Owing to its happening nightlife, jazzy casinos, and lively discotheques, Goa’s reputation as a party place tends to overshadow its cultural and historical riches and natural marvels. However, you will be glad to know that India’s smallest state has plenty to offer for a memorable family holiday, from coastal tours and scenic views to fascinating monuments and grand museums.
Scroll down for some of the best beaches in Goa for families seeking a fun and relaxing holiday.
1. Baga Beach
Baga beach is popular with all types of travellers as one of the best beaches in North Goa. Brimming with fun activities, an energetic environment and shacks offering scrumptious delicacies, Baga’s lively environs make it one of the best beaches in Goa for families.
For fun: Go scuba-diving, parasailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kite surfing, or jet-skiing. Head to Snow Park for entertaining indoor adventure activities your kids will surely love!
For exploration: Take a dolphin-spotting sea safari on the waves of the Arabian Sea.
For shopping: The Tibetan Market running along the Baga Road is perfect for shopping jewellery, handicrafts, and carpets at a good bargain.
With an enchanting shoreline, tropical palms and scenic horizon views, Candolim beach is one of the best beaches in Goa for families. A relaxing atmosphere and tranquil demeanor make this beach that much more attractive than its other coastal cousins.
For fun: This is one of the best beaches in North Goa to enjoy catamaran sailing, banana rides, surfing and bump rides.
For exploration: Capture breath-taking sunset vistas at Fort Aguada, surrounded by the Aguada church and a four-storey lighthouse.
For sightseeing: Head to The Church of Our Lady Of Hope to admire the architecture and seek peace or visit the serene Sinquerim Beach for a change of view.
3. Calangute Beach
Fondly known as the Queen of Beaches, Calangute is the largest beach in North Goa and the most popular for swimming and water-sports. A perfect showcase of Goa’s lively lifestyle, its vibe makes this beach extremely popular amongst families visiting Goa.
For fun: Pose with Jackie Chan, Harry Potter or Einstein at the Benz Celebrity Wax Museum which also houses a 9D Cinema theatre and dashing car models for gaming.
For sightseeing: Visit the Church of St. Alex, famous for its graceful white facade and flamboyant architecture.
For shopping: Bag the best quality of local cashews , home-made chocolates and organic spices at the Kankonkar Goan Kaju House.
4. Vagator Beach
Adjacent to Anjuna beach lies the crescent-shaped Vagator, the most-photographed beach in Goa. Head here to enjoy a picnic away from the crowd at one of the best beaches in North Goa. This hidden paradise offers a holiday beyond beaches for families visiting Goa.
For fun: Go to Morjim Beach and see the endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles as they swim up the shore to lay eggs. Go bird-watching at the Chapora River where you can spot many avian species like the kingfisher, cuckoo, sandpipers and sand plover.
For sightseeing: Hike to the red-laterite Chapora Fort and witness spectacular views of the shoreline, sea and Chapora River.
For exploration: Visit Parra, a scenic hamlet famous for its watermelons. Here you’ll also find the church of St. Anne, notable for its excellent architecture.
5. Colva Beach
Colva has recently gained popularity as one of the best beaches in South Goa for families because of the many shops, cafes, restaurants, ATMs and attractions around it. This sandy beach is also one of the largest beaches in Goa!
For fun: Other than enjoying water sports, you can explore shacks or take a stroll while fishermen dry their catch on the golden sands.
For sightseeing: See the beautiful statue of infant Jesus at the Church of our Lady of Mercy, one of Colva’s foremost Colonial shrines. Visit the Sat Burnzam Ghor, a historic mansion constructed in 1790, also known as the house of seven gables.
For exploration: Walk through the Goa Chitra Museum, a reflection of ancient Goan civilizations showcasing over 4000 artefacts, antique farming equipment, musical instruments and pottery items.
6. Benaulim Beach
Mythically famous as the point of Goa’s establishment, Benaulim Beach is the tranquil centre of Goan handicrafts. One of the best beaches in South Goa for a relaxed holiday, Benaulim is comparatively undiscovered and makes a great spot for casual swimming.
For fun: Go dolphin sighting, crocodile spotting or fishing if you wish to try something other than water-sports.
For sightseeing: Ditch the beach for glorious churches like the St. John the Baptist Church, Holy Trinity Church, and St. Christopher Church.
For shopping: Wander through the lanes of Margao Market where you can shop genuine Goan spices, bamboo crafts, and wooden antiques.