Having been annexed by India on 19 December 196, along with its two former Portuguese enclaves, namely Daman & Diu were organized into a single district in 1965. While Goa gained its statehood on the 30th May 1987, Daman & Diu, together, was declared as a Union territory.
South Goa is one of the constituent districts of the state of Goa within the Konkan region. To the north, it is bound by the Northern Goa district, and on the eastern and the southern peripheries, it is bound by the Uttar Kannada and the state of Karnataka respectively while the Arabian Sea forms the western coast of this district.
Also famous, the world over, as the beach state of India, Goa is known for its magnificent gold and silver sandy beaches, mesmerizing landscapes, festivals, temples, churches, and its most popular nightlife. Over and above these Goa also boasts of its rich history and heritage sites which are an added attraction to the tourists who swarm this pristine state, year-round, from all over the globe.
16 Offbeat Places in Goa
In this article, we take you for a small tour of some of the off-beat locations in south Goa that you must visit or add to your tour itinerary when traveling to the state on any one of our Goa tour packages.
1. Cola Beach, Canacona, South Goa
A typical off-beat location, the Cola or the ‘Khola’ beach, as it is known locally, is split into two distinct zones the North Cola and South Cola by a small hill separating the two. Located in the Canacona area the two parts of this beach are joined by a river that forms an Emerald Lagoon whose calm waters are ideal for swimming.
Despite its golden sand, dotted with volcanic rocks and boulders, this beach does not have many visitors, the reason for such a low number of visitors, is essentially the presence of a stretch of hills that needs to be crossed to reach this pristine paradise, which, incidentally, also makes it an ideal spot for a leisurely sunbath.
Moreover, the sunset, as viewed from this beach, is very unique due to the landscape here which reflects the sun rays in a very unique manner. You will find a number of resorts, catering to the tourist's interests, lining this beach.
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2. Galgibaga Beach
One among the three beaches in Goa famous as the nesting ground for the Olive Ridley turtles the Galgibaga beach, located along the banks of the Galibaga river in the Canacona area, is one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing beaches of India.
Despite the existence of a thick vegetation cover all along the stretch, this serene beach is not frequented by visitors. Owing to this lack of visitors you do not find any beach shacks here which makes it one of the cleanest beaches of India.
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3. Hollant Beach
Roughly 7 km from the famous Vasco Da Gama city lies this most frequented and mesmerizing Hollant Beach and the only beach in all of Goa where you can witness some amazing views of the sunrise.
Another attraction on this beach is the general view of the landscape that includes views of the foothills of the Western Ghats and some of the south Goa beaches as well. It is just 2 km from the Bomgalo beach and the Dabolim Airport.
A very famous festival known as the Feast of Three Kings is held on the grounds of a nearby chapel, every year on the 6th of January or the 12th night after Christmas which attracts a number of visitors, both national and international.
Other than being conducive to swimming a number of water sports too can be enjoyed at this beach.
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4. Mobor Beach
Generally being mistaken for a private beach owing to the presence of a chain of some luxurious hotel chain, the Mobor Beach sees only a select crowd who visit here. The most unique feature of this beach is that it is surrounded by water on three sides and serves as an extension of the Cavelossim Beach.
Located on the southern end of the confluence of the amazing Sal River with the Arabian Sea, this beach is most popular for the cruise along the Sal River, Dolphin spotting cruise, bird spotting, and various water sports. An added attraction on this beach is the opportunity you get to enjoy some unique underwater activities like underwater oyster catching and fishing.
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5. Bogmalo Beach
Another less-frequented beach, the Bogamalo Beach, near the Vasco Da Gama city is among the cleanest and the most serene of the beaches. With small-time eateries dotting the length of this beach it is an ideal location for a family picnic and some leisure activities.
Although the greenish-blue shallow water lures swimmers and is an attraction for other water sports, it is advised to remain within the marked areas along the beach. Lifeguards too are stationed along the beach to prevent any untoward happening.
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6. Rajbagh Beach
Taking its name from the nearby Rajbagh Residency the Rajbagh beach with its kilometer-long shoreline is the pride of south Goa being the cleanest and the best of all the Goan beaches.
Despite being 3.5 kms to the south of the famous Palolem beach, in the Canacona area and about 45 Kms from Margoa the cultural capital of the state, the shoreline of this mesmerizing beach is relatively untouched.
The reason for it being such is the presence of some exquisite five-star properties that dot the entire length of the beach imparting it the reputation of being an exclusive one that caters to a very select crowd.
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7. Cavelossim Beach
In contrast to the famed party beaches of Goa, this clean calm, and far from the madding crowd type, Covelossim Beach is the perfect spot for those on the lookout for a secluded, peaceful and tranquil place to spend some leisurely time.
This amazing beach with its white sandy shore dotted with some magnificent black volcanic rocks with its clear blue waters is perfect for swimming and water activities like banana boat rides, sunbathing, dolphin spotting, jet skiing, windsurfing, and the like. The sun lounges present at the various beach shacks that dot this beach make them the perfect places to relax at.
For those looking de-stress themselves from their daily chaotic routine ayurvedic treatment facilities are also available nearby. For those fond of collecting souvenirs, the road leading up to the beach is lined with shops offering a variety of little trinkets and souvenir shops.
