Planning to spend a weekend in Goa?
Skip the Bagas and Calangutes and try one of these hidden gems says The Beach Company
Canaguinim beach: One of the most understated and secluded beaches, the Canaguinim beach lies south of the magnificent Betul beach. Though the total stretch of the beach is much smaller than its famous cousins, it is the beautiful combination of greenery, crystal clear waters and a calm, pristine beach, which gives it a silvery edge over the others. There are no shacks around the beach and very little sign of life besides the waves. Quite the perfect place to drive down with your tent, camp fire and a barbeque set. Read and swim by the day and sit by the fire at night as you enjoy some much-needed quality time with each other. The beach is located 22 kms from Margao. Don’t forget to visit, the local fishermen community here, who. It’s fun to watch them as they string their nets and fish traditionally.
The green super chilled river and Cabo de Rama beach
Cabo de Rama beach: Also known as Cab de Ram by the locals is a beautiful beach located in South Goa. The beach is located at a distance of 28 kms from Margao. The waters here have a beautiful greenish blue hue and it has many cozy spots for lovers to enjoy a day together. To the north of the beach lies a small river that is shallow enough for one to wade across. Summer or winter, the river water is always cold, sweet and calm. Palm trees line up the shoreline making it an ideal spot for couples with picnic baskets. Behind the beach is a steep cliff with a rocky, flat top and a set of crude steps leading down to the beach. On the left side of the beach a little into the sea is a boulder with a single tree atop it. This boulder can be reached sometimes when the tide is particularly low. While the beach has a bunch of ideal spots, it has no shacks or restaurants. So make sure you pack a nice big basket with goodies to get you through the day. To the south is the Portuguese Cabo de Rama Fort. Legend goes that Lord Rama and Sita lived around the fort area during their exile. Cabo de Rama is a mixed experience with a little bit of history, lots of sea and a tiny river to indulge in.
The coastline at Issorcim
Santrem Beach & Issorcim: Hidden between Bogmalo and Dabolim airport towards the hillock is Santrem beach. A secluded rocky and red mud edged coastline along the Arabian Sea from where the fishing community ventures into the sea. Except at 3 am when the fishermen set out in huge trawlers and little round palm thatched boats, the rest of the time Santrem is quiet and the best place to throw your bait and fishing rods. On the other hand, Issorcim is all the way up and offers you a view of the entire South Goan coastline. Issorcim is a place to open your car boot, play some music and dig into your picnic basket. In the monsoons Issorcim has a natural green safe reservoir to swim in, off the coastline. The view from here is breathtaking too.
Butterfly Beach: Just along the coastline at Palolem, towards the north along the waters lies a natural marvel called the Butterfly Island. The distance from the main land is not more than 200 mts and a short boat ride can get you to this island. The island is perfect for those romantic moments hidden in the pages of many bestsellers. What adds to the beauty are the dolphins surrounding the island with their cute tricks. Low tides create a vast canvas on the beach which is painted by the footsteps of crabs and goldfishes. Don’t forget to try the canoe ride along the tiny water streams on the island.
Patnem Beach: Patnem beach is situated at the southern edge of Palolem and has a mix of shacks and coco huts to stay in. Fairly undiscovered by the usual Goan tourists, it makes for an ideal Valentine get-away. Vast stretches of sand and no escape from the sunshine, Patnem is where you want to go with your swimsuits. There are a number of shacks and camp huts along the shore that serve up some good Goan fare with the usual set of drinks. There are also some huts and fully en-suite rooms with verandahs available for those looking to spend a couple of undisturbed days.
Cola Beach: Named Cola but pronounced as Koola, faded signs from the main coastal road direct you down to the hidden beach. Hike down over the headland to get to this quiet, picturesque cove equipped with just one rustic beach-hut and a whole lot of blissful solitude. A must visit is the Rajasthani tent experience at Cola. Such is its mystery that it has stayed hidden from Goans themselves often casting a doubt at its existence. Cola is 23 minutes from the extreme South taluka of Canancona, accessible by rail and then a ride on the famous motorcycle taxis in Goa. Cola is the perfect place to work on your tan while you bask in the sun together.