5 Best Places & Tourist Spots You Can Visit In South Goa

Hi guys, let me introduce myself. My name is Natasha Monteiro and I’m a Mumbaikar whose heart lies in the depths of Goa. I’ve probably been to Goa more times than I’ve been to Goregaon. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not. I visit Goa at least 4 times a year, and before you go about saying ki bahut paise hai, I have to tell you I’ve visited Goa on ALL budgets. I’ve lived in hostels and 5 stars, eaten in shacks and in fine dines. But this isn’t about me. This is about you and planning your ultimate trip to beautiful South Goa and everything you need to know about this beautiful location. So let’s get started.

About South Goa

South Goa is that part of Goa that went abroad and got firang wala education. It’s softer, quieter, cleaner and definitely way more peaceful from the hustle & bustle of North Goa. South Goa is that part of Goa that not many people talk about, and so you tend to miss it in the mix. It doesn’t belong to the typical Goa stereotype of loud music, parties, clubs and a line of restaurants catering more to the rest of India than offering authentic Goan cuisine. Fair warning: South Goa is not for everyone and that’s okay. I’ve met a lot of people who visited South Goa and got bored out of their minds. And then again I’ve met a range of people (myself included) who have fallen in love with this magical, mystical side of Goa that will steal your heart away.

Also read: Goa Tourism To Reinvent With 1960s Charm And Wealthy Tourists

How To Reach South Goa?

By Flight: Getting to South Goa by flight is pretty easy. Goa has only one airport at Dabolim, which is somewhat right in the middle of the state. From Dabolim airport, you can hire a local taxi or book a taxi through Goa Miles (an app by the government that is cheaper than the airport taxis)

By Train: Madgaon is the major junction for South Goa, where all upcountry trains normally make a halt

By Road: Depending on which part of India you are driving from, the directions will change. The route from Mumbai to South Goa is extremely beautiful and takes about 11 h 3 min (613.2 km) via AH47.

By Bus: There are a number of buses that ply from major metros in India to South Goa. You can choose a luxury AC bus or a simple, single tier bus – depending on your budget and preference.

Places To Visit In South Goa

Okay, here’s an important disclaimer to know when you are visiting South Goa for the first time. There are a lot of places to visit in South Goa – one more beautiful than the other. Unlike North Goa however, these places are far more spaced out so it’s a little difficult to just take a bike and flit between beaches. It’s not impossible. It’s just not as fun as the North. Also, South Goa has far lesser ‘typical tourist sites’ than the North of Goa does. So if you are one of those people who love zooming around and ticking off a bucket-list of sights to see, South Goa might not excite you as much. But if you are someone who loves to be one with nature & enjoy a laidback vacay, then pack your bags and read on:

Also read: Curly Tales Presents Virtual Tour Of Goa

1. Palolem/Agonda

This one is my PERSONAL FAVOURITE spot in all of Goa and to be honest, I’m in two minds as I write this out. Palolem is that gem of Goa that wasn’t even discovered by Indian tourists until a few years ago. Even today, Palolem gets relatively lesser tourists and is an absolute delight to the senses. It has one of the cleanest and calmest beaches in all of the South. The water is relatively shallow and the beach itself is a sight to behold.

Agonda is just a one turn away from Palolem and is just as stunning

Accommodation:
Palolem and Agonda are normally filled with Israelis and Russians through the year. They normally keep to themselves and are extremely non-intrusive. There are also plenty of accommodation options from beach huts to 5 stars. The accommodations are pretty reasonable and the view is absolutely gorgeous.

Pro Tip: If you have the luxury, book your stay on the spot instead of online since you’ll get way cheaper spots on the spot and there’s always plenty of accommodation for everyone.

Food:
Thanks to the large number of Israelis and Russians, you’ll find a lot of the menu catering to these citizens. But Palolem does have its fair share of Indian restaurants and authentic Goan cuisine as well.

Activities:
Like most of Goa, Palolem also has a bunch of water sports to indulge in. You can go dolphin watching, island hopping, paddle boating or just walk on the beach. Both ends of the beach are Friggin’ spectacular and a must-walk

There’s also the full moon party that happens on Saturday nights at Agonda that are a must-visit if you are a party animal. For those who like to live the ‘high life’, there are plenty of rave parties that most shack owners are aware about, if you just ask around.

2. Benaulim

Ufff, I love Benaulim so much, I friggin got married on the beach there. Benaulim is literally the most chilled out place ever. If Bob Marley came to Goa, he’d be making songs about Benaulim beach. It’s clean, pretty and there’s lots to do and love. Benaulim is a foodie haven. All the lanes to the beach are filled with delicious restaurants that will make you drool.

Also read: Goa Becomes Covid-19 Free As It Reports Zero Positive Cases

Accommodation:
Benaulim is home to a lot of Russians, which means there’s plenty of accommodation available. The flip side is that some parts of Benaulim is reserved only for Russians – hypocritical I know! For Benaulim, I would suggest booking online in advance though.

