Also known as Gaspar Dias, the lovely Miramar Beach is the nearest beach to Goa’s capital, Panaji. It lies connecting the estuary of Mandovi River as it runs into the Arabian Sea. The term ‘Miramar’ is from the Portuguese word that means viewing the sea, a fitting sobriquet considering the blue waters of the Arabian sea expanding in the horizon. The beach has pretty good location and one can spend a pleasant time under the palm shaded area, which is very captivating for tourists staying in Miramar.
The 2-kilometer long shoreline starts at the gulf and then ends in Emerald Coast Parkway, at the base of Cabo Raj Bhavan hillock, the site of the Goa Governor’s official residence. The beach is boasting fine, white sand bed that glistens under the moonlight. From Miramar Beach, you can get a wide view of the Aguada Fort across the river of Mandovi as well as the Raj Bhavan, illuminating at night.
Surrounded by black boulders, perhaps the beach’s most advantageous feature is its location. Because of its closeness to Panaji, the beach has turned into a very commercialized beach attraction. Several hotel accommodations that range from 3 to 5 stars are available near the beachside, including Goa Marriot, Hotel Mandovi and Hotel Fidalgo. The popular Dhempe College of Arts and Science and the memorial of Dayanad Bandodkar, Goa’s first chief minister can also be found near Miramar.
Miramar Beach boasts an inspiring attraction during winter: between November to March, the migratory birds such as Gulls and Plovers visit the beach for a brief respite from the harsh weather back home. At least 500 species of birds fly to the coastal plain of Miramar. You can also find exotic street food here, ranging from seed, aquatic invertebrates and insects.
The 2-kilometer stretch of the beach is teeming with both locals and vacationers. Due to its close proximity to the capital, it is certainly not the ideal beach for people looking for a serene and quiet beach vacation. The beach also serves a cause for the people in Panaji, as many come here for a relaxing evening walk. Just one kilometer from Miramar is Dona Paula Beach, also known as Lover’s Paradise, which was named after Dona Paula de Meneses. It sits south of the peninsula that splits the Mandovi and Zuari estuaries.
Swimming in Miramar is not quite safe due to the strong undercurrents; but you can experience pleasure and satisfaction by taking some fun activities like fishing, bird-watching, strolling around and shopping leisurely. The beach is quiet during early morning and evening, just right for a leisurely walk. The sunset here is really stunning. Scuba diving facilities are available along the stretch of Miramar-Dona Paula and some hotels may arrange it for you. There are also plenty of eating joints here serving various Goan and Portuguese delicacies. Located along the road are throngs of streetfood vendors selling delicious food such as Shawarma, Bhel Puri and other fastfood stuff.
Miramar Beach is only three kilometers away from Panaji, the capital of Goa. You can reach the beach via city buses, motorcycle, rickshaw or taxis. A local bus to Bambolim is available along the route.