Arambol beach, sometimes also referred to as Harmal, is the last of the developed beaches in North Goa. It is 35 kilometers from Panaji, Goa’s state capital, via the NH 66. The international airport is 59.2 kilometers away. It is just north of the Mandrem beach.
The beach is both rocky and sandy, and pristine as there are fewer tourists. It is also one of the cleanest North Goa beaches. Once popular with the hippies, there is a distinct Bohemian and laid-back feel about this beach. It is one of the greenest beaches in Goa, as the entire 16 kilometer long shoreline is lined with palm and other trees. Red hills overlook the Arabian Sea and the beach. There is a thick forest and a sweet water lake at the northern end of the beach, and the famous Banyan Tree, where the famous music band The Beatles had meditated according to a legend.
Arambol became popular in the 1960s when long-haired hippies first arrived in Goa. Many of them settled at Calangute, and a few more North Goa beaches, but others wanted a more serene, more calm and peaceful place. Arambol, with its clean white long stretch of sand, hills, trees, forest, and the lake was a perfect choice.
You will still find a bit of the hippie culture here. The beach is a popular choice for many long-staying and budget travelers. It is still cheap today, and very cheerful. Most tourists are young people. You can to this day see foreigners singing and playing the Jimba at the Drum Circles. Russians run a flea market right on the beach.
There are no star hotels or major resorts here, as the locals have extensively campaigned to preserve the character and tranquil atmosphere of Arambol. So Arambol still retains its old Goa culture and fishing village ways of life. There are shacks and restaurants though, which stay open in mostly in the peak tourist season. At other times of the year, Arambol wears a deserted look.
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Quick Facts About Arambol
- Arambol is in North Goa. It is the northernmost developed beach in Goa and close to the Maharashtra-Goa state border. It is a serene, quiet, and clean beach. Hills and trees everywhere. There are fewer tourists than the busy North Goa beaches. A great place for relaxation and appreciating the beauty of nature. Sandy and rocky beach. Many foreigners. There is a sweet water lake at the northern side of the beach.
- Closest airport – Dabolim – 59.2 kms.
- Closest railway station – Pernem – 16.8 kms.
- Thivim railway station – 26.8 kms. No big hotels or resorts here. Only beach huts, cottages, home stays, and villas. Arambol is cheaper than most North Goa beaches. The beach is popular with budget travelers and long-stayers.
- Popular with the hippies in the 1960s. You will still find a bit of the hippie culture here. Drum Circles. Live music by international and local musicians. Dancing. Very laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. Shacks, restaurants, cafes, shops, banks, ATMs, bike/car rentals, massage, and yoga available. Most beach shacks are temporary structures that are open only in the main season.
- One of the best places for paragliding in Goa. Take off from the rocky headland for an amazing experience. Get amazing views of the sea, shore, and the interiors. Forest with wildlife and birds, very close to the the beach. Sweet water lake, hills, and a beautiful valley, good for hiking.
- Many yoga and meditation centers. A great beach for complete relaxation. A good base camp from where you can visit some other North Goa beaches.
Best Time Of The Year To Visit Arambol
The winter season, between November and February, is the best time to visit Arambol. It is pleasant this time of the year. There is paragliding this time of the year. The monsoon is too risky for paragliding because of the high winds and the chance of sudden rains. The summer can be too harsh. Besides, everything shuts down almost completely at other times of the year. Most beach shacks at Arambol are open only during the peak winter months, which is almost like the only season here.
The economy of Arambol depends to a large extent on foreign tourists, as many of them are from Russia and other European countries. Many shops, restaurants, and cafes will be open only between November and February, as this is the only time when there are foreign tourists at Arambol.
Summer (March, April, and May) is hot season in Goa and Arambol. The summer temperature ranges between 32°C and 36°C. On some days, it can even be higher than this. Monsoon (middle of June to September) is not as hot. But the humidity will be higher, so you will sweat a lot. Besides, it will rain heavily. Chance of thundershowers! The sea will be choppy with high winds.
|Weather in Arambol|
|Average high, °C||31,6||31,5||32,0||33,0||33,0||30,3||28,9||28,8||29,5||31,6||32,8||32,4||31,3|
|Average low, °C||19,6||20,5||23,2||25,6||26,3||24,7||24,1||24,0||23,8||23,8||22,3||20,6||23,2|
|Average precipitation mm||0,2||0,1||1,2||11,8||112,7||868,2||994,8||512,7||251,9||124,8||30,9||16,7||2926|
November to February is the peak season at Arambol. The temperature comes down and is more manageable. Rays of the sun won’t seem to burn your skin anymore. There is almost no rain, and the humidity is also less. You can spend the entire day at the beach, relaxing, getting a massage, taking yoga lessons, or joining a Drum Circle for some music and dancing to celebrate hippie culture.
As the weather is more pleasant, you can also hike through the forest to reach the small lake and the Banyan Tree.
How To Reach Arambol
- By Air — The Dabolim airport is 59.2 kms from Arambol. First take the NH566, then proceed to the NH366, proceed to the NH66, the Duler-Marna-Siolim Road, and finally the Querim–Arambol–Agarwada Road to reach Arambol. The airport is connected by many Indian and international airlines.
- By Rail — The closest railhead is Pernem, which is 16.8 kms away. The Thivim railway station is at a distance of 26.8 kms.
- By Road — The state capital Panaji is 35.5 kms from Arambol.
