|Tiracol (Terekhol): Here the main attraction is the fort, recently renovated and turned into a luxury hotel. Built by the Rajahs of Sawantwadi, it was captured by the Portugese in 1746 and they added the church of St. Anthony within the walls. A path behind the fort leads to the Goldsmith caves. The only other hotels are The Hillrock (as you enter the village) and 2 dark rooms at Agnelos bar.There is no real beach, most visitors preferring to take the ferry to Querim (Keri) Beach on the other side of the river. There are virtually no facilities here apart from a few drink stalls around the ferry-head. The Beach is long, wide and palm-fringed and extends a short distance down the estuary. ARAMBOL (Harmal): Though this is the most popular beach in the area, development has been limited to a large variety of restaurants, and there are no major hotels. Accommodation is entirely in local rooms or in rooms attached to bars. The sweet-water lake (at KALACHA Beach-a short walk over the rocks to the north) is fairly secluded and popular for that all-over tan. Every few days the police turn up and some on-the-spot fines may be imposed. Twenty minutes upstream from the lake is a huge Banyan tree and a small temple. Dunas (Junas) Beach, immediately south, has no facilities though there is a new fort-like building on the beach, the purpose of which is unknown. Further on, beyond a small river, is Mandrem Beach the centre of which is Asvem Beach with some rooms and restaurants. On the main road there is the quiet Chiron Hotel. The beach ends at Morjim at the mouth of the Chapora River, where the sand is slightly blackened and the palms are set back by the road. At the end of the road are 3 restaurants one of which, The Oliver Ridley, is owned by Belgians. Between Morjim and the Chopdem Ferry is Turtle beach, once a popular beach but now a turtle sanctuary and hatchery.
|CHAPORA, the fishing village on the other side of the river, is reached by ferry and bus from Siolim. Though the village is small, with a few quiet hotels, it is an important restaurant and shopping venue for those living around the beaches of VAGATOR. Beyond the town there is a small harbour and beach lined with boats. Above the town are the formidable walls of the Chapora Fort, easily accessible on foot, though the last 200m are a steep climb. The remains are of a portugese fort built in 1717 on the ruins of a muslim one. Below to the southwest is BIG VAGATOR Beach which has most facilities and is backed up by the Sterling Beach Resort. Apart from this, the St. Martins Guest House and numerous hotels on the Mapusa road, almost all visitors stay in local houses or purpose-built cottages. Across the rocks to the south is the tiny MIDDLE VAGATOR (aka Tel Aviv Beach) and further still LITTLE VAGATOR Beach with its famous Shiva carving (see picture above). Both beaches are backed by small cliffs and palms. Though there are numerous beach shacks, most of the permanent restaurants and hotels are in the roads behind. VAGATOR and ANJUNA are the main areas for night parties in Goa, the most popular spots being Disco Valley behind Middle Vagator and the banyan trees above Little Vagator. For information on parties and venues, go to the Nine Bar or Primrose Bar/Restaurant (near Vagator) or the Shore Bar or Munchies Restaurant (Anjuna) any evening in the season.
ANJUNA BEACH: is approximately 20 mins walk over the rocks from Little Vagator (and 3 km by road). There is plenty of instant accommodation in the roads of Di Mello and St. Anthony's Vaddos in North Anjuna, though most stay long term in local houses. Anjuna has the largest expatriate community in Goa, most of whom live in the roads of St Anthonys Vaddo or around Dando Vaddo in S. Anjuna. The 2 beaches of Anjuna are narrow and backed by rocks and small cliffs. The first, NORTH ANJUNA, is more developed with the road reaching almost to the beach. The other, SOUTH ANJUNA, has numerous restaurants and is the venue for the Wednesday Flea-Market. Inland there are many other facilities including banks, money-changers, shops, Post Office and The German Bakery. Techno Parties are a major part of life in Anjuna and the Primrose in S. Chapora, Munchies in North Anjuna and The Nine Bar at Little Vagator are the main source of information. Sometimes parties are followed by a chill out party in Grandpas Inn (Bouganvillea), one kilometre east of Anjuna.
BAGA village is a 30 minute walk (via a tiny, un-named beach with sharp sand) over the rocks from S. Anjuna and almost 5km by road. The north side of the river has a few cafés and numerous houses with accommodation. Across the concrete bridge is BAGA BEACH which, along with Calangute, was one of the first places to be colonized by hippies in the sixties. As a result these areas have suffered the most development, and the hippies have retreated to Anjuna, Arambol and Palolem.The beach itself stretches almost uninterrupted for 9 kms to the Aguada Fort. Though Baga has hotels, cottages and restaurants of all kinds it is fairly quiet in the evening, with the exception of the area around Titos Restaurant. CALANGUTE on the other hand is always buzzing and full of western package tourists and visitors from other parts of India. The town itself (approx 1km from the beach) is centred on the temple and bus stand. At the roundabout there is a tourist information office and a craft market.
