Galgibag Beach

Galgibag Beach Guide (2021) : A hidden Treasure of South Goa

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Quick Facts About Galgibaga Beach

  • The beach is located around 84 kilometers away from Panaji.
  • It is famous for conserving and protecting turtles.
  • Galgibaga Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in India
  • If you want to witness turtle nesting season, make sure to go between January and February. 

About Galgibag Beach in Goa

Galgibaga Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Goa with silver sands and lush green backdrop. It is dotted with palm trees and connected to a river at one end, making it a beautiful landscape. A beguiling, untainted sea shore in South Goa, Galgibag is often considered to be one of the most beautiful and relatively unspoiled beaches in India.

Aerial view of Galgibaga

The vibrant colors of the lush vegetation on Galgibaga Beach in Goa are breathtaking. The coastline is about a kilometer long and curves around to form a natural swimming spot with views overlooking the Arabian Sea! At night you can see stars shining brightly overhead as there’s no light pollution close by like some other beaches have these days.

Besides, Galgibaga Beach is also one of the few places in Goa where you can spot the endangered Olive Ridley turtles nests. Presence of these species make the area ecologically sensitive, and as a result, the authorities safeguard the beach. In fact to ensure the undisturbed nesting of these sea turtles, and to locate and save the baby turtles, the State Government have taken many effective steps. Unlike some popular beaches in North Goa, Galgibaga stays relatively remote even during the season time. Less tourist footfall makes this place a tranquil retreat for peace-seekers and turtles alike.

Sea Turtles at Galgibag Beach

Green turtles and olive ridleys are known to nest in Goa and Maharashtra in small numbers. Goa has reported records of three species of sea turtles: olive riddles, leatherbacks and green turtles. Galgibag is one of the few places in India where these species have found a favorable habitat for breeding.

The beaches of Goa are prime tourist destinations and are usually highly populated. The tourist season lasts from October to May, which coincides with the sea turtle nesting season.  According to seaturtlesofindia.org, researchers gathered data from local communities, fisher folks, trawler owners, fisheries and forest department personnel to identify the nesting behavior of sea turtles.  Based on information received from over 60 localities along the five coastal districts of Goa and Maharashtra, there are confirmed reports of the nesting of olive riddleys, green turtles, leatherbacks and hawksbills on the shores. The olive ridley is the most common species among all, and Galgibag happens to be a frequent hatching ground for the eggs.

Apart from the undisturbed beaches of Galgibagh, sightings for Olive Ridley are commonly reported by trawler-workers along the Maharashtra coastline, who say that the turtles are found near rocky areas where they feed on algae. According to some fisher folks, these turtles are sometimes caught in traditional nets like rampan and gills.

Poaching of Turtle Eggs and conservation efforts at Galgibag Beach

Poaching of eggs of Olive Ridley is a major problem in all the localities surveyed in the non-protected beaches of Goa. In areas where large numbers of turtles once nested, people moved in groups along the beach to collect the eggs at dawn. A tradition in some localities in Maharashtra spoke of leaving five eggs in each nest after the collection of eggs, but this tradition has now changed (only one egg is kept in the nest), and in some places it has completely died out. While most sea turtles are immediately released if caught in fishing nets, some fish-landing sites, live turtles are sold for Rs 200 to 500 bucks each, depending on their size.  In Goa, several fisher folks have stated that sea turtles were killed for their meat. In some places, there were even reports of nesting turtles being killed.

Incidental catch in fishing nets is a major threat to sea turtles like Olive Ridleys. According to information obtained from locals in different areas, on average five turtles are caught in fishing nets, per trawler per year. The turtles caught accidentally in in some places are said to be either consumed as food or sold.

Around two or three dead turtles are reported every year in all the localities visited, most of which are likely to have died as incidental catch. In Goa, incidental catch in fishing nets poses a great risk for the turtles. In two months, the fishing nets of four trawlers trapped six turtles. During the surveys, dead turtles or their carapaces were encountered at various sites. While interacting with the trawler owners during the surveys, the researchers found that very few are interested in using turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets. Due to such hazards, nesting of turtles has not been seen for a line at most sites in Goa. Late-night parties on the beach affect nesting, as loud music and glaring lights scare away the turtles. The lack of such disturbances at Galgiabag has been the prime reason why the turtles come here. Recently an effort was made by the electricity department to illuminate the road near the beach in Morjim, which is a protected olive ridley nesting site but was not carried through, due to strong opposition by conservationists. It is fortunate thing that Galgibag has protection from government, and let us hope that it stays protected.

