Candolim Beach, Goa located 15 kilometers from Goa’s capital city Panjim, Candolim Beach is one of North Goa’s best known and longest sweeps of sand, stretching from Fort Aguada to Calangute beach. Candolim is less crowded and more peaceful than nearby Calangute and Baga Beaches, attracting repeat visits from package tourists happy to soak up the sun and enjoy the beach shack lifestyle. However, there is another side to Candolim - a sophisticated selection of resorts, restaurants and boutiques that attract savvy tourists and in-the-know locals.
Alongside the package resorts and Goa budget accommodation, Candolim also has a great selection of upscale hotels, boutique properties, private villas and Portuguese styled pousadas. Many properties from mid-range up have pools (a bonus in the hotter months!) and most now offer wifi alongside contemporary interiors.
For a beach destination in Goa, Candolim has a surprisingly eclectic selection of cuisines and a number of word class restaurants. The beach shacks may offer generic multi-cuisine menus (alongside the fabulous fresh seafood), but venture onto the main road to find acclaimed modern Burmese restaurant Bomras, superb East Asian cuisine at Wok & Roll, and perfect antipasti, pizzas and pasta at Tuscany Gardens. And Cafe Chocolatti serves a tempting selection of paninis, homemade truffles and delicious cakes, in a tranquil garden setting.
Unsurprisingly, nightlife in Candolim centres around dining, but there are some entertainment options for those looking for a bit more action. Surf n Turf joint, The Stone House, has live music most nights, rooftop pub Teama has a karaoke night, late night sports bar J29 has several screens (so you won’t miss your game!), whilst Cohiba serves cocktails in a chic lounge setting. Plus, for the die hard party animal, SinQ is a one stop destination, with a pool deck & lounge, indoor club with DJs playing commercial house, and even private party suites!
Shopping at Candolim
When it comes to shopping, Candolim landmark Newton’s is Goa’s largest supermarket stocking a huge range of domestic and imported goods. For gifts and souvenirs, nationwide chain FabIndia has a branch on the main road selling fair trade textiles and home furnishings, or visit one of the many local shops with their Alladin’s cave of jewellery, wall hangings, statues and leather goods.
For those who want to venture beyond the beach, Candolim has some interesting historical and architectural sights. On the headland overlooking the mouth of the Mandovi River, Fort Aguada is a well-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese fort (and a great sunset spot!). In a grim twist, Goa’s largest prison is housed beneath the fort on the site of the original citadel. At heritage site Calizz, local historians conduct a tour of Goan artifacts and traditional house interiors.
Back at the beach, jet skis, parasailing and water ski operators tout for business at the southern end towards Sinquerim. For all things boat, John’s Boat Tours arranges crab fishing, dolphin spotting and even a stay on a classic houseboat.
Even when its beach-based attractions are closed for monsoon, Candolim offers some fabulous accommodation and fine dining.