Take to the sea
With no rocks, the sea is good for swimming but, as ever, it’s recommended that you get local information about currents and undertow from your hotel or lifeguards you may see on duty, who will usually position flags to indicate safe areas. Other aquatic activities at Benaulim, Goa, and nearby along the long, sandy stretch of coastline include banana boat rides, speedboat rides, jet-skiing, windsurfing and parasailing. Goa is an increasingly popular destination for water sports. You’ll also find local operators offering fishing trips, as Benaulim Beach is great for fishing. Other operators offer trips to catch sight of the ever-popular, charismatic dolphins.
If you fancy exploring, walk, rent a bike or scooter, or catch a rickshaw. To the north of Benaulim is Colva Beach, boasting palm trees, cafés and lifeguards, and more bustle than its southern neighbour. Here, you can also head inland to the village, and visit Our Lady of Mercy Church, which dates to the 17th century. If you visit in October, you may see the Fama festival, when the church’s famous Menino Jesus statue is shown to the crowds. South of Benaulim are Varca, Fatrade, Carmona and Cavelossim, which is 12km away. At the latter, you can go on cruises to see dolphins or head up the Sal River to spot birds and fruit bats.
With the Portuguese legacy in Goa, Benaulim Town is largely Christian and there are several churches, including the handsome St John the Baptist, located on Monte Benaulim. Built in 1596, it boasts famous rococo decoration. While exploring Benaulim, you can also visit Goa Chitra Museum. With its collection of more than 4,000 exhibits, it’s divided into two sections. The first gives an insight into the history of Goan life, from fishing to music to farming, while the second is all about transport, with historical vehicles. Nearer the beach centre is the market; it’s always worth visiting an Indian market for the sights, sounds and smells of food, spices, fabrics and much more.
For an even more dynamic day out during your Benaulim holidays, why not head to the local big city of Margao? It’s only about 10km away, which is around a 20-minute drive. Margao is rich in restaurants and hotels, as well as bustling markets and shops, selling everything from dried fish to jewellery. There’s the covered market on Gandhi Market Road, while the Old Market area is near the Church of the Holy Spirit and surrounded by historic buildings. The first church was built by Jesuit missionaries in 1564 but it burned down. The current church is a more modern affair, dating to the mid-17th century. It has a fine baroque facade and interior. Other churches and temples of many faiths dot the city, highlighting the rich heritage of Goa.
When planning holidays to Goa, Benaulim is a great option if you’re craving some beach time. Indeed, Benaulim holidays are all about the beach, which stretches for miles on either side and is one of the finest in Goa, backed by palm trees and friendly cafés. Relax, eat and watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea. Enjoy water sports, tours or visit the local towns and heritage sites to get a sense of the uniquely Goan culture.