Move over 3G, it’s time for the 3S!

Its summer vacations… time to put aside the news of the 3G, and move on to the 3S –SUN, SEA & SAND!

In other word it’s time for the gorgeous Goa, an all time favorite tourist destination in India… one that needs no introduction! Known for its breathtaking white beaches, turquoise waters, exquisite churches, old world charm and friendly people, Goa welcomes tourists from across the world who come here looking to unwind on its white sands and get a taste of fun unlimited!

A beach lover’s paradise, Goa is home of some of the country’s most spectacular beaches and is known for its interesting adventure sports & exciting nightlife apart from its scenic beauty with perhaps the favorites being the Anjuna Beach a favorite for those looking for endless stretches of sand and coconut groves! First discovered by hippies around late 1950s, this beach was used to organize wild rave parties, thus starting a tradition of sorts, from then onwards, the wild moonlit parties, lasting throughout the night, have been a norm on the beach.

Another exciting part about this beach is its popular Anjuna Flea Market held every Wednesday at around 11 am, when Anjuna breaks into a riot of colors and one can find almost everything available here! From Tibetan, Kashmiri and Gujarati trinkets to fake sadhu & fake snake charmers, even elephant rides! Finally Anjuna is not complete without a visit to the Albuquerque Mansion, or the Mascarenhas Mansion and The Chapora Fort.

Popular yet quiet …that’s the scenic Aguada Beach known for its azure blue waters and fine soft golden sands. While this beach is known for its natural beauty, it is also famous for its historically important Aguada Fort and the magnificent Reis Magos Fort that were built by the Portuguese to protect Goa from foreign invasion. The views of huge waves crashing against the golden sands of the beach from the bulwark of the fort are truly amazing.

Though in wrecks now today, the Cabo de Rama, a prehistoric citadel is what makes the Agonda Beach special. Known as the abode of Lord Rama for 12 long years during his exile, the ambiance of the castle tells you a story of the bygone eras, and even accommodates the gorgeous cathedral of Santo Antonio.

Located about 50 km from Panaji, the Arambol Beach is one of the most charming beaches of Goa, known for its serenity and tranquility! The rocky sea cliff of its beach makes it a popular spot for paragliding, another prime attraction here is a hot spring located near to the main beach that is believed to have healing effects on skin.

Another preferred hippie haunt but a favorite with anglers as well is the Baga Beach, a rocky beach bordered with headlands of exotic woods. This beach is infringed with palms swaying in the wind and flanked by thick woods of the river valley. Most tourists coming down to Baga Beach try their hand at fishing, the Saturday flea market here is another time this beach is crowded with visitors. Also known as Saturday night market as it is functional even in the night, brightly colored electric and paraffin lamps further liven up the atmosphere of the market. Shops here too are known to sell a wide array of things; a temporary stage put up on the beach mostly has live music by the local musicians. Also making the Baga beach famous is the crocodile spotting and dolphin spotting in the backwaters. Baga is also known to have the liveliest/ best nightlife in Goa and is a perfect mixture of Western and Goan cultures.

Still undiscovered by the tourists, the Benaulim Beach here is where one can to enjoy the ambience of the virgin beaches in Goa. Located close to Colva, this quiet little fishing beach is also known for the Church of Saint John, the Baptist, perched atop a hill and looks very magnificent. Around the arrival of the monsoons, the Feast of Sao Joao, St. John the Baptist, is celebrated in much merriment here. Another attraction here is the bullfights are organized every year between October and March.

Another beautiful and popular beach here is the Bogmalo Majorda Beach, an ideal place for picnicking. Bordered by the grand Western Ghats, in its three sides this makes Bogmalo Majorda Beach unique from other beaches of Goa. Along with its white waves and golden sands, this lush green carpet makes this beach one of the most picturesque and visited beaches of Goa. The best time to visit it is from May to October. Another must mention are the innumerable beach shacks and food joints serving delectable Goan cuisine, a must try! A perfect spot for those tourists tired of the crowded popular beaches in Goa and would like some peace and quiet.