Food:
Thanks to the large number of Russians, you’ll find a lot of the menu catering to these citizens. However, that being said Benaulim is a foodie dream. You can get every kind of meal you can imagine. It’s delicious and finger-lickin’ good.

Activities:
In Benaulim, you can indulge in a bunch of water-sports like banana boat ride, jet ski and lots more. Check with a few vendors before settling on one.

3. Colva

If you are the kind of person who strongly believes in be Indian and be around Indians, well Colva should be your go to spot in South Goa. It’s a beach full of Indians and the beach in itself is very gorgeous. Warning, Colva Beach can get a little crowded as opposed to the rest of South Goa. Also, women may have to be a little more careful here and it’s preferable to stay in groups – especially by the beach.

Also read: 9 Bollywood Movies That Will Remind You Of Goa And Its Beauty

Solo Vacation

Accommodation:
Benaulim is home to a lot of Russians, which means there’s plenty of accommodation available. The flip side is that some parts of Benaulim is reserved only for Russians – hypocritical I know! For Benaulim, I would suggest booking online in advance though.

Food:
Colva CATERS TO INDIANS! So if you’re the kind of person who cannot go on a holiday without craving for Dal Makhani and Paneer, then Colva should be your spot.

Activities:
In Colva, you can indulge in a bunch of water-sports like banana boat ride, jet ski and lots more. Check with a few vendors before settling on one.

4. Utorda

Aah yes! You know how in Goldilocks and the three bears, the last bed was just perfect? Utorda is in the Goldilocks zone of South Goa. It’s got the right vibe, the perfect mix of Indians and foreigners, a beautiful beach and amazing vibes. You can chill by a shack all day or lounge by the beach with absolutely NO ONE to bother you.

Accommodation:
One of the best accommodations on Utorda Beach has to be the Taj. Its SO BEAUTIFUL and faces the sea. It truly is the perfect luxury accommodation and is a great honeymoon spot in Goa. There are also plenty of budget options available and it’s best to book online.

Food:
Utorda has a whole lot of beach shacks to choose from and you get a good mix of both Indian and authentic Goan cuisine.

Activities:
In Utorda, you can indulge in a bunch of water-sports like banana boat ride, jet ski and lots more. Check with a few vendors before settling on one.

5. Bogmalo

Bogmalo is where the elite of Goa stay. As you head to Bogmalo beach, keep an eye out on the beautiful bungalows to your left and right. The beach itself is gorgeous and the food is to die for. Not too crowded and very close to the airport, Bogmalo is definitely a spot I’d recommend.

Accommodation:
Bogmalo is perfect for luxury stay, for budget stay and the works. Once again, I’d strongly recommend you pre-book your stay here.

Food:
THE CHEESE GARLIC NAAN AT JOHN’S – I know I’m shouting but definitely add this to your Goa bucket list. John’s is a personal recommendation and it has great food with a view of the beach. The food and the ambience is great and on most days John himself is around to interact with guests.

Activities:
In Bogmalo, you can indulge in a bunch of water-sports like banana boat ride, jet ski and lots more. Check with a few vendors before settling on one.

The Best Tourist Spots In South Goa

1. Dudhsagar Waterfalls

The best time to visit Dudhsagar Waterfalls is the month of October. This gorgeous 4-tiered waterfall is indeed a marvel to behold. You can see it from the upcountry trains too. Believe me, the first time you see it you’re going to gasp in shock it’s that gorgeous and no photograph can ever do justice to just how wondrous it is. The milky white water against the rocks and the bright greenery around it is a must visit. The entry gate to the sanctuary opens at 6:00 am and remains open till 5:00pm.

Salaulim Dam

Here’s everything you need to know about Salaulim Dam.

Cabo De Rama

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Cabo de Rama Fort was built by the local Soonda rulers but was overtaken & modernized by the Portugese in 1763. Sandwiched comfortably between Agonda & Cavelossim beach. Attached to the fort is a tiny 500 meter long Cabo de Rama beach. The fort is an ideal place to catch the sunset. The fort itself is spread over 18000 square meters and is presently in ruins, but given its picturesque location is still worth a visit and some cool photos. You can also visit the St Antonio church nearby that still has services every Sunday.

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

Goa’s BIGGEST wildlife sanctuary, this place was recently in the news for having a Black Panther Spotted In Goa Sanctuary For The First Time. This sanctuary is indeed a fabulous experience, complete with waterfalls, greenery and wildlife. Take out a day for this trip and treat yourself to a fabulous time in Goa.

So there you have it! Your South Goa bucket-list. I hope you enjoy this itinerary and if you have any questions about Goa, then feel free to reach out to me on my personal Instagram account and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Natasha Monteiro
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