The largest beach in North Goa, Calangute is a lively, popular beach town that attracts domestic tourists and international visitors alike. The beach is lined with hotels and shacks serving seafood, Indian fare, beer, and cocktails, while the adjacent town offers a mix of handicraft shops and bars.
Goa's "Queen of Beaches" is a great place to sunbathe and enjoy water sports. It's not the best place for swimming due to a strong undertow, but it's great for windsurfing and wakeboarding. While there are many concessions on the beach offering water sports, it's best to prebook with a reputable company that gets good peer reviews. You can visit Calangute as part of a guided tour of Goa that includes historical and recreational highlights.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear sunscreen and a hat; there’s not much shade here.
- Swimming can be dangerous at times, particularly during monsoon season.
- It’s unsafe for women to walk alone on the beach after dark.
How to Get There
Calangute is located in North Goa, about an hour's drive from Goa International Airport near Vasco de Gama and a half-hour from Goa’s capital city of Panaji. Goa is well-connected by air and rail to most major Indian cities, and some charter flights fly directly from Europe to Goa, especially during high season.
When to Get There
Goa is increasingly enjoyed as a year-round destination, particularly as it gains popularity with domestic travelers. However, its high season peaks around Christmas and New Year’s, particularly in the north, when people travel from all over the world to party their way through the holidays. April and May can get hot, and the monsoons during the summer months deter a lot of visitors, though some prefer the quietness of this season.
Dine like a Goan
Goa has a rich culinary traditional all its own, blending traditional coastal Indian ingredients (including lots of seafood) with culinary elements brought in by the Portuguese, Goa’s former colonial rulers. Popular foods include fried fish, cashew-heavy curries, and pao, a sweet bread that’s more similar to Portuguese buns than to Indian flatbreads.