Candolim travel guide

Candolim Tourism | Candolim Guide

You're Going to Love Candolim

If you love the idea of baking in the tropical sunshine on pure white sands, with high-quality hotels and plenty of shops and restaurants not far from the beach, Candolim could be the ideal destination.

Situated in the Indian province of Goa, Candolim is, on the surface, a busy resort town, and it definitely receives its fair share of European and American vacationers. But it's also a great base to tour less-developed beaches on the North Goa coast such as Vagator or Anjuna, or the 17th-century ruins of the Portuguese Fort Aguada at Sinquerim.

It's the kind of destination where you can dive into the local party scene, chill out in a conventional resort, or find your own way to gorgeous beaches and historical attractions, fine Goan cuisine, and vibrant festivals. And that's why so many people choose Candolim for their Indian escapes.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Candolim

1. The Beach

Candolim would be nothing without its beach. Actually part of a much longer strand encompassing Baga and Calangute, Candolim's beach is more laid back and usually less packed than those resorts. And the water is just as warm and inviting.

2. A Relaxed Good-time Vibe

Unlike some neighboring resorts, Candolim manages to juggle being a developed tourist center with a laid-back, sedate atmosphere. If you want full moon parties and clubs, they aren't hard to find, but families can avoid noise with ease during beach vacations as well.

3. Historical Appeal

The area around Candolim was a Portuguese foothold on the Indian subcontinent from 1510 until 1961, and the European presence has left plenty of historical attractions, from Fort Aguada to Se Cathedral in Old Goa. None of them are far from Candolim.

4. Great Goan food

Dining well in Candolim is easy. It's a great place to sample Goan cuisine, from crusty pao bread to locally caught whitebait, pork vindaloos, and sorpotel. Mixing up European and Asian influences, it's a genuine culinary adventure.

5. Goa's Tropical Climate

Goa is often described as a tropical paradise, and with temperatures very rarely dipping below 70 degrees, it's easy to see why. It's the ideal place to sip mango or pineapple cocktails in hammocks as the Indian Ocean laps at the shore.

What to do in Candolim

1. Take a Cycling Tour to Fort Aguada

Cycling tours operate out of nearby Nerul and cover the area around Fort Aguada. Not only are they great exercise, there's no better way to explore the 17th-century fort and the beaches around Candolim.

2. Make the Most of the Beach

Spending at least a day on the beach at Candolim is obligatory. Hire a sun lounger and open up a paperback, or score a spot in one of the beach bars lining the sands to watch the sun set and sip some Kingfisher beers.

3. Shop for Souvenirs at Calangute

Located just down the coast from Candolim, Calangute is the place to head to pick up bargain jewelry, sarongs, or even elaborately embroidered carpets. With a lively local craft scene, the choice of unique items is endless.

4. Take a Cruise on the Mandovi River

Relax and watch Goa slip by or join raucous party cruises on Goa's longest river as it runs into the Indian Ocean at Panjim. For party fans, cruises with DJs, bars, and folk dances are the ultimate Goan night out.

5. See What Panjim Has to Offer

The Goan capital is a few miles from Candolim by bus. With its elegant whitewashed cathedral and the Portuguese architecture of districts like Fontainhas, it's well worth a visit (or two).

1. Take a Cycling Tour to Fort Aguada

Cycling tours operate out of nearby Nerul and cover the area around Fort Aguada. Not only are they great exercise, there's no better way to explore the 17th-century fort and the beaches around Candolim.

2. Make the Most of the Beach

Spending at least a day on the beach at Candolim is obligatory. Hire a sun lounger and open up a paperback, or score a spot in one of the beach bars lining the sands to watch the sun set and sip some Kingfisher beers.

3. Shop for Souvenirs at Calangute

Located just down the coast from Candolim, Calangute is the place to head to pick up bargain jewelry, sarongs, or even elaborately embroidered carpets. With a lively local craft scene, the choice of unique items is endless.

4. Take a Cruise on the Mandovi River

Relax and watch Goa slip by or join raucous party cruises on Goa's longest river as it runs into the Indian Ocean at Panjim. For party fans, cruises with DJs, bars, and folk dances are the ultimate Goan night out.

5. See What Panjim Has to Offer

The Goan capital is a few miles from Candolim by bus. With its elegant whitewashed cathedral and the Portuguese architecture of districts like Fontainhas, it's well worth a visit (or two).

Where to Eat in Candolim

Goan cuisine is one of the area's biggest attractions. As the name suggests, Viva Goa is a place that takes pride in local traditions, serving up sumptuous seafood feasts, while Claudina's and Tony's are homely "shacks" near the beach that are perfect for enjoying a bite after a day of sunbathing. Beyond seafood, the selection of options is surprisingly extensive, with Italian dishes at Tuscany Gardens and Burmese curries at Bomra's. Wherever you dine, it should be affordable, with meals costing around Rs. 200-400 per head.

