GOA: SPLASH OF WAVES BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION
Goa trip is one of the major plan in everyone’s life, at least once. From beaches to hippie spots, party zones with a bustling nightlife and what not. Dream destination for the youngsters for partying, exploring the hidden beaches and the cheapest beer! Goa is the perfect mix and match of natural beauty, lively nightlife, tropical environment and the colonial era depiction. From the best tourist destinations to luxury insta worthy resorts. Making sure that your trip fun and hassle-free. Discover the tropical state's best-kept secrets, jewels and so much more. It is also famously known as India’s best party destination. Not just that, one of the hottest wedding destination too. This place has so much to offer from peaceful vibes to swooning adventures. Whether it's North Goa or South Goa, make sure to plan itinerary in a way that you cover both parts of the Portuguese corner of India. You can find the most colourful lanes, the busiest and secluded spots, the best day hikes. Here, with a low cost of living, people can actually do work they love. Everyone is happy in Goa. You’ll see the slogan “Live Happy” in every corner of the city. Goa is a destination friendly to different travel tastes and budget, from quiet family retreat to adventure-filled vacation. India’s West Coast paradise. From the glorious sands of Anjuna beach to the electric nightlife of Tito’s Road, there are many well-loved places to visit in Goa that has long been popular among vacationers. Goa’s exciting twist on traditional Indian culture cannot be witnessed anywhere else in the country. Goa was once the pillar for a vast spice trade network for nearly 500 years until it was liberated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961. Goa is now the preferred getaway for India’s growing middle class too, and from historic architecture to spiritual sanctuaries, offers a unique blend of unforgettable, spectacular experiences.
Architectural styles from the baroque, gothic to the post-colonial, the erstwhile capital of the Portuguese empire. Old Goa is filled with churches and chapels forming a stark contrast against the sunny skies of the state. These monuments stand tall as the stoic guardians of the ethos of the respective eras they represent. From St. Francis of Assisi with Baroque altar to the haunting facade of the St. Augustine Tower, from the imposing white facade of the Reis Magos Church to the magnificent and opulenct St. Anne in Talaulim, and of course, one of the most significant landmarks. And how can you miss the Basilica of Bom Jesus constructed from black granite is a stunning example of the Mosaico-Corinthian architectural style. Coasts of Goa stretches to stunning beaches from the lesser knowns to the more crowded ones. Far from the crowds, you can go for Velsao, Colva, Varca, Betalbatim, Cavelossim, Mobor, Benaulim and Betul. Beaches of South Goa are much more silent as compared to the beaches of North Goa. Also did you know that goa is also known for its spice plantations? A visit to a spice plantation is not just good for experiencing but educational too. Learn about the production of spices and the cultivation at the very source. Infant you should include a guided tour at the Savoi Spice Plantation, Tropical Spice Plantation and Sahakari Spice Farms. These are quite famous ones.
Best time to explore and experience the originality of Goa:
The best time to visit Goa is between November and March when the Goa weather is quite pleasant, not much humid & clear with a cool sea breeze blowing through. When the monsoons end, you can witness the different shades of greens here. The Goa weather at this time is just perfect and the streets begin to fill up with thousands of holidaymakers, out for their fix of fun, sun and sand. People can pick from a host of watersports as the water is just right at this time of the year. Winter in Goa is a fun season with fairs, parades, festivals and parties that wind up late in the night on the beaches. It is a festive couple of months and all hotels, restaurants and shops are decorated with lights, stars, tinsel and Christmas trees. Also this is the period when maximum weddings and engagements are held in Goa. Hotels are packed to capacity so be sure to book in advance. January is a bit chilly but it is never too cold here. December is usually one of the busiest seasons because of Christmas.
Summers starting from March to October hits differently. Being a coastal state, the humidity level remains very harsh. It's difficult for the majority of the people except those who belong to there itself. Mornings and evenings are pleasant, but noon to evening can get pretty unbearable, and it's best to remain indoors to avoid the risk of sunburn and heat stroke. Goa is not as crowded during summers and prices tend to be relatively low. If you don't mind the heat. Else the summer trip can be very economical as the prices of flights and hotel drops.
Monsoons starts from June, July, August and goes till September end. Goa is beautiful during the rains and its completely different experience. It almost feels like a new a breath of life after scorching heat. This is the season during which people avoid Goa, simply because people associate Goa with beaches, sun and sand, and therefore, a rainy day is a huge letdown for beach lovers and at the same time it's not a wise decision to explore the beaches as water level get raised and also there are chances of flood at times.
Places to explore in goa:
Grande island - With the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea caressing it from all sides, Grande Island has an exotic vibe. And if you have the itch for some adventure then it's the best place to enjoy scuba diving. With expert trainers and international standard safety equipment put to work, you can be sure of having a thrilling time. It is also. Known as the monkey beach. The trip to this island is active from the months of October to March. But make sure to do advance bookings for hassle free trips.