Signboards at Galgibag Beach

  • Galgibag beach
  • GALGIBAG BEACH
  • Galgibag Beach
  • Galgibag beach
  • Galgibag Beach

How to Reach Galgibag Beach

The easiest way to reach Galgibag Beach is by driving along the NH17 highway. However, there are other options for those who prefer a more challenging route like crossing the small river bridge.

After you pass Chaudi Market in Cancona District, turn right down a parallel road in few kilometers. There is railroad crossing here and once passed it keep left to find Talpona River – which can be difficult as there are no markings. The bridge with log access that will take you over to the other side of river was built by locals who have been helpful up until now so ask them for help!

You can cross Galgibaga River also on a ferryboat, but avoid doing this during the monsoon season as the seas can get rough.

Things To Do at Galgibag Beach

Galgibaga Beach  offers an enchanting sight for visitors who come here in search of tranquility and beautiful landscapes. If you want to explore the hidden, pristine beaches of Old Goa, this is definitely the best place to consider. You can spend a day by the seaside and experience the joy of walking along the silver shores. The tranquility of the beach attracts many people for its solitude. One can take a long walk on the shore, go out to sea in a ferry boat, and enjoy scenic sunsets and sunrises from every angle, as you walk on the shores with your toes kneading the mushy sand beneath.

Since Galgibag Beach remains less crowded, it offers perfect opportunity to enjoy a holiday with your partner or friends. You can also visit this place as a solo traveler.

There is a parking area at the entrance where you can park your four wheeler or two wheeler and head out to the beach. The stretch of the coastline is pretty big and it is not very wise to walk the entire stretch on your own during monsoon. Also the since place is a habitat for Olive Ridley turtles, the wildlife department has declared some areas as protected. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to see any turtles. All I could find was plenty of sign boards with interesting infographics describing the life of turtles in great detail. 

Perhaps if you are a turtle enthusiast you will enjoy browsing through the boards and reading interesting information about how these turtles nest. If you visit Galgibag during the nesting season you are likely to spot turtle eggs and baby turtles making their way to the sea. One of the reason why this beach is very remote is because the wildlife conservation department considers this place to be ecologically sensitive. There are certainly some rules that you need to follow when you are heading out to see the turtles. There is a tourist information center which gets operational during season time to help you understand the turtle seeing guidelines in detail.

Best time to Visit Galgibaga Beach

 While you can visit the Galgibaga Beach anytime of the year, it is more favorable to come here during the months between December and February. It is because if you are lucky, you get to see the nests or eggs of the turtles, and even adult turtles crossing their way along the shores. I have visited Galgibag beach during the monsoon and had quite a different experience. I did not spot any turtles but the landscapes were breathtaking!

Watersports at Galgibaga Beach

If you are looking for a beach to enjoy water sports, Galgibaga Beach is not your best bet. However, if you’re in Goa and want something unique to do on the beach besides swimming or sunbathing, then there are many places here to satisfy your craving for adventure! Goa is becoming popular for watersports, and the number of people who come here to try watersports has risen significantly since the tourism authorities started promoting it. But let us hope that Galgibag Beach remains the way it is. We should let the turtles have fun !

Nightlife at Galgibaga Beach

A quiet stretch of sand, Galgibaga Beach manages to be the best place for people looking to escape from their daily noise. It’s also a great choice for those who want an intimate experience with nature as it is home to some rare and endangered turtle. The serene surroundings make this beach one that offers peace; but there isn’t much nightlife around here! But don’t worry if you’re on your own, because at Galgibaga Beach you’ll find unique experiences and a chance to meet fellow nature enthusiasts like yourself.

Shacks at Galgibag Beach 

The offbeat and secluded beach is a hidden gem, with some of the most mouthwatering seafood you’ll find in India. It doesn’t have many resorts or lodging options but there are one or two restaurants that serve delicious curries to go along with your meal. The beach shacks are closed during the monsoon due to cyclone.

