Southern Goa: that describes all beaches south of Panaji and Vasco da Gama. From the very popular beaches in Colva and Varca to the less known beaches in Patnem and Palolem: there is the right there is the right beach for everyone. In particular because of differences in price and standard, these beaches attract a large variety of different people.
The “Northern” Beaches Colva and Benaulim
The most northern beaches in South Goa are Colva and Benaulim. Both can be reached quickly from the airport and are always very much frequented. They mostly have smaller guest houses, not really hotels but simpler. Colva and Benaulim have very little differences: both are long-stretched, wide beaches and attract mainly national guests. If you are looking for cheaper and simpler places to stay, ask around in Colva. Things are not that noble and sophisticated here. Colva and Benaulim are mainly interesting because they can be reached so easily from the airport.
A bit north of Colva, there are Park Hyatt and Royal Orchid, two upscale hotel resorts at smaller beaches (Arossim and Utorda Beach).
Resort Hotels in South Goa: Varca, Cavelossim and Mobor Beach
At the southern end of Benaulim, all the hotel resorts start. They stretch from Varca Beach to Cavelossim Beach and Mobor Beach. The most beautiful spot here is for sure Mobor Beach with its beautiful Holiday Inn. Don’t get confused by the name Holiday Inn: it’s a five-star-hotel very chic, very high-class, not like in Europe middle-class.
Don’t expect a huge party, the hotel guests usually stay in their hotel zone and don’t go out.
In Cansaulim, Cavelossim and Mobor Beach you find all the big, high-standard hotels like:
- Taj Exotica Resort in Benaulim Beach
- Club Mahindra in Varca Beach
- Zuri White Sands Resort in Varca
- Redisson Blu in Cavelossim
- Holiday Inn Resort in Mobor Beach
- The Leela Goa in Mobor Beach
There are barely any differences between these hotels. They all are higher standard hotels, with an big hotel area including pools, big buffets, restaurants, bars, spa and everything else. This is usually what travel agencies offer you when you ask for Goa. It’s not much cheaper than anything in Germany but you do not have any problems when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. When you want to be in a good hotel and spend your day at the beach or pool, this is the right place for you.
The “Southern” South Goa: Agonda, Palolem and Patnem
Even further south, you find Agonda, Palolem and Patnem Beach. These three beaches have a very different character. Five-Star-Hotels or hotesl in general cannot be found that much here. Smaller homestays and guest houses are characteristic for these southern beaches that are mostly visited by bag packers, also many from Europe.
All three beaches are beautiful bays, Palolem and Agonda bigger, Patnem rather small.
In particular in Palolem and Agonda, several beach shacks are constructed right after the monsoon. This is how, in the end, the entire coast line is fully covered with buildings that last for one season. You can book shacks from where you can look directly at the ocean. Some of these shacks only have one floor, others even two. The standard is low but good. The costs are not high: 20 Euro per night will get you far. Next to these beach shacks, there are, in particular in Palolem smaller hotels with 6 – 10 rooms that are located “in the third row” at the beach front. These are solid building with brick walls and all. You should pick you place according to what you prefer, all of them are good. All-Inclusive food or even food is not common in these hotels. Quite often, a beach restaurant and several beach shacks belong together. Most people have their meals at one of the beach restaurants.
You need to choose between the beach restaurants with ocean view tables and restaurants right at the beach and the ones a few meters inbound, off the beach. You can basically get all kinds of food. At the beach it’s a bit more expensive but compared to German prices, still reasonable.
A special feature of Palolem is the boat tours that are offered everywhere. You take a tour on the water, along the coast get to see dolphins and the world from the water. Quite nice, not more that but usually even quite cheap. Fun Fact: there are no machines; the boats are pulled in and out of the water simply by manpower.
More Information about Palolem Beach can be found here.
At the very South of Goa in Rajbagh, you again find a very fancy Five-Star-Place with Golf and Spa: the Lalit Gold and Spa Goa.