It’s called the ‘Queen of Beaches’ here…one of the most popular of all Goa beaches, Calangute beach is a haven for tourists and is one of the major beaches of Goa. Known for its lush coconut and palm groves along the beachside, this beach is surrounded by green tropical villages in the neighborhoods, Candolim, Saligao and Arpora-Nagoa.  This too was discovered by the hippies in late 60s, and as word spread around fast about its beauty, it soon became a favorite with hordes of foreigners who started flocking here, each wanting to enjoy the sublime beauty of this beach. Calangute is also the place to enjoy some exciting water sports, from parasailing to windsurfing and water-skiing and don’t forget to check out the many restaurants here that specialize in seafood delicacies!

Located close to Sinquerim, the Candolim Beach is an extension of Calangute Beach, the perfect tourist spot for those who seek quieter, less crowded beaches. Though this beach is ideal for sunbathing; swimming in this coastal paradise is rather avoided because of the strong undercurrents.  A must try here is the para sailing and dolphin sighting tours that are most popular among the water sports on Candolim Beach.

Blessed with nature’s bounty, Cavelossim is another fascinating beach to visit and is known for the scenery of green paddy fields in the distance from the beach that is quite mesmerizing.

One of the largest beaches in Goa blessed with powdery white sands the Colva Beach is known for its spectacular landscape. Apart from the exquisite beach here, Colva is also known for the statue of Menino Jesuse or Infant Jesus, in Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade,( the Church of Our Lady of Mercy) that was founded way back in 1630.

One of the hottest tourist destinations in India, Dona Paula Beach is one of the sought after beaches in Goa. Often referred to as the Lover’s Paradise, the haunting romantic myth associated with the place makes it an even more alluring tourist spot. Legends have it that the beach is named after the daughter of a Viceroy of India during its colonial past, Dona Paula de Mendez, who gave up her life by jumping off a cliff on being denied the permission to marry her lover Gasper Dias, a local fisherman.

The folklores have it that she can still be sighted emerging out of the waves on moonlit nights, wearing only a pearl necklace… But besides this beautiful beach other places to visit here include the National Oceanography Institute, the Cabo Raj Bhawan, Reis Magos Church, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and Marine Biology Museum It also offers an excellent view of the Aguada Fort nearby.

Another attraction drawing tourists here is the Dona Paula Sports Club, known for water scooter and motorboat rides. Here tourists can indulge in many other water sports like water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, sports fishing, snorkeling, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, kayaking, yachting, and harpoon fishing!

The Majorda Beach here is extraordinarily beautiful covered in impeccable powdery white sands and spectacular clear green waters of the Arabian Sea borders. This beach has a few interesting legends connected to it. Mythology has it that when Lord Rama was a child he was kidnapped and brought to Majorda,  later, it is believed that Lord Rama traveled here in search of his wife Sita, and is believed to have stayed in Cabo de Rama, a bit further from Majorda.

While Miramar is a Portuguese word, which means viewing the sea, the tantalizing Miramar Beach (also known as Gaspar Dias) situated close to the famous Dona Paula Beach, apart from its golden sands and azure blue waters is internationally known as a coastal area, which is the wintering ground for many migratory birds.

Palolem is one of the most beautiful Goan beaches,  a crescent like coastline of silvery sand, lined by coconut trees swaying in the breeze and hemmed scenically by a couple of steep, rocky cliffs. Making this perfect silvery arc shaped beach even lovelier are the huts made of thatched palm for tourists.

Boasting of pure white sands, swaying coconut and palm trees, and dotted with black lava rocks, the Vagator Beach lies within the backdrop of the 500-year-old Portuguese Fort. It brings back memories of the colonial rule and the old Portuguese era.

Other beaches here include the Varca Beach, Arambol Beach, Cavelossim Beach,  Mobor Beach, Sinquerim Beach and many others.

From romantic walks on the beach, to kids frolicking in the sand & splashing in the cool waters, or sipping the local toddy & feni found here, to actively partying the night away, this beach paradise surely has something for one and all who visit it!