Goa Journals

Three Weeks on a Beach: Goa

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2005 trip to Goa by michaelhudson

River Valley Huts Photo, Goa, India More Photos
Quote: Anjuna, Candolim, and Palolem, and a few stops in between.

Three Weeks on a Beach: Goa

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Panjim Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Beaches, beaches, and more beaches. Of the ones I visited, Palolem was, by some distance, the most beautiful, though nearby Patnem is a better choice if you prefer some peace and quiet. I didn't like Calangute at all, but I suppose it's nice enough if you need to have culinary familiarity, crowds, and nightlife. Stay in Baga instead, which has a much nicer atmosphere, a better stretch of sand, and fewer restaurants serving steak and chips, and it is only a 10-minute walk away. Candolim and Sinquerim continue the unbroken line of beaches down towards Panjim, but both are overdeveloped and aimed at p...Read More

River Valley Huts

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

River Valley Huts Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
River Valley is at the northern end of Palolem, 50m back from the beach under a circle of coconut palms. There are 10 plywood-and-blue tarpaulin huts, each raised a metre above the sand on stilts and arranged in an L shape around a central open space looking out on forested hills and a lagoon. In front of the huts four hammocks are slung between the trees, and in the far corner there’s a common covered seating area with small collection of books and games: chess, backgammon, a volleyball, playing cards, Frisbees, and a carrom board. Opposite, by the gated entrance, is a shared shower block consisting of three cold showers and sit-down toilets in a cold stone building with tiled flo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2005

River Valley Huts
Palolem Beach
Goa, India

Moonlight Bar and Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Moonlight Bar Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
At 300 rupees for a double with cold shower (hot water, 50 rupees extra), the Moonlight Bar and Restaurant is about as cheap as Candolim gets. The four rooms are located on the first floor of the owner’s large family home and are all small but immaculately clean, with curtained windows, whitewashed walls, a powerful ceiling fan, plastic chairs on a triangular balcony overlooking a courtyard of palm trees, tiled floors, and simple bathrooms with a shower, Western toilet, and sink. There’s very little to complain about given the price, though the lack of mosquito nets on the windows was a problem in the evenings, and the bed, while fine width-wise, was small and rickety....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2005

Avalon Sunset Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Avalon Sunset"

Avalon Sunset Restaurant Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Perched above the rocks on the very edge of the sea, Avalon Sunset is one of Anjuna’s most atmospheric restaurants. Twenty one tables are arranged in three rows of seven under a flat roof, though only the ones nearest the sea are ever full. A single light bulb in a wicker shade hangs over each table, four plastic chairs arranged side on to the waves below. The menu is extensive with Mexican, Indian, Italian and Israeli food, though you’re better off checking exactly what is and isn’t available before you read through the whole list. Surprisingly given the prime sunset viewing location, prices are slightly cheaper than most restaurants in Anjuna, with mains costing between 60 and 120 rupees...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 13, 2005

Avalon Sunset Restaurant
Anjuna Beach
Goa, India

Sahakari Spice Farm

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Sahakari Spice Farm Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Far away from the beaches on the outskirts of Ponda, a visit to Sahakari Spice Farm is one of Goa’s most memorable and informative day trips.As we entered the grounds, we were greeted with a traditional dance, a garland of flowers, and a short presentation on the history of the plantation, accompanied by drinks of coconut milk; hot lemon grass, ginger, and cardamom tea; and handfuls of cashew nuts from a coconut bowl. The 40-minute guided tour that follows takes in only a small fraction of the estate’s 130 acres but is extremely interesting, with explanations of fenni (the local firewater) distillation, the extraction of ci...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 14, 2005

Sahakari Spice Farm
Off NH4A road, Ponda
Goa, India

Palolem Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Palolem Beach Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Palolem is a dream of a beach, a languid kilometre and a half-long crescent of light golden sand overseen by high coconut palms, blue hills, humpbacked rocks, and rounded islands. The beach is hard and flat and never more than 100m wide. The water was warm and shallow, with small, bubbly waves sliding 20m apart into the shore with the ease and precision of escalator steps. It’s crowded but concrete-free, with bobbing heads instead of jet skis and speedboats, a couple of beach volleyball nets, and a handful of sun loungers as the only facilities beyond what people make for themselves. Bamboo and plywood huts stretch all the way along the back of the beach, most with their own restau...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2005

Palolem Beach
42km from Margao
Goa, India

Chapora Fort

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Chapora Fort Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Between Chapora and Vagator, high on the hill separating the beach from the harbour, Chapora Fort crowns a space first fortified by the Muslim rulers of Bijapur. The ruined red laterite walls you see today date back to 1617, built by the Portuguese to protect against the return of the Muslims and the incursions of the Marathas, who conquered the fort twice in 1684 and 1739 and abandoned at the end of the 19th century as the threats passed and the border stretched north.There are two trails up to the fort, a few flights of black steps that begin at the top of Big Vagator beach or the steep climb along the path that branches off to the right of the main beach road, cutting pas...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 16, 2005

Chapora Fort
Chapora Village
Goa, India

Anjuna Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Anjuna Beach Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Hello, how are you? Which country? Come and see my shop, looking is free. Tomorrow? Promise? The words come as often as the waves on the long, flat sands of Anjuna Beach from sari-clad stall holders, out-of-town masseurs holding books full of testimonials in half a dozen different languages, and, more dubiously, whispering men offering grass and coke and ecstasy.The beach is nice, just a little unexceptional. There are dogs and rocks, frequent clumps of coconut palms, and small concrete buildings, raised up at the back, with cold beer and plastic menus. The best swimming is at the very end of the beach, down past the Shore Bar and the flea market grounds, where a se...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 16, 2005

Anjuna Beach
Anjuna, Goa
Goa, India