Are you looking for a perfect beach destination in India? Do you want to enjoy the sun, sand and sea with a dash of fun, adventure and nightlife? If yes, then Calangute beach in Goa is the place for you. Calangute beach is one of the most popular and busiest beaches in Goa, attracting tourists and backpackers from all over the world.
It is also known as the “Queen of Beaches” because of its sheer size, beauty and charm. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Calangute beach, including its history, attractions, activities, hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
History of Calangute:
Calangute beach has a rich and interesting history that dates back to the 16th century. The name Calangute comes from the Konkani word “Koli-gutti”, which means “land of fishermen”. The beach was a fishing village until the 1960s, when it was discovered by hippies and travellers who were looking for a peaceful and serene place to relax and enjoy nature.
The hippies brought with them a culture of music, art, spirituality and freedom that transformed Calangute into a vibrant and colourful place. Soon, Calangute became a hotspot for tourism and development, with hotels, resorts, shacks, clubs and shops mushrooming along the beach. Today, Calangute beach is one of the most visited and commercialized beaches in Goa, offering a variety of experiences for every type of traveller.
How to reach Calangute Beach?
Calangute beach is easily accessible by road, rail and air from different parts of India and abroad. Some of the ways to reach Calangute beach are:
The nearest airport to Calangute beach is Dabolim airport which is about 40 km away. You can take a prepaid taxi or a bus from the airport to reach Calangute beach in about an hour.
The nearest railway station to Calangute beach is Thivim railway station which is about 19 km away. You can take a taxi or a bus from the station to reach Calangute beach in about 30 minutes.
Calangute beach is well-connected by road to Panjim and other major cities in Goa and neighbouring states. You can take a bus or a taxi from Panjim bus stand which is about 15 km away or from Mapusa bus stand which is about 9 km away to reach Calangute beach in about 20 minutes.
Top Attractions near Calangute Beach:
Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, adventure seeker, or culture aficionado, there's something for everyone near Calangute Beach. Let's explore these attractions in more detail:
Just a stone's throw away from Calangute Beach, Aguada Fort is a magnificent historical monument that stands as a testament to Goa's colonial past. Built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the fort served as a defense stronghold and offered a vantage point to guard against enemy invasions. Today, visitors can wander through its sprawling complex, marvel at the sturdy architecture, and enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea from its lighthouse.
Adjacent to Calangute Beach, Baga Beach is a lively and bustling destination that attracts tourists with its vibrant ambiance and a plethora of water sports activities. From jet skiing and parasailing to banana boat rides and dolphin cruises, Baga Beach offers a thrilling experience for adventure enthusiasts. The beach is lined with numerous shacks and restaurants where you can relish delicious seafood, sip on refreshing drinks, and soak up the lively Goan vibe.
Anjuna Flea Market:
A short drive from Calangute, the Anjuna Flea Market is a shopaholic's paradise. Held every Wednesday, this vibrant market showcases a colorful assortment of goods ranging from clothing and accessories to handicrafts and jewelry. Bargaining is a common practice here, so unleash your negotiation skills and snag unique souvenirs to commemorate your visit to Goa.
Perched atop a hillock overlooking the Chapora River, Chapora Fort is an iconic attraction near Calangute Beach. The fort gained fame through the Bollywood movie "Dil Chahta Hai" and has since become a must-visit spot for tourists. Apart from its historical significance, Chapora Fort offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it a favorite spot for photographers and sunset enthusiasts.
Nature lovers will be captivated by the enchanting beauty of Dudhsagar Falls, located a few hours' drive from Calangute. As one of India's tallest waterfalls, Dudhsagar ("Sea of Milk") cascades down from a height of 310 meters, surrounded by lush greenery and a tranquil environment. Visitors can embark on a scenic trek through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, soak in the refreshing pool at the base of the falls, or simply revel in the awe-inspiring sight of the cascading waters.
Goa's fertile soil and tropical climate make it an ideal region for spice cultivation. A visit to the spice plantations near Calangute offers a unique opportunity to explore the aromatic world of spices. Engage in guided tours that showcase the cultivation and processing of various spices like cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Discover the medicinal properties of these spices, indulge in traditional Goan cuisine made with fresh ingredients, and even participate in fun-filled activities like elephant rides.
Reis Magos Fort:
Situated across the Mandovi River, Reis Magos Fort is another architectural gem that beckons history enthusiasts near Calangute Beach. This meticulously restored fort showcases a fusion of Indo-Portuguese architectural styles and houses a cultural and heritage center. Visitors can explore its interiors, admire art exhibitions, and enjoy panoramic vistas of Panaji city and the river.
Best hotels in Calangute Beach:
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa is one of the most luxurious hotels in Calangute Beach, offering a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional Indian hospitality. Located just 15 minutes away from the beach, this resort is spread over 28 acres of lush greenery and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
The rooms and suites at Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa are spacious and elegantly designed, with all the modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. From the private balcony, guests can enjoy stunning views of the sea or the landscaped gardens.
