In the 60s. of the last century, Colva was “discovered” by hippies – the local hot climate, gentle sea and ideal sandy beaches perfectly matched the relaxed mood of the “flower children”. Since then, her popularity has only grown. Today it is a pretty resort dotted with colonial-style villas and fishermen’s huts. The local beach has long been chosen by the inhabitants of Margao, who still come here to escape the summer heat, so that on weekends tourists have the opportunity to watch how cheerful companies of local residents relax. And for those who prefer a more relaxing holiday, it is enough to move 200 meters from the entrance to the beach to plunge into the serenity for which the hippies came here.
According to Wholevehicles, Colva is the largest and oldest resort in South Goa. Swimming here is safe, and the coast, some distance from the Central Beach, is pristine. Plus, a good location approximately in the middle of Goa – if desired, it is easy to get from here to the famous discos of North Goa, and to other beaches of the South.
Shopping and souvenirs
Buying souvenirs in Colva can turn into a real holiday – for example, on Mondays on the beach from 17:00, the so-called Colva Monday Night Market unfolds – a Monday night market. These are not just stalls with goods, music plays right there, fireworks explode, arrange a disco and stalls with local and European food open.
Here you can buy saris, T-shirts, sundresses, bags and backpacks. Also, Himalaya cosmetics, spices, the famous local Old Monk rum, white Madeira, and fruits are brought from Colva. In numerous jewelry stores, you can buy silver and precious stones at low prices. The latter are mined in huge quantities in India, so rubies and emeralds are of excellent quality here.
The currency exchange, which also accepts traveler’s checks, is located at the main intersection and the Williams Resort. There is a post office opposite the village church.
Colva is loved not only by foreign tourists, but also by Indian ones. Therefore, some souvenir shops offer goods aimed specifically at them. For the most part, these are items associated with Hinduism – fresh flowers strung on a rope, candles, incense, lamps with oil and rice for offering to the goddess Saraswati, as well as rudraktsi – a special Indian rosary for reading mantras.
Cafes and restaurants in Colva
Colva is pleasantly different from many other villages in South Goa in that even late at night you can find open restaurants here. In the evening life does not stop, but in other places it just begins.
At the height of the season, sheks specializing in seafood cuisine open on Colva Beach. Some of them are quite high class. Prices in the latter “bite” (compared to the rest of India), but the portions are quite large. However, there are edalni and simpler. For example, on the left side of the beach there is a Kentucky restaurant where you can cook both local and European cuisine. On the right side of the beach there is a no less famous institution – “Boomerang”. Here they feed, mix cocktails, arrange discos in the evenings.
Lunch in regular shek will cost 350 INR. Cheaper places can be found in the quieter parts of the coast or along Vasco Road.
You can visit the Sunday fairs at the Lakshmi temple. Here they cook right on the street, and you can peep a few Indian recipes.
When tasting Indian food, you should be careful: most of the local dishes are too spicy for Europeans. However, compared to other regions, Goan cuisine is less spicy.
Most of the traditional local dishes are made from fish. Also, the local cuisine was influenced by the fact that Goa was a Portuguese colony for several hundred years. Worth trying are vindala (pork marinated in spiced wine), chorizo (pork sausage with paprika) and sarapatel (fried and then stewed pork, lamb or beef). One of the traditional dishes is rice with fish curry. Also of interest are dishes with tiger prawns and crabs, squid, lobsters and mussels.
Bebinka, a Goan sweet, is a popular Christmas dish. And if you want to drink, you can try the alcoholic drink “fenny” made from coconut palm juice and cashew nuts.
Entertainment and attractions
As a rule, people do not go to Colva to go on excursions or museums. Nevertheless, there is something to see here to take a break from a beach holiday.
Church of Our Lady of Mercy
The main attraction is the Church of Our Lady of Mercy (Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade), built in the middle of the 17th century. A miraculous figurine of baby Jesus is kept here, according to legend, found by the founder of the cathedral on the coast of Mozambique, where he and his comrades ended up after a shipwreck due to the fault of Muslim pirates. You can look at the figurine in October, when the feast of Thomas, dedicated to honoring the baby Jesus, is widely celebrated in Colva. This is the only time of the year when the cover is removed from the figurine.
There are more Christians in Goa than Hindus, but in Colva there is also a Hindu temple – Lakshmi. Fairs are held around it every Sunday.
You can also go to the Pandava caves, where Buddhist monks lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC. e. And also go to the Dudhsagar waterfall or one of the local parks and ride an elephant.
Parties and nightlife in Colva
Colva has the liveliest nightlife in all of South Goa, it even hosts rave parties that are remotely similar to the “crazy North”. Their main visitors are organized young tourists, who are becoming more and more. Two of the most popular nightlife centers are located south of the beach: The Splash, which gets lively around 10pm, and the sandy and more stylish Ziggis.
Worth a look at Johnny Cools and Men Mar on Vasco Road.
The most desperate can have fun going to a tattoo parlor. They are popular in Goa and there are a lot of them in Colva. But it should be borne in mind that if local masters are quite capable of pricking a simple image, then it is better not to trust them with tattoos that require skill and accuracy.
Colva has a subequatorial climate: it is hot all year round, but in summer there is a pronounced rainy season. The best time to visit is from December to March. During these months, there is no precipitation, and the humidity remains high.