Isn't it fun to be laid back and crazy in life sometimes? Talking about being wild and tempestuous, Goa is THE place to be!
Beautifully perched by the expansive Arabian Sea, Goa lies along the western coastline of India. Bordered by Maharashtra on one side and Karnataka on the other, the breezy state of Goa is truly a paradise of South Asia. With stunning beaches, boisterous nightlife, and electrifying action, a trip to this beach town is an unforgettable adventure soiree for tourists. No wonder, tourists fall in love with Goa for its exuberance and vibrant culture. Goa also boasts of a rich colonial past which is reflective in its Portuguese settlements, well-preserved 17th century churches, and spice plantations. Goa is divided into two parts, North Goa and South Goa. If you are a party buff who loves the thrill and fun of nigh life then North Goa is the right choice for you. If seeking blissful solitude of calm beaches and tranquil shores then South Goa is your ideal calling. Rightly said, when life hits you with boredom, head to Goa! There is not a single dull moment here!
Things to do in Goa
Goa offers a gamut of activities; a whole new euphoria engulfs you once you land at this beautiful hamlet. Whether you are seeking a laid-back experience or looking to chill at the fishing villages like Agonda, or seeking an all-night boisterous rendezvous by the beachside, Goa has it all. There is a solid reason why Goa is known as India’s party-state. There's no point being at Goa and not indulging in its legendary nightlife. The bright lit beaches and buzzing bazaars in the night offer a perfect ambiance to night lovers. Goa’s lively markets are a shopper’s delight. They sell almost everything, from boutique merchandise to local artifacts. Mapusa Market, a traditional local bazaar, is an animated hub that pulls vendors from all over Goa. All this plus a great culinary experience. Goa is the haven for India’s finest seafood and interesting beverages. This breezy state also prides in boasting a rich history; its vibrancy has roots in several empires- Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, and the Portuguese- whose essence is staunchly felt in the Goan culture.
Places to Visit in Goa Tour
Righty said Goa defines adventure in novel ways! The state has many sight-seeing locales that hold tourists in awe with their sheer beauty.
Ashiyana Yoga Center
Doesn't the idea of doing yoga exercises by the serene beachside stir your senses? This yoga center aims to do just that. Resting on the tranquil Mandrem beach, Ashiyana yoga center offers yoga sessions and treatments. It also has an Ayurvedic spa along with the choice of an opulent lodging on site. Tourists love to flock at this retreat for Ayurvedic therapies and luxurious massages.
Se Cathedral is believed to be one of the oldest and largest churches in Asia. It has been in service since 1640, though construction on the structure began almost a century before that. It houses the large Golden Bell. One of the most visited attractions of Goa, the cathedral is an attractive white structure standing amidst the most well-manicured expanse of green.
This ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the mighty Hindu deity, is located in the deep forests of Western Ghats mountains. The twelfth-century stone temple has a remarkable architecture, beautifully sculpted stone pillars, and intricate carvings of mythological figures and historical symbols of the Kadambas, a local dynasty, who ruled the area once.
Sahakari Spice Farm
How about an impressive green plantation in Goa that houses exotic produce? Welcome to the scenic farm called Sahakari spice farm. You are floored with a phenomenal range of spices, fruits, spices, herbs, and medicinal plants at this lush expanse that sprawls in an area of over 130 acres. Sahakari farms are dotted with plants of India’s most impressive spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, and also a cherished variety of fruits like jackfruit and papaya. It is a one-of-a-kind experience when you get to taste a few samples. An in-house restaurant serves sumptuous meals that make the best use of the ingrown spices.
Fontainhas takes you back in time. It enamors you with Goa’s old yet most well-maintained Portuguese colony. Fontainhas prides itself on being a heritage zone certified by UNESCO. It is a colorful community studded with well-paved streets that run across the 18th-19th century Portuguese-style villas. Your Goa trip is incomplete until sealed by a visit to this well-preserved neighborhood. The focal attraction here is the Chapel of Saint Sebastian.
