Siolim – one of Goa’s most enchanting villages: easy escape to Goa’s prettiest beaches.
The village of Siolim is situated to the extreme North-West point of the taluka of Bardez, on the left bank of the Chapora river. Siolim is also the last ‘bourgeois’ village in the north of Goa. After crossing the Chapora with the ferry the villages are simpler, more rustic. Siolim also provides the quickest escape to the unspoilt northern beaches, including Morjim, Mandrem and Arambol. It is very easy to get to Siolim, which is only 10 minutes from Mapuca and about 30 from Panjim.
If you are familiar with Goa, you can find a map on this site showing where it is exactly. The total population of Siolim is around 12,000, over two communidades – Siolim and Marna. It is surrounded by water and the forests of Marna. Siolim is situated about 10 kms north of Calagute, and 3 kms from Anjuna, just beyond the Siolim range after Vagator. This distance allows it to escape entirely from the tourism-led development of the hotels holiday homes and new constructions of the Calangute area while remaining close enough to benefit from restaurants and action of the Goa Resorts of Candolim, Baga, Anjuna and Vagator.
Siolim was one of the earliest places to come under the domination of the Portugese. In fact the first church in Siolim was built as early as 1568, and was only the fifth church built by the missionaries of the Society of St. Francis of Assisi in Bardez. The first one was that of Reis-Magos built on the right bank of the Mandovi, and thereafter those of Candolim, Nagoa, Salvador do Mundo. Siolim claim to fame is however its church, St. Antony’s. The people believe that the church was the site for two miracles. Of these, the second miracle which occured in 1600 AD is of great importance for the people of Goa, as it documented as having been witnessed by a large part of the population of the village. Just to the North, beyond the Chapora Creek, that Siolim Village is on, are some of Goa’s most enchanting beaches, in the province of Pernem. Pernem is a very traditional area, much more rural, and very beautiful. For ever, until last summer, one had to take a ferry to get across, which discouraged tourists in a hurry. Today we are probably the best positioned to get to those beaches. Once our guest go to the North, they go nowhere else! Most other beaches to the south – Vagator, Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Sinqueim. These have most of the bars, restaurants and also most of the tourist activity.
Morjim Beach: 20′ on the slow road beyond the bridge – but only a mile as the crow flies, this is a 3 km long beach, famous for it being a protected turtle nesting site View from Morjim looking to Siolim Village at the far side.
Junas/Ashwem/Mandrem beach: (10′ further) – coves, sandy stretches, pink sand, gentle slopes – many hiding places.
Arambol (20′ further): Known for years as the 'alternative hangout'. There is a fresh water lake by the beach – you can see dolphins in the AM and PM, go delta planing – and of course enjoy the beach.
Querim (20′ further): the remotest beach – also one of the most beautiful. Approachable from the back by road or along the coast via 30 min hike from Arambol.
Vagator: (10′): Litte and Big vagator – one is the alternative beach, accessible down a cliff – the other larger. This is the closest beach to us.
Anjuna (15′): Famous for the Wednesday Flea market – Karma Cola.
Baga (25′): Great bars and restaurants, clubs, and a superb beach but a bit busy on the inside.
Calangute (20′): Great beach, inside is a bit built up and others…
In 2001 Siolim House, built in 1675, was a finalist in the Asia Pacific Awards for Restoration by UNESCO, and received an Award of Honour.