Location : Bardez taluka, 16 kilometres from Panaji
Ideal Time to Visit : November to March
Highlights : Best infrastructure for tourists, opportunities for water sports, handicraft boutiques
Calangute is Goa's flagship beach and it plays an irreplaceable role in the state's tourism sweepstakes. Stretching over an expanse of seven kilometres, Calangute beach is known by the sobriquet the 'Queen of Beaches' for its pre-eminence among the scenic beaches that dot the Goan landscape. Due to its extreme popularity, Calangute beach beckons tourists and backpackers from all over the world.
Before becoming a tourist haven, Calangute was a nondescript fishing village frequented by the hippies in the 70's and 80's. But over the years Calangute has metamorphosed into Goa's numero uno beach destination endowed with a bustling infrastructure. The beach remains choc-a-block with tourists all year around.
Apart from a host of hotels and guest houses stretching up to Baga, the village of Calangute offers all modern amenities like post office, banks, foreign exchange offices, all kind of eateries and medical facilities. Die hard shoppers can look for an exciting time in the Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery.
While enjoying a day in Calangute, one is unfailingly struck by the paradox that the beach itself has nothing much to offer with sand contaminated with red soil and the beach dropping steeply into the sea.
How to ReachCalangute beach in Goa is 9 kilometres off Mapusa and 16 kilometres from Panaji. Daily buses are available from Panaji and Mapusa so as to reach Calangute. One can hire motorcycles and taxis from Mapusa to reach the beach.
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