Candolim beautiful section of beach in the continuum of Calangute has been largely overrun by tourist shops, restaurants and hotels. Nice area to stay for people interested in shopping and dining close to beach front accommodation. A bit too expensive for the backpacker crowd though.
The nearest railway station is at Thivim - if you are arriving from north or south (Mumbai or Kochi), and taxi from there takes about 30 minutes and costs around Rs.520 (9 usd as of 2014). Other railway stations are at Margao which is one hour drive and Vasco da Gama which is 40 minutes away - this stations widely for people travelling from Bangalore side .
Candolim is a popular tourist destination and it's connected to major cities as Mumbai and Bangalore.Buses arrive or departure from Panaji which is 20 minutes drive from Candolim or Mapusa. Reaching Mumbai or Bangalore takes somewhere around 9 to 14 hours and cost from 600 to 1500 rupees depending on quality of the vehicle.
Prepaid taxi from the the airport costs Rs.1200 for non ac and 1300 for ac car.
The best way to travel in Goa is a two-wheller. Rent-a-bike is widely available all around the area and price of one day rent would be somewhere 250-300 rupees for a scootie and 500-700 rs for a motorcycle (prices grow dramatically in Christmas and New Year holidays). Remember that if you are not an experienced driver or not used for driving in Asia it might be not the best idea.Helmet is compulsory only on highways but valid driving license is a must.
Candolim itself is a small (but populated) village and it can be covered by brief walk in 20 mins. Walking or bicycling along roads is not a great pleasure as its crowded with cars, extremely noisy and dusty. Proper walking passes yet to come.
Two, three and four wheeler taxis are widely available but make sure to discuss the price before taking the service as no one uses meter so be ready to bargain hard. Drop to airport is around 1200 rupees and Panaji 600 rs for a car.
Apart from sunbathing, shopping for trinkets and eating there is not much else to do in Candolim, which makes for a relaxing holiday.
Candolim beach is another relatively busy soft sandy beach that due to erosion can be narrow in some places. Hawkers selling mostly cheap clothes and along with masseurs offering massages makes the beach a lively spot. A polite but firm no always works ~ though these people can be very interesting to talk to. There are a variety of beach shacks providing plenty of food and cold drink choices along with rickety sun beds and the odd rustic "loo". Towards the Sinquerim end of the beach you can get most forms of water sport activities including para sailing and "See the dolphin boat trips". This is a tour operator tourism place, though it gets very busy with locals at weekends and holidays.
The bulk ore carrier River Princess ended up being grounded some 100 meters from the beach during the 2001 monsoon. Despite numerous pledges by both local and central government, she still lays rusting. Various attempts have been made to salvage or re-float the ship. As of March 2009 the boat is still there. Over the years it has managed to accelerate coastal erosion which has resulted in the changed shape of the shoreline and makes swimming nearby very dangerous due to the strong undercurrents that are caused by the presence of the ship. Promising efforts to remove her started in 2005/2006 but due to the severe rusting the work stopped as the 2007 monsoon arrived. Recently a number of protests by locals and tourists has led to a High Court action calling for the River Princess to be declared a State Disaster. In the last 6 months work has begun on the break up of the River Princess. This is to be completed in early 2012.
Lots of places offering tours.
Hands down, the best restaurant in Candolim is After 7. Great selection of food and wine (mainly European) served in a beautiful garden. Great service, very romantic. The chap that owns the place ‘Leo’, super friendly, and very passionate about his restaurant. Opp Pedro Martina Resort, 1/274b, Gaura Vaddo.
Just opened, sister restaurant to After 7, also run by Leo called Posh. Do a great American style brunch. Eggs Benedict, 10/10, best cup of coffee I had in India. Can’t comment on the dinner menu, but it looked great. Opp Nerul Panchayat.
You should try this lovely restaurant called BOM SUCESSO in Candolim. A multicusine the food is great.You should try their Seafood and meat platters and their Tiger Prawns. Good entertainment- live music, karaoke, magic show, big screen etc.With a sound proof music room now the music goes on even after 10 pm.
For good North Indian food and succulent kebabs in pleasant surroundings try Floyd's on the main road just south of the junction to Mapusa. It's a small place with a warm and friendly atmosphere and is very popular.
Coconut Inn, a bit further south and just off the main road (signposted from the junction) is housed in the garden of an old Goan house and serves good food in a relaxing environment at very reasonable prices. Service is friendly and attentive and there is live Portuguese / Goan music on Tuesday evenings.
For excellent food and service (but for some reason to an American rock soundtrack) walk a bit farther south on the main road towards Sinquerim to Flambee. The food is fabulous and the whole tandoori kingfish (huge, so only for groups) is a delicious work of art. The restaurant is open all year round, unlike most in Candolim, which close during the monsoon.
Stone House, again on the main road, has been going for so long that it is now a Candolim institution. It's a multi-cuisine restaurant - steaks are the house speciality - with good blues music and excellent cocktails.
Further south in Sinquerim proper is Allspice, a large and attractive garden restaurant near the Taj Holiday Village. Considering its location the prices are very reasonable and there is live entertainment most nights. They also have regular buffet evenings and are open all year round. It is popular with both tourists and middle class locals.
For a great night out try Bom Sucesso.
In recent trend many tourists are preferring to stay in service apartments since these service apartments are spacious in compared to hotels and comes with kitchen. It gives a feel of a home away from home. These are very suitable for families and couples and also comes within budget. In nearby peaceful villages like oxel and siolim (within 5-7 km distance) one can get a really good deal in gated communities with different facilities.
Sea Pearl Guesthouse, http://www.seapearl.in/]is a family run guesthouse on the quiet part of the Candolim Beach.