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Holidays in Varca

Varca is located in South Goa which is about half way down the west coast of India. It is some two kilometres south of Benaulim and is formerly a traditional fishing village where many still ply their trade, making fishing boats a common sight on the sands along with the thatched long houses belonging to the fishermen. It is essentially one of the area's most expansive beaches with 27 kilometres of sand fringing the Arabian Sea. Its sands, dotted with black lava rocks are pristine and pollution free and swimming is generally safe close to the shore, although the Arabian Sea can be a little rough further out. Unlike resorts in North Goa Varca's quiet location makes it the ideal spot for those seeking solitude.

The resort is just 45 minutes from Dabolim Airport and within reach of every major tourist attraction that the region has to offer. This peaceful, fishing village is on a narrow, fairly busy road, which has small shops and businesses all along it. The beach is about two miles west of the village.

The resort of Varca has a number of upmarket hotels each generally having their own stretch of private beach and with a good selection of facilities, including nightly entertainment, dining options, water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing and other sports usually golf and tennis. These hotels generally get fully booked during the October-April high season. Aside from the resort hotels the beach is populated with little shacks that appear during the season. For those less able to afford luxury prices there is more affordable accommodation and some village homes which welcome visitors.

The main visitors to the area are those on package holidays (in the main suited to couples rather than young families) looking for some rest and relaxation. Yet for those who want some activity the generally flat landscape and wide beaches make it ideal for walkers and country cyclists. Most of the activity is centred around the hotels with fairly limited facilities on offer in the village. However, since Varca Beach is home to bottlenose dolphins, dolphin-watching is extremely popular. They can be viewed in an early morning cruise along the Sal River.

Shopping in Varca is primarily limited to tourist type outlets selling handicrafts, wood carvings and textiles. Road side stalls do, however, sell fresh produce and the luxury hotels offer a selection of expensive designer shops.

The limited facilities mean that the nightlife here consists of a few small, low-key restaurants and bars in the village itself. At the local restaurants you can enjoy local Goan specialities usually featuring some sort of seafood. There is more choice at the larger hotels, which offer Goan, Indian, Continental and Chinese food. Entertainment is mainly confined to the larger hotels as well, which offer varied programmes, including live music, dancing, etc, mainly during the peak season. Nevertheless the village also has a casino and nightclub.

If you fancy seeing some of the local countryside bicycles or scooters can be hired in the village or hotels. If you tire of the sands at Varca, beaches nearby that are worth a visit include those at Calangute and Benaulim or the lively Anjuna Beach. Other places to visit include Madago City where you can visit a number of religious buildings both Christian churches and Hindu temples. In addition try the market here for a colourful shopping experience.