Big Foot Cross Museum
This wacky museum attracts art lovers or history buffs from all corners of the world. It showcases more than 1,500 Christian crosses brought in from all over the world. It is located in Ancestral Goa and speaks volumes about Goan quirky heritage. A handicraft fair held near the museum is also a point of attraction.
Anjuna Flea Market
Anjuna flea market has become synonymous with vibrant Goa’s pulse. It is hot, happening, and buzzing with energy. This weekly market came into existence almost three decades ago and has soared its popularity ever since. Here you will find vendors from all over the country selling interesting goods like handcrafted jewelry, pashmina finery, and terracotta items to electronics.
It’s a haven for shopping, and undoubtedly the best flea market in Goa. One of its most beautiful and dotted with small kiosks take up a large part of the beach.
Arpora Saturday Night Bazaar
This spirited night market brims with boisterous energy in an open-air space, every Saturday evening. With live music reverberating in the air and open patios and bars accentuating the ambiance, Arpora night Bazaar is an enjoyable jaunt. Numerous stalls trade-in amazing goods – cheap mementos, handicrafts, designer apparel, fresh spices, and more. From Goa’s voguish designer boutiques to the finest eateries and bars, you experience the best of quintessential Goan essence in one night. Whether unique jewellery or sumptuous shawarma, a hearty falafel, or an elaborate drink menu at Boutique House Bar, you are treated to astonishing varieties at this bustling market.
Famous Beaches in Goa
Beaches in Goa offer an array of experience that ranges from rave parties to quiet beach lounging. From wild partying at beaches to having a relaxing book reading experience on a solitary hammock, Goa beaches are a wondrous experience. One can also practice yoga by the serene waters or just sunbathe in the sandy shores of the sunshine state. Let's take a look at some of the most enchanting beaches of Goa’s exquisite coastline
Touted as one of Goa’s most beautiful beaches, Cavelossim is beautified by its gorgeous backdrop of black lava rocks standing amidst an expanse of silver sand and blue waters, fringed by infinite palm trees. This ideal escapade offers a perfect spot for sun tanning and swimming in its beautiful waters. One can also enjoy sports like dolphin sightseeing, kayaking, and catamaran sailing.
Colva beach displays lush sand stretches and offers ample water activities. The beach has some great shacks and bars to just chill and relax. This beach is popular for the legendary Our Lady of Mercy Church, also called the Colva Church. A must visit.
Dona Paula Beach
This beach has every reason to be called the ‘Lovers’ Paradise’, for its breathtaking beauty. Dona Paula boasts of long sandy shores with tranquil waters and tall palm trees. The prime attractions of this beach are the gorgeous sunsets over its shores. You can also set your pulse racing with windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, parasailing, and motorboat rides.
Are you tired of too much partying? Agonda is perfect for a relaxed sojourn and that too within 15 minutes from Palolem. You can enjoy a laid back day at this beach and indulge in the simple pleasures of sunbathing and swimming. A cherry on the cake is watching ridley turtles who lay their eggs on the soft sand of Agonda beach.
This northernmost beach offers an ideal stretch for water surfing in Goa. Even if you are new to surfing, you can head to Surf Wala School that offers exemplary surfing lessons. The quaint setting of the beach takes you away from the maddening rush of tourists. The beach is also hit among tourists as it offers therapies like yoga, tai chi, reiki, and meditation. Spending an evening at Arambol is an experience in itself as it stages many jam sessions, drum plays, and live music.
If you are seeking some me-time, then Patnem offers the perfect escape. It is an ideal outlet for rest, yoga, and recuperation. Here, one can take a breather from the boisterous nightlife and embrace the humble bamboo huts instead. Once at Patnem, simply relax by the soft sandy shores, swim in the clear waters, or participate in yoga therapies. Also, don't forget to feast on roast New Zealand lamb, a delicacy offered at the nearby restaurant called Nada Brahma.
A sprawling 2-km stretch of shimmering white sand lined by swaying coconut palms is a quiet reprieve for laidback souls. It is ideal for sunbathing, boating, and swimming. If lucky, one can even sight some dolphins. The night treats you to some melodious tunes when one end of the beach transforms into an open-air theatre, replete with a reverberating discotheque where you can choose your own music. The beach also has an option of temporary lodging in coco huts, and for comfortable accommodation, there is no dearth of nearby resorts and hotels.
Heading to the north of Palolem beach? You are mesmerized by a hidden jewel that goes by the name of Butterfly beach. This beach is truly a heaven of solitude and romanticism. Moreso, the beach route also offers you a short trek through a dense forest. One can also access the Butterfly beach via boat ride from Palolem and Agonda beaches. At the beach, you can enjoy dolphins dancing along the shoreline, try canoeing, or indulge in some butterfly watching. If lucky, you can also spot some exotic sea life such as goldfish, redfish lurk, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins relaxing by the shores. The beach has a few restaurants nearby, but it is recommended that you bring some stock of supplies with you.
One of the most gorgeous beaches in Goa, Miramar strikes you in your face with its sheer landscape. The unparalleled glimpses of the Arabian Sea, flanked by soft sands and lush greenery cast a lasting impression on you. You can sunbathe, swim, and catch picture-perfect shots of the setting sun. The beach also has a few shops and restaurants on the shore.
For avid bird lovers, Morjim beach is a great place to be. One can spot bird species such as sandpipers, sand plover, kingfisher, cuckoo, quill, and bay-backed shrike. It is also a haven for dolphin-watching. The beach is brimming with numerous shacks and restaurants; many of which have Russian owners. Therefore, it treats you to the flavor of Russian cuisine along with Goan taste.
Vagator beach comprises two small beaches separated by a headland. Located in close proximity to the riotous Anjuna Beach, Vagator is a pleasant change because of its relaxing atmosphere. The beach is peppered with shacks, eateries, and shops that stand at a stone throw distance from the waves. The beach also has many added attractions like the carved face of Lord Shiva and the nearby historic Chapora Fort. For party people, Vagator has enough bars and nightclubs that organize trance parties.
Cuisines In Goa
The coastal town of Goa is a gastronomic delight. Goa was a Portuguese colony before 1961 and much of its culinary scene is influenced by Portuguese culture and a blend of religions. The main food of Goans (people of Goa) is rice combined with fish curry. Most of the Goan recipes use rice, coconuts, fish, meat, pork, and Kokum, a local spice. Do check our food recommendations so that you experience the best Goan cuisine during your Goan Rhapsody
Kokum is a regional spice that finds its place in almost all Goan recipes. Kokum plant has ruby colored fruits which are great antioxidants and a great source of Vitamin C. Kokum drink made from Kokum fruit is refreshing and an amazing heat buster.
Sanna is the Goan version of idli (steamed rice cakes). It combines perfectly with Goan pork curry. A sweet version of Sanna called godachi sanna is also prepared with jaggery.
Poee (or poi) is the most popular Portuguese-inspired bread in Goa. This fluffy bread is prepared using local toddy and eaten best with curries.
Goan red rice
Called ukda rice locally, this Gaon delicacy is the most popular in Indian cuisine. Reddish-brown thick-grained rice with nutty flavour and solid texture is cooked to perfection in a thick coconut curry.
This delectable Goan bread is prepared with a spiced pork sausage, called Portuguese chouriço
Kingfish is the special delicacy of Goa, prepared with fried surmai (kingfish); surmai fillets are coated in rawa (semolina) and fried till golden. It is called vison or visvan in the local dialect. Surmai curry, prepared with grated coconut is another popular recipe.
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.
Prawn balchao is a spicy prawn pickle that combines red tomatoes and chilli sauce in coconut toddy vinegar and caramelized onions.
Your Goan escapade is incomplete without a dose of this ambrosial tonic. Sipping coconut water while lazing on a hammock by the seaside is the most memorable experience of your Goa trip