Sam's Beach Shack is great. Whether you want to have a cold drink and a snack or a full meal, you will be made welcome. There are sun beds and a wide range of food is served. Local and imported drinks are available at very reasonable prices.
There is a Beach Party every Tuesday Night, with entertainment, fireworks, music and dancing.
A great atmosphere and very friendly.
Near Holiday Inn Beach Resort,
How many of you know that Goa was a part of Portugal until 1961? To get a true flavour of Portuguese Goa head to the state capital of Panjim. Apart from the Portuguese promenade, the churches and the ruins in Old Goa, you can savour the true taste of Portuguese colonial India in Venite reataurant. Set on a balcony overlooking 31 Janeiro Street, I had the crab and the Goan sausages.
My family hails from the Konkan coast and I grew up eating this blend of European and Indian food. When in Goa make sure you sample the region's true cuisines - my personal favourites are pork vindaloo, a dish flavoured with vin (red wine vinegar) and alho (garlic) and the xacuti.
Venite's is on 31 Janeiro Street, all the cabbies know it. It's in Panjim's Sao Tome neighbourhood. I don't have a phone number I'm afraid, but it's easy to find in a taxi and you don't need reservation
Baga Beach in Goa has a shack where, between 1300 and 1600 hrs, you can get a fresh fish tali for around 60p, accommodation is on the beach in the form of apartments, which are unbeatable in price with a fridge, tv and above all friendly advice.
Ask for Raymond who also has scooters for hire, this busy family concern caters for all walks of life and a stress free enviroment is ensured.
Tel: 0091 9822384032
Although "Goa trance" isn't really my music scene, I enjoyed Anjuna immensely. There are a whole lot of freaks out there and most of them travel into Anjuna at some point. There's a good choice of places to eat ranging from Tibetan, Indian and Chinese to Western.
Lots of bars abound on and around the beach areas and there's plenty of cheap accommodation for those on a tight budget.
The local nightclub is pretty impressive, even if it's all bang-gnab trance all night long.
The beach is medium sizee but really nice (just expect a lot of hawkers) and locals are as friendly as the tourists.
This is a really good place to relax on the beach by day and party by night. You also have a lot of options for exlporing the rest of Goa once you get there.
Anjuna beach, north Goa
Set among palm trees, 500m away from Anjuna beach this is a great little place to eat when you need a break from Indian food. Stylish and comfortable with a wide ranging menu of world food created with love: perfect wood oven baked pizzas, delicious smoked Kingfish, baked mussels and seafood galore all served with excellent salads and healthy juices. The staff are helpful, nothing is too much trouble and they serve the best apple crumble and custard.
Head towards the flea market, they are on the right heading towards South Anjuna beach.
Palolem is a beautiful beach just about far enough from the excesses of the north. In six weeks the best food we found was The Cheeky Chapati: delicate fresh fish, great veggie food and the bet chilli jam in the world.
On the street running parallel to Palolem Beach.
Situated at the nothernmost point of Goa, Arambol is blessed with a fabulous combination of unspoilt beaches and a relaxed, easygoing vibe.
It's a far cry from the mania of Baga or Calangute and I had one of the most glorious curries of my life at one of its beachside restaurants.
Arabol, north Goa
Baga beach down by the creek at the quiet end of the Candolim - Calangute stip, is just perfect as a base for exploring north Goa. There are some excellent hotels, guest houses, restaurants and night clubs in the area. You can walk around the cliffs to Anjuna if you don't mind a bit of a hike. Half way round is a small secluded bay and beach shack imaginatively called "Cliffs" perfect for stopping of for a mid moring snack or drink.
Calangute is within walking distance in the other direction should you need the exercise, but a taxi or Tuc-Tuc will take you anywhere within north Goa for less than £10! The views from the top of Chapora fort or from Arambol lake are spectacular at any time of day and Vagator beach is fantastic for sundown.
The capital city of Panjim is also worth a visit as is Old Goa for the architecture and churches - a 3 day trip to Hampi is also well worth the time and trouble.
Dabolim airport is 70 mins away and Mapusa Station is 10 minutes away.
A really great overnight trip is to the ruined city of Hampi in Karnataca. The highlights include sunrise and sunset over the city's pagoda like temples and drumming on the hollow pillars - they are like stone organ pipes inside the temples and when banged lightly, you can play a rhythm on them. The attached palace is interesting with its geometric buildings and elephant stables.
Hampi is popular as a school visit destination and the children thought my wife was Princess Di (trust me - my wife is lovely but there is no resemblance!) and would creep up to touch shyly as they had never seen a white European! They drove in from India's little tourist visited interior.
We took a taxi to Hampi from Dona Paulo and paid about £70 for the two-day trip. On the way we drove through a chilli farming region and the chillies were laid out on the road for passing cars to thresh.
A fascinating trip all in all - and we had our cheapest meal ever there - £1.80 for a three-course meal for both of us! Just what do you tip when the meal is so cheap?
Palolem in south Goa is a fantastic laid back beach. You can check out how beautiful it is by watching Matt Damon run along it during the opening 10 minutes of the Bourne Supremacy.
There are some great beach huts to rent (average price £7 per day). My favourite has to be Dreamcatcher at the north end run by Jacky and Walter. Jacky is from Liverpool via the asteroid belt while Walter is an ex Kerelan wrestling champion. They make you feel so welcome it feels like home after about 10 minutes.
The food the cook serves up is fresh and tasty (prawns the size of bananas and curries that are far tastier than anything you've had in the UK) while the bar will serve you anything from a lasi to a Kingfisher.
If yoga is your thing, Wayne (yes I know not the most mystical sounding name) does a sunrise (well 9am) class and a sunset one. There's also a variety of massage too.
The place is magical at night as it is lit by candles. You can either sit around the campfire or relax on a daybed by the bar.
If you're going to Goa and want a place that's not commercial, Palolem and Dreamcatcher is where you should head to.
After a long, hot day exploring Panjim with my parents, the Panjim Inn was like a mirage. We had a cold beer on the heritage hotel’s balcony, rested our legs and ended up staying for dinner. Next time, I’ll give the crass beaches a miss and stay at this laid-back, sophisticated hotel instead.
Far enough from the craziness and tourist haven of northern Goa but enough activities to keep you occupied. Beautiful sand and lots of secret spaces. Hike through the hills to the next beach and discover the amazing food at Home restaurant.
Take a bus from Dabolim or jump in a taxi.
We stayed at the Cosy Nook on Palolem Beach which was fantastic - stilted
huts right on the beach. Admittedly, ours was by a rubbish heap which seemed to attract cows day and night time...
But the beach was clean and there were loads of good bars and restaurants with fantastic seafood. If a bar wasn't playing Bob Marley, you were treated to either a chilled Ibiza or Café del Mar compilation as you settled down for the evening. The soundtrack should give you an idea of the place!
Palolem Beach is about 2 km west of Chaudi, Canacona District. Cosy Nook is at the northern end of the beach.
Tel: 0832 264 3550
If you are under 30 or wear the now British uniform of shell suit and trainers, head for north Goa. The south (as yet) is a bit more refined, a bit more expensive but, hey it's your hols!
For great food try "Sams Shack" on the beach outside the Holiday Inn, Mobor, or Edwins "Goan Village" in Cavelossim, somewhere new is the Riverview literally on the river behind the Old Anchor. The beach sellers are less hassle here, one of our favourites, Camilla has as she calls it, Paul Mcarries (Macca) autograph.
The best massage on the beach is from Abdul, about £7/£8 for a full hour of relaxation. We are back there in December, but don't come near us if you are in your shellsuit&trainers.
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