Things to Carry at Galgibaga Beach 

You can carry swimsuit and flip flops, towel, an extra pair of clothes, sunscreen and hat. Also bring cash so you can buy food as there are only two restaurants on the beach and they may not accept online payment! Pack some snacks too in case you get hungry while out exploring.

My experience at Galgibag Beach

I have visited South Goa countless times, but never really thought about visiting Galgibaga beach. But then one day, I had an intense urge to explore some of the unknown beaches of Goa. Galgibag Beach seemed like a good start. Interestingly enough, I visited Galgibag beach during covid times. They had just lifted the lockdown restrictions in Goa, and I was feeling like a free bird. So I took my scooter one fine day and headed to the so-called turtle paradise. 

Imagine the thrill of visiting a remote beach during unordinary times. Not only was there a lockdown hangover, but it also happen to be the monsoon season. I remember my journey when I was driving in heavy rain. All I had with me was a raincoat, and the thrilling part was that I did not know the directions. This was the first time I was visiting Galgibag and I was on my own. The next time I did take my friends there and the experience was a little different but I will keep that story for some other blog post. : )

So here I was completely alone, partially drenched, and without a map, ready to explore a beach very few people know about in the tourist circle. I was at the mercy of my intuition and the directions provided by the locals. I had to stop multiple times to ask for directions, and I am sure people must be thinking what craziness is that. Who would visit such a remote beach when it is raining heavily. But taking the directions from the helpful locals and following my intuition, I finally reached Galgibag Beach

It looked like a pretty normal beach at first. It was nothing like the 3D drone videos that I saw on YouTube about this place. Probably because I visited in monsoon, the place did not look that vibrant. But again beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Isn’t it? I did find the place very beautiful. The dark clouds above the hills in distance made the entire landscape look surreal. There were hardly any people in view and it looked quite remote. 

Closing Remarks on Galgibag Beach

I would definitely love to visit this place during season time as well. And I am sure it will look very different from what I saw it as during the monsoon. If you have ever been near a beach during monsoons, you know what I am talking about . Monsoons are not very beach friendly. The water has some really dangerous undercurrents and it is not advisable for inexperienced swimmers to venture out in the sea. I have seen beaches of Goa during peak monsoon. It is a very scary experience. The cyclonic winds batters the sea water frenziedly, creating angry waves. You will find uprooted trees and a heap of debris scattered on the beach. These debris consists of fishing nets, plastics, and glass bottles. There is also a lot of sea grasses, leaves and twigs all mixed up together. It’s an ugly mess. One great thing that I saw in Goa was that there’s always people employed to keep the beaches clean. But that is not an excuse to litter the beautiful beaches. : ) Monsoon is a time when the sea rejuvenates by cleaning itself naturally, tossing out the debris and laying it on the shores. 

I found Galgibaga beach relatively clean but still you will find debris in some spots. Debris is everywhere. Where there is a human, there is a debris. : (

I hope you enjoyed reading my experiences of visiting Galgibag beach in monsoon, and found the information on this page helpful. This is definitely a place that you should visit. Season time is a better option because the beaches look more vibrant and the ocean looks blue. Also during season time you have more options of accommodation nearby and also more restaurants open. This is not to say that you should never visit Galgibag beach during monsoon. But if you do, kindly ensure to check the weather report before heading out to such remote areas. I have heard that cyclones are frequent and unpredictable in such places during monsoon. Last but not the least, it’s very important to respect the decorum of this unspoiled paradise. It is your duty to respect the habitat of olive ridley turtles. Avoid littering the place with human waste and encourage others to follow the same. 🙂

Places to stay near Galgibag Beach

Palolem is a good option to stay near Galgibag beach. Some of the resorts here are open through out the year. Check out the deals below from Booking.com if you are planning to visit South Goa.

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Attributions

https://www.seaturtlesofindia.org/
http://irgu.unigoa.ac.in/drs/handle/unigoa/5320
https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g816969-d4138937-Reviews-Galgibaga_Beach-Agonda_South_Goa_District_Goa.html

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