Popular as the Queen of Beaches, Calangute Beach in Goa is haven to beach lovers from all over the world. There are several reasons why you should be visiting Calangute Beach while in Goa for a honeymoon or leisure trip. Once a village for the fishermen community, the beach here gained prominence among the Hippie crowd. A line of coconut trees, palm fringes and divine beauty of the surroundings became its major draw by 1970s. Couples experience the sea and the sand the best here. Calangute became a perfect tourist destination with improved facilities of water sports, sunbathing area, seafood stalls, nearby hotels and a stretch of shops encircling the beach. Night parties, popular as trance music parties in Goa, have made the beach of Calangute a sought-after tourist draw.
Calangute Beach borders the Arabian Sea and is located around 15 km away from Panaji, the capital of Goa. It is part of the North Goan territory and was a popular Portuguese settlement. The nearest airport is Dabolim, around 29 km drive from Panaji city. Karmali is the closest railhead to Calangute. From Mapusa town, a bus to Panaji takes around half an hour and the distance is just 8 km.
Best Time to Visit
The peak season at Calangute is the time of Christmas and New Year, December-January. The summer month of April-May is also a popular time of visit, especially for the international tourists. You can avoid the monsoon season that lasts from July to August.
Where to stay in Calangute Calangute being a noted tourist hub is also ever growing in terms of number of hotels, restaurants and café. It has some of the best hotels in Goa such as Casa De Goa Resort, Neelam’s The Grand Resort, Resort De Coracao and Tangerine Boutique Resort. Goahub.com offers online hotel booking options at discount price.
By Air The nearest airport is at Dabolim, which is 29 km away from Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour's drive away from Calangute.
By Rail The nearest railway station is at Karmali 11 km away from Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour's drive away from Calangute.
By Road Calangute Beach is about ten minutes from Mapusa, and thirty minutes from the state capital, Panaji. There are frequent buses to Panaji and Mapusa from Calangute. Most buses from Panaji terminate at Calangute and a few trudge further on up to Baga. Mapusa is 8 km away from Calangute.
Calangute has a gripping and vibrant nightlife along with a bustling seashore during the daytime. Some of the popular tourist activities here are as follows:
- Beach sports
- Water sports
- Relaxing under the umbrellas
- Food and drinks
- Strolling around
- Night parties
- Goa carnival
It’s easy enough to rent a motorcycle or scooter in Panaji and Mapusa.
Parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing at the beach starts in the afternoon when the wind is blowing just in the right direction and it goes on till sunset.
Crocodile and Dolphin Spotting Tours
Backwater crocodile and dolphin spotting down the Mandovi River to the Zuari River is a favorite pastime for the travelers. The banks of these rivers are thickly forested with mangrove trees. Crocodiles inhabit the swamps in this area. At the open sea at the mouth of the Mandovi River, dolphins can be spotted.
Calangute is one of Goa’s main shopping hubs, especially for the Tibetan market that sells costume jewelry, shoes, hats and garments. Indian ethnic wear and handloom products are also sold in the market around Calangute beach. Shopaholics spend considerable time in these shops bargaining for silver jewelry, Kashmiri shawls and embroidery. Kashmiri traders are seen more during the peak season.
An excursion in and around Calangute will take you to the following places:
Beach – The main tourist attraction here is the pristine and beautiful beach that became a Hippie heaven. The surging crowd on Saturday nights at the beach makes it a pulsating place for fun and entertainment. During the day, tourists indulge in sunbathing and water sports. Experts guide you in underwater excursions like scuba diving and snorkeling.
Baga Beach – Situated in the northern part of Calangute beach, Baga is known for its tranquility. If you want to escape the noisy beach of Calangute, Baga is the best place. Dolphin cruises and water sports also make it an adventurous place.
Kerkar Art Complex – Just minutes away from the Calangute Beach, Kerkar Art Museum is an important tourist attraction. It is a center of art and culture with live dance performances taking place every week.
The St. Alex Church As the vast traffic on the CHOGM road reaches the village, the Church of St Alex greets with its two towers and a magnificent dome gracing the façade. The inside of the church is a display of the line and beauty of its architectural style and ornate altars. In 1996, Calangute celebrated the fourth centenary of its parish church.
The Kerkar Art Complex The Kerkar Art Complex, is the one and only of its kind on this beach. It is a popular center for exhibitions of arts and crafts of local artistes. On Thursdays and Fridays, connoisseurs of Indian classical music and dance can be an audience to various concerts.
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