The southern Goan beaches are more built up and resort-y than those of the north coast, but it's nonetheless a very picturesque region.
Majorda is a small fishing village set close to a beautiful white-sand beach; bliss out at this stylish hacienda, or base yourself inland, in the sleepy village of Loutolim, near Salcete. Here, a restored Portuguese mansion is just the ticket for a relaxing holiday.
Colva - a 25km stretch of beach - is the most built-up of the southern resorts and is equipped with modern amenities and big hotels. Benaulim, 2km south of Colva, is more tranquil, although what was once a sleepy fishing village is now home to some huge luxury hotels.
Palolem is frequently referred to as one of Goa's most stunning beaches; it's a beautiful palm-fringed crescent of white sand set between wooded headlands. The water is shallow and good for swimming. At low tide the sands stretch far out and you'll see the odd snuffling pig. Despite being a relaxing and fairly low-key resort, the growing number of backpackers and beach shack cafés means that it can get a bit crowded and dirty.
If you want to combine blissed-out beach time with a more spiritual experience, head over the state border into Karnataka to SwaSwara, a boutique yoga hotel set in a coconut grove beside a serene swathe of sand.