Located about 15 km away from the capital of Goa, Calangute is the largest beach in north Goa. Stretching along the coastline from Panaji to Aguada Fort, Calangute is also known as ‘Queen of Beaches’. Initially the village was known as Kolongutt by the local fishermen until the Portuguese started calling it Calangute. Often seen bustling by tourists Calangute has the most crowded beach. Famous for its shacks, clubs and shopping it attracts a lot of voyagers and bag-packers from India and abroad. Calangute got famous in about ‘60s when the hippies and junkies came here and made it a party destination. The village of Calangute has bountiful coconut trees and the local markets here are full of cafes, shacks, tattoo studios and everything else that one needs. The streets of the village open to a vast seafront that contrasts well with the congested markets of the place. Though the night life is silent post 10 pm, Calangute is a place where one can enjoy the music of the waves under the starry sky. Here is a list of top 5 places to visit in Calangute:
Initially named as Panjim by the Portuguese, Panaji literally means ‘The Land that never floods’ and is the state capital of Goa. Unlike the other state capitals, Panaji is an unhurried town that is peaceful and laid back. With a Portuguese style setting, the town has concrete structures, red titled roof, promenades and churches. Panaji lies on the peninsula looking out on the vast Mandovi River where one can see the boats cruising. The boulevards are lined up with arrays of acacia and gulmohar trees. The vibrantly glowing alleys with modernized cafes, back street bars and the narrow avenues of the Latin Quarter, Panaji is a place that is lively yet peaceful at the same time. With majestic churches, alleys, terracotta roofs and the flavour of Goan culture, the place resembles Lisbon, its twin sister in Portugal. Panaji is an Indian city with a heavy mesmerizing influence from the foreign land of Portugal. The top five places to visit in Panaji are listed below.
Colva is a famous tourist destination, visited for its beaches, budget hotels, guest houses, beach shacks, food stalls, restaurants, pubs and bars. Located in Salcete, South Goa, Colva is a coastal village on the west coast of India. Goa is famous as the ‘party’ city of India. ‘Discovered’ as a party spot first by the hippies in the 70s, Goa has never looked back.
Located in the Bardez Taluka in the Indian state of Goa, Vagator beach is placed on the opposite side of the Chapora River. Vagator is in close proximity to one of the first hippy hotspots in Goa, Anjuna Beach. Compared to its neighbor, Vagator beach follows laid back vicinity with only a few beach shacks and commercial establishments. The shoreline that forms the beach is split into two parts known as the big Vagator and little Vagator respectively. As you enter the beach, the shore towards your right will be big Vagator and towards the left will be little Vagator. Additionally the beach has red cliffs that cover its backdrop and are great to sit and enjoy the view and the sunset.
Candolim is another beach in the commercial north-Goa district, just a couple of minutes south of the famous Calangute Beach. Candolim was the first village in Bardez to be entirely converted to Christianity by the Franciscans. Candolim was also the nucleus of the 1787 anti-Portuguese revolt which was all planned out by the Pinto clan which belonged to the village. The Beach is in close proximity to the state capital Panjim and is famous for being a serene beach with comparatively lesser number of visitors as compared to Calangute and Baga. Candolim beach however, can be a bit on the expensive side if you’re looking for a budget travel. The beach is lined with restaurants and bars and with the huge coconut plantations forming the backdrop, Candolim provides a beach which has much in common with the south-Goa beaches than the north.
Benaulim Beach is located just a few kilometers from Margao the heart of south Goa district. People who have visited the other major beaches of Goa will find this particular beach pretty contrasting. Benaulim beach is a quaint location and hardly makes up for a tourist attraction in fun filled Goa. Nevertheless, it is one of the most serene beaches in Goa with plenty of beach shacks and restaurants with various water sport activities that make it a great spot for a little fun and relaxation. Being located almost in the middle of the north and south districts of Goa, Benaulim is a favorite for the people who are looking for a quaint spot to relax with a highly toned town beach party environment that Goa beaches are known for.
Known as the first hippy hotspot in Goa, Anjuna is a picturesque beach located in the North Goa district in the Bardez Taluka. The beach is in close proximity to Vagator beach and the historical town of Chapora. Anjuna beach is known for its various trance and rave parties and a vibrant nightlife that attracts thousands of tourists each year. While Anjuna is certainly not the prettiest of Goa beaches, it is certainly one of the most famous ones due to its extravagant lifestyle and beach parties. Also famous for its weekly flea market organized by a German since the 90’s, Anjuna is an attraction not to be missed on your trip to Goa.
Named after the daughter of the Portuguese viceroy of India during the 17th century, Dona Paula is a highly urbanized village located in the Indian state of Goa. Dona Paula was known for her charity and kindness and was revered among the villagers who named their town after her death in 1682. Interestingly, her ghost is still believed to haunt the shores and according to the local myths can be seen on a moonlight night, ascending from the waves wearing a pearl necklace. Unlike the other beaches in Goa, which are known for their sun and sand, Dona Paula Beach features a contrastingly rocky shoreline and is also a home to the National Institute of Oceanography.
Said to have been discovered by the Hippies in the 60s, Calangute Beach is the largest beach in Goa and sits alongside its neighbor Baga Beach, as one of the most popular beaches in Goa. Located in the North-Goa district, Calangute is named after the adjoining town of Calangute which attracts thousands of tourists from all across the world during Christmas and New Year. Due to the beach’s links with the hippy culture explosion in India it showcases one of the liveliest nightlife in India and is one of the most preferred beaches for hippies, foreign holidayers and locals to visit all year round with tons of beach activities and watersports.
Named after the Baga Creek, which empties into the Arabian Sea, Baga is a seaside town, located in the Indian state of Goa. Baga is situated in the North-Goa district and known to be one of the most happening and popular beaches in Goa. Baga Beach is a typically busy beach that sits alongside its neighbor Calangute as the tourist hub of Goa. It is also known for its extant tourism industry with several nightclubs that became famous since the hippy movement in the 60s and 70s. The beach is full of tourist activities all year round with several restaurants, shacks, huts, and luxury hotels alongside the shoreline.