The resort also features multiple dining options, serving a variety of cuisines from around the world. Guests can enjoy a relaxing spa treatment at the Jiva Spa, take a dip in the swimming pool, or indulge in a range of outdoor activities, including water sports, cycling, and yoga.
Novotel Goa Resort & Spa
Located just 500 meters away from Calangute Beach, Novotel Goa Resort & Spa is a perfect getaway for travelers seeking comfort and convenience. This resort is designed to provide a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, with a touch of Goan hospitality.
The rooms at Novotel Goa Resort & Spa are spacious and well-appointed, with all the modern amenities required for a comfortable stay. Guests can choose from a variety of room categories, including suites with a private balcony and a plunge pool.
The resort features a large swimming pool, a fitness center, and a spa to help guests unwind and relax. The in-house restaurant serves a range of international and Indian cuisines, and guests can enjoy a drink or two at the poolside bar.
Hard Rock Hotel Goa
If you're looking for a hotel with a unique and vibrant vibe, then Hard Rock Hotel Goa is the perfect choice. Located just 10 minutes away from Calangute Beach, this hotel features a music-themed décor and an energetic ambiance, making it perfect for music lovers and partygoers.
The rooms at Hard Rock Hotel Goa are spacious and well-appointed, with all the modern amenities required for a comfortable stay. The hotel features a large swimming pool, a fitness center, and a spa to help guests unwind and relax.
The in-house restaurant serves a range of international and Indian cuisines, and guests can enjoy a drink or two at the in-house nightclub and bar.
Best things to do in Calangute Beach:
Calangute Beach in Goa offers a plethora of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best activities you can indulge in at Calangute Beach:
Calangute Beach is famous for its wide range of thrilling water sports. Engage in activities like parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat rides, and bumper rides for an adrenaline-pumping experience. Explore the beautiful coastline while enjoying the thrill of these water sports.
Sunbathing and Relaxing:
Calangute Beach's golden sands provide the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the sun. Grab a beach towel, lie back, and let the warm sun rejuvenate you. Don't forget your sunscreen and a good book!
Gather a group of friends or join fellow beachgoers for a friendly game of beach volleyball. It's a fantastic way to have fun, get some exercise, and make new friends while enjoying the scenic beauty of the beach.
Shopping at the Flea Markets:
Calangute Beach is known for its vibrant flea markets. Visit the Anjuna Wednesday Market or the Saturday Night Market at Arpora, where you can find a wide array of clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It's a great opportunity to shop for unique items and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Go on a Dolphin-Spotting Trip:
Embark on an exciting dolphin-spotting boat trip from Calangute Beach. Witness these beautiful creatures as they swim and play in their natural habitat. It's a memorable experience that allows you to connect with nature and appreciate the marine life of Goa.
Explore Fort Aguada:
Located nearby, Fort Aguada is a historic Portuguese fort that offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Take a short trip from Calangute Beach to explore this architectural marvel, stroll along the fort's ramparts, and learn about Goa's colonial past.
Try Goan Cuisine:
Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Goan cuisine at the beachside shacks and restaurants. Savor dishes like Goan fish curry, prawn balchão, and bebinca, a traditional Goan dessert. Don't miss the opportunity to taste the local seafood delicacies and experience the unique blend of spices.
Best places to eat in Calangute Beach:
Souza Lobo is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Goa. Located right on Calangute Beach, this restaurant offers a great view of the sea. They serve traditional Goan cuisine as well as Indian and continental dishes. Some of their must-try dishes include the seafood platter, Goan fish curry, and prawn balchao.
Britto's is a popular beachside restaurant that offers a wide variety of cuisines. They specialize in Goan cuisine and seafood, but also serve Chinese, Indian, and continental dishes. Their seafood platter and prawn curry are highly recommended.
Infantaria is a famous bakery and café in Goa that serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer a range of cuisines, including Goan, Italian, and continental dishes. Some of their must-try dishes include the chicken xacuti, seafood pasta, and apple pie.
Fisherman's Wharf is a seafood restaurant that is located a short distance from Calangute Beach. They offer a range of Goan and international seafood dishes. Their must-try dishes include the prawn curry, fish platter, and calamari.
Pousada By The Beach:
Pousada By The Beach is a luxury boutique hotel that also has a restaurant. They serve a range of cuisines, including Goan, Indian, and continental dishes. Their must-try dishes include the fish curry and prawn vindaloo.
Koi Asian Dining & Bar:
Koi Asian Dining & Bar is a popular restaurant that offers a range of Asian dishes. They serve Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. Their must-try dishes include the sushi platter, Thai green curry, and chicken teriyaki.
