Morjim, commonly referred to as Goa’s “Little Russia” is a quaint census town in Pernem in North Goa, mostly famous for its beach which is a designated Olive Ridley turtle nesting area.
But there’s more to Morjim than its sandy shoreline. This town has a ton of character and charisma, which you can feel between its pristine, rugged nature and its boho boutiques and cozy restobars.
In this short and sweet guide are my recommendations for the best things to do and see in and around Morjim!
The Best Things to Do in Morjim, Goa
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1. Get Involved! Volunteer or Join a Beach Clean-Up
While voluntourism probably isn’t the first “fun” thing you’d choose to do while on vacation in Morjim, it’s one that would meaningfully contribute to the local community and environment.
But Morjim Beach attracts many tourists hoping to catch sight of the Olive Ridley turtles and hatchlings. 🐢
After all, this beach is one of Goa’s protected and designated turtle nesting sites (along with Galigaba/Turtle Beach, Mandrem, and Agonda).
This creates an influx of tourism to the area which has negative consequences on the health and population of the turtles, marine life, and the local environment. There is not only an increase in marine and beach debris but also noise and light pollution.
As a tourist or digital nomad in Goa, it’s important to be aware of your impact. 👣
Note that your typical beach activities are prohibited at Morjim Beach, but you can still visit the on-site Turtle Interpretation Centre.
Thankfully, ecotourism in Goa is on the rise—a by-product of the local community’s activism and determination to fight back and petition against actions that are detrimental to Goa’s rich biodiversity such as overdevelopment and deforestation.
If you would like to participate in a beach clean-up campaign or get involved in other ways, reach out to Act for Goa for starters. They are well-connected within the community and would love to have you volunteer.
You can also stay up to date by following their Facebook page or Instagram to learn about upcoming events to get involved with.
They do everything from beach clean-ups to eco-film festivals to sustainable fashion and farmer’s markets events—all wonderful and experiential things to do in Morjim!
2. Kayak in the Mangroves on the Chapora River
One of the best things to do in Morjim is explore its waters and mangroves. And what better way to do that than in the seat of a kayak?
As you can see on a map, Morjim is right at the confluence of the Chapora River and the Arabian Sea. And across Chapora estuary lies Anjuna and Vagator.
One of the best places to take in these views is from atop Chapora Fort across the bay. The area surrounding Morjim is breathtakingly rugged and wild, attracting lots of migratory birds and wildlife. (It’s no wonder the Olive Ridley turtles wish to nest here!)
So if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to the beautiful biodiversity of Morjim and Goa away from the beach shacks and resorts, then go on a kayaking tour up the Chapora River.
There are several operators offering 1–2 hour guided kayaking excursions from Morjim.
3. Grab Gin Cocktails at the Cozy Verandah Bar
As you ride on your scooter through downtown Morjim on your way to Mandrem, you can’t help but notice the bohemian-style restaurants, cafes, and boutiques dotting either side of the street.
But one of those will catch your eye (or possibly not, seeing as it’s so dim-lit and cozy!) more than the rest, and that’s the Verandah Bar.
Here, you can dine on delicious food (get the crab mac ‘n cheese!) or throw back a few well-crafted cocktails.
The best bit about Verandah though is its sweet and intimate gin bar tucked away further up the hillside following a flight of stone steps.
The cocktail menu offers an assortment of flavors to suit any preference and features small-batch Indian gins found nowhere else than in Goa.
That said, expect prices here to be steeper than at you’re average bar in Morjim, but it’s worth it as Verandah makes for a particularly cozy place to take your dinner date or enjoy a bougie night out with friends.
Our group from the Nurall Goa Residency came here to celebrate a night out together—it was too much fun!
4. Visit Villages, Beaches, & Waterfalls on a North Goan Road Trip
Morjim is but one of the many cute destinations to visit in North Goa. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this great base to explore around, seeing as you’re so close!
Note: The following beaches and towns can easily be visited on a day trip from Morjim by scooter or car rental.
In order as you head north from Morjim, here are the best beaches, towns, and local gems to visit and why:
- Ashwem — Known for its beach nightlife and flea markets. Don’t miss out on the chance to eat at the French restaurant here called La Plage.
- Mandrem — This quiet and laid-back village features beach shacks and yoga/wellness.
- Arambol — The livelier town of Arambol grew its claim to fame with New Age hippies. Think beach drum circles, yoga, and boho vibes.
- Querim — The northwesternmost beach town to visit in Goa, home to secluded beaches and caves and historic churches and temples.
✨ If you’re looking for the best place to stay around Morjim, I highly recommend checking out:
Vaaya Kula (Mandrem) — This bohemian beach hotel is my top choice for eco-conscious accommodation in North Goa. The property is just beautiful and the founder, Jill, is a long-time Goa resident who cares about the community. Click here to check availability.
