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Calangute Beach, Known as the ‘Queen of Beaches’, Calangute is one of the busiest spots in Goa all year round. The original hippie hangout in the 60s, it has remained a popular Goa package holiday and day-tripper destination thanks to its wide golden sands and even wider range of activities. The north end of the Calangute beach, centred around famous ‘Holiday Street, is packed with beach shacks, bars, water sports touts, sun-loungers and souvenir stalls, catering to foreign and domestic tourists alike. Wander a bit further south, however, and the pace become altogether more relaxed, with sundowners and seafood suppers the order of the day.
One of the reasons for Calangute’s enduring attraction is the sheer range of accommodation options available. From package resorts to luxury hotels, the location has something for every budget, with even the more basic guest houses now offering good amenities.
Calangute’s choice of restaurants is almost second to none in Goa - from cheap beach shack eats to upscale bistros inland. Worthy of mention are Goan food institution Souza Lobo, the veg thalis at bustling Plantain Leaf, authentic family restaurant Little Italy and the world class cuisine and sumptuous lounge bar setting at A Reverie.
Whilst the night-life is not nearly as riotous as nearby Baga, there is still a thriving party scene. Tito’s Retro Bar is a mellower version of the Tito’s brand, playing rock, pop and hip hop classics, whilst Decades Bar hosts a wide range of entertainment - from karaoke and live music to bingo! For a more beachy scene, Pete’s Bar serves cheap drinks and plenty of reggae, whilst for the night owls, the Boomerang Bar in Club City is open 24-hours for drinks, dancing and trying your luck against the locals on the pool table.
Shopping at Calangute
Calangute is a shopaholic's paradise, whether haggling at the beach for sarongs and souvenirs, visiting the handicraft sellers from Kashmir, Tibet and Rajasthan for antiques, jewellery, furnishings and textiles, or perusing the upmarket boutiques of Indian and Western designers. A bazaar is held near Calangute post office every Saturday selling staples like fish and groceries as well as textiles and pottery at bargain rates.
Feel in need of some pampering after a hard day at the beach? Snip Salon & Spa offers facials, body scrubs and massage, as well as hair cuts from international stylists. For a more holistic health approach, head inland to the Saligao Ayurvedic Centre, which offers treatments and courses.
Calangute, As the most well-known beach in Goa, within easy reach of the airport and with plenty of accommodation and action, commercial Calangute attracts tourists from all over the world, whether peak season or the middle of monsoon.