Everything you need to know about South Goa

Updated on Jan 24, 2020 by Clarabel Jones

Blog > Everything you need to know about South Goa

Thinking about a holiday in South Goa? Find out everything you need to know about South Goa before you visit, from the best restaurants to the most beautiful beaches to sink your toes into.

North Goa's quieter, calmer sister, South Goa is the perfect place for a chilled-out holiday in India's sunshine state.

Defined by its uncrowded beaches, languid fishing villages, beautiful rice paddies and laid-back vibe, this area is becoming increasingly popular with tourists looking to escape the crowds.

Tempted by the prospect of a rejuvenating holiday in South Goa? Here's everything you need to know before you visit... 


Places to stay in South Goa

Although generally less busier than the north of Goa, South Goa's towns, villages and resorts range from quiet and sleepy to vibrant and bustling.

Here are some of the best places to stay that should definitely be on your radar...


1) Arossim

Dominated by a beautiful white-sand beach, Arossim's colourful village also offers plenty in the way of colonial homes and food shacks, providing a great cultural flavour for those looking to spend time off the sand.


2) Benaulim 

This charming fishing village provides a perfect balance of serenity and development. 

The long award-winning white-sand beach attracts sun worshippers, watersports enthusiasts and fisherman from all around.

Given the area’s fishing industry, it will also come as no surprise that you can find some of Goa’s freshest seafood here!


3) Colva

South Goa’s busiest resort, Colva is a hub of activity with a vibrant atmosphere that's unlike any other resort in South Goa.

Come here for an authentic taste of Goa; a popular holiday destination for locals, the resort's superb range of local restaurants also serve up the best of Goan cuisine.

Colva was a significant area during the colonial period, signs of which you can see through its impressive heritage homes and ruins.


4) Cavelossim

A sleepy coastal village just a short drive from the historical city of Margao, Cavelossim embraces a calm, unhurried atmosphere that's popular with visitors looking for a quieter holiday in South Goa.

When you're not relaxing on the beach or perusing the village's market stalls, you can visit the pretty Church of the Holy Cross or take a boat trip down Sal River and look out for the hundreds of birds that reside by the river.


5) Palolem 

Situated right at the bottom of South Goa, Palolem is one of the liveliest resorts in South Goa, with shopping streets, colourful beach shacks and bars now lining the golden-sand beach.

Come here if you're looking for a night-life scene similar to that found in North Goa, or to try your hand at watersports, including scuba diving and kayaking.


6) Majorda

Unlike its energetic neighbour Colva, the village and beach of Majorda are oases of calm. 

There are still a number of shops and restaurants nearby, if you can tear yourself away from the blissfully quiet beach. In fact, Majorda is home to Martin's Corner, one of Goa's most famous restaurants!

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Best beaches in South Goa

1) Mobor Beach

Home to Goa's most luxurious hotel, The Leela, Mobor Beach's powder-soft sand and swaying coconut palms maintain an air of luxury outside of the hotel. 


2) Varca Beach

Quiet and unspoilt, Varca Beach is conducive to a relaxing sun, sea, sand escape.

When you're not reading your book, check out the handful of shops and restaurants on offer, or stroll into the village to see the beautiful Our Lady of Gloria church.


3) Cola Beach

Blessed with golden sand, this peaceful beach is the host of our Maharaja Night excursion, where you can spend a night camping in safari tents on the sand.


4) Arossim Beach

Another quiet beach in South Goa, this long stretch of white sand is backed by coconut palms and an array of inviting beach shacks, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to afternoon snacks.


5) Majorda Beach

25km of golden sand make this beach perfect for those looking for some space on their South Goa holiday.

There's also a small selection of beach shacks, serving tasty Goan specialities.


Best restaurants in South Goa

1) Martin's Corner, Majorda

Although once just a modest eatery, Martin's Corner has ballooned into a vibrant and atmospheric restaurant and bar.

A favourite amongst the locals - which is always a good sign - come here to enjoy fresh seafood, traditional South Indian and oriental cuisine.


2) The Garden, Colva

After a day lounging at Colva beach, take a short stroll inland to The Garden, a reasonably priced and friendly restaurant serving delicious Goan cuisine and international favourites.


3) Fisherman's Wharf, Mobor Beach

Situated on the banks of the River Sal in Cavelossim, this rustic restaurant specialises in freshly sourced seafood.

The happy Goan vibe will keep you coming back for more! Book in advance to secure a riverside table.

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Hotels in South Goa

Sao Domingo's, Cavelossim | 2 Grade

A small, simple and family-run hotel in the heart of Cavelossim, Sao Domingo's is perfectly placed for those who want to explore the beaches, towns and villages of South Goa.

Great for those on a budget, its calm atmosphere, inviting swimming pool and sun terrace surrounded by palm trees and lush plants make it a relaxing and affordable base for your Goa holiday.



Alila Diwa Goa, Majorda | 5 Grade Deluxe

This Balinese-style property offers a luxurious base for your South Goa escape, situated just a short walk from Majorda Beach.

Surrounded by lush rice paddies, and adorned with open-air courtyards, water features and manicured gardens, Alila Diwa is also packed full of activities for guests to get involved in, from yoga to cookery classes.



Caravela Beach Resort, Varca Beach | 4.5 Grade

Set on the white sands of Varca Beach, this well-established hotel offers countless ways to relax.

Wallow in the luxurious swimming pool, complete with a swim-up bar, practice yoga in the 24 acres of beautifully landscapes gardens or rejuvenate in the Ayurvedic spa - all before hitting the beautiful beach.



The Leela, Mobor Beach | 5 Grade Deluxe

Goa's most luxurious hotel, nestled on Mobor beach, The Leela is a tropical paradise. 

75 acres of immaculate grounds, meandering water lily-filled lagoons and tropical green gardens provide a tranquil ambience which drifts throughout the whole hotel.

With a stunning swimming pool, golf course, tennis, badminton and yoga to keep you entertained, it's simply impossible to get bored.



Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Benaulim | 5 Grade Deluxe

Enjoying an enviable location on Benaulim beach, Taj Exotica's spacious grounds and ample facilities make it a great spot for your relaxing South Goa holiday.

Take a yoga class, unwind in the Jiva Spa or while away your days in the large swimming pool, which is fringed by swaying palm trees.



ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa, Arossim Beach | 5 Grade Deluxe

An oasis of calm ad beauty, ITC Grand Goa provides every guest with a healthy dose of paradise, just when they need it.

It's home to one of the largest free-form swimming pools in the whole of Goa, set over three levels. Seven restaurants, cafés and bars offer plenty of variety, and you can even dine al fresco on the beach - how romantic is that?


That's not all! Click here to view our full selection of hotels in South Goa or learn more about this beautiful region, here.


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