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Goa Beach Vacation
Colva is on the northern end of this long, continuous strip of coastline. It is located just 6 km away from the city of Margao. It's broad and beautiful, has a stream coursing through it and is backed by palms. Sadly, its beauty has made it popular and its popularity has cheapened it: its off-beach shops and restaurants, brightly lit and crowded, give it the feel of a funfair rather than a serene, unwinding beach. This is essentially our domestic tourists' paddling beach.
Colva is quite a crowded beach. And, to ones surprise a majority of the crowd consists of locals. Though scenically this isn't one the best beaches, it does have a lot of good restaurants. There are a variety of hotels along this beach that suit almost every budget.
DONA PAULA BEACH
At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagao Harbour. 7-km from Panjim, nestled on the south side of the rocky, hammer-shaped headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries, this former fishing village is nowadays a commercialized resort. This is an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scootering facilities are also available over here.
The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa.
Water Sports: Tranquil and blue, Dona Paula unravels the ultimate in aquatic sport and fun. Dona Paula Sports Club, Dona Paula offers some of the best water sports facilities to the sports enthusiasts including Water-scooter rides, Motorboat rides, etc.
The Southern coast of Goa is stretched by white sand. Until a few years back, it was among the virgin beaches of Goa. However, it couldn't escape from the eyes of the tourists. Although a few developments have taken place, the beach still has a soothing aura to it. It's a beach of white sand facing a blue bay between two headlands. The little wooded islands on the northern headland are interesting, and if you're interested, try to persuade one of the fishermen to ferry you across. They do offer to take you out to spot dolphins. Tourists have at last discovered Palolem and so there are a few shacks selling seafood snacks, souvenirs, and clothes of the shapeless, bright, informal kind. Panaji, the capital, is more than 70 km away. A large area of the beach now accommodates a lot of small shacks that taper off as you move towards the south.
Accommodation is easily available here. And though there are a couple of money exchange centers, Palolem does not have any banks. The closest railway station is at Canacona, which is just 3 km away from Palolem. There are also a lot of buses that ply from Margao to Canacona. From there taxis and local buses are easily available.
Dolphin Cruises and the Fishing Trips: are the other popular attractions. These are offered at quite a reasonable rate.
Across the river, a fair distance away, is a headland that separates the two parts of the most photographed beach in Goa: the beautiful Vagator.Vagator is a popular beach with the tour operators. However, a little further south of this main beach is a more sedate beach known as 'Little Vagator' or Ozran beach. This beach accommodates a fresh water pool. Little Vagator also has a number of good eating-places. The accommodation available at Vagator is limited.
Anjuna Beach is located 8 km away from the city of Mapusa. This was a trading port for the Arabs during the 10th and 12th centuries and was known as Hanjuman which meant Chamber of Commerce. Today, the word Anjuna is associated with the flea market that it hosts every Wednesday.
The beach was a famous handout for hippies in the 60's. These early travelers auctioned off their belongings from guitars to jeans to their compatriots. It was from here the famous 'flea' market at Anjuna began. One can shop here for everything from clothes and jewellery to books and bikes.
Baga lies between Anjuna and Calangute. Where Anjuna is in the north and Calangute is on the south. Baga is also termed as the extension of Calangute. It is difficult to make out where one ends and the other begins. Baga is a comparatively clean beach. However, it is full of hawkers. There are quite a few hotels in this area.
Baga has recently begun a Saturday night market. The market is quite good but nothing compared to the Anjuna Flee market. Continental cuisine and good seafood is also available at various places in and around Anjuna. Various water sports like parasailing and windsurfing are offered at this beach.
Benaulim is relatively undiscovered by domestic tourists even though it is a fishing beach. However, it gets fairly crowded during weekends and evenings with local visitors who get off buses about a kilometer away and pour onto the beach. The breaking wave height here is half a meter and the slope is 1 in 30 in September.
Dolphin Cruises: offered here are not only reasonably priced and are definitely worth it as the chances of spotting dolphins prance about are very high. You would generally find them swimming around in groups. Benaulim village is famous not only for its charm but also for its rosewood furniture. The carvings that one finds on these pieces are really noteworthy.
Calangute was the first hippie beach resort at the height of the Flower Children era. The successors to these dropouts have moved on as domestic tourist moved in and converted Calangute into a paddling, snacking, shopping, picnicking, vacationing beach. The long and beautiful Calangute in North Goa is a frequently visited beach. It is located 12 km from Panaji. It is generally crowded and the small resorts and pensions do a thriving business during the holiday season. It is broad, got a good cover of casuarinas and, though it is not what everyone expects of a beach, it is certainly the most popular beach in Goa.
Calangute is full of activity. This long beach has a host of facilities to cater to visitors, including beach and water sports. Though well known, its long stretch means you'll find privacy for yourself on a shelf that isn't crowded by tourists with cameras and an attitude. Besides water sports, that are offered at various beaches in Goa, Calangute also has places that offer short courses in meditation, yoga, reiki and even karate. One also finds a great number of massage parlours in this area. The active nightlife of Calangute is popular all over. There are a few nightclubs that are open till the wee hours of the morning.
Kerkar Art Gallery: is closely located. This gallery displays the paintings and sculptures of various talented, upcoming artists of Goa. Interestingly, this place hosts a night of Indian music and dance, once every week. It is worth spending an evening enjoying the essence of Indian culture.
The last southern beach before you get to Panaji is the first southern beach to be discovered by visitors: Bogmolo. This broad beach, backed by palms, is now shared by visitors and fishermen alike. You'd find bathers relaxing on sun beds under bright beach umbrellas. Bogmolo is considered a safe beach for swimmers.
Bogmalo Beach is located 4 km away from the Dabolim airport and 8 km from the port city of Vasco-da-Gama.
Try out the water sports that are offered here. Surfing, Parasailing, there are lots to do. En route to the beach, one comes across the Naval Aviation Museum. This museum, set up by the Indian Navy, is worth visiting. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, it remains closed on Mondays and public holidays.
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