Justa Morjim Beach Resort — Another great option is the Justa Beach Resort located mere steps away from Morjim Beach. This is where we stayed! The pool was a welcome treat for those refreshing afternoon dips. Click here for availability/rates.
➡️ Read more places to stay in North Goa here
In Arambol, you’ll find cool natural places to visit such as Sweet Lake, where you can hike on the beach and swim in the lagoon, and the Banyan Tree which was made famous for its mysterious Baba resident.
If you venture further away from Morjim and around North Goa, consider a day trip to the nearby waterfalls; the closest and best of which are Mogacho, La Quica, and Ozari Waterfalls.
Lastly, if you are feeling extra adventurous, consider going bungee jumping with Jumpin Heights.
The location is a bit of a stretch from Morjim (25–30km or a 50-minute drive from either Morjim and Anjuna), so take that into consideration if you’re strapped for time.
A few of the members from our group retreat took their scooters out to explore and said the bungee jumping over Mayem Lake was a highlight of their trip.
✨ Read about the Nurall Digital Nomad Residency I was a part of in Goa here!
5. Jazz Nights at The Rice Mill
While you could go spend your Saturday at an all-night beach party at Rock Water, that’s not your only option in Morjim for live music!
For something a little bit more local and intimate, head to hip The Rice Mill cafe/bar where you can indulge in live jazz nights on Saturdays from 8 pm onward.
These guys are known for their cocktails, yummy food, fresh coffee, and community vibes — don’t miss out! Also, note that the cover charge for jazz night is 500 Rs which includes a drink a the bar.
If you’re looking for another place to hang out with great coffee, vibes, and music, I also recommend Barefoot Goa.
6. Catch a Wave — Surfing in Morjim
While Morjim Beach isn’t the first beach you’d think of for water sports in North Goa, thanks to its easy waves it’s become a popular spot for novice surfers.
A fellow travel blogger and old friend who lived in Goa used to rent surfboards here from Octopus Surf Goa. Reach out to Edy on Instagram @surfinggoa for the best advice on surfing in Morjim and beyond.
As a reminder, Morjim Beach is just the first beach on the long coastline that makes up these other well-known beaches. In order, Morjim Beach turns into Ashwem Beach, then Madrem Beach, and, lastly, Arambol Beach.
Despite flowing all into one sandy shore, the beaches all have different vibes, crowds, and amenities. Some are livelier with all-night beach parties while some, such as Morjim, are best for lounging, surfing, or bird watching.
PS — Morjim might not be the best for water sports in Goa other than surfing and banana boats. If you’re looking for more activities, try Sinquerim Beach. For scuba diving and snorkeling, check out Ilha Grande.
7. Sign Up for a Morjim Yoga Retreat/Class
One thing that is synonymous with Goa is yoga, and in Morjim and Mandrem you have plenty of options to do just that!
While you can always take a mat and towel and head to the beach for a surya namaskar session, there are yoga studios in town like Oceanic Yoga where you can sign up for a class or retreat.
🧘♀️ During our time in Goa, Shimagne from Deep Breathe Yoga Studio taught daily morning Hatha yoga at our hotel. Her studio is actually in Benaulim in South Goa, not North Goa, so if you’re heading down south make sure to stop by to work with her as she teaches regularly in Margao and Benaulim. Highly recommend it—she’s amazing!
8. Shop at the Markets in Cute Ashwem & Arambol
Ashwem and Arambol are a bit further up north from Morjim but it’s worth the trip to shop at the markets for clothes, jewelry, drums, and all the other little trinkets and treasures you can find between these two villages.
Ashwem has a little concentration of cute boutiques on a sandy plaza located behind the La Plage French restaurant. It’s called Vibrant Marché des Createurs and you can find it on Google Maps here.
As for Arambol, simply head down Arambol Beach Rd to find a smorgasbord of clothing shops, tea shops, and little cafes and restobars.
At night, the beach comes alive with music and candlelight—it’s a nice spot to pop a squat and have a drink!
9. Sunset Drinks & Dinner at Thalassa Beach Resort
Spend any amount of time in Morjim/Ashwem and you’ll hear the Thalassa Beach Resort & Restaurant dropped in conversation.
Whether it’s about their idyllic beachfront restaurant, great cocktails, or the latest Bollywood movie being filmed there, it’s a staple among locals and tourists alike.
Grab a table and a drink, and watch the sunset on your last night in Morjim! Message +91 895 619 0753 for table reservations.
I hope you enjoy this list of things to do in Morjim! If you have any questions, please drop me a comment below!
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