Colva is mostly popular and suited to independent travellers; couples with a yearning for the simple life and able to tolerate standards of accommodation and amenities that are generally lower than those in Europe. Package tourists and business clientele fill large, village-style luxury resorts located generally in the surrounding open lands and near small villages.
Simple hotels and guesthouses located mainly in the town itself provide the bulk of accommodation, and mostly catering for the more budget-conscious travellers and domestic travel markets. Upmarket hotels with a good selection of facilities farther N along the beach, particularly around Majorda, which has several luxury 5-star properties.
A broad, sandy 15-mile stretch inevitably dominated by fishermen and support activities, but which becomes quieter farther from Colva village. The sea is often rough, with breakers. Swimming is possible, but beware of the undertow. Beach-shack-style bars and eateries dot the length.
Shops consist of dozens of stalls in the village, with an emphasis on colourful cotton textiles (bed covers, lamp shades and cushion covers) and clothing. Musical instruments, jewellery and local curiosities are also peddled on the beach, where vendors are numerous and sometimes persistent. Bookshop and postcard outlets. Surrounding small villages cater mainly for local populations, with small grocery stores and a sprinkling of small tourist-type stalls.
The quieter lanes in the flat, lush countryside are good for cycling. Some water sports, such as jet-skiing and parasailing provide the most active entertainment. Some larger hotels offer a variety of sports facilities, including golf and tennis. Less for younger children. Nightlife consists of beach and village bars are occasionally lively and open late; otherwise hotel-based diversions. Hotels offer regular evening entertainments (live music, dancing, karaoke) mainly during high season (October/April). A couple of the larger ones also have casinos and nightclubs.
A variety of eateries are available, and generally of a high standard. Many shack-type eateries and bars along the beach close to the village specialise in fish and seafood dishes; many more simple, cheap, sometimes less appealing establishments in the village centre. Small informal restaurants dot the quieter lanes. A la carte dining available, including Goan, Indian, Continental, S Indian, Italian and vegetarian.
Public transport is limited here but there is a regular bus to Margao, with onward connections to Panjim. Train station at Margao ? the only stop in Goa for long-distance railway service. Taxi and motor-rickshaw stands at Colva centre; taxi stands outside larger hotels. Direct bus to Panjim from Colva Junction. Motorcycles and bicycles for hire.
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