North Goa is the Goa you might have heard all about: crowded beaches, upbeat nightlife, Goan trance, cosmopolitan cuisine, hippie markets and yoga retreats. If you like a fast pace and plenty of things to do, this is the place.
The region is framed by two great rivers – the Mandovi in the south and the Terekhol in the north – with some 22 miles (35km) of golden beaches in between. Calangute and Baga are the epicentre of the region, one of the few beach strips still humming in the off-season. Anjuna, with its famous Wednesday market, and Vagator still exude some hippie cool and party vibe, while the laid-back beaches of Morjim, Aswem and Mandrem are burgeoning family-friendly, Russian-heavy resorts with some flashy beachfront huts. In the far north, Arambol returns a bit of hippie-chic as a budget traveler enclave with cheap clifftop accommodation.