Located 14 kilometers north of Panaji, Candolim Beach is a perfect getaway for people searching for serene spot in a beach simply to unwind or de-stress. It starts at the Fort Aguada and ends in Chapora Beach, lying close to Sinquerim Beach. While not as jam-packed like Anjuna or Calangute, it is still fairly crowded with people doing yoga, enjoying water sports or just lazing under the sun. In addition, the beach is easily accessible and one can hire a taxi or rent a car to get there.
Before being turned into a touristy beach, Candolim was once the birthplace of the father of hypnotism, Fr. Abbe Faria. The small town was also the place where the first uprising against Portuguese came out.
There are plenty of activities to do in Candolim Beach. With a wide array of water sports and recreational activities being offered for tourists, even the tiniest speck of weariness and fatigue will vanish into thin air once you feel the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea. The beach also offers water sports equipment for rent if you want to do paragliding, parasailing, wind surfing, fishing, water skiing, diving, etc.
Principally, the main road is filled with restaurants and shops, but the beach front is quite free from hawkers and other commercial activities besides some water sport activities. While the life is a little closer to Calangute, life here is still laid-back. Even Candolim village is not very crowded, with houses scattered so you won’t see any center to it. The beach is resort-free, albeit there are little inns available at reasonable rates with fair facilities.
If you prefer less adventurous and strenuous activities, the beach offers impressive scenery including the Fort Aguada, a well-preserved ancient Portuguese fort. The 17th-century Portuguese fort is the biggest fort in Goa today. It is so large that it engulfs the whole peninsula at the southwest tip of Bardez. Situated on top of Sinquerim plateau, south of Candolim, you will be rewarded with a vast view of the Arabian Sea. Some interesting features are the lighthouse, which once had the giant bell, the huge vaulted cistern and a basement prison.
The deserted shipwreck, the MV River Princess, is a popular sight in Candolim Beach, frequently used by tourists as a marker betweem Candolim and Sinquerim. The ship became a victim of strong storms off the coast of Candolim-Sinquerim on June 6, 2000. Due to the severity of monsoon storms, it caused the huge carrier to drag its anchor, eventually dragging aground just a few hundred meters from the shoreline. As one of the most photographed sites in the beach, there were plenty of initiatives to remove or salvage the ship that were posed… only to subsequently fail, possibly due to India’s weak maritime laws.
Because of the shipwreck, swimming in Candolim Beach is not very safe. During the past decade, the ship affected the Candolim seabed, with sharp corroded metals being washed ashore, causing hazards for bathers. Right now, it is estimated that the ship has settled about 30 feet into the seabed and gathered nearly 40,000 metric tons of sand. This accumulation causes sand erosion, affecting local tidal flow with strong underwater current flowing away from the shore.