After spending a couple of days partying in the typical Goa manner, we moved ahead in search of more peaceful and lesser explored places there. I had heard of a beach in South Goa that, according to the legends, was hidden deep in the jungle, attracted few people and was mesmerizingly beautiful. Cola Beach.
Accessibility – 2 / 5
Reaching Cola Beach is tough. At least from when coming from North side. Good thing is Google Maps know Cola (not cola beach), so if following the directions, you will end up in a 3-5 km radius of Cola Beach and then you’ll have to figure out things on your own. When coming from north side, there is no sign board for Cola Beach or Cola village, unlike what is usually found in Goa. Once you on the muddy turn from Cola Village, your problems aren’t over. About 1km ahead, there’s a small clearing in the otherwise bushy kind of setting, where you will find three smaller trails, and no sign boards or locals to help. I think it was the middle one which was correct. 500mt on that road, and you will find some vehicles parked indicating you have reached.
Also, riding with Google maps all the time is kind of tough. So when around 20km from Cola we put the mobile in our packets and asked locals for directions. Make sure the locals heard Cola and not Colva. Colva is a popular tourist destination and most of the people will direct you to it. Few people have heard of Cola. So be sure when you are asking about it.
Rideability – 4 / 5
The road to Cola looked like a newly made one, and was beautiful. Cola beach is a cliff beach, so while approaching, you have hills, and hence deep jungles on both side. Plus, there isn’t much traffic on the road. In the last 10km to Cola, we could have counted the number of Vehicles that we saw.
While coming from North, try to leave Highway as soon as possible after Panaji, head towards the coast and then try to navigate yourself to Cola.
Peace Factor – 4 / 5
People who have visited Cola might reprehend me for this. It is the perfect setting. A clear river forming a little lagoon and meeting the sea. Clean, long beach, surrounded by cliffs on all three sides. And less than 200 people in all this. What else could one possibly ask for? But, I have my own reasons.
The place is high on touristy factor. Of the 200 people that I mention, 180 were travelers. Had these been local folks, I would have found the place 6/5.
The beach has 3 resorts in all, of which you can book on arrival in 2 resorts only. Apart from this, there is one more restaurant shack, which is frequented by people who are there for a day trip.
Scenic Factor / Photography – 5/5
It’s beautiful. The river lagoon makes this place so much more than a beach. Plus the beach is top notch too. Away from the crowds and not used by the local fishermen, this beach remains clean perennially.
Budget – 3 / 5
The beach is expensive. At least for backpackers folks like us, it is. The rooms there started from 3000 per night (it was the first week of Jan, so naturally expensive. But we spent our night in the life guards’ hut, which was super awesome).
The food also is slightly on the higher side as found in the rest of Goa.
Things to do – 4 / 5
It’s a good site for camping. A large part of beach remains away from water in night. Just don’t ask for anybody’s permission. Find a good spot away from the resorts and you will be good to go.
A long swim in the river. It’s one of the prettiest setting for swimming. Since it is river water, the water is fresh. And since it is lagoon, there is almost 0 water current. And there are coconut trees on both the sides continuously. Must do. Must do. As long as you can go. No danger whatsoever.
A hike to Agonda. This beach is 15km North of Agonda by road. But, you can hike your way up and down to Agonda in 25 minutes. And then return Kayaking.
In fact, the cliff on your way to Agonda is also a great site to camp. 100ft above the beach, with views to die for.
Check out video of cola beach below
We spent 2 days at Cola and then moved further south in search of a better beach. We had been to Agonda, Palolem, Patnem, Rajbagh before and knew they would be crowded at this time of year. So we decided to go for Gokarna, as we had heard there is a beach that would be relatively peaceful. On our way, we saw a board to Galgibagh Beach. Curious, we did a quick google search on it. We were in bad signal zone and the only thing we could gather was some turtle thing (which we later found was a complete fart). We decided to give it a shot. And I am glad we did.
Talpona & Glagibach Beaches
Accessibility – 4 / 5
It is easy to reach this place. We didn’t check the Google Maps, as we stumbled upon this place ourselves, but the beach isclearly shown on the maps. The only caveat is that the road that turns for these beaches (Talpona & Galgibagh) is a very small one, and is easy to miss while driving on the main Goa – Karnataka highway.
Galgibagh is 3 km further of Talpona.
Rideability – 4 / 5
Talpona Beach is about 7 Km from the highway, and ride is nice. Less crowded, and the road runs mostly along a big river (Talpon) which gives it a nice touch. The road is narrow but in pretty good condition.
Peace Factor – 5 / 5
Talpona is a very small village with majority of fishermen population. Tourism hasn’t touched this place much. In fact, the beach was opened for tourists a couple of years back. So, there are only 2 or 3 shacks on a 2km long beach.
One corner of the beach is packed with fishing boats and is not clean. But the rest of beach is all to yourselves.
Tourists are few on this beach, each doing their own thing on the beach. During the evening, villagers come out to stroll on the beach. Not too many, not too few. Just perfect.
2 Russian dudes were camping on the far end of the beach. They told this was the first good beach they could find for camping, and they had searched everything from Arambol.
Galgibagh, is much bigger than Talpona. Village is a away from the beach, so fewer fishing boats. Number of shacks is more or less the same. Peace is much higher there.
We stayed for 5 days here.
Scenic Factor / Photography – 4 / 5
The beach is beautiful. Unlike Palolem and other neighboring beaches, these two have pine trees instead of coconut trees, which gives a different feel to them.
So yes, that’s about it. They just fall in the category of beautiful beaches, not mindblowing beaches like Andaman or Lakshwadeep.
Budget – 4.5 / 5
There are 2 old shacks here that give rooms for as low as 200 per night (if you book for a week or more). The newer shacks have rooms around 1500 – 2000 per night.
We camped out on the beach for 5 days here with no problems whatsoever. One day Beach patrol came to question us but went happily after a couple of questions. Its a slightly sensitive area because some turtles night end up here every year to lay eggs. But nothing much to worry about.
I gave less rating on budget because of food. Food in Goa is expensive in general and this beach was no exception, though better priced than the rest of Goa.
Things to Do –
Camping. Super location for camping. Camp anywhere on the vast stretches of these two beaches. Find a good shade because it gets very hot during the days.
Talpona is a fishermen’s beach, so make use of it. Scores of boats leave for fishing between 4am to 5am in the morning and return around 8 to 10 am. Most of these are hand rowed and if urged correctly, men will be happy to take you aboard.
The water around this beach is very clear. Go for a long swim and you will see fishes around you.
And finally, chill at the beach. Local kids will be playing football, cricket and whatnot in the evening. Shake a leg with them. You will definitely find some white folks doing yoga every morning. Stretch with them.
Two old shacks that I mentioned attract a lot of local people from different villages around (meaning that this place is the best one around). Chat with them. You will get a lot of valuable info about the area.
Check out video of Talpona beach below :
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Quick Facts About this Bike Travel
Number of People – 2
Bike – 1 White Bullet
Number of Days (till now) – 50
Miles Covered (till now) – 6500+ km
Total Running Budget – INR 63200 (including accommodation, food, petrol and other miscel expenses)