When to visit Candolim

Candolim in January
Estimated hotel price
$36
1 night at 3-star hotel
Candolim in January
Estimated hotel price
$36
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit Candolim is generally between November and March, when the temperatures are warm (but not scorching hot). The Sunburn electronic music festival also draws big crowds in December. However, vacationers wanting cheaper, less hectic breaks could try September and October, when the rainy season hasn't quite ended, but hotel rates should be lower.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Candolim

Plane

The easiest way to reach Candolim is by flying into Dabolim Airport, which is around 25 miles south of the resort. From there, taxis should cost around Rs. 1,000-1,500, while major hotels will run shuttles to meet most flights, and these services can be much cheaper.

Car

To drive from the airport, take National Highway 566, then turn north onto National Highway 66, before heading westwards just after passing through Panjim. Alternatively, route 66 runs from Mumbai as well. The 400-mile journey takes around 10 hours.

Bus

Buses run from the Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) Bus Stand in central Panjim every 20 minutes, take around an hour to reach Candolim, and cost Rs. 15. Another option is to take the free ferry across the river to Betim and catch a bus from there, which costs Rs. 10.

Airports near Candolim

Airlines serving Candolim

United Airlines
Good (2,464 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (298 reviews)
British Airways
Good (937 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (930 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (155 reviews)
Air India
Okay (646 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (2 reviews)
IndiGo
Good (56 reviews)
Vistara
Good (53 reviews)
FlexFlight
Excellent (1 reviews)
Air Arabia
Good (5 reviews)
SpiceJet
Good (13 reviews)
GoFirst
Okay (4 reviews)
AirAsia India
Excellent (2 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Candolim

Leading resort hotels in Candolim include the Hyatt Place, the Novotel Goa Shrem, and the Santana Beach Resort. All provide on-site catering, pools, and spacious rooms within walking distance of the sea. Cosier B&B-style options include the Casa Almeida Guest House and the Villa Sol Areia, while Backpacker Panda caters for budget travelers. The best areas to spend time in include Candolim Beach, packed with hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, and nearby Sinquerim, home to Fort Aguada and a host of water sports options.

Popular neighborhoods in Candolim

Leading resort hotels in Candolim include the Hyatt Place, the Novotel Goa Shrem, and the Santana Beach Resort. All provide on-site catering, pools, and spacious rooms within walking distance of the sea. Cosier B&B-style options include the Casa Almeida Guest House and the Villa Sol Areia, while Backpacker Panda caters for budget travelers. The best areas to spend time in include Candolim Beach, packed with hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, and nearby Sinquerim, home to Fort Aguada and a host of water sports options.

Where to stay in popular areas of Candolim

Most booked hotels in Candolim

Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa
Excellent (8.9, 978 reviews)
$157+
Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa
Excellent (8.8, 674 reviews)
$160+
Santana Beach Resort
Excellent (8.7, 345 reviews)
$36+
Leon Hide Out Guest House
Excellent (8.2, 166 reviews)
$27+
Shanti Morada
Excellent (9.6, 7 reviews)
$103+
Novotel Goa Shrem Resort
Good (7.8, 1130 reviews)
$91+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Candolim

Public Transportation

Bus connections to Panjim and other resorts along the Goan coast are provided by KTC, and the basic fare is Rs. 8. If you want to hop between beaches, buses are a great way to do so, and they also make reaching the capital simple.

Taxis

Taxi ranks can be found across Candolim, and getting around by cab is fairly cheap. Expect a flag drop of Rs. 100 followed by around Rs. 45 per mile, although rates vary by company and whether you travel during the day or night.

Car

Hiring a car is a good option for exploring the coast or whizzing into Panjim. Local companies include Bhavya, Scorpion, and Vailankanni, while mopeds can also be hired for a cheaper, more mobile alternative. Expect medium-sized vehicles to cost Rs. 300-500 per day.

The Cost of Living in Candolim

Shopping

Candolim, Calangute, and Sinquerim are all excellent places to shop for items like necklaces, earrings, bangles, and sarongs. Head to Calangute for the widest selection, although craft stalls can be found all along the shore. Souvenir stores in Candolim include Ashoka Jewellers and Sheek Emporium, which is a fantastic place to shop for Indian fabrics. The Broadway Book Centre also offers English language books and newspapers - handy for days at the beach.

Supermarkets and Food Stores

The biggest supermarket in Candolim is Newton's, which stocks goods from all over the world, but Lawande Supermarket also has a wide selection of essentials. Both are a good bet when you need to stock up for picnics. Prices are fairly low in general, with a gallon of milk coming to around Rs. 160 and 12 eggs costing Rs. 65.

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