India

The Ultimate Guide To BackPacking South Goa

Goa, the beach paradise of India.

Butterfly beach

No matter how much you refrain yourself, you just can’t get enough of visualizing about this place which is wide stretched along the Arabian Sea in western India.

Right from some three dozen beaches to cheap alcohol and petrol to the young vibrant crowd. It has all one can wish for.

Lebanese food in Goa

But real dilemma comes when we get to choose, which side of goa should we be visiting?

North Goa or South Goa.

Scooter for rent in Goa

Almost 8 years back, I did visit goa as an adolescent. And you could imagine how an 18-year-old boy must have convinced ( or duped) his parents to allow him to visit a state which is famous for alcohol, parties, and drugs (as per Bollywood).

They would have labeled me as a perpetrator.

So to avoid this smudgy tag, I enrolled myself for an internship which was supposed be to happen at BITS GOA and asked my dad for permission to attend the same. And luckily when it comes to studies my parents never deny anything.

So this is how I visited Goa ( particularly north Goa).

Benaulim Beach

But as I started traveling more often and interacting with fellow travelers, South Goa is something, they always loved and preferred to stop by.

Goa beaches

And who doesn’t love the travel recommendations?. To avoid missing out on a place which you should have visited at any cost. And to save time which you would have to spend researching the places.

So based on my experience, which is good, South or North Goa?

South Goa. period.

Due to its less crowded and isolated beaches, you will definitely have the time of your life.

Beaches in South Goa

Places to visit in south goa

Goa is famous for beaches, churches and a few of the forts which Portuguese had built back then when this place was not the part of India.

But I will mainly talk about beaches as this is what this place is famous for.

Sunset beach

South Goa has some 15-20 beaches stretched at a distance of around 40 km.

  • Colva Beach
  • Sunset Beach
  • Benaulim Beach
  • Varca Beach
  • Palolem Beach
  • Cavelossim Beach
  • Betalbatim Beach
  • Agonda Beach
  • Cola Beach
  • Patnem Beach
  • Betul beach
  • Galgibaga beach

But not all the beaches, worth your time and effort. But there are beaches like Varca, Butterfly, Agonda, Cola, Galgibaga which are breathtaking and utterly surreal. One can spend hours, days, months, or maybe years (I know it’s a bit overstated) around these beaches.

Turtle beach

What I liked most about South Goa is that when you visited and really liked a beach and thought, this must be the best beach in South Goa but then you visited the next and found out that this is actually much better than the former.

Best beaches in South Goa

Varca beach

This white sand beach is situated around 10 km from Margao. The cleanliness and fewer crowd make this place a must-visit.

You will find a plethora of globetrotters, relaxing and having some time in leisure on the shoreline of this exuberant beach.

varca beach

This is the first beach where I thought, nothing can be better than this. Until I visited next.

Butterfly Beach

Another beach, whose tranquility and beauty can’t be described in words.

Situated at around 35 km from Margao, this beach seems like a private, mainly due to its location. You have to drive a fair 4 km in jungles and walk 20 min to reach this place.

cola beach

The wideness of its shoreline is of some 50 m, the eternal Arabian sea on one end and the jungle being on the other.

Since this place is located in a remote location and no shops are there in proximity, due to this you will see huge piles of water and beer bottles near the beach.

travel responsibly

Even though proclamation boards have been put up to reduce the littering but still people don’t seem to care.

Trust me, there is a huge difference between traveling and traveling responsibly.

Imagine, places we adore so much now, will not be there in the future just because of our irresponsible and reckless attitude.

It seems frightening, right?

This can be a false prediction if we start traveling responsibly.

Agonda Beach

Another beach, which is quite famous amongst the voyagers. Situated at 3 km from the butterfly, this beach is the best to pamper yourself with a beachside stay and authentic Goan food.

agonda beach

I visited this place while the sun was about to set and had one of the best sunset views of my life.

There is a huge market along the stretched shoreline which makes this beach popular over the other beaches in South Goa.

Cola Beach

This is the best beach in South Goa as fas as my opinion is concerned.

A serene and yellow sand beach at one side and a lagoon at the other, this place is the best to spend a day in South Goa.

cola beach

But reaching this place is equally challenging. You have to drive a good 4 km in the worst road condition to eventually get through.

Few beachside restaurants and stay options are there to make your time in this part of Goa, memorable.

lagoon at cola beach

Galgibaga Beach

Also, called the turtle beach because this beach serves as turtle nesting as part of the state program of saving and nurturing these innocent creatures.

I stumbled upon this beach unexpectedly. On the second day of the trip, It was decided to drive to Palolem and stay over there in a dormitory or hotel. But to our surprise, all the hotels were fully booked.

turtle beach

Finally, we booked a hotel which was 6 km away from Palolem.

And Galgibaga was the nearest beach from that hotel. It was not in our plan to land here but when I saw a glimpse of this place from the overbridge, we just couldn’t stop ourselves.

The shoreline is around 1.5 km and with the least crowd as compared to any beach in South Goa.

view of galgibaga beach

Things to do in south goa

Apart from beach hopping, Goa is also famous for its cuisine, nightlife, and shopping.

I am not much of a party person so I can’t recommend much about the same but Leopard Valley ( a nightclub in the jungle) or Silent Noise Club in Canacona, you can try your luck on. But better see the reviews as I haven’t visited this place in person.

a biker in Goa

The tribe

This is a sustainable and creative ecovillage place to have an immersive experience of how it feels like to stay close to nature?

the tribe goa

This place is run by Christina and Adam who hails from South America and running this place from the past three years.

Upon asking, Christina said, she is very much happy and satisfied with the decision of choosing this place as her abode and feels privileged of being able to offer an opportunity to fellow travelers across the globe to feel, how it’s like staying close to nature and live the life our ancestors used to live?

the tribe goa

A minimalistic and sustainable living.

the tribe goa

And now she can’t think of living anywhere else and her family back in South America thinks – she is crazy.

the tribe goa

We tried vegan chocolate and kombucha ( a drink which I can’t explain much about).

vegan chocolate
Kambucha at tribe

Food

I turned vegetarian a few months back, so I haven’t tried any seafood or Goan food. I can’t recommend much on that. But this typical Indian thali looks delicious though which I had at Sri Sai restaurant in Palolem.

Indian food in Goa

Best way to travel in Goa

Scooter or Bike. period.

We hired a scooter for 400 INR/day for 3 days. Since petrol is cheaper in Goa as compared to other places in India, this makes it one of the most economical and best option to crisscross across South Goa beaches.

riding on the roads of Goa

Hotels in South Goa

We booked an OYO ( OYO 12855 The Goan Courtyard ). The distance of this property was, 3 km from Colva Beach. And it was a kind of OYO experience ( rare phenomena in OYO hotels).

hotels in Goa

In Palolem’s side, you can go with the dormitories like SUMMER by the hostel crowd. We couldn’t stay there as they were fully booked that day but looking at the property and reviews, it seemed like a decent choice.

Conclusion

I have been to Phuket. And trust me, after galavanting South Goa, I am pretty much assured that, This particular portion of Goa can give any beach city run for their money.

colva beach

And the icing on the cake is, you don’t really need to have a plethora of money to get the much-needed vitamin sea. Even having a few thousand bucks is adequate to have some time in leisure at the shore of South Goa beaches.

butterfly beach

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Backpacking South Goa
Backpacking South Goa

Ranjan
Ranjan
A blogging and traveling aficionado. Guitar is the only possession I care about. Follow me on Instagram @ thrillwrill for more of my trip pictures.
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