Top 10 Things To See And Do At Arambol
- The Beach – Arambol is one of the best beaches in North Goa for complete relaxation and peace. There are beach shacks with loungers and umbrellas. Simply order food and drinks. Get a massage. Play beach football or volleyball, or simply relax. Fewer people than most North Goa beaches, so you will have more privacy.
- Friendly Staff And Shack Owners – The Goanese people are very friendly, but those from the hills are perhaps the friendliest people in India. Unlike other Goa beaches, most of the shacks at Arambol are owned by the Pahadis, people from the hills of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
- Flea Market – In the peak season, there is a beach side flea market every evening. Russians manage most of the stalls. Most of the items are mentioned and described in Russian, but Indian currency is accepted. You can find musical instruments, jewelry, and many exotic things here. There is a street market too leading up to the beach.
- Fire Shows – Almost every shack organizes fire shows and fireworks in the evenings. There is a bonfire where people sit around and enjoy, having their drinks and food. There is Jimba music too. The sunset Drum Circles of Arambol are very famous in Goa. You can see foreigners singing and playing Jimba. There is dancing too.
- Paragliding – The Arambol beach is one of the best places in Goa for paragliding. You take off from the Arambol Mountain, just north of the beach after some brief instructions from your pilot. Fly sky high over Arambol and see the shoreline from the top, the sea, and the interiors. It will be a memorable experience.
- Kalacha Beach – There is a beautiful and secluded beach just north of Arambol. Hike through the highlands at the north end of Arambol beach and cross the jungle valley to reach the Kalacha Beach. It is worth it.
- Paliem Lake - Next to Kalacha Beach is the sweet water Paliem Lake. It’s a visual treat. There are a few small huts and guest houses with restaurants here. Lounge chairs are available on rent. Paliem Lake is famous for its cleansing sulfurous mud. The hippies used to dip themselves in this yellow mud in the heydays of the 1960s and the 1970s. It was a common sight. You can still apply the mud, but it is more regulated now.
- The Banyan Tree – An easy to walk trail leaves Kalacha Beach and turns left just before the Paliem Lake. It passes through bush land, trees, and crosses a stream to reach the famous Banyan Tree. According to a legend, members of the music group The Beatles meditated under this tree on their Goa trip. Many like to camp around the tree.
- Beautiful Sunsets – The headlands just north of the beach, or the Arambol Mountains is a great place to see sunsets. Walk up and see the spectacular sight. There is a trail that leaves the beach, crossing the hill, and reaching up to the lake on the other side. There are a few viewpoints along the trail.
- Surfing – There is a surfing club at the beach that offers surfing lessons. The trainers are international surfers living in Goa. You can also hire equipment from the surfing club, and learn/brush up your surfing skills.
The beach at Arambol is 16 kilometers long. It is mostly sandy, but with rocks at some places. Hills in the background add to the beauty. The beach is wider than most others in North Goa and cleaner too, as there are fewer tourists here. Most tourists are in the central part of the beach, so if you walk towards the north or the south, you will get perfect solitude.
The Arambol beach curves gently towards the sea, which is shallow with a flat bottom. Swimming is safe. The sand is smooth, but slightly darkish.
There are headlands at both the ends. The northern headland is one of the best places for paragliding in Goa. There is Kalacha Beach, just north of Arambol, which is even more serene and quiet. You have to cross the Arambol Mountain and pass through a thick forest to reach this small beach. There is a sweet water lake here, which is an added attraction. Walk north-east from here, and you will reach the famous Banyan Tree, where members of the music band The Beatles are said to have meditated while they were visiting Goa.
Most tourists here are young people, those who want a relaxed atmosphere. Many are long-stayers, so they look for cheap accommodation. Small cottages, huts, and beach shacks made of wood come up on the beach during the tourist season. Many cling to the side of the cliff. There is accommodation at many beach shacks at the backside. Most of the shacks are in the northern end of the beach. There are shops, restaurants, cafes, clothing, and souvenir stores in the main road that leads to the beach.
The Banyan Tree
Arambol Banyan Tree
Festivals at Arambol
Arambol Freak Festival
The Arambol Festival is held in February. It is much like the carnival where people dress up in costumes. You will see them marching along the coast. There is dancing, music and bonfires too. People celebrate till the morning. It is sometimes also referred to as the “Freak Festival”. There is also the Arambol World Music Festival in January, where you can see many music bands from around the world perform. The festival includes Bollywood dancing, salsa, tribal dancing, sound healing, belly dancing, music meditation, electronic and African grooves, gipsy parties and more.
There is a third event too at Arambol – The Tantra Festival. You can participate in yoga, meditation, tantra, and music events here. It is held over 3 days in January.
Yoga at Arambol
There are many yoga and meditation centers at Arambol, like the Ashta Yoga Valley, Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Center, and the Ek Omkar Yoga Center, where you can join a yoga and meditation course. Train your body and mind to relax completely and improve your health. There are yoga teacher training courses as well.
There are no 5-star hotels or resorts at Arambol as the locals have campaigned to preserve the character and original identity of the village. Most available accommodation is beach huts, cottages, home stays, guest houses, and villas. The prices are cheaper than most other beaches in Goa. Many tourists at Arambol are long-stayers who are looking for economy-class accommodation.
There are good villas in Arambol you can consider as well. Sea Infinity is just 50 meters from the beach. This is a 3 bedroom cozy villa with a private swimming pool. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning. Kitchen, parking, and internet are available. There is also Villa Keni, another charming and cozy 4 bedroom villa with music system, coffee machine, kitchen, television, air conditioning, Jacuzzi, and a private swimming pool.
* The price depends on the location, the season, and the duration of your stay.
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