Anjuna & North Goa
In North Goa, Panaji, also know as Panjim, is a quiet achiever offering a glimpse into small town life for those who decide to hang their hat here for a spell. From here you can explore the still-Portuguese flavoured town of Old Goa, with its World Heritage listed churches and convents.
Candolim, Sinquerim & Fort Aguada
Candolim’s long, narrow, busy beach, which curves round to join smaller Sinquerim Beach to the south, is largely the preserve of slow-basting package tourists from the UK, Russia and Scandinavia, and is fringed with an unabating line of beach shacks, all offering sun beds and shade in exchange for your custom.
Well, we suppose we knew it had to happen eventually, and happen it has. We hereby (with a sniffle) officially declare Palolem…100% mainstream. Palolem’s long and stunning crescent beach was, as recently as 15 years ago, another of Goa’s undiscovered, unlittered gems, with few tourists and even fewer facilities to offer them.
Dear old Anjuna, that stalwart on India’s hippy scene, still drags out the sarongs and sandalwood each Wednesday for its famous – and once infamous – flea market. Though it continues to pull in droves of backpackers, midrange tourists are increasingly making their way here for a dose of hippie-chic without the beach-hut rusticity of Arambol further up the coast.
Picture the scene. It’s 1760, and you’re lucky enough (and pious enough, given the dark penchants of the Inquisition) to be living in the most glorious city in all of Asia – the Rome of the East – filled with ornate cathedrals soaring at heights unimaginable to most people on the subcontinent. Then, suddenly, disaster strikes.