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8. Cabo de Rama Fort & Beach
An ancient and a legendry fort, where, it is said, that Lord Rama along with Sita had spent time after his exile from Ayodhaya, the Cobo de Rama, has a rich and violent past. Other than the Portuguese this temple has over time been switched between Hindus and Mughal monarchs and witnessed a number of battles.
Having hosed commandant quarters and military barracks during Portugal's rule, this fort now lies in ruins and forms one of the major attractions in Goa, for tourists from India and abroad. Once atop this fort, you are treated to some mesmerizing view of the Goan coastline and its surroundings.
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9. Three Kings Church
Located in Cansaulim atop the Cuelim hill, built-in 1599 by Fr Gonzalo Carvalho SJ, the Three Kings Church is, other than being famous as the most haunted site in Goa, known for its mysterious surroundings, is also famous for the Three Kings Feast festival held here on the 6th January every year, and is a major attraction for the tourists wanting to get away from the loud and monotonous party beaches of Goa.
Moreover, the sweeping mesmerizing view of the sea, surrounding areas, cool breeze, and the vast expanse of lush greenery that you get to see and experience, once you reach here, is in itself a reward for those who drive up to this place through the lush green Ghats of South Goa.
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10. Betul Lighthouse
Majestically standing guard at a distance of about 20 kms from Madgaon, another off-beat place in south Goa, the Betul lighthouse in Quito, painted in red and white stripes is a coastal landmark visible from a distance to the seafarers.
This awesome lighthouse is located near the Betul fort and is surrounded by tall golden grass pastures on one side and the coast on the other. A must-visit place when on a Goa Holiday tour package, for the views that you get atop this lighthouse is nothing short of mind-blowing.
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11. Dudhsagar Falls, South Goa
Located in the Mollem National park and the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary the Dudhsagar or the Tambdi Surla, as known among the locals, in the Western Ghats, though almost dry during the summer months is a sight to behold during the monsoons in the region.
This four-tiered waterfall is among the tallest waterfalls in India, with a height of 310 meters and is approximately 30 meters wide, is located on the Mandovi river in the state. You can see it when traveling by train on the Guntakal – Vasco Da Gama route approximately 45 kms from Madgaon. It can also be reached by road is 60 kms from Panaji.
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12. Kuskem Waterfall
Although not a huge waterfall, located approximately 20 Kms from the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary the Kuskem Waterfalls in the scenic Canacona district is essentially a seasonal waterfall and one of the least frequented locations in Goa.
This waterbody gushing through some thick lush green vegetation expanses has, over the past few years, become an eco-tourism site. A large number of tourists visiting the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary are attracted to this site.
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13. Bamanbudo Waterfalls, Canacona, South Goa
Comfortably accessible, by road, from Canacona or Margao, this amazing Bamanbudo Waterfall, lying on the main road does away with the tedious trekking that is required to be undertaken to reach the other waterfalls in the state. It is also one of the most pristine waterfalls in Old Goa, in the backdrop of the scenic Amba Ghat.
The sound of the gushing water through a thick and rich green vegetation coupled with the freshness of the air, the rich and clean environment makes it one of the must-visit places when traveling to the state on any one of our Goa tour packages.
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14. Tambdi Surla Temple, Valpoi, South Goa
A monument under the protection of the ASI under their program of Monuments of National Importance, in the state of Goa the Mahadev Temple or the Tambdi Surla, as locally known, is a 12th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also the only temple, of the Kadamba era, to have survived the religious intolerance violence during the Portuguese and the Mughal occupations of Goa territories during that period.
This ancient temple at the foothills of the Anmod Ghats, as per a local legend, is also home to a massive King Cobra said to be a permanent resident in the interiors of this temple.
For the architecturally inclined among you, it is worth its while to note that the design of this temple is inspired by Jain architecture. It has very detailed and intricate motifs of Lord Vishnu, Brahma, snakes, and elephants adorning its walls and is an important pilgrim site of the Hindu’s.
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15. Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of roughly 240 Kms of deciduous forests bordering the state of Karnataka in the Western Ghats, the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the 6 wildlife sanctuaries of Goa.
It is home to a variety of wildlife species that roam the grounds of this sanctuary like the leopards, tigers, panthers and the gaurs, the state animal, it also houses a very rich variety of flora.
Along with the Dudhsagar waterfalls, to the southeastern region of this sanctuary, this place is a must-visit when touring the state has opted for any one of our holiday package for Goa.
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16. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
The Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Sanguem Taluka of south Goa makes for an ideal weekend getaway for the nature lovers looking out for a peaceful and quite day the chaotic city life, and those keen on doing some bird watching in peaceful environs.
When here you can rest assured of getting to see some wildlife, in their natural habitat. Other than the activities that you can enjoy during your visit to this sanctuary visiting the nearby attractions keep you occupied for a good part of the day.
The dense forests of the area covered with thick and lush green vegetation with an opportunity to spot some exotic wildlife species make it a must-visit for any and everyone traveling across the state on our Goa Holiday package.
Above are 16 of the various off-beat locations in south Goa, waiting to be explored by you. So why wait let’s pack up and hit the road on a Goa holiday tour package and enjoy all these amazing locations to their fullest.