In and around Calangute Beach in Goa

Hitaishi Majumder | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Calangute Beach, the largest beach in Goa, is a paradise for all sorts of travelers - nature lovers, adrenaline junkies and party animals. Surrounded by palm trees all around, this stunning beach in North Goa spreads across four miles along the azure Arabian sea. At this beach, the charms are eclectic. The cool sea breezes, the locals' warmth, the multiple avenues to indulge in adventure sports, the exotic trinkets hanging from store windows - everything contributes to making Calangute Beach the “Queen of Beaches”. From sumptuous foods and drinks to Portuguese-style architecture, Calangute Beach has something in store for everyone. This is the best place to experience the distinctive beach culture of Goa. So, head over to the Calangute Beach to experience the best of North Goa. Here is a list of experiences you must not miss out on during your time in and around the Calangute Beach.

Beach basics

© istock/ GoranDomeij

Calangute Beach can get crowded at times. But the beach more than makes up for it with its vast expanse, verdant surroundings, breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset, and several options to fulfil the gastronomic needs while relaxing on the beach. Idle on the golden sands of the beach and revitalize your mind and body. And while you are at it, dig into the lip-smacking fare at two of North Goa’s best restaurants - Tio Tilly’s Bar and Kitchen and Carvalho’s.

Church of St. Alex

@ Wikimedia Commons/ Joel's Goa Pics

Calangute Beach is located at a short distance from several distinct instances of ancient Goan architecture. The Church of St. Alex, a pristine white church dating back to the 16th century, is less than two kilometres away from the beach. Built in the Mannerist Neo-Roman style, the Church of St. Alex is the loan Goan church with a cupola falsa built in the Indian architectural style. The interiors are adorned with altars and gilded reredos designed in the Rococo style. If you want to explore the region's ancient architecture, the Church of St. Alex is a must-visit. The church remains open from 9 AM to 8:30 PM. 

Aguada Fort

© istock/ SpVVK

Located only seven kilometres away from Calangute Beach, the Aguada Fort is the finest instance of Portuguese military architecture in India. The fort overlooks the Mandovi River's confluence with the Arabian Sea and is a great place to witness the sunset. Built in 1621, the Aguada Fort has a four-storeyed lighthouse built in 1864 and is Asia’s oldest lighthouse of that kind. You can explore the majestic Aguada Fort anytime between 9:30 AM and 6:30 PM.

Water sports

© istock/ MayankYadav

Calangute Beach is a great place to indulge in different water, and adventure sports such as water snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, water skiing, and parasailing. These are the chief activities that attract tourists to the beach from across the globe. The best time to visit the beach, especially for these activities is from October to January.

Retail therapy

© istock/ saiko3p

The way to the beach in the town of Calangute is marked with Tibetan jewellery shops, handicraft boutiques, thrift stores, etc. For shopaholics, the markets around Calangute Beach are nothing less than a paradise. You will find clothing in fabrics sourced from the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. And if you are an admirer of art, you must visit Dev’s Art Gallery here and purchase a few paintings. Whether you are looking for clothes, accessories like handbags, or minimalist trinkets, the markets here have all these and more.

How to reach Calangute Beach

© istock/ mds0

Dabolim Airport, the only international airport in Goa, is located 39.2 kilometres away from Calangute, and it takes about an hour’s journey by road to reach Calangute from Dabolim. You can either hire a private car or avail the regular bus service between the two cities to reach Calangute. The nearest railway station from Calangute is a little station called Thivim in Mapusa. This station is located about 18 kilometres away. However, not all trains stop at Thivim. Make sure you keep that in mind if you decide to travel by train. Alternatively, the Vasco da Gama railway station is located 40 kilometres away. Buses ply between Calangute and the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad as well.

You will get cabs outside both these stations that will take you to Calangute. The summers in Calangute are hot and humid. The monsoons see heavy rains and an unruly sea, unfit for water sports. So, the best time to visit Calangute Beach is during the winter months of October to February when the weather is pleasant.

© istock/ GoranDomeij

If you are a beach bum, the vibrant and lovely Calangute Beach is the place to be. It assures a great time for people wanting to relax with family and friends. And then, there are all the avenues to try water sports, explore ancient Goan art and architecture, indulge in shopping exotic knick-knacks, and enjoy the amazing food at local restaurants. So, if you happen to be in North Goa, come and relax in and around Calangute Beach to reinvigorate yourself.

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