Anjuna & North Goa

Anjuna & North Goa: Why go

Anjuna, the ledgendary hippy hangout favoured by the '90s 'ravers', is now quieter and cleaner - except for Wednesdays, when hundreds flock in for the famous flea market. You'll find everything here - Tibetan curios, African musical instruments, silver jewellery, traditional Rajasthani clothing, tie-dye t-shirts, psychadelic-coloured sarongs, Trance music and a real mix of people. Full moon days usually mean beach parties but, in recent years, strict measures by the local authorities have tamed nightlife. There are a handful of beach cafés; the Shore Bar draws the biggest dope-smoking crowd on Wednesdays. Hide away in comfort and style at The Hobbit, or further inland at colonial houses Siolim House and Noi Varo or the intimate and eclectic guesthouse Sunbeam. If you're here for a yoga experience though, look no further than the fantastic Yogamagic Eco Retreat.

Vagator, just north of Anjuna, is a small village with basic accommodation and a good beach, but which gets rather overrun by tour groups during the day.

Arambol used to be one of north Goa's more remote and beautiful beaches, distinguished by the freshwater lake that almost reaches the sea. However, a large increase in tourism (especially backpackers) means that the main beach tends to get a bit crowded and dirty now. Accommodation is basic but there are lively beach hut cafés. Take the coastal path north of the beach over the headland to reach Keri, a wonderful stretch of white sand.

For a more unspoilt spot, head to the beach at Mandrem, where you can stay in one of the wonderful Otter Creek Tents, playful thatched igloos or small villas (each sleeping 4-7) tucked inside a coconut grove right by the sea. Nearby is the cool, calm and zen-like Kaju Varo.

To reach Arambol, Mandrem and other places on the northern coast, take the new bridge across from Siolim. Regular buses also go from Panjim (taking 1 hour and 45 minutes) and Mapusa.

Baga, Calungute, Candolim and Fort Aguada are a string of almost uninterrupted beaches, and they represent Goa's most developed stretch of coast. They're lively, popular with British package tourists and have plenty of restaurants and facilities - if this sounds like your scene, check out this slick villa sleeping 10. An antidote to all this is Kerkar Retreat where you'll gain an insight into Indian arts and music. Further to the south is Coco Shambhala, a collection of villas in lush tropical grounds.

If you'd prefer to be inland, head for the delightful fishing village of Britona, where a 17th-century customs warehouse has been refurbed into a guesthouse, or to the banks of the Chapora river, where you'll find a sophisticated and contemporary retreat.

03:21 | GMT +5.5 Hours