places clientele , so ive grouped them here for ease , ie anjuna is more like arambol than its neighbour baga . its not a package holiday place , more a flight and hotel . why not try a week here and a week there kinda stay

anjuna – is a great base camp for ALL north goa in both directions . has a massive weds daytime into early evening market , a long beach that has mostly 90% nice sand with a small section of volcanic rockpools on the north end , steady with people but not packed or anything like c/c/b . good music venues for cool stuff [live bands,electronic,trance etc] . lots of cheap eats and places to stay . its always fun in anjuna and you can meet interesting people , a bit more left of centre than mass tourism of ccb strip . i stayed here and my haunts where anjuna/vagator and ozran/chapora/siolim all within 5 mins on a bike . its next to c/c/b but totally different and not as old agewise , but with some young at hearts still rocking ! you wont get high heels and make up here as its very casual , more like a pair of cons or flip flops and tshirt/shorts . quite a few travellers too . music doesnt stop at 10.30 , most nites theres a place or two you can rave thats open till 6am with loud music . “anything” goes in anjuna ๐Ÿ˜‰ i stayed here as a base camp , tons of action at nights , plus easy access to baga restaurants if need be , and all the fun beaches north are about 20-30 mins away on a moped …while still having a certain amount of space and less traffic than its noisy neighbours .




vagator / little vagator [aka ozran] – is the next bay along to anjuna and kind of all blends together really , and has two great seperate beaches, 2 main trance clubs holding thousands of people , and along with neighbouring chapora/siolim has several fab restaurants [plus hundreds of others too] , good bars and clubs for music . its not a packed out busy resort , but there are enough people to have fun and people travel in for things like thalassa restaurant or the raves . there are budget and expensive hotels , and restaurants are similar . people just flit between anjuna and vagator 2 mins apart on a moped .

vagator / little vagator aka ozran



chapora / siolim – just by vagator / anjuna , these ‘hidden’ low key villages have several very good restaurants bars and clubs catering for alternative travellers that are hidden away , plus lots of other smaller places too that are good . its got a fort , no real beaches [use vagator/anjuna] , and its a mix of backpackers , ex pats , hipppies , bikers , bohemian types . chapora is very bohemian , grungy , and people drink on the streets . siolim is a bit of everything [ex pats , domestic , budget and high end] . off the beaten track for sure – nobody ever mentions these places on forums like tripadvisor . thats the charm i guess , under the radar . i mean one of the coolest little electronic clubs doesnt even have a sign ! [bubble brunch] , one is brand new [teso lounge – wow] , and one [last hippie bar standing] very popular tiny pub bar that has happy cakes and stinks of stale ale LOL ! day trip , its minutes from anjuna ? and in 2014 had the ebst 6am club called katzensuppe for tech house music .



… then crossing the chapora river …

morjim – fairly lively resort and has a lot of eastern eu holiday makers . it has some nice restaurants , hotels and bars . and a great beach that gets fairly lively . quite a lot of young people having fun . it is odd as all the loungers have shaded canopies on them which makes beach kind of different . its also a turtle breeding beach if your lucky youll see them depending on time of year . very few british go here which might suit some !




ashvem – next to morjim and some classy places here are springing up , all contemporary and white . its got a great beach that isnt packed . like morjim youll be hard pressed to find english voices . some expensive hotels are to be found with usual type places – jade jagger has a beach front clothes shop and house in ashvem . mandrem beach is adjoining it and they kid of blend together – its also a turtle breeding beach if your lucky youll see them depending on time of year . it also has 2 deluxe ibiza style day [and night] clubs called ‘bardo’ and one called ‘sunset ashram’ both with great pools overlooking the beach , and a similar one called ‘marbela beach’ .





arambol – is so eclectic and unique …. THIS PLACE ROCKS … bohemian backpackers ravers spiritual yoga hippies pot heads bikers gap years … its such a great cosmopolitan mix of people and nationalities . so friendly . good to meet like minded people . its tattoos piercings smoking dreads and beachwear . again you wont find make up and dolly birds from the ccb here whatsoever . surprisingly it gets a little quiet after 10pm , then you go to vagator/anjuna or morjim/ashvem for bars/clubs i guess if nothings on . lots of shops , so many cheap huts [300rps xmas week!] , and food on the beach , fantastic beach entertainment especially sunset hours is absolutely not to be missed [see my blog] . there are 2 sections , arambol and the arambol sweet lake beach aka wagh colomb and both have major reviews on my blog on various days] .







arambol sweet lake hidden beach



querim – furthest northern beach in goa , in 2011 it was still an almost deserted beach [especially north end by terekhol] , however in 2014 you can now usually find maybe 100 people and 5 shacks on it as its becoming discovered by the newly influx of russian tourists from nearby resorts . great to chill out and nobody bothers you , no sellers . saw a couple of nudists here it was that quiet escpecially on the north end . like polem in extreme south , you can really chill out for a day . its got really clean sand . the south end of bay had just a few eateries , north has nothing but sand !







