The beaches closest to my home in North Goa are congested, chaotic and suffer from a serious overdose of people. Luckily, (or unluckily) for me, and in fact, my entire village, when people think of Goa’s sun-kissed beaches, the ones that immediately pop to mind are the ones that are a stones throw away from us.
So when I want to escape Lucifer’s heat, cool off and gaze at the beautiful Arabian Sea, I head away from the commercialized coastline in search of more subdued spots.
I happened to visit Grandmother’s Hole beach quite by chance. I was headed for a work-related meeting in that part of the state and when it ended, decided to go check it out. I hated the fact that I wasn’t wearing anything remotely close to beach-attire and didn’t click any pictures on the sand or in the water.
Anyways enough about my wardrobe!
To get to Grandmother’s Hole, GPS will guide you through Vasco, past the airport area and onward through Baina. It is quite accurate up to the last 500 meters or so, which is when the straight path suddenly turns into a maze of lanes. Stop and ask someone for directions or wander around and find it yourself – you will get there eventually as there’s no other place the roads can lead you to. They are either connected to each other or are dead-ends so you won’t be led further away.
By looking at the images, you’d think that this beach in South Goa is located at the end of a long walk through thick vegetation, but it is in fact, quite developed. You’ll pass an incongruous oil/petrol refinery-storage-unit in the sea as you drive past. If you see it, you’re on the right track.
Parking is available on the top of the cliff and on crossing a small park, you’ll have to make your way down 222 steps to get to this picturesque little sandy strip. I actually counted the steps on the calf-strained walk up the steps again. So unfit!
If you have older people amongst you, it’s better to let them enjoy the view from the park on top. Alternatively, the steps down are wide and even, making it a good place to sit up high and look at the palms swaying in the strong breeze down below, without a soul in sight.
On your way down, you’ll come across a fort-wall through which you need to pass a little doorway, or “hole” after which the beach is named.
Grandmother’s Hole is a narrow sandy beach with jagged rocks on the shore as well as jutting out of the water. It is beautiful and almost deserted, which is one of the reasons I was tempted to visit and enjoy the tranquillity. I wouldn’t say it is safe to swim here, one, because of the rocks that can hurt you underwater, and two, because should you be in trouble in the water, there isn’t anyone around to help.
Being a refreshingly virgin beach, there are no beach shacks, stalls selling food or beach beds in sight. At max, you can perhaps bring a bed sheet and picnic here or click some amazing photos of the sunset on the beach without tourists in the background.
People always ask me for the “best beach” to go to in Goa, and honestly, I’m never sure of what to say. Grandmother’s Hole may be boring and lifeless to some, but for those who enjoy seclusion, it is blissful. The cliffs surrounding it, a tiny white cross that’s visible from anywhere on the beach and the sound of the crashing waves and screeching birds makes pretty spectacular. I, for one, love marinating in a new locale, taking in the sights, scents and sounds with zero agenda!
Now that I’ve shared this reclusive spot with you, I hope I can count on you to leave it as is – trash-free and refreshingly noncommercial. We need to savour the few last spots we have left!