Four or five years ago, Candolim, at the far southern end of Calangute beach, was a surprisingly sedate resort, appealing to an odd mixture of middle-class Bombayites, and Burgundy-clad Sannyasins taking a break from the Rajneesh Ashram at Pune. Times, however, have changed.
Now, large-scale package holiday complexes jostle for space behind the dunes and the increasingly crowded beach has sprouted ranks of sun beds. On the plus side, Candolim has plenty of pleasant places to stay, many of them tucked away down quiet sandy lanes and better value than comparable guesthouses in nearby Calangute, making this a good first stop if one has just arrived in Goa and are planning to head further north after finding one's feet.
Travel Attractions of Candolim Beach The Aguda Fort
Immediately south of Candolim, a long peninsula extends into the sea, bringing the seven-kilometre white sandy beach to an abrupt end. Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs, the first source of drinking water available to ships arriving in Goa after the long sea voyage from Lisbon. Shopping At Candolim Beach
The road from the town to the beach is lined with Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery. The quality of the goods - mainly Rajasthani, Gujarati and Karnatakan textiles - is generally high. Haggle hard and don't be afraid to walk away from a heavy sales pitch - the same stuff crops up every Wednesday at Anjuna's flea market. Leisure Activities At Candolim Beach
The beach itself is nothing special, with steeply shelving sand, but is more than large enough to accommodate the huge numbers of high-season visitors. Head fifteen minutes or so south of the main beach front area, towards the rows of old wooden boats moored below the dunes. In this virtually hawker-free zone, one' will only come across teams of villagers hauling in hand nets at high tide or fishermen fixing their tack under bamboo sun shakes. Water Sports at Candolim Beach
Candolim Beach also makes a perfect beach site if you want to indulge in some water sports activities. Parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing at the Candolim Beach starts in the afternoon when the wind is blowing just in the right direction and it goes on till sunset. Eating Out Joints & Restaurants
Candolim Beach bars and restaurants are mainly grouped around the entrance to the beach. As with most Goan resorts, the accent is firmly on tempting seafood, though many places also serve vegetarian dishes. Western breakfasts also feature prominently at some of the restaurants in Candolim. Nightlife & Entertainment at Candolin Beach
Candolin's nightlife is surprisingly tamed and provide a nice break from the wild parties at Anjuna. All but a handful of the bars wind up by 10.00 pm. One notable exception is Tito's at the Baga end of the beach, which stays open until after midnight in the off-season and into the small hours in late December and January.
The other places that consistently stay open through the night at Candolin are a couple of hippy hang-outs in the woods to the south of the beach road. There are many Bar houses , a perennial favourite next door to Angela P. Fernandes, is generally the liveliest, offering affordable drinks, backgammon sets and relentless reggae.