Colva beach is located in south Goa and
can be accessed by taking a bus to Margao and from there,
either a taxi or rickshaw to the beach itself. The cost of
a single trip will vary between 100-250 rupees depending on
your bartering skills.
The beach at Colva is the biggest in Goa;
stretching 25km, all the way from Bogmalo to Cabo de Rama.
In fact, it is one of the largest beaches in the world, and
therefore is often viewed as a place to get away from the
crowds which descend on other beaches in Goa such as Anjuna
beach. Besides its size, there is little to distinguish
Colva beach from the other beaches in Goa. It offers visitors
a wealth of natural beauty, fine white sand and palm trees
and provides that feeling of paradise which continues to draw
tourists to Goa year upon year.
However, the beach does have an interesting and distinguishing
history. When India was a colony, the beach was favoured by
high society who resided in nearby towns and who constructed
luxury villas which are still visible on the beachfront to
this day. The beach shacks and huts which have been built
in more recent times by the local fishing population make
for an interesting juxtaposition that you cannot fail to notice.
Whilst It has succumbed to the needs of tourism, with water
sports providers now being positioned on the beachfront and
with regular dolphin watching trips also on offer, Colva largely
retains its local feel. It is steeped in culture with an active
fishing community continuing to thrive and work from the beach,
with fishermen and locals often more than happy to share their
knowledge of the beach and surrounding area with visitors.
One of the most popular tourist attractions close to the beach
is the “Our Lady of Mercy Church”, a building
constructed in 1620 and often described as one of the most
magnificent cultural attractions in Goa due to its exquisite
and intricate design. Another popular cultural attraction
is Colva beaches annual religious festival, occurring on the
penultimate Monday in October, which is an event not to be
missed if you are visiting during the period. During the festival,
there are a wide variety of both beach and water based festivities
to be enjoyed by both the local population and visitors alike.
The accommodation on offer at Colva beach
is varied both in terms of quality and price. Many of the
luxury villas constructed during India’s time as a colony
have been converted into boutique hotels where rooms can cost
in excess of 1400 rupees per night. In fact, during peak season,
the Colmar Beach Resort charges up to 4000
rupees per night. There are, however, a number of cheaper
options available such as the Serjo Home Cottages which isn’t
advertised as much as the luxury resorts, but where you can
expect to pay on average 400 rupees per night. Visitors should
be aware that there are a number of options available to suit
each budget, and so there is no need to feel pressured into
staying in a luxury resort at significant financial cost.
The beach at Colva is quite a spectacle and a visit is highly
advised, if only to marvel at its sheer size and beauty. However,
Colva has much more to offer than its beach alone; it offers
visitors a rare glimpse into India’s colonial past which
provides a truly memorable experience.