Long weekends lined up in April. Confusion killing you? Goa vs Gokarna? Baga Beach vs Kudle Beach? Alcohol vs Weed? The two gorgeous destinations are akin in their wealth of sandy shores & azure waters, but who will win if they were to be pitched against each other? So who do you think wins – Goa or Gokarna?
Goa vs Gokarna: A Close Competition
While Goa has been a popular beach getaway for decades, Gokarna is joining the league and attracting travelers across genres. We might have a slightly unfair bias for Goa – the ultimate destination amongst young adults looking for beaches, waters, alcohol & parties. But Gokarna, is no less! A perfect getaway for couples & travelers seeking solace and tranquillity while they indulge in the serendipitous aura of the place is commendable. The only real way to find out is to have a look for yourself.
1. The Sea Shore
There’s no dearth of vast expanses of water and sandy shores in either of the destinations. While Goa’s coastline boats of some of the famous beaches – Anjuna, Baga, Calangute,Mandrem and more, Gokarna too has an incredible coastline with Om, Kudle, Half Moon and Paradise beach.
Goa beaches are easily accessible and usually loud & crowded (of course based on the beaches you choose). Gokarna beaches are comparatively calmer, modest with less travellers.
2. Which Beach to Go to?
Goa: Its all about Crowds and Parties
If you’re heading for a fun-family vacation or are travelling as a couple, North Goa beaches are idyllic while those who are looking for pubs & parties, alcohol & adventure, South Goa would be the perfect choice.
Gokarna: Solitude & Peace
For those who wish to soak in the water and laze over the sand, Om & Kudle beach are ideal spots. While couples & travellers yearning solitude can trek to Paradise & Half Moon beaches. The beaches could either be reached via motorboats or one can trek through the rugged cliffs, secluded coves & islets. The trek is pretty tiring as it entails ascents & descents.
3. Where to Stay?
Goa: Luxurious Hotels to Shacks
This world famous destination attracts tourists all the year round and with international travellers pouring in, the destination offers some of the most exquisite stays at hotels like Vivanta by Taj.
Gokarna: Resorts & Hotels
Gokarna is a toned down version of Goa. Though its lined up with amazing shacks and hotels but doesn’t match upto the luxurious accommodations of Goa. moreover, Gokarna isn’t too heavy on the pocket. For a perfect beachfront stay, pick a hotel at Kudle beach.
4. Where to Eat?
Like we said, there’s no dearth of food joints in either of the destinations and almost every cuisine is available. Yet, both the places have a few real amazing hangouts:
Goa: Cuisines & Varieties
Be it Russian or Continental or Chinese or scrumptious sea food, Goa serves it all. Britto’s & Anthony’s at Baga beach for a Great Karaoke Night, Amigo’s under Nerul Bridge for splendid Sea Food, KU, Morjim – Run by a French couple for the typical Bali hut style ambience, Salt & Pepper, Little Vagator for its burgers.
Gokarna: Local Delicacies
Gokarna is more on the traditional side and serves local delicacies & south-Indian flavored Sea food. Dolphin Bay Café at Om Beach for its delectable food & hospitality with boats lined up right in front to take you for a ride into the sea to spot Dolphins. Surya Café for its delicious Bangda (Mackerel fish) fry / curry & Namaste Café for its Tuna Sandwich and its amazing construction where the café cum shack has been carved out on a rock that leads to the beach.
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5. Water Sports
Indulge in the most unique water experiences in Goa. Go Yachting, try Knee Boarding, Paddle Boarding, Water Skiing, Scuba Diving, Water Scooter and Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang Stunt – FlyBoarding on Baina Beach Goa.
Beach Football, Beach Volleyball, Parasailing, Banana Boat Ride, Jet Skiing – on Om Beach. You could also try Kayaking organized by Swaswara Resort.
6. Into the water
Dive in the waters of Netrani islands and swim along the multi-colored corals.
Take a boat ride into the sea and watch the Dolphins play in their natural habitats!
7. Cruises Vs Boats
Goa definitely has a plethora of cruises and yachts to take you into the inlets of the sea. And what’s more is the cruise entertains you all along with liquor, food, music and performances.
Fishermen on Om beach, Kudle beach, main beach are quite eager to take you on a catamaran ride. Unlike Goa, the splashes of salty water leave you refreshed. You could take the catamaran ride from one beach to the other. For those who love to travel across through the calm serene waters, beach hopping cannot get better than this.
Shopping in Goa is synonymous with Flea Markets. Shop in Mapusa Friday Market, Calangute Bazar, the Mackies and Anjuna Flea market. For a perfect evening head to Saturday Night Bazar. The myriad of fun activity – performances, stalls, liquor, dance & more – a perfect reason to spend your Saturday in the hustle bustle.
Gokarna offers a traditionally interesting shopping experience too. The streets are loaded with colourful shops selling souvenirs like brass lamps, trishuls, decorative items made out of sea shells. Kallu sakkare, a kind of sugar candy, is the best thing to buy from here.
Must Read: Top 11 Shopping Destinations in India
Goa: With The Town
When it comes to go there’s no end to fun! Popular amongst many because it’s cheap, Goa is a paradise for travellers who like to party in full swing. With over 800 nightclubs, pubs, lounges & discotheques, and moonlight beach parties, Goa cannot be compared with any other destination in the world.
Gokarna: All by Yourself
Gokarna is a town of contrasts. A Hindu Pilgrimage site, a popular hippie destination and a breathtaking getaway for travellers seeking solitude, Gokarna offers a unique nightlife experience around with the sounds of waves, bonfire, guitars, drums and friends.
10. Glass vs Grass
Goa is frequented by thousands of tourists every season and mostly because of the cost of liquor in the state. The never ending freedom, infectious aura, trance and beats are a reason enough to drink until the sun shines.
Though a destination of utter religious importance, Gokarna has a fun side to it too! If you wish to stay high and bathe in the glinting waves, Gokarna will be the perfect getaway.
Wondering you’re neither into alcohol nor weed, which location to pick? Fret not. It’s your choice to drink or smoke – No one forces you!
Travellers from all over the world land in Goa or Gokarna every year – some to explore the hippie lifestyle and others for getting away from the bustling cities. While Goa is a liberal and free-spirited destination where one could spot a tourist in almost every corner. Gokarna is a small quaint upcoming destination with a majority of locals.
Though both the destinations have their own charm, but which one do you vote for? Goa or Gokarna?
Frequently Asked Questions About Goa Vs Gokarna
A. Goa and Gokarna both are amazing beach destinations in India. Gokarna is comparatively less crowded than Goa, as a lot of people still do not know of this amazing place. If one is looking for a lesser crowd, then Gokarna is a great place to visit.
A. One might not come across a liquor shop in Gokarna, but beer is mostly available at the shacks on the beach here.
A. Gokarna is around 143 km away from Goa and one might take around 3-4 hours to reach via road.
A. Yes, Gokarna is an extremely safe beach destination. One can even travel solo to this city.
A. Pondicherry and Gokarna, both are amazing destinations. If one wants to just chill at the beach, then Gokarna is a great place, but if one wants to explore the city and is traveling with family, then they can choose to visit Pondicherry.
A. The best time to visit Gokarna is post the monsoons. October till late February, the temperature is pleasant here, and one can plan a trip here during this period.
A. Gokarna is that kind of a place where one can easily spend a week just at the beach. But ideally 3 nights and 4 days are good to explore all the beaches and more here.
A. Yes, the shacks at the beach serve tasty vegetarian food, and one can also find small restaurants in the town which serve South Indian food in Gokarna.