One of the most common assumptions people make, is what their perception of Goa is – a vision of the north with its busy beaches, chaotic markets and thumping all-night dance parties. But the south is a world apart. 

The Canacona area is one of the most beautiful, naturally unspoilt areas in the whole of Goa - offering wildlife, mountains, waterfalls and of course, some of the finest beaches in India. Coastal Regulatory Zones (CRZ) means that nearly all the structures on the beach are semi-permanent, so come down every monsoon, resulting in no high-rise concrete buildings – just naturally crafted beach huts.

Ragibag Beach
Agonda Beach

The jewel in the crown is Palolem Beach, with its graceful sweeping bay, rocky mountains drifting into the sea and coconut palms lining a beautiful soft white beach. It is often referred to as Paradise Beach by travel guides. Next to Palolem is a smaller beach called Patnem - being even more relaxed. 

However, Palolem is just one of string of sister beaches which hug this gorgeous coastline. Next along is Rajibag beach, famously secluded, with the five-star Intercontinental Lalit Goa Resort as its neighbour. Rajibag beach is virtually untouched, apart from some luxury sunloungers and vendors selling fruit. 

Further south is the pristine Galgibag Beach, where the Arabian Sea meets the Talpona River - one of the most stunning pieces of coastline imaginable. The beach is a conservation area for the Olive Ridley turtles, so all development has been banned, except for two beach shacks set back in the forest pines, serving up low-key but delicious seafood. Galgibag Beach is owned by the Forestry Department of Goa, whose sole purpose is environmental conservation and wildlife protection, meaning it will always remain an unspoilt paradise.

Further North is Agonda beach – a generous stretch of coastline, dotted with exclusive boutiques and bijou restaurants. Further along are the beaches at Khola, with a unique freshwater blue lagoon and rocky walks down to the sea. The drive to Khola, through red earth mountains filled with cashew trees heavy with fruit, is breathtakingly spectacular. 

The Western Ghats (or Sahyadri Hills), also in the region, is a jungle mountain range stretching over 600kms. Containing the world’s third largest biodiversity after the Amazon and Congo, the area is brimming with flora and fauna, making south Goa a popular destination for eco-tourists, as well of those just longing for a peaceful getaway.