Arambol has got to be the most charming beach in North Goa. This is a huge stretch of beach about 50 km north of the Goan capital Panjim. The flat, white sand broken up by small rocky cliffs is a nature lover's heaven and has a real feel of being unspoiled and undiscovered.
Of course, this small village has been discovered, well and truly and a long time ago as well but that doesn't stop this place being a great beach destination and for two reasons which, conveniently, are two beaches. Two beaches that both offer something completely different, that's why Arambol made it into this list, two beaches, two reasons.
Harmal beach is the most popular of the two beaches but it is still possible to find yourself alone. The beach is so long that even when there are a thousand people there it never seems busy. On Sundays it can get quite busy with day trippers and locals but for the rest of the time it's very quiet, a complete contrast to the commotion and crowds of Anjuna and Calangute.
Arambol has nearly 16 km of pristine beach and towards the Northern end, is a separate little beach named Kalacha beach. It is by far the more picturesque of the beaches and the quieter of the two. Surrounded by steep cliffs, the beach can only be reached by foot which adds to its beauty and as a result, never has more than a handful of people on it.
Take a good look at the map at the bottom of the page and you will see what I mean.
Life on the beach is pretty simple but there are lots of activities if you have the energy. Apart from the obvious, here is a small list of various things to do.
1.)Paragliding. The rocky cliffs are great for paragliding. There is a small company located at the top that charges 1200 rupees for a tandem flight or 8500 for a 5 day course. Expect to pay ten times this in Europe. An excellent opportunity!
2.)Yoga. It wouldn't be in Goa if there were no yoga enthusiasts here! The Himalayan Yoga Centre comes reccommended and runs a five day course for 1800 rupees.
3.)Get warm?The hot spring close to the main beach which feeds into a freshwater lake, is a very popular destination for many locals and visitors to the beach.
4.)Shopping.There are a number of small shops dotted around the town and beach which sell the usual junk, jewellery and handicrafts from all over India.
5.)Food. There are loads of really excellent food in Arambol with a huge choice of restaurants along the beach and in the town. Try Fellini for great Italian and Loeki for a huge breakfast.
6.)Dolphin Hunting. Well, just watching dolphins really. There are loads of dolphins around Goa and Arambol is a great place to see them.
Arambol is a small village and far less commercialised than some of the other more popular beaches in Goa but you can still find the basic amenities.
There are a couple of internet cafes, travel agencies, motorbike hire, foreign exchange and such like. I don't believe there is a cash machine there as of yet so make sure you take enough dosh to last a while.
Getting here is fairly straightforward, you can take one of the small local buses from Mepusa for about 10 rupees. There are also loads of buses from Chopdem which is about 40 minutes away.
The closest station is Mepusa and that is well connected to the rest of India and Goa. The closest airport is Dabolim so you will have to get a bus or train from Panjim. A taxi will probably cost you 700 rupees.
Hire a motorbike or a moped to explore the local area or you can get a boat down to Anjuna for the famous night market.
Well, life here is pretty simple actually, most nights you just fall asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing on to the sand. Arambol is one of the most laid back places in India, the village is quiet but has been slightly overtaken by backpackers and some seriously longterm expats.
Wake up, stand up, open the door and there is the beach right in front of you, it's such a great feeling. Stroll down along to a cafe, slump in a seat and have some eggs on toast, chat to your neighbour and then it's lunch. Lie in the sun and take a walk taking care not to step on the crabs popping up from various holes in the sand. Go for a swim, play frizbee, laze around all day relax, time really stops here.
It's 3 o'clock so have a beer or six until dinner when you can eat some of the most amazing food you have ever eaten for about a pound! Make some friends in the bar and play poker then it's off to bed.
Now, if that sounds boring to you, which it probably does, then just try it, people settle into routines such as these and are never able to leave. Life is so simple here, it becomes perfect and soon you end up in a full on love affair. This is Goa and this is India, one big love affair!
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