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20 Responses to which resort/ beach/ area ? what are they like? who goes to where in goa?

  1. accurate says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  2. Mellisa Zi says:

    Hi Mate…
    Please suggest, we 3 girls from Spain, are planning to visit Goa between 4May-9May 2017.
    We would like to enjoy nude sunbath and naturist activities. Can you help us with the beaches in North Goa without offending anyone. No offence to anyone….


    • tharobster says:

      its not really done in goa fully nude nowadays , not like 70’s hippy days , although if you completely get away from the crowds to more remote off the beaten path places you might find your own bit of beach . id recommend far south , ie south past patnem in south goa for example you would find remote spots . or maybe far end of keri in north goa . or even over the border to redi beach area . in may it will be really quiet in parts compared to say december/january so you can find little places you could do that where there are no crowds . ie keri , or south of patnem in south goa . you might even find moment in say mandrem towardsa arambol where you could find quiter spots out of season .
      topless round north goa is ok and a good few people do that , but not fully naked in the main resorts at all . look for those places i mentioned and you can frolic away in your birthday suit !!!
      have fun !!

      • Mellisa Zi says:

        Point taken…. where all we can roam or relax around topless with like-minded community towards North Goa. I sincerely and request you if you could give us location/beaches in North Goa.

      • tharobster says:

        it will be mostly indian clientele at this time of year, very late in western tourist season with most having travelled elsewhere – totally diff to main season . the indians do like to stare and take pictures lol ! personally you should head away from that which is mostly at baga and calangute area , and to try mandrewm or ashvem or keri, possibly arambol all in north goa . or maybe head south to patnem or agonda [or perhaps palolem tho that is busy with domestic in recent years]. from those beachesyou should look for your own quieter spots to play ! unless you want lots of people to party with which means head to busier beaches but maybe take your top off when you are seated on your own sunbed rather than running about butt naked lol . have fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Prasoon says:

      Hi Mellisa,
      Did you find any place for naturist activities in Goa?

      • tharobster says:

        not really, but if you go to non tourist places or hidden small coves you can get naked im sure. ive seen people far end of goa and far south of goa but its more low key rather than hundreds together like in the 70s.

  3. claire says:

    This is great. thanks for posting. I’m currently trying to sort a 4 day trip to goa (i live in India) at the end of this month. Looking at either Patnem or Arambol. Will be travelling alone and want to do some yoga. Key for me is a beautiful beach (since its so far from the airport). Not looking to party hard (this time). What would be your choice?

    • tharobster says:

      hmmm , both are great . thats a tuff one . to be honest if the ebach is decider then it would be palolem [plus patnem is right next to it 5 mins walk around headland and its for you too] . arambol would be more entertaining with beach fun , but palolem would be more beautiful and cleaner like most places in the south . id possibly even suggest patnem , its quiet , so clean , lots of yoga people where palolem is a but buiser thesedays after jason bourne film . plus there are a few good vegan rests there too . either way they are only minutes between them so you have options . . check out patnem https://tharobster.wordpress.com/?s=patnem

  4. Nicole says:

    Very nice facts, thank you! Traveling to GOA for the first time… married in our late 30s.. still cannot decide where to make our base camp – Arambol, Anjuna, Ashvem and Morjim all sound great !

    • tharobster says:

      arambol or anjuna/vagator would be my choices of those , as the other two might be quieter at night . morjim isnt as busy with a LOT less russian visitors last couple of years . ashvem is very limited at night . arambol or vagator [side by side] would be more central with more parties and more choice of better restaurants and accommodation , or arambol if you want a bit less going on partywise . both have similar types of people but its a touch cheaper and a bit more backpacker hippie in arambol and accom wise there are tons of dirt cheap huts on the beach [which arent really that secure but good for budget travellers with limited valuables] .
      personally i prefer to visit in day to more remote beaches when its safer to drive on a scooter , then at night when its dark and drinking to stay nearer nightlife/markets/clubs etc . its 30 mins between arambol and anjuna if you kinda hug the coastline . alternative idea split time in each , it only costs about ยฃ8 in a cab and 30 mins drive approx . enjoy goa and do report back if you get a moment to let others know your feelings ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Wei A. Tarallo says:

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  6. Arup says:

    Thanks for the information and great write-up. Will going to goa by next month Oct 2013, your blogs help great deal interns of information (beaches, resorts, restaurants, etc).

  7. Informative articles like this are usually dull. Instead of writing the same previous exact same old informative content, you have offered this type of content material an fascinating boost of flavor. Thank you.

  8. fernan says:

    cool helpful site man, maybe cu around some of these days. check bubble branch in vagator-chapora if u want some slower techno and cool vibes!

  9. What’s up colleagues, nice post and fastidious arguments commented here, I am in fact enjoying by these.

  10. Jane says:

    Bang on that! We’re in Agonda at the mo. Agree with all your review. Thanks!

  11. David says:

    ei mateยกยกยก, good blog and good pics, though I couldnยดt see the videos, I will check with more time next time anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

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