When faced with a beach, we realize how insignificant we, as individuals, are compared to nature. This evokes emotions of awe, which in turn leads to a trivialization of our anxieties followed by a deep reflection on how we fit into the big picture. In other words, what is the meaning of life? Beaches are powerful escapes from the ordinary and if you feel like you need a break, it just might be time for another beach holiday.
Having grown up along the beautiful beaches of Goa, allow me guide you through a selection of what possibly are the best beaches in Goa and the World (the latter claim is understandably unsubstantial but thrown in nevertheless for dramatic effect).
Vagator boasts of the best beaches (and raves) in Goa. Comprising of 3 beaches, the largest beach is popular with day-trippers who show up in the hundreds to pose for photographs. However, within a few hours, the day-trippers are herded back onto their buses and the beach drifts back into obscurity. Beach number 2, Ozran is a stretch of brown volcanic sand hidden by rocky cliffs and is relatively peaceful due to its inaccessibility. Little Vagator to the south is known for its iconic Shiva carving that has made its way onto many postcards. It’s also known as Spaghetti beach because of its popularity with the Italians.
Right next door to Vagator is Anjuna, a stalwart on the Goa scene. Although the beach is nice, the reason for Anjuna’s popularity transcends the beach. Anjuna is the birthplace of Goa trance, the genre of music that has evolved in Goa over the past 20 years. Music and parties aside, Anjuna comes alive every Wednesday with everyone heading to the massive flea market.
Until 10 years ago, no roads to this beach existed. Now, haphazard roads and makeshift houses have sprung up making Arambol the new hippie haven. The beach is beautiful and beach huts on a hill that overlooks the entire stretch, can be had for a pittance. No wonder people come here and refuse to leave. It’s also the reason why you won’t find anything Goan on this beach. The hippies have taken over and they’ve imprinted a traveller culture on to this beach. Every evening, all the travelers gather on the beach and dance to the beat of drums as the sun sets. All in all, quite a surreal experience.
If you’re a selfish person, unwilling to share your precious piece of sand with anyone, Ashvem’s just what the doctor ordered. Empty stretches of beach with calm water make this a perfect picnic spot. The road extends until the beach making Ashvem surprisingly accessible. Sit back, relax and get your tan on..
Once Goa’s best kept secret, Palolem is no longer an undiscovered paradise. Palolem has leapfrogged in the game and made its way onto every tourist’s checklist. White sand, shallow waters and a coconut tree studded coast is what Palolem is all about. Hidden away in South Goa, the atmosphere here is very laid back. Every Saturday night, the beach plays host to a silent noise party where the entire party moves to music played over wireless headphones until the wee hours of the morning.
BONUS – Patnem Beach
Just 50 metres south of Palolem lies a tiny cove, hidden from view by a set of rocks. Although the rocks make swimming impossible, this is the perfect place to stare into the sunset and figure out the meaning of life.