25 awesome things to do in South Goa

Tripoto
Photo of 25 awesome things to do in South Goa by Vinnie Singh

The North Goa vs South Goa debate is endless. Party freaks choose North Goa for its boisterous beach parties where they can enjoy nights of drunken revelling, whereas quieter ones like me always head to the South for its pristine, not-so-noisy beaches with their relaxed vibes. To each, his own.

However, one of the most silly arguments that the North Goa lot gives Southerners is that "there is nothing to do in South Goa". I've got it so many times - "South Goa is so... ummm... plain. Not much to do here except for drinking beer and reading books and checking out a couple of more beaches which all look the same. Duh"

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I lived in South Goa for a year, and the myriad experiences I've had here have been so powerful and overwhelming that they've altered me as a person. I'm back to a big city and I miss South Goa terribly. Anyway, I won't mope over it now. All I'd like you to know is that South Goa is a treasure trove of experiences, and a week, 10 days, or even a month is not enough to enjoy all that this place has to offer. I've created a small list of the awesome experiences which await you when you choose the South for your holiday. Here we go!

1. Chill at the bay of Agonda - Agonda, the most beautiful beach of South Goa boasts of a bay on its Northern end where the water is a bright emerald green because of the lush green vegetation around it. It is a great spot for photographs and it offers a vantage point from where you can trace the curve of the Agonda beach. The Bay Agonda is a hotel with a lovely rooftop restaurant where you have a couple of beers with a view of the bay.

Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

2. Watch the sunset from rocks on the Southern end of Agonda beach - Low-lying hills sit on both sides of the Agonda beach, and it is one of the many things which make Agonda so picturesque. The Southern end of the beach has a rounded hill and many rocks. Climb the rocks - go as far up as you can and watch the sun set right into the Arabian sea. The rocks on the beach are also home to many marine creatures - clams, molluscs, hermit crabs, etc. Some of the bigger, rounded, flat rocks also make a great spot for doing yoga. Just be careful on slippery surfaces.

Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

3. Trek to the Cola Beach - At the Northern end of Agonda - where the bay is, you'll see some rough steps on the cliff. Climb those steps and cross the cliff to go the Cola Beach. The walk is easy because the land is flat and there are dirt paths to guide you. On your way, you'll come to a vantage point where the view of the sea will take your breath away.

Photo of Cola Beach, Cola, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach, Cola, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach, Cola, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach, Cola, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach, Cola, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

4. Swim in the Cola Lagoon - Do the trek or get here by the bumpy road, but do not miss checking out the Cola Beach! It has a beautiful, shallow lagoon which is ideal for swimming. Grab a beer at the Blue Lagoon shack after your swim.

Photo of Cola Beach Lagoon, Cola, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach Lagoon, Cola, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach Lagoon, Cola, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cola Beach Lagoon, Cola, Goa by Vinnie Singh

5. Become aware of your tiny-ness at the Cabo de Rama fort - The Cabo de Rama fort is a 19th century Portugese fort which has lived through many battles of history. Now, it is a popular tourist attraction of South Goa. The fort has many vantage points from you'll be able to see the endless length and breadth of the sea, mighty cliffs with uncountable trees, waves crashing at the feet of the cliffs, and the vast, bright blue sky. Everything about the Cabo de Rama is ginormous - even its banyan trees and grasses. The trunks of the trees are so wide that they'll need at least three adult human beings to hug them in a circle. The grasses here grow so tall that you could play hide and seek in them. This one's going to be yet another overwhelming experience for you.

Photo of Cabo de Rama Fort, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cabo de Rama Fort, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cabo de Rama Fort, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

6. Go to Cabo de Rama Beach - Close to the Cabo de Rama fort is the Cabo de Rama beach. Ask a local on how to find it. Getting to the beach involves getting down roughly carved steps in a hill. The beach has a small freshwater stream flowing into the sea and it's fun wading in it.

Photo of Cabo de Rama Beach, Canaguinim, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cabo de Rama Beach, Canaguinim, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Cabo de Rama Beach, Canaguinim, Goa by Vinnie Singh

7. Watch dolphins flipping in and out of water - Did you know that South Goa has a fair share of dolphins in its part of the Arabian sea? You don't even have to get on a boat to see them! In the high season, if you've got sea-view seats in the shack, you'll be able to see dolphins flipping in and out of water from there itself if you keep your eyes open. However, if you opt for a boat trip, you'll be able to see these beauties up close.