Bogmalo Beach- Bogmalo Beach is also one of the cleanest and secluded beaches in Goa. For travelers who like to enjoy a private beach holiday in the stunning landscapes of Goa, Bogmalo is a great choice as it is less crowded even during the peak seasons. Tourists can lounge in the sun getting suntanned or enjoy beach games like frisbee and beach volleyball. Bogmalo Beach has a gently sloping beachline that makes it an awesome place to safely swim in the waters of the Arabian Sea. There are many resorts, bars, nightclubs, and shacks that offer scrumptious Indian and international cuisine. As dusk sets it in, Bogmalo Beach transforms into a party hub as the pubs and nightclubs set an electrifying mood in the air. You can go snorkelling in the deep blue sea and exploring the incredibly beautiful corals.
Palolem Beach- it's one of the most famous beaches in Goa. Located in Canacona in Southern Goa, Palolem Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. It is Known for its picturesque natural beauty and uncanny party vibes. The northern side of the beach is known to be a little bit safer as its low tide region. In south, the nature of the tides is more uncertain and precarious. Therefore, here, you can indulge in numerous types of water activities, such as kayaking and boat riding etc. Palolem is good for kayaking.
Calangute Beach- another famous one where adventure junkies to party freaks everyone comes to enjoy. This beach is the biggest and the most popular one in North Goa. This is one of the most vibrant beaches with colourful flea markets around, which sells everything from beer and food, to junk jewellery, clothes, trinkets and pawn items. Perfect beach to take pictures too with dense palm and coconut trees with the grandeur of Arabian Sea acting as the perfect backdrop. This beach has the mesmerising sunrises and sunsets which are a special feature of Calangute Beach. Parasailing is one of the best things to do at this beach.
Morjim Beach- Morjim beach is known as one of the pristine beaches in Goa for its tranquil and calm environment. This is the perfect place to have Goan cuisine and have the best relaxation time in good restaurants and cottages near by the beach. Morjim beach is also known as 'Little Russia'. It is for the reason that it has a huge settlement of Russian inhabitants. These people come from Russia and stay in the pristine environment of Goa for a couple of months before heading back to their homeland. Also, if you are an adventure freak this is for you. This beach is a very good location to enjoy kite surfing. This fun sport, which is a combination of windsurfing, skateboarding, and paragliding is sure to delight the adventure-seeker.
Colva beach - it is known for white sand, turquoise waves, towering coconut palms and pretty sunsets. witness quirky huts and hotels all along the shores. The Portuguese influence on this area has been significant since the 1600s when the wealthy British and Portuguese considered Colva Beach as a prime vacation spot. You will also find numerous beach shacks, hotels, and small shops on the beach along with several ruins of ancient Portuguese villas and houses. Also this beaches a religious significance too because of the presence of Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês church. Also you can go for jet skiing through the wavy waters of the Arabian Sea for some thrilling adventure.
Baga Beach- The beach shares its coastal line from the environs of Sinquerim, Candolim. This beach is famous for its nightlife and parties. it is popular among foreigners for fishing, paddleboarding, discos, and many tattoo shops. It's truly a traveler’s delight. This beach will captivate you with exotic food, golden sands, and a number of adventure activities. Heard of a banana boat ride? You can experience a banana boat ride with friends or family. And if you are a party freak, you must experience the clubbing here, until the last beat.
Candolim Beach- its the best beach to have immersive Goan experience. It is a part of the Goan trio of Baga, Calangute and Candolim beaches where all the happening parties take place. Candolim beach is about 12.5 km from Panaji. Many foreigners visit the place because it is less crowded than its fellow beaches. The nightlife at Candolim attracts locals and tourists a lot. Also, you can get involved in water sports activities like parasailing, bumpy banana ride, snorkeling, boat ride, jet skiing and even scuba diving. Don’t forget to get some pictures for your feed at Aguada Fort.
Sinquerim Beach- The beach is located north of the popular beaches of Goa including Calangute, Baga, and Candolim. The waters of Sinquerim are perfect for a refreshing swim. You can also include some water sports when you plan the trip to this beach. The beach is close to some of the best nightclubs in Goa. One of the key attractions of Sinquerim Beach is the popular Sunburn Festival held each year in December. Another key attraction is the Aguada Fort, just next to the beach. Sinquerim is home to many restaurants and shacks that serve fresh seafood and cocktails. The most interesting activities to do here is to go on a dolphin safari here.
Arpora night market- this is one of the famous flea markets known as Saturday night market. This place is illuminated outdoor bazaar has quirky stalls selling colorful clothing, spices, and crafts from across India, as well as bars and street food stalls selling authentic Goan sea food around a live music stage. Doesn’t it sound like a perfect place to shop and party? It's cheap? And usually the timings are 6pm onwards till midnight on Saturdays.