CANDOLIM Beach, 2 km south, is gradually developing into an extension of Calangute, with numerous hotels, resorts and restaurants. On the main road on the north side of Candolim is Bobs Inn, still a favourite with travellers. The beach stretches for a further 2km and is known as SINQUERIM. At its end is a large headland with the Aguada Fort and Lighthouse. Below the Fort is the 5 star Taj Village resort and, within its walls, the equally luxurious Aguada Hermitage. As a result this area is pretty expensive and has few alternatives for accommodation. Still expensive, but at a fraction of the cost, is the beautiful Marbella Hotel hidden behind the village. The lighthouse is approached by a 5km road around the headland. On the south side is the Gaol and the palace of a reclusive millionaire. Two kilometres to the east of Candolim is the relatively quiet COCO Beach at the mouth of the Nerul River on the Mandovi Estuary, directly opposite Panaji. The 10 or so restaurants are popular in the afternoon, but quiet at night. Further down the estuary there the two small beaches of Quedevelim and the Reis Magos Church and Fort (this impressive Portugese Fort was a prison for some years and is no longer open to the public).
MIRAMAR is the main beach of Panaji, the state capital. The focal point is a large roundabout, 3 km from the city centre. Here there are many hotels, a restaurant complex, tennis courts, a public toilet and a childrens amusement park. The beach itself is very wide and backed by palms and fir trees. Its main attraction is as a weekend beach for local residents. Just north is CAMPAL Beach which is a communal toilet and parking for some small fishing boats. The nearby Campal Gardens are well laid out with a fish-shaped pond and childrens castle. South of Miramar the beach is known as Caranzalem which is starting to develop with a new extension to the beach-side road. Beyond is a headland kown as Cabo Raj Bhavin which is the dwelling place of the Governor.
Dona Paula Beach, 5km from Panaji, is on the other side of the hill. At the end of the beach is a long pier with a tacky market at one end and a musical toilet surmounted on a rocky outrop at the other (just below is the ferry to Mormugao). Nearby is the Dona Paula Beach Resort, the Prainha Hotel and a boating club. Vainguinim beach, approximately 3 km east and just below the Goa University, is accessible by a small path beside the Cidade de Goa Resort, which takes up most of the beach. On the east side of the University is Bambolim beach and the Bambolim Beach resort, which has been built right on the water. Though narrow, the beach is about 3km long and the palms creep up almost to the waters edge. Further along is the very narrow Siridao beach and fishing village, which has a few local bars and restaurants.
Vasco Da Gama has 2 beaches within the city limits. The first, KHAREVADDO, is a fishing village (as your nose will tell you) though there is a stretch of sand on the east side leading to the town cemetery. On the west side of the city is BAINA Beach which, as a result of its proximity to the port of Mormugao, is always full of sailors and prostitutes. On the south side of the port is Sada Beach which is a local picnic spot. Further east, and immediately south of Dabolim Airport, is BOGMALO Beach. The Oberoi, now re-named The Bogmalo Beach Resort overlooks the left side of this little bay and around the bus stop and village are numerous guest houses and restaurants. The beach is only about 400 metres long but is quite picturesque, nonetheless. About 3km down the coast is another small bay known as Hollant Beach which is very popular as a picnic area for locals and Indian tourists. Though its beach is stony, it's sandy just off shore.
COLVA: A little further and the coast turns southward. This is the start of one of the worlds longest uninterrupted beaches. Though each town and village along it gives it a different name, the whole 23 km are known as COLVA BEACH. For the most part it is about 100m wide and backed by palms. Though many of its beaches are empty, save for a few shacks, others have new luxury resorts built as close to the beach as the law will allow. As always there are plenty of local people who are happy to open their houses in areas with less obvious instant accommodation. Velsao, Cansaulim and Arrosim Beaches have very limited facilities, with accommodation only in local houses. UTORDA Beach has the luxury Regency Resort but little else.
MAJORDA Beach, 1km south, has a resort of the same name. Away from the beach are 3 more hotels, plenty of rooms in local houses (esp. Gonsua Vaddo) and a number of good quality restaurants. The bank in the town (2km) only changes T/Cheques. 2km further brings you to the Nanu Resort and Betalbatim Beach. In the village there are a few rooms and a low price restaurant called Martins Corner. A 1km track beside the Nanu Resort brings you to COLVA village and beach. This is by far the most developed beach in the area, and is a magnet for Indian tourists and westerners. Whilst the village is centred on the church and Post Office, 1km inland, most of the activity is at the beach. Most accommodation is either around the parking area or on the road that runs parallel to the beach in the direction of Betalbatim. There are resorts, hotels and cottages, as well as rooms in local houses. At the car park and bus stop (taxi rank), there are numerous restaurants and a tourist office. The next beach is Zernabatim which is 1km by beach or 2km by road. Zernabatim has a small resort, Camilsons, and 2 retaurants with accommodation.
