Calangute is by far the most crowded of the northern beaches—it's an open stretch of white sand with an entrance area crammed with restaurants, stalls, and shops. The mood is especially festive during the high season in winter, when dozens of shacks serving inexpensive beer, mixed drinks, and seafood pop up on the beach.
The beach is accessible by concrete steps. Note the sign warning that swimming is dangerous—there's a fairly strong undertow here.
Beyond the beach are some of the area's best restaurants and shopping. You'll also find hundreds of shops, including roadside trinket stalls, branches of the Oxford Bookstore and Café Coffee Day, ATMs, travel agencies, and Malini Ramani's boutique, filled with vibrant clothes. Most of these shops are on the stretch of road running from St. Anthony's Chapel, past a market, to Baga. Candolim Church was first built in 1560 and dedicated to Our Lady of Hope; it was repaired in 1661 and received its current cake-icing look when the village Communidade remodeled it thanks to contributions from Candolim parishioners.