A few things that first pop in our mind when we here about Goa are beaches lined with shacks and tourists enjoying all types of water sports at the beach. But there’s an untouched and relatively unknown part of Goa that is beautiful and everyone should must visit them when on a trip to Goa.
The most known and commercialized part of Goa is North Goa and is very crowded especially in the Holiday seasons. South Goa is its polar opposite. You won’t find it crowded and the beaches there are beautiful and serene. The beach shacks are similar to those you find in Baga, Calangute or Vagator, but the view of the sea is unobstructed. And the best part, since it is less frequented by tourists, you get lovely places to stay at a budget cost.
On our recently concluded 3-day tour, we covered 5 beaches of South Goa and all our travel was done on a rented two wheeler, which is the best and the cheapest mode of transport available in Goa. We rented the scooter from a rental service called “Damodar Bike Rentals” right outside Margaon Railway Station.
They charge Rs. 300-500 per day for the vehicle depending on the model you choose. Fuel cost is to be born by you. We found this to be a steal deal as our total expense on vehicle resulted to Rs.1300 only (Rs. 900 for 3 days rent and Rs. 400 for the fuel).
Riding on the streets of Goa is quite fun. The roads are well maintained and give a cute vibe on your journey.
Exploring Virgin Beaches
The highlight of our trip was exploring the less visited but aesthetically soothing beaches. We stayed in Benaulim which is 5 km from Margaon and is well connected to all the beaches we were about to explore.
That was our journey map. Though we exactly didn’t follow this but this will give you an idea about the locations of the beaches we explored. So let us break the beach experiences one by one.
We first heard about Palolem while we were pursuing our post graduation at Manipal. Apparently, Palolem was only 6 hours drive from Manipal, but we as it happens often with Goa plans, it didn’t get materialized.
Nevertheless, 2 years hence we successfully make it to the shores of Palolem. On appearance, it looks like another beach of Goa, with a street market leading up to the main beach. A few shacks on the beach that serves good food (read: Sea Food) and cheap alcohol (read: A lot cheaper than Mumbai). The beach is spread across a wide area and the main activity on the beach is the boating rides to a few nearby islands and beaches.
We took a motor boat ride which costs Rs. 2000-2500 for the entire boat, for around 1.5 to 2 hours. It is up to you whether you want the entire boat for yourself or share your ride with fellow tourists. We shared our ride with a family since we didn’t want to spend that amount on a boat ride. So it turned out to be Rs. 1200 for the two of us for the boat ride.
Our ride started with testing our luck at dolphin spotting and luck was shining on us brightly that day as we did spot a dolphin in close proximity of our boat.
After spotting the dolphins, we headed towards two islands that were included in the itinerary. These islands go by the name of Butterfly Island and Honeymoon Island. Both these places have a small beach area and have hardly any people coming there. Interestingly, Butterfly Island gets its name because when seen from the boat, it appears to be in a shape of a butterfly. Besides, there are many species of butterfly found in the forests behind island.
Honeymoon island is next to Butterfly Island, and has a rocky beach which helps a great deal if you are looking to get some good photographs. There’s nothing much to do on the beach, 10-15 minutes of the time is more than enough for it.
Back on the beach, we indulged in a king sized meal with a Kingfish Masala Fry on our table. Served with chips and salad, the fish was soft, juicy and full of flavors, best complimented with chilled beer.
This was the best of all the beaches we visited in Goa. It is a perfect place to hide and stay put for a couple of days as it is off the main road and covered with forests and coconut trees. The sea and the backwaters lie within touching distance of each other and it is very satisfying spectacle to witness.
There are two resorts adjoining each other on the beach and they have a hut and cottage kind of accommodation. Not recommended if you are on budget trip, but the visit to the beach is definitely recommended. It is one of its kind beach, something you don’t get to see very often in our country.
However, the last stretch that leads to the beach is complete off road. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition, else it will succumb to the notoriety of the route.
There are no street lights on this road and no mobile network too. Hence it is advisable to reach the beach early, enjoy the atmosphere, have some beer and leave before the sun gets down.
P.S. The view was definitely worth the 2 km off road bumpy ride.
Cabo De Rama Beach
This one was a kind of show stopper for it offered a setting similar to a Bollywood Song Location. A rocky plateau that opens up to the beautiful Arabian sea.
The best part about the beaches in South Goa was owing to smaller beach area, it draws lesser crowds. Also the limitation of the water based activities is a reason which draws less people here. So if you are looking for some quiet time on the beach at a budget rate in Goa, South is where you should be looking for.
Riding Experience in Goa
One of the fun part was riding a two wheeler as we mentioned earlier. We took the narrow allies and roads where we experienced an old Portuguese town that has remained still in time.
The houses were so colorful and pretty, you just can’t take your eyes off them. The architecture is also different and each house has a story to tell in itself. That’s how wonderful it was.
So, when someone tells you that Goa is over hyped, make them aware about the unexplored part of Goa, a Goa that has stood still in time and is just too beautiful to ignore.