5 beaches that offer an alternative to Goa

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Sonam Joshi

Thanks to a lifelong obsession with history, Sonam Joshi is drawn to grand and forgotten ruins, museums and cultures; and travels to expand her mind. When she's not reading or editing travel stories, she loves discovering new places and ways of living. Boating on the Danube in Vienna, haggling at a flea market in Moscow, discovering an old Portuguese mansion in Goa, and watching Chinese fishing nets in Cochin are a few of her favourite experiences. Her camera is her constant travel companion.


Tired of Goa’s crowded beaches and commercialised shops and restaurants? These pristine, picture-perfect beaches in Maharashtra and Karnataka ensure that you don’t have to worry about running out of options for a seaside holiday anytime soon.

Whenever we feel gloomy about the state of the world, a trip to the beach is the perfect soul medicine. The salty air, the sound of the waves, building the occasional sandcastle — it doesn't get much more peaceful and therapeutic than that. And if you're hankering for a beach vacation to a place except Goa, but aren't sure where to go, our featured guide on the awe-inspiring sea beaches in Maharashtra has got you covered.

The Konkan coast is not famous for nothing: Tarkarli Beach, located close to Mumbai, makes this coast a great place for a great time. There are idyllic beaches to tan in, fresh coconut water to consume, and even 17th-century Singhudurg Fort to let you while away the rest of the time. The presence of clear waters and the coral reefs means there is ample scope and arrangement to snorkel and scuba dive. A few tourist accommodations near the 8 km long stretch of beach means you can come here for a stay. What's not to love?

The Harihareshwar Beach in Raigad district of Maharashtra is an abode of sunshine, tumbling waves, privacy, and plenty of spiritual history to offer. The Kal Bhairav Temple located on this Om-shaped beach is the main highlight.  The perpetually balmy weather and spectacularly clear waters will melt away your troubles. Furthermore, the Harihareshwar Beach Resort is your best bargain for an all-inclusive experience. The attentive and friendly staff will give you that feel-good factor. 

And then there’s another beach town where Mumbaikars love vacationing. Diveagar, the quaint beach town, lies 4 hours away from the metropolis. The beaches here stay quiet and family friendly all year round, blessed with perpetual blue skies and sunshine. Being a place thriving on fishing trade, the destination also has an impressive showing of seafood delights. The Roop Narayan temple, the homestays enclosed by coconut and betel nut plantations and the medieval fort of Murud-Janjira overlooking the sea are its major attractions.

You can dig your toes in the sand at any given beach, but getting up close and personal with marine life is a whole other experience. We are talking about Om Beach, christened after its sandy shores which resemble the Sanskrit word ‘OM’.  Throughout the year, it remains a hit among city folks for its ambiance and easy approachability.  It you could drop by the Gokarna Beach, you'll also get to indulge in banana boat rides, snorkelling and parasailing — just the right type of adventure sports therapy you need to get away from it all. And, if you are in for more fun and adventure, hike over the hills surrounding Om Beach and you’ll reach the Kudle Beach and Half-Moon Beach; otherwise, they are only a boat ride away from Om Beach. Gokarna also has an array of water sports facilities for banana boat rides, snorkelling and parasailing. Not to forget the Paradise Beach, a sort of hippie hangout zone, where you could just spend hours relaxing by the ocean, have an adventure exploring the tropical forests.

Check out our pick of five beaches along the Konkan coast that are perfect for those looking for an alternative weekend getaway.

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