North Goa, more precisely the coastal taluka of Bardez is one of the most sought after region in India. It was our first destination within the unique state of Goa, the country’s most popular holiday state. We stayed at the very well rated Renzo Inn hotel, within the popular coastal town of Calangute, strategically located at the heart of the region between the northern beaches of Vagator with its remarkable Chapora Fort and the breathtaking southern town of Aguada, home to one of the best preserved 17th century Portuguese fort. North Goa is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed stress free holiday as it is packed with numerous idyllic beaches, plenty of colonial sites and a variety of restaurants, bars, discos and spas. The following is an overview of our two days stay in the area and the beautiful sights we visited.
- Calangute arrival
- Anjuna Town and beach
- Chapora Fort, Vagator and Ozran beach
- Baga and Candolim beach
- Aguada, Sinquerim beach
- Candolim beach
- About Renzo Inn
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Our first destination in North Goa was the beautiful town of Calangute, often referred to as the Queen of all Beaches offering a variety of water sports, restaurants and bars. We arrived at the lesser known Goan train station of Thivim, after a whole day railway journey from Mumbai. We took a 20 minutes rickshaw ride to reach the charming Renzo Inn, strategically located in the heart of town, where the friendly hotel manager welcomed us and showed us our street facing room. After a quick refreshment, we went for a walk along the town main road, packed with surprisingly busy restaurants offering a variety of cuisine, from local seafood specialities to more westernized food such as pizza and fish and chips. As we were very hungry we soon settled for the Cricketers restaurant, where we had some lovely chicken masala, fried rice and a nice cold pint of Kingfisher. We not only had some great food but also learned a lot about the Calangute area and Goa from our very friendly young waiter.
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We started our second day in Goa with a nice hot breakfast of puri with roti on the ground floor of the Renzo Inn, right next to the pool and the beautiful flowers. We then decided to rent a scooter from the lovely lady next door, and soon enough we were leaving Calangute behind to explore the northernmost area of the Bardez taluka. Our first stop was the charming coastal town of Anjuna, best known for its flea market located on top of cliffs, offering a variety of souvenirs and colourful clothing, with offering spectacular views over the sea and the surrounding areas. Passed the shops and restaurants, we reached the very long Anjuna Beach, where a variety of holiday makers share the white sand with Indian’s sacred cows.
Chapora Fort, Vagator, and Ozran beach
After a lovely walk on the beach and cliff tops of Anjuna we got back on our moppets and headed further North to the nearby splendid Chapora Fort. This large and strategically located fort sitting on a hilltop offers spectacular views of the coast, the Chapora river and the surrounding unspoilt beaches of Northern Goa. After climbing to the top, we had a good exploration of the Portuguese remains while enjoying the surroundings natural beauty, before climbing back down to the amazing Vagator beach. This unspoilt coastal destination at the footstep of the fort is the ideal place if you are looking for some quiet time and peace away from the crowds. We ended up staying a good couple of hours, swimming, sunbathing and observing local tourist enjoying themselves.
On our way back to the heart of North Goa we quickly passed by the Ozran beach, a lesser known coastal destination filled with large palm trees touching the sky and amazing sea facing resorts.
Baga and Calangute
At around mid afternoon we arrived to Baga, best known as the primary resort holiday hub in Goa. Sharing the beach with southern Candolim, it is one of the busiest and most popular holiday destination with both locals (many from Mumbai) and international visitors. It offers a variety of water front restaurants, bars, clubs and discos to entertain the guest as well as numerous water sports activities.
Aguada, Sinquerim beach
After a late lunch at one of Baga’s beach front restaurant, we headed to the southernmost tip of North Goa. Our first destination was the spectacular Fort Aguada, one of Goa’s best-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese fort and lighthouse. It is strategically located overlooking the Arabian Sea as well as offering spectacular views of the Aguada Jail and St-Lawrence Church as well as of the capital city of Panjim sitting on the southern bank of the Mandovi Estuary.
On our way back from the hilltop fort we visited the small fishing port on the eastern side and the Sinquerim Beach on the western Arabian Sea side. The peaceful beach has plenty of luxury hotels such as the amazing Fort Aguada Beach Resort as well as being home to some amazing historic ramparts on the southern tip.
Our last destination of our very busy North Goa exploration was the superb Candolim resort village and beach, located between Calangute and the Aguada southern tip. This once quiet fishing village of the North Goa’s Bardez taluka has became a crowded and busy tourist destination. We arrived at sunset, and although most of the crowds were heading back to the nearby hotels and resorts, they were still plenty of people swimming, parasailing and enjoying a game of beach volleyball. We even manage to briefly assist to a wedding taking place right on the sand.
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About Renzo Inn
The Renzo Inn was one of the best 3 stars hotels we stayed in during our one month journey in India. It is conveniently located in the heart of Calangute, only a short walk to the beach and with plenty of cafes and restaurant to choose from, offering both Indian and international cuisine. The room and bathroom was very large, fully equipped and with a small balcony facing the street. The hotel was very clean with a very friendly and helpful staff. Moreover they offer a good Indian breakfast which can be taken on the ground floor tables facing the little pool surrounded by beautiful flowers and palm trees.
It is worth renting a scooter from the nice Indian lady next door to the Renzo Inn and visit the rest of Northern Goa including its historic forts and idyllic beaches.
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