I have very low-res photos of dolphins, so not putting them here. Go watch them for yourself!

Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

8. Explore secret beaches of South Goa on this boat trip - South Goa is an enigmatic place. It has a fair share of secret spots that only the locals or eager adventure-seekers know about it. Among these are the Honeymoon Beach and the Butterfly Beach (they're beaches, not islands - Google's got them wrong) . These beaches are hard to access by land because there are no roads leading to them. But you've got many boatwallahs who'll happily take you for a ride in the sea to these hidden beaches for a couple of thousand rupees or more. The boatwallahs will also show you dolphins on the way if you go at the right time (it has to be a clear day. Best time - early morning).

Photo of Butterfly Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Butterfly Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Butterfly Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh

9. Trek to the Butterfly Beach - The boat ride to secret beaches is good. But trust me, once you get a glimpse of the Butterfly beach, you'd want to be back here again to spend some more time. It's a small beach with not a single construction on it. But it has a thick forest, a stream flowing out of the jungle and two Butterfly wings-shaped hills for a backdrop. It's almost like a private beach when no one else is there! The good news is that you can access this beach by a walk through the forest as well. However, you'll need someone who knows the route and can draw a map for you. The walk is not long - it takes hardly 30 minutes. It is not difficult - the terrain is mostly plain, but you might find mud here and there, especially after rains. Just watch for out for the langoors, snakes and occasional scorpions :P (Trust me, they won't hurt you if don't threaten them and let them be) P.S. Please bring your trash back with you. Do not leave it on the beach.

Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

10. Have drinks by the pool at Mayfair Hideaway Spa Resort - Have had enough of the jungle and looking to indulge yourself in material comfort? The Mayfair Hideaway Spa Resort is the right place to do that. I really like the fact that they've so cleverly tried to veil all the concrete construction with trees and bushes. However, the best part of the place is their pool. Check out the pictures!

Photo of MAYFAIR Hideaway Spa Resort, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of MAYFAIR Hideaway Spa Resort, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of MAYFAIR Hideaway Spa Resort, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

11. Shop for trinkets at Palolem - If you're on the Agonda beach, you might not see a lot of people on the beach even during the high season. If the lack of people gets a little overwhelming for you, head over to Palolem. It's among the most touristy beaches of South Goa with a lot of eating out and shopping options. Shop for trinkets for friends and family back home from here, but sharpen your bargaining skills before you do that!

Photo of Palolem Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh

12. Treat yourself to an authentic Italian meal at Magic Italy - WARNING - The stuff they serve is highly addictive and when you're done with your holiday and are back at your place, you'll weep at the sight of what Dominos and Pizza Hut serve. Based in Palolem, Magic Italy is an authentic Italian restaurant. As soon as you step in, the aroma of baked dough and oregano greets you. Be it pizzas, pastas or salads, everything they serve is perfection. The Tiramisu is to die for - do not miss it. Make sure that you arrive early for dinner or book a table with them as the place gets really packed even during the off-season.

Photo of Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant Pizzeria, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant Pizzeria, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant Pizzeria, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant Pizzeria, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant Pizzeria, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

13. Party at Leopard Valley - South Goa's got its own share of parties, and the parties at Leopard Valley are among the most exciting of them. Leopard Valley is a spot in the jungle under the stars, and it gets some of the best DJs from across the globe.

This is a photo of the venue, not of the party

Photo of Leopard Valley, Road, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

These are photographs of the venue, not of the party itself.

Photo of Leopard Valley, Road, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

14. Indulge in a relaxing massage on Patnem Beach- Tired of all the trekking, swimming, shopping and partying? Enjoy a relaxing massage at one of the many massage parlours of Patnem Beach.

15. Catch up with the people at The Tribe Goa - The Tribe Goa is an eclectic group of environmentalists who are working on creating a self-sustainable ecosystem in the jungle. They've got cats, dogs, ducks and other friendly animals on their little farm. They even grow their own food! The tribe has been working on creating environmental awareness among the locals and tourists in South Goa. A visit to their place will open your eyes to an alternative way of living - they take very little from nature, and whatever they take, they give back to it. If you talk to them, you'll also learn about the marvellous biodiversity of the region, the fact that snakes are not actually vicious creatures, and about the little changes which you can easily make in your lifestyle to reduce your environmental footprint.

