Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Arambol beach in Goa

Arambol beach is located in Pernem  taluka, north Goa. Arambol beach is the northern most in a string of uninterrupted beaches that begin with Morjim beach to the south. Except for relatively unknown Querim beach, Arambol beach is the northern most of all Goa beaches.

About the beach

The busiest part of Arambol beach, where the village centre is, is at the very northern end of the main Arambol beach. This is the part of the beach where most places to stay, eat and drink are, and in the village behind it you will find your internet cafe’s, money changers (there’s no ATM in Arambol, the nearest is in Siolim village), travel agencies, scooter renters and everybody else catering to the needs of tourists. If you continue past this part of the beach on the walkway, lined with stalls selling clothes, sarongs and all kinds of other tourist stuff, clinging to the side of the hill. First you’ll come to a small rocky bay with a few places to stay, but no beach, after that you’ll reach the next smaller beach, here you’ll find a few basic huts (around Rs300), and the famous Arambol freshwater lake. The water in the lake is a mixture of fresh water and sea water. The jungle valley behind the lake, enclosed between low hills, hide a spectacular Banyan tree. Adjoining the banyan tree is a stone sculpture created by American Conceptual and Land art artist Jacek Tylicki.Give if you can - Take if you have to’ also called The Money Stone. It has become something like a bohemian pilgrimage destination. Beyond the headland to the north is Querim beach, but it's not possible to walk there.

As night sweeps over Arambol, party animals come out to play, the beach becomes a galaxy of fairy lights, candles and bonfires and venues in town host musicians from all over the world to entertain the appreciative crowds.

Things to do

Things to doArambol offers plent of activity, both night and day. Relax on the beach, or keep your self occupied with water sports or maybe a fishing trip with a local fishingboat. Walk south along the beach all the way to Morjim, or drive to any of the north Goa beaches, they are all within easy, day trip, reach of Arambol. Arambol beach is also known to have good nightlife. The crowd is mostly young European travellers and the beach have a very laid back and bohemian feel. 
A slow walk along the shore at sunset, observing the people / animals / sea and sky.

Watching musicians play live at Loeki's Cafe, anything from Indian classical music to psychedelic sounds - open mike nights are popular and the place fills up fast.

Hire a scooter for the day to explore the surrounding countryside. It is especially beautiful early in the season when the plants and fields are a million shades of green.

Climb around Arambol's rocky headland to the north of the beach to take a dip in the sweet water lake at Paliem beach (also referred to as Kalacha). If you are feeling adventurous, continue north to the secluded Keri beach.

Pick up silver jewellery, Rajasthani art or party clothes on the narrow market path leading to the sea.

Find Arambol's hidden culinary gems, where you can eat some of the best Western and Indian food in Goa.

What to Eat and Drink

Eating and drinking on Arambol beach is really good, and you will find restaurants, cafe’s and all along the the beach and in the village, one place that i found to be particularly good this season was Cheeky monkey, on the main part of the beach. There are many places to stay, eat & drink in Arambol, often the good places to stay will also be good places to eat & drink, and vice versa.

Just before you reach the sea on Glastonbury Street, look out for a pizza place called Fellini's. Their delicious wood fired pizzas, or authentic pasta dishes are well worth a taste, and the busy venue is a great place to people-watch.
Relax Inn is one of the many restaurants that open out on to the Arambol beach. These places serve freshly caught sea food, cocktails, Indian dishes and Western fare. If you are choosing fish, look for the freshest catches and try bartering a little on the price. Also on the beach (across the small stream) the German Bakery does good, healthy breakfasts and will fill your water bottle with purified water for free.
If you fancy some music while you eat, try Loeki's on a small lane just off Glastonbury Street (to the left if you face the sea). Further down the lane, The Mango Tree is also known for its live music.

Getting around

Getting around in Goa is easy. Goa is a small state with relatively short distances, transportation is easy to find and inexpensive. The area around Arambol offers beautiful lush landscapes, beaches and good sights, it’s well worth exploring. The following options are the most common.
Frequent buses run the 32 km journey between Mapusa and Arambol (every 30 mins or so), just ask a driver at the main bus stand at Mapusa to point you to the right vehicle. A private minibus can be arranged from Panjim, which would shorten the Panjim-Arambol public route. Arambol's bus stop is on the main road, near the left-turn towards the school and St Carmel Church.
Taxis, rickshaws and bike taxis are easy to arrange in Goa, though prices in season can be high, especially for foreign tourists. Try negotiating with your driver, or asking a few people to find the best rate. Expect to pay several hundred rupees for a taxi between Mapusa and Arambol beach, less for a bike taxi or rickshaw. If you arrive at Margao train station, the pre-paid taxi booth is just outside the station. Other travellers may be glad to share the journey, taxis should carry four to five people.

Getting there and away

Dabolim airport, the only airport in Goa, is 63km’s away. The nearest Train station is Pernem or Tivim near Mapusa and the nearest Kadamba bus stand is in central Mapusa. To reach Arambol from Mapusa or Pernem, go by local bus or taxi.

Where to stay

There are many places to chose from on Arambol beach. Most people stay in one of the places on the main stretch of beach or just off the beach in the village. Space on the Arambol beach front is very limited and there are, unlike many other places in Goa, ‘real’ concrete buildings all the way down to the beach. Most accommodation is in rooms rather than huts, some places have even built huts on the roof tops to maximize the use of space. Even so, prices for accommodation in Arambol are more affordable than on many other beaches. Further down the beach towards Mandrem there are a few more places offering accommodation right on the beach, some basic huts and some more upmarket places. 
Cock's Town has cheap, basic beach huts on offer right on the beach (south of the small stream). Bathrooms are not attatched, but lockers are available, and you can wake up and jump straight in the sea! Almost all of the sea front restaurants have some kind of accommodation, especially as you head south down the beach.
Taking a small track left just opposite and beyond the police station (before the main road through the village veers left) you will find several accommodation options where you will get a quieter stay away from the shops and bars. Of these, Ivon's, Ave Maria and God's Gift are definitely worth a try.

1 comment:

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