AGONDA, 10km northwest of Chaudi, comes as a pleasant surprise after the chaos reigning elsewhere in Goa. Accommodation in this predominantly Catholic fishing village is in small-scale, family-run guesthouses and 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 since the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 the beach has lost its menacing undertow and the sand is as clean as any in the state. Moreover, the surrounding hills and forest are exquisite.

The smart money says Agonda could all too soon go the way of Palolem (several large hut-camp owners there have recently purchased leases on land here in anticipation of a mass exodus) but for the time being the village deserves to be high on the from Palolem list for anyone seeking somewhere quiet and wholesome, with enough amenities for a relaxing holiday, but still plenty of local atmosphere.

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