Agonda, 10km northwest of the market town of Chaudi (known to outsiders as Canacona), comes as a pleasant surprise after the chaos elsewhere in Goa. Accommodation in this predominantly Catholic fishing village is in small-scale, family-run guesthouses and upper-end hut camps, the restaurant scene is relatively unsophisticated, and the clientele easy-going and health-conscious. Granted, you don’t get a dreamy brake of palm trees as a backdrop, but the surrounding hills and forest are exquisite, and the sand is as clean as any in the state. The smart money says Agonda could all too soon go the way of Palolem, but for the time being the village deserves to be high on the list for anyone seeking somewhere quiet and wholesome, with enough amenities for a relaxing holiday and plenty of local atmosphere.

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