Calangute Beach Goa

by Kshaunish Jaini

The state of Goa is blessed with more than one hundred kilometers of coastline, stretching all the way from its bordering states of Maharashtra in the north to Karnataka in the south. Through the ages, many sections of this vast coastline have become popular among the locals and travellers. Since the foreign tourist influx in Goa began in the 70s, certain beaches became more popular than others due to their characteristic natural features and various industries that grew around them.

Perhaps the most famous amongst all the beaches in Goa is Calangute - the largest beach in North Goa with an unbroken coastline that stretches for more than a kilometer. The Calangute beach is actually a part of the Calangute town, located 15 kms north from the capital city of Panjim. Also known as the Queen of Beaches because of its immense popularity and huge coastline, Calangute has been a favorite beach through the ages and sharply contrasts from the beaches in South Goa . Perhaps best immortalized in the form of a song by the great Goan crooner Lorna Cordeiro, Calangute sees a daily footfall of thousands of tourists during peak season times.

How to Reach Calangute

Because of its immense popularity, Calangute is one of the most accessible places in Goa . A regular bus service is available with shuttles every half an hour for the Calangute bus stand, which is only a ten minute walk away from the beach. Apart from the buses, you can always book yourself a taxi that takes you to your desired location in Calangute. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Calangute from Panjim. It is to be noted that during the ‘season’ months , cab fares tend to skyrocket. A cheaper way to travel if you are travelling alone is to hop on a bike-taxi or as it is known around Goa - a pilot service. Pilots are essentially two-wheeler cabs where you can sit as a pillion rider. The cost of a pilot is much less as compared to a regular taxi.

Crowded areas of Calangute beach in Goa

Crowded areas of Calangute beach in Goa. Photo Credit

The closest town from Calangute is actually Mhapusa, which is around 10 km away. Buses, cabs and pilots (bike taxis) are available from Mhapusa to Calangute on a regular basis.

Things to do in Calangute

Calangute is one of the most happening beaches in Goa. At the same time, its proximity to other popular beaches, namely, Candolim, Baga and Anjuna makes it a great central destination to base yourself in. Watersports like parasailing, waterboarding, waterskiing are organized with gusto on the beach. The long stretch of the beach itself is lined with endless shacks, each offering sumptuous meals and refreshing beverages including beers and cocktails. Recliners with umbrellas are placed along the beach to take refuge from the sun, and you can get a relaxing massage while sunbathing on the beach.

The beach gears up for a party every evening, and an assortment of lights accompany the setting of the Goan sun. Calangute is a sight to see during Christmas and New Years, and the huge beach feels like one large party complete with music, dancing and loads of fireworks, a very different sight than in April during the off-season . Travellers often prefer to go beach hopping, covering the entire stretch of the coastline from Sinquerim in the south to Vagator in the north. It is important to know that the roads get extremely congested during peak season time. Its no fun getting stuck on the road in a traffic jam as the new year’s clock strikes 12.

Boats in Calangute beach in Goa

Boats in Calangute beach in Goa. Photo Credit

Places to See Around Calangute

Calangute’s location allows travellers to easily access some of the most popular destinations in North Goa. The famous Fort Aguada is only 15 minutes away, and is worth a visit. From the top of the Fort, you can gaze deep into the sea while also getting a panoramic view of the coastline itself as it stretches from Sinquerim, Candolim all the way to Calangute. A 20 minute drive from Calangute takes you to the village of Nerul and the Fort of Reis Magos. You get a bird’s eye view of Panjim across the Mandovi waters once on top of Reis Magos, and the 500 year old church at the fort’s base is also something to be seen.

Beaches like Baga and Anjuna are also extremely close from Calangute. Do not miss the tiny Little Baga Beach, only a small hike away from the main beach. Little Baga is essentially a cove with only one shack that serves great food. It is truly a private beach experience.

The famous altar of St. Alex Church is in Calangute, as well as other churches such as the Mae de Deus Church in Saligao and the Holy Trinity Church in Nagoa. Their exceptionally designed architecture stands in these villages for more than 500 years, making them a true witnesses of Goan history.

Places to Eat Around Calangute

  • Infantaria
    Infantaria is one of the oldest restaurants in Calangute, and its popularity has never waned. Located right at the entrance of the Calangute-Baga road, Infantaria is a haven to many a worn out travellers. The restaurant houses a bakery on the ground floor, while the main restaurant is upstairs. Live music is a staple here during season along with great seafood.
  • Souza-Lobo
    The oldest restaurant on the beach and still going strong is Souza-Lobo. It started in 1932 and has expanded into one of the most influential names in the Goan hospitality industry. Souza Lobo is known for its breathtaking location bang on the beach and its Goan specialities like Sorpotel and other traditional delicacies.
  • Corrin’s Corner
    A tiny, unassuming place run by a british guy called Peter, this is where you get the most authentic English breakfast in town. Corrin’s Corner is located right next to the Calangute bus stop. Do not miss their burgers, apple cider and quiz nights.
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