There’s something about South Goa, that’s different from North Goa. Though beaches are still its real attractions, there are so many others sites to see. Dotted with innumerable remnants of the Portuguese rule, South Goa lures everyone from history buffs, archaeology students, to foodies, yoga practitioners, adventure seekers, and wildlife enthusiasts. That’s why we’ve tried to accumulate the best places to visit in South Goa.
There are so many places to visit in South Goa, from heavenly beaches, glorious temples, ancient churches, with spectacular waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, and colossal forts. Read further to have an idea of just why South Goa is such a tourist hotspot.
16 Outstanding Places to Visit in South Goa
1. Colva Beach
Colva has the reputation of having the longest beach in South Goa. It’s almost 20 km long and is almost crowded due to its enormous popularity. While it’s a favourite with couples and families, those who want some adventure too can do many activities like parasailing, windsurfing, speedboat rides and others.
The beach is famous for Full Moon Parties, dolphin watching, and enjoying tropical drinks at a lounge bar with live music.
2. Palolem Beach
Not as crowded as Colva Beach, but more scenic and amazingly beautiful, Palolem Beach is in Canacona in South Goa. The virgin beach with its unspoiled beauty attracts those who seek a more secluded holiday.
Do many activities like dolphin sighting, shopping in the flea markets, enjoying the fresh morning breeze, taking leisurely beach walks, or attend a yoga class. A stay in beach huts along the shores of the beach is a perfect way to relax and watch the sunset.
3. Butterfly Beach
Though secluded and not much famous as the other beaches of South Goa, Butterfly Beach is a glittering gem tucked away in deep tropical forests.
The beach is not easy to reach, but once you go here, you are treated with the most enthralling of sights – hundreds of butterflies fluttering away in the breeze, playful dolphins splashing about on the surface, marine life showing itself during low tide, and breathtaking sunset views. The semi-circular beach, with white sands and rocks, is bliss to explore.
4. Cavelossim Beach
This beach is yet another beach, where endless expanse of white sands meets the blue sea in the most spectacular of ways. It is a paradise for sunbathing tourists and for couples seeking solitude.
Though you might miss night parties here on this beach, you can still do much here, like sighting dolphins, enjoying a boat ride, taking morning walks, or shopping for souvenirs in beachside shops.
5. Majorda Beach
This beach is very popular beach destination in South Goa. It is most frequented by teenagers who want a beach holiday and enjoy delicious Goan cuisine in the shacks on the beach. Due to its popularity, there are many beach resorts, which cater to a high influx of tourists.
Majorda is famous for its Christmas carnival celebrations. It’s also in Majorda that the locals first learnt the art of making bread, so while you stay here, relish on some baked goodies in bakeries.
6. Galgibaga Beach
This beach is famous as the Turtle Beach, due to the thousands of endangered Olive Ridley Turtles nesting and hatching here. The beach is also famed as the cleanest beach in Goa.
The coast has dense pine vegetation and is sparsely populated. It’s perfect for those seeking some privacy and enjoying sunbathing, gorgeous sunset views, and swimming.
7. Agonda Beach
This is another beach which is a famed as a breeding and hatching site for Olive Ridley Turtles. Though not very populated as the other beaches of South Goa, Agonda Beach is nonetheless, spectacular, with pristine sandy beaches and breathtaking sunset views.
You may miss the fun of swimming on this beach, due to the absence of big waves, but you can certainly play beach games, take leisurely walks on the golden sands, go sun-bathing, eat at the beach shacks, horse riding, or just watch the sunset.
8. Benaulim Beach
Situated just 2 km away from Colva, this beach is not overcrowded with sunbathers or families but is relatively a much quieter beach. The beach is a long expanse of white sands and pine trees along the shores.
Due to rough waters, the beach is a popular adventure spot where you can try water sports, go dolphin sighting in boats, or go on sailing tours far into the sea. There are a number of shacks along the beach, where you can eat Goan food or shop for jewellery or souvenirs.
9. Bogmalo Beach
This beach is perfect for sunbathing and enjoying the natural scenery. The beach is not very long, but is quiet and tranquil, which is a delight for honeymoon couples. Islands close to the beach have clear waters, making them the best diving sites for underwater adventures like snorkelling and scuba diving. You can see underwater marine life in all its natural beauty.
10. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
That Goa is not only about its beaches, you will realize when you come to Cotigao Sanctuary. This sanctuary is the second largest sanctuary in Goa and is covered in verdant green tropical forests.
The sanctuary has tall evergreen trees that have a tree cover so dense, that even sunlight can’t penetrate it. It is the home of various animals and birds. You can do many activities like climbing on tree perches to spot wildlife, go on hiking trails, interact with tribals, and indulge in some serious photography.
11. Cabo de Rama Fort
Among the oldest forts of Goa, Cabo de Rama Fort is named after Lord Rama. The fort was held by many rulers and has seen many battles.
The fort now lies in ruins, but even then, you can glimpse its majestic fortifications, from turrets, bastions, cannons, to a moat, prison and military barracks. There is a small chapel near the fort, which is still in use. The fort gives you the most impressive views of the Arabian Sea and its coastline.
12. Dudhsagar Falls
Among the tallest waterfalls in India, Dudh Sagar Falls, located inside Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, appears to be a sea of overflowing milk. Falling from a height of 310 metres, Dudh Sagar Falls reminds you of nature’s awesome power and beauty.
The roaring sound of the falls, lush green vegetation on all sides, and the powerful force of water, all make this a supreme tourist attraction of South Goa. Trekking through dense jungle, tunnels and railway tracks is the best way to enjoy the falls.
13. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
Among the best places in South Goa for bird watching, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is a green haven for nature enthusiasts. The landscape is made up of dense tropical forests and towering mountains.
The sanctuary is the best place to spot Gaur (Indian Bison), Malabar Giant Squirrel, among other animals and birds. Numerous waterfalls and meandering river streams in the forest adds a magical touch to the forest landscape of the sanctuary.
14. Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple
This 12th-century temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most ancient temples in Goa. The temple is located deep in the jungles and away from civilization. It is this very reason that it still remains miraculously intact and escaped the wrath of Muslim rulers.
Sculpted out of black basalt stone, the temple has intricate carvings in the interiors. The temple is still active and even has a priest managing devotees and visitors who come to this temple.
15. Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park
A delight for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park is the largest one in Goa. The national park, located on the slopes of the Western Ghats, is covered in lush green tropical and deciduous trees.
It is the home of the Indian Bison, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Leopards, and many other animal and bird species. The majestic Dudh Sagar Falls, Devil’s Canyon, and the medieval temple of Tambdi Surla Mahadev are located within the sanctuary.
16. Three Kings Chapel
Located on a hill, Three Kings Chapel gives the best panoramic views of the lush green countryside of the Arabian coastline. Though the ascent to this church is steep, the views from the top are worth your visit. A visit in the early mornings and evenings are most rewarding.
Other than such fantastic scenic views, the church has many stories revolving around it. According to locals, the church is haunted by the 3 ghosts of kings who were murdered for greed.
These places are the reason enough for you to visit South Goa. Pepper us with your comments, if you are one of those who have visited these places. Also, tell us of someplace that we don’t know.