The largest of Goa's many old forts, the 17th-century Fort Aguada is a well-preserved bastion situated right on the beach. It's worth exploring for its beautifully crafted stone architecture, lighthouse, and gorgeous views over Aguada Bay in the Arabian Sea.
Fort Aguada was built between 1609 and 1612 to protect what's now known as Old Goa from potential Dutch and Marathi invaders. In its heyday, the fort provided water to passing ships from a freshwater spring inside the fort complex, giving the fort its name (aguada means "watery" in Portuguese). As the fort was never taken by force, much of it remains intact.
Tours of Goa highlights and beaches visit Fort Aguada. You can also see the fort and lighthouse from the sea on a dolphin-watching cruise that includes round-trip transport from many hotels.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Remember to wear sunscreen and a hat to avoid sunburn.
- The fort is a treat for history buffs, but it’s not accessible to wheelchair users.
- Visit late in the day for great photos of the sun setting behind the fort and into the sea.
How to Get There
Fort Aguada is right on the beach in the town of Calangute, the southernmost beach area in the busy stretch of North Goa. It’s about an hour from the Vasco da Gama airport to Calangute, or a half-hour from the Goan capital, Panaji. Travelers can simply head to the beach and walk south: Fort Aguada is right in front of the luxury Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa.
When to Get There
Fort Aguada is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset, but travelers might find it best to visit first thing in the morning when temperatures are cooler, or wait until later in the day, when the sun begins to set into the ocean, making for fantastic photo opportunities.
Goa's Local Language: Konkani
Though most Goans speak native-level Hindi, English, and oftentimes Marathi, the local language here is Konkani, and you’ll hear it used by Goans in casual situations. Many Konkani words reflect Goa's multiple influences from abroad. For example, the Portuguese word bom is used to mean "good" in some cases.