Once a hippie hangout in the 1960s, Calangute in northern Goa is now one of the region's most popular coastal resorts. It also served as an upmarket retreat under Portuguese rule, when Goa's elite would flock here to soak up the tropical sunshine. This golden stretch of sand sits between Baga and Candolim and is lined with sun loungers and dotted with water sports centres. Calangute holidays will also give you some of the area's best restaurants and has a bustling street market.
The climate in Calangute is tropical and temperatures are in the mid 30s (°C) all year round.
9 hours 30 minutes
Goa International Airport (GOI) is around 38km south of Calangute.
Book a cheap holiday to Calangute with Airtours and discover beautiful beaches, wonderful water sports and cultural sights.
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Holidays in Calangute are all about spending sunny days on the beach, dining at top notch restaurants in the evening or partying in the neighbouring resort of Baga. This golden stretch is a popular spot for its impressive range of water sports, quality drinking, dining options and easy access to Goa's cultural highlights including Fort Aguada and Goa's capital, Panaji. Whether you've gone All Inclusive or you've found a cheap winter sun deal, Calangute offers something for everyone.
Calangute Beach has always had a popular following. Under Portuguese rule, it attracted high end holidaymakers from all over India who would relax on its soft sand and bathe in the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. In the 1960s, it was a famous spot on Goa's hippie trail and people would join drum circles, practice yoga and party on the beach. It now offers a little something for everyone, from its rows of sun loungers to water sports centres and beach shacks that offer drinks, snacks and music all day long. For a lively patch of sand head in the direction of Baga, or for laid back lounging walk south to Candolim.
From Calangute it's a 35 minute drive south to Goa's capital, Panaji. Spend a day here exploring the city's Portuguese heritage, from the grand colonial buildings to the whitewashed churches. The colourful streets are home to boutiques, cafes, bookshops and bars. On the way back, stop at the Fort Aguada, a 17th century citadel and lighthouse that once protected the river Mandovi throughout the Portuguese empire.
Beach lovers: Calangute is a golden stretch of sand between lively Baga and laid back Candolim. The beach is lined with loungers and beach shacks for all day drinking and dining.
Water sports fans: Take your pick from parasailing, jet skiing or banana boat rides at Calangute. The area is also a top spot for surfers.
Cultural sightseeing: Calangute is within easy reach of Goa's capital Panaji with its whitewashed churches, grand colonial buildings and arty boutiques. It's also less than a 20 minute drive from the historic Fort Aguada.
Language: Konkani is Calangute's official language but English is widely spoken.
Currency: Indian Rupee.
Local Time: Five and a half hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly To: Goa International Airport (GOI) is around 38km south of Calangute.
Tourist Information: Further tourist information on Calangute can be found at http://incredibleindia.org/.
Visa and Health: Before you travel to Calangute with Airtours visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india for help and advice on visa requirements and health considerations for your holiday.
Temperature: Mid 30s (°C) all year round.
Best time to visit: Temperatures are consistently hot throughout the year on India's west coast. The rainy season is between June and October but this is when you're most likely to find the best deals. Calangute is a popular winter sun destination. Between November and May you can expect between 8 and 10 hours of sunshine per day.
By Train: India has an excellent rail network with express trains connecting major cities. Seats and sleeper cabins can be reserved in advance and tickets are cheap. The main stations in Goa are in Madgaon (49 km from Calangute) and Vasco da Gama (40km from Calangute).
By Taxi: Taxis are plentiful and are generally cheap. Alternatives include motorcycle taxicabs and autorickshaws.
By Boat: Boat trips operate frequently from Calangute's shoreline, or from the neighbouring resort of Baga.
By Hire Car: Hire cars can be booked in advance or when you arrive, but it may be a good idea to hire both a car and a driver to save having to navigate India's unreliable road network.
By Bus: In most cases it's more pleasant and convenient to travel by taxi or autorickshaw.
For music fans: Sunburn is an electronic dance music festival held on the beach in Vagator every December (around 9km from Calangute). This four day celebration is Asia's largest music festival, and sees big name artists and DJs like Roger Sanchez and Pete Tong perform on multiple stages.
For foodies: The Goa Food and Cultural Festival in nearby Panaji is a five day event that celebrates traditional Goan cuisine every April. Learn all about local dishes through a series of demonstrations and cooking competitions, and don't leave without tasting your way around the food stalls. You'll also see live music and dance performances.
For something traditional: Goa's Annual Heritage Festival takes place in January in the village of Saligao (less than 3km from Calangute), and honours the region's cultural traditions. Expect food stalls, craft demonstrations, dance performances and live music.