BENAULIM beach, 1.5 km south, is a popular, quiet alternative to Colva. Whilst there is some accommodation around the end of the road, most is in the village, approx. 1km inland. On the south side is the beautiful Lotus Lake, famous in Indian mythology as the place where Goa was formed from an arrow shot by Parashurama, an incarnation of Vishnu. A further 800m down the beach is Wadi Beach, marked by one restaurant and a fishermans co-op. 5 mins. inland is the Francon G.House and in the village is the Karina Resort and 5 other guest houses. The next 2 beaches, Vel Vaddo and Pedde have virtually no beach facilities, and only a few rooms inland. Fatrade (part of Varca Beach) has the Resort de Goa and a few shacks. Inland, in the twin-towns of Fatrade and Varca, there is plenty of accommodation in local rooms (ask at the Pinto bar). At Varca Beach (700m) is the Goa Renaissance Resort. 1km further takes you to Cavelossim Beach and the Jose Meninos apartment complex. The centre of the beach is 2.5km and marked by the Dona Sylvia Resort and the Gato Loco beach disco. On the main road are the Old Anchor and Gaffinos Resorts. East from the village is the Tibet Road and the Sal River Ferry. South along the beach is Mobor, the Holiday Inn and the Leela Beach Resort. The beach continues for 2 km to the Sal River estuary and is kown as Mobor on the sea side and as Betul Beach on the river side. The village of Betul is on the other side of the fast-flowing Sal River, and the only way across is via the Tibet/Assolna ferry. In this busy fishing village there are 4 hotels and a few restaurants. A bizarre sight is local people catching oysters with their toes in the middle of the river. Immediately south are the beaches of Rangally and Tarie which which are respectively sandy and stony. Two kilometres further, just after the Goa Gas Dept., is Zorint Beach which is almost deserted due to its inaccessibility - of course a few brave souls go there for that very reason. Access is via a small valley (from a fresh water stream) on the south side of a stony plateau. From here the road passes over some low hills on the way to Canaguinim which has a small sand and stone beach surrounded by a low wall. At the end there are rocks and a river inlet. In the village above are a few rooms. One kilometre further is a lane down to the tiny Nuvem (Nuem) Beach which is covered in black and red stones. From here the road goes inland over some picturesque hills. After three kilometres, a sharp turn to the right takes you to the sea and the ruins of the Cabo da Rama Fort of which only the chapel remains intact. The fort affords some fine views of the coast. Approximately eight kilometres from Canaguinim are Little Cola and Big Cola beaches (known to some as Pepsi and Coca Cola). Both beaches are about 500 metres long and fringed by palms but with no facilities whatsoever. The next developed beach is Agonda, about 4km further down the road. The village is right on the beach (about 1km from the road) which is wide and palm-fringed and dominated by St. Annes church and school. Eight hundred metres south are 2 restaurants with rooms.
PALOLEM, the next beach on the road to Chaudi, is fast becoming the alternative to Arambol. On the road to the beach are a number of cottages and restaurants and the Palolem Beach Camping Resort. There are also numerous shacks along this beautiful beach, bounded by rocks on the south side and by a river and the Canacona Island causeway on the north side. Further beaches to the north (e.g. Butterfly beach) can only be reached by boat and, though often quite beautiful can be inhospitable due to the lack of shade. South, over the rocks, are 3 bays which make up the idyllic COLOMB Beach with just a few bars. Almost hidden between the two beaches is the Bhakti Kutir health resort, on the small cliffs at the end of Palolem Beach. This is an ecological resort with wooden and stone houses built using local materials by Goan and Nepalese craftsmen. There are various therapies and massages available alongside one of the area's best vegetarian restaurants. One kilometre further is Patnem Beach which has restaurants but no hotels as yet, and then Rajbag Beach, which is completely empty save for a small temple beside the road (there appears to be plans for a large resort at the north end of the beach). On the other side of the road, before the beach, is the Molyma Hotel. From Rajbag there is a small passenger ferry across the Talpona river to the fishing village of the same name. Beyond it is Talpona Beach which has few palms and some small dunes. After an outcrop of rocks is the last major beach of Goa, Galgibaga, which is long wide and fringed with palms and eucalyptus. At the south end is a small ferry and the Sea King bar which can arrange food and accommodation. On the other side of the river, just after the town of Mashen, there is a new beach development which will take-in the entire beach known as Xendrem, which, until now, was completely undeveloped. On the border of Goa and Karnataka States is Polem Beach which is apparently small and falls steeply into the sea.