Anjuna Beach Flea Market- it's only open on Wednesdays from 8am to 6pm. One of the most trendy and cheapest markets in goa. You can buy souvenirs, handicrafts, hippie clothes, and trinkets, bohemian accessories without burning a hole in your pocket. This flea market is not just on the beach but it's extended on the golden shores of the beach to the paddy fields with plenty of stalls. The only skills you’ll need here is bargaining to get the products that you intend to buy at a pocket friendly price.
Key highlights of Goa:
1. Panaji, North Goa
2. Margao, South Goa
3. Vasco da Gama, South Goa
4. Mapusa, North Goa
5. Calangute, North Goa
6. Candolim, North Goa
7. Anjuna, North Goa
8. Bambolim, North Goa
9. Agonda, South Goa
10. Old Goa
11. Mandrem, North Goa
12. Morjim, North Goa
13. Sanquelim, North Goa
14. Ponda, North Goa
15. Canacona, South Goa
Local food experiences in Goa: Goan cuisine has a touch of Portuguese and the coastal flavours. The Goan cuisine can be divided into two main cuisines namely the Goan Catholic and Hindu Konkan
croquettes, potato chops and samosas are of the most popular street style non vegetarian snack. You can try that in Cafe S F Xavier in Mapusa and Longuinhos in Margao. non-vegetarian delicacies are quite popular here being a tropical region too. Os its a must try.
Chorizo Pav, again this is popular as street food in India. Locals enjoy it as a breakfast item or even as a tea-time snack. Eaten with bread, this spicy pork meat preparation is made using a pre-cooked sausage, onions and sometimes potatoes. You can find it across the city.
Gadbad Ice Cream, its a special Goan delicacy and is served in a tall glass or bowl. It is a combination of different ice creams served in one serving, topped with noodles and jelly. The perfect summer special, you will enjoy the Gadbad Ice Cream on a hot summer day, after shopping at the markets in Panjim or Mapusa.
Poi, it's a traditional Goan bread. You will find it majorly during evening and mornings through bread sellers on cycles with big baskets. Made from rice husk, this type of bread is slightly sweet and fluffy. It can be eaten with curry at meals or just with butter as a snack.
fish thali, it's the most basic yet most authentic here. Especially if you are a seafood lover, you must try. The thali comes with a portion of rice, chapatis, fish curry, a vegetable dish, fried fish and pickle. Some places also offer sol curry with the meal. A complete meal, a fish thali is delicious and satisfying if you love seafood. You can find it in any beach shack and Anand Seafood Restaurant in Anjuna.
Goan sweets, Goa is well known for its sweets. A few popular Goan sweets are Bebinca, Dos, Perad and Baath Cake. In Goa, you will get the best sweets at Simonia stores. Although the one on Mapusa is the most popular, there are outlets across the state of Goa.
Ras Omelette, sounds new? Indeed, because its not just regular omelette as it is served with some chicken curry. You can have this at Ravi Ras Omelette in Panjim, at a very cheap price.
Crab xec xec , This thick roasted curry is made with grated coconut and strong spices such as cloves and tamarind. It’s the ultimate dish for crustacean lovers, served with rice or bread.
Goan red rice, An unpolished thick-grained rice with a reddish-brown colour and nutty flavour, its firm texture makes it excellent for soaking up coconut curries.
kokum, it's a must drink to satiate your thirst. It is found in the coastal areas of western India. Its ruby-coloured fruits are juiced as well as dried, and used to sour fish and prawn curries in Goan cuisine. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, kokum juice is a refreshing drink to beat the heat. It is really Good for digestion, it’s served at the end of meals.
Accessible routes for Goa:
By Airways: Goa Airport or Dabolim International Airport is very well connected with the rest of the country by airlines like Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, AirAsia, SpiceJet. As well as internationally. It is around 26km from Panaji. The Terminal 1 handles all domestic flights coming into Goa from major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Lucknow, Kolkata and Indore. All Indian carriers have regular flights operating to Goa. Once you get out of the airport, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a pick up to your destination.
By railways: The main railway stations in Goa are Vasco da Gama and Madgaon. If you are travelling from Maharashtra then there are over 45 Mumbai to Goa trains that cover the route. From Delhi you can catch the Nizamuddin Goa Express while the Matsyagandha Express and the Konkan Kanya Express will drop you at Madgaon from Mumbai. Apart from these Goa enjoys extensive rail connectivity with the rest of the country. The rail route into Goa is a soothing journey that takes you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Western Ghats.
By roadways: There are two major highways that are connected to goa and can take you into Goa. From Mumbai or Bengaluru to goa , you will have to follow National Highway 4 (NH 4). It is the most preferred way into Goa as it is wide and well-maintained. The other way is NH 17 which is the shortest route from Mangalore. The drive to Goa is a scenic route that really blossoms during monsoon. You can even catch a bus from Mumbai, Pune or Bengaluru. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) run regular buses to Goa.
By water(ship): To reach Goa by sea, you need to board a cruise from Mumbai to reach Panaji in a sedate journey that will take you along the Maharashtra and Goa coasts. Its slow yet unique way of travelling if you have ample amount of time.