Holidays to Candolim have beach days and laidback nights all wrapped up – plus, there's a buzzing night scene just around the corner.
Candolim’s a huge hit with families, thanks to its chilled out atmosphere and just-far-enough distance from North Goa’s party towns. Here, the tempo matches the gentle swell of the waves, and the after dark scene’s more about drinking in the atmosphere rather than rainbow-coloured cocktails. And, if you want to sample a slice of the action, the busy capital of Panaji’s a 20-minute drive away.
A cultural melting pot
Goa’s packed with iconic churches, and is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its high number of historical hotspots may have earned it the nickname ‘Rome of the East’, but it's no copycat. Being ruled by Portugal for nearly 500 years has left Goa with a distinctive mix of cultural influences, which you can easily see from the Indo-Portuguese-style mansions that dot the countryside. In Candolim, you can visit Fort Aguada – a 17th-century Portuguese fort with its own lighthouse, which shows off panoramic views across the Indian Ocean.
The beat speeds right up in next-door Calangute. North Goa’s wild child pulls no punches when it comes to thrills, spills and thumping nightlife – daytime sees the ocean dappled with jet-skis, and by night, you’ll find the streets drenched with floodlit bars and clubs. If you want to join in with the locals, try feni – it’s a spirit made from either cashew nuts or toddy palm that’s only sold in Goa, and it’s pretty potent. Usually, it’s served neat over ice, with a slice of lime to take the edge off.