Tuscany Gardens is an Italian restaurant that is located in close proximity to Calangute Beach. They serve a range of Italian dishes, including pizza and pasta. Their must-try dishes include the margherita pizza and spaghetti carbonara.
Best clubs and pubs in Calangute Beach:
If you're looking for a memorable night out in Calangute, here are some of the best pubs and clubs to check out:
Tito's is an iconic name in Goa's nightlife scene and has been a go-to spot for party lovers for decades. Located near Calangute Beach, Tito's offers multiple venues within its complex, including Tito's Club, Café Mambo, and Bollywood Discotheque. With its energetic music, dazzling lights, and a diverse range of DJs and live performances, Tito's guarantees an unforgettable night of dancing and revelry.
Perched atop Arpora Hill, Club Cubana is often referred to as "the nightclub in the sky." This open-air club offers a stunning panoramic view of Goa's coastline and provides a unique experience for party-goers. Known for its electrifying music, lively atmosphere, and themed parties, Club Cubana is a must-visit for those seeking an exclusive clubbing experience.
LPK (Love, Passion, Karma) Waterfront is a stunning nightclub located on the banks of the Nerul River, a short distance from Calangute. This waterfront venue boasts a captivating ambiance with its blend of Indian and Mediterranean architectural styles. LPK offers a range of music genres, including Bollywood, EDM, and international hits, along with live entertainment and fire shows.
SinQ Nightclub is a popular party destination that combines a chic lounge, poolside area, and a vibrant dance floor. Located near Calangute Beach, SinQ features top-notch sound systems, live DJ performances, and an extensive selection of drinks. The club also hosts themed nights and special events, ensuring a fantastic night out.
Cape Town Café:
Situated on Tito's Lane, Cape Town Café is a lively pub known for its vibrant atmosphere and pulsating music. The pub offers indoor and outdoor seating options, and its outdoor area is perfect for enjoying the lively vibe of the street. With a mix of commercial, Bollywood, and EDM music, Cape Town Café keeps the party going late into the night.
Located on the bustling Candolim-Calangute Road, Cohiba is a stylish lounge and restaurant that transforms into a vibrant party venue as the night progresses. Known for its chic ambiance, live music performances, and an extensive selection of drinks, Cohiba offers a relaxed yet energetic atmosphere for party-goers.
Situated right on Calangute Beach, Café Lilliput is a popular shack that transitions into a lively bar and club in the evening. With its beachfront location, relaxed seating, and upbeat music, Café Lilliput provides a casual and enjoyable party experience. The shack also hosts live music gigs and theme parties, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists.
Best time to visit Calangute Beach:
The timing of your visit can significantly impact your experience at Calangute Beach, as Goa's climate and tourism seasons vary throughout the year. Here's a detailed guide to help you determine the best time to visit Calangute Beach:
Peak Season (November to February):
The months of November to February constitute the peak season in Goa, including Calangute Beach. During this time, the weather is pleasantly cool and dry, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C (68°F to 90°F). It is the ideal time to visit if you prefer mild weather and want to escape the winter chill in other parts of the world. The beach is buzzing with tourists, and the vibrant atmosphere is at its peak. You can enjoy various water sports activities, soak up the sun, and indulge in the lively nightlife that Goa is famous for. However, keep in mind that accommodation rates and crowd levels are typically higher during this period.
Shoulder Season (March to May):
The months of March to May mark the shoulder season in Goa. The weather gradually starts getting hotter, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). This period is ideal for travelers seeking a more relaxed and less crowded experience. You can still enjoy the beach, although it might be advisable to avoid the peak afternoon hours when the sun is at its strongest. The advantage of visiting during this time is that you may find more affordable accommodation options and have the beach and nearby attractions relatively less crowded.
Monsoon Season (June to September):
The monsoon season in Goa, from June to September, brings heavy rainfall and high humidity. Calangute Beach experiences a serene and tranquil ambiance during this time, as the tourist crowd is significantly reduced. The landscape becomes lush green, and the beach offers a picturesque sight with fewer visitors. It's worth noting that water sports activities are usually suspended during the monsoon season due to rough sea conditions. However, if you enjoy the rain, want to experience the natural beauty of Goa, and prefer a quieter vacation, visiting during the monsoon can be a unique and refreshing experience.
Off-Peak Season (October):
The month of October can be considered the transition period from the monsoon to the tourist season. While the rainfall decreases, the weather remains humid, and there might be occasional showers. The advantage of visiting during October is that you can find great deals on accommodation and experience a quieter beach with relatively fewer tourists. It's also a good time to explore Goa's lush landscapes and participate in activities such as trekking and nature walks.
Calangute Beach is the Queen of Beaches in Goa, where you can have fun in the sun, sand and sea. From water sports to nightlife, from shopping to dining, Calangute Beach has it all. Don’t miss this amazing destination on your Goa trip.