Photo of The Tribe, Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of The Tribe, Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

16. Attend a live music event by The Tribe Goa - When I said that the Tribe Goa is an eclectic mix of people, I meant to say that they they're all great people, each one good at some fort of art. They have several musicians among them - both vocalists and instrumentalists. And when the whole ensemble with its guitarists, tabla players, saxophone players, flutists, Indian classical singers, pop artists, etc. gets together, the music created is sublime. MAGIC.

Photo of The Tribe, Agonda, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

17. Participate in the festivities and events of The Space Goa - The Space Goa is perhaps the most happening venue of South Goa. Situated between Agonda and Palolem, it is well known for the exciting events it hosts - drawing classes, yoga and meditation sessions, cooking workshops, movie screenings, massage sessions, dance classes and a lot more. They also have a cafe which has delicious, guilt-free food options.

Photo of The Space Goa, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of The Space Goa, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

18. Drive up to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary - Goa's roads are a haven for those who love being at the wheel. The road to Netravali is particularly breathtaking - flanked by thick vegetation on the both sides and hills on both the sides, the journey takes you into the heart of nature. You might even find seasonal waterfalls on the way if you go there during monsoon. Don't miss this trip if you want to experience the best of Goa's Western Ghats.

Photo of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Verlem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Verlem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Verlem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

19. Visit the Spice Gardens - Netravali is the best place to check out Goa's spice gardens. Depending on the season, you'll be able to find black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, chillies, coriander and betel nut palm and other spices, apart from fruit trees growing in these gardens.

Photo of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Verlem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Verlem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

20. Get a fish pedicure at Bubble pond - While traversing the serpentine roads of Netravali, you'll come to a small temple which has this curiosity called the bubble pond. If you clap near the surface of the lake, you will see bubbles appear on its surface! And if you put your feet in the water, the tiny fish of the lake will come and give you a pedicure for free!

Photo of Netravali Bubbling Lake, Vichundrem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Netravali Bubbling Lake, Vichundrem, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

21. Kayak in the open ocean - Take a kayak out in the sea and enjoy some time of unperturbed bliss in the blue waters. Kayaks are available on rent at many beach shacks in Agonda, Cola and Palolem. Word of advice - Only experienced kayakers should try this!

Photo of Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

22. Check out the backwaters of Palolem - If you are not comfortable with heading out into the ocean, you could start with practising in Palolem's backwaters. The mangroves which flank it are home to several species of birds and a breeding site for many marine animals.

Photo of Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

23. Palolem Island Trip from Varandas de Canacona - The 4-hour sunset trip to the Palolem Island is one of South Goa's best-kept secrets. The trip includes the exploration of South Goa's famous Palolem Island Reserve, which, being a private property, is otherwise is inaccessible to the public. The trip includes a 30-minute sunset boat trip to the island, a walkabout on the island where a guide takes you to the island's many special spots (which have their own significance and stories), sunset drinks and snacks at the oldest rock in Asia (approx 3.4 billion years old according to geologists), and a boat trip back to the mainland under a starry sky.

Photo of Palolem Island Reserve Office, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Palolem Island Reserve Office, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by Vinnie Singh

24. Try fresh oysters at Galgibaga beach - Fancy oysters? Galgibaga beach is where you should be. This understated beach, not yet ruined by excessive commercialisation, is also famous for being a nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles.

Photo of Galgibaga Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Galgibaga Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh
Photo of Galgibaga Beach, Goa by Vinnie Singh

25. Watch the Agonda beach light up in the dark - You have to be really, really lucky to live this surreal experience. During monsoon, when the sky is a thick a blanket of clouds allowing no moonlight to pass through it, and when all beach shacks are closed, on dark nights you'll see the beach glow in the dark! Yes, you'll get to experience bioluminescence on the Agonda beach if you are there at the right time.

That’s 25 things!

This list is far from conclusive. I've only written about my most memorable experiences I think I'll have to write another blog to add to this list of South Goa experiences. How many of these have you had?

Also, don't hesitate in reaching out to me if my blog's inspired you to visit South Goa and you need help planning your trip.

Frequent searches leading to this page:-

things to do in south goa, what to do in south goa, activities in south goa

3 Comment(s)
Sort by:
Hi Vinnie, thanks for sharing. It has been detailed out very nicely. Would be great if you can recommend places in South Goa for 3 nights & 4 days trip.
Sun 07 28 19, 12:19 · Reply · Report
Thank you
Thu 06 27 19, 21:12 · Reply · Report
such nice info.. and no comments here.. also read your blog on "ugly side of tourism" .. "when 500 word answers receive no responses" hahaha..
Thu 01 10 19, 11:03 · Reply · Report