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  • Writer's pictureGargi

Goa – Sun, Sand and Splendour

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Thinking of Goa one may recollect the clear picture of glowing sand and bright blue waters along with the Goan cuisine and chilled beer on a summer evening.

From beaches to rivers, from cities to villages, from temples to churches and from sand to soil, you would find everything in Goa. With its grand setting, Goa is regarded as one of the most popular destinations to attract foreign tourists in India. Goa’s fame lies in its pristine blue beaches with golden glowing sand colliding with the Portuguese Architecture.

(Fishing boats on the Beach of Goa)

Portuguese came to India over a 500 years ago and left their impression in almost every corner of the country. Many churches from Portuguese reign can still be found in Goa.

Goa's splendour lies in the lush green cashew and coconut plantations beyond beaches. If one decides, one can see Goa in 2 days but sometimes even a week is not enough. Along with the Portuguese Christian culture, there is a considerable population of Hindus residing in Goa. So, one may find a lot of exquisite Hindu temples in Old Goa.

North Goa is famous for its beaches like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna etc. whereas South Goa presents the serene and clean villages with exquisite Portuguese Architecture.

(Shacks to relax at the beach in Goa)

One of the significant pleasures of visiting Goa lies in its distinctive cuisine known for its savouring flavours and variety and garden fresh spices and ingredients. One mat get to devour some amazing recipes of Portuguese and Goan-Konkani mixture. Rice, cashew and coconut being cultivated in abundance, most Goan recipes are made from these ingredients. And fish being available fresh, sea food has its own charm in Goa. Goa also serves a variety of international cuisines to its foreign guests to suite their routine and taste. Shacks on the beaches are the most popular ones for the Goan food and chilled beer.

(Beautiful sunset on the beach in Goa)

Walking down the narrow lanes of Goa, one may enjoy the Portuguese architecture with a blend of Konkani chatters. The iconic Portuguese houses, the churches and the village life is worth exploring. Local markets at Panjim and Mapusa as well as the Saturday Night Flee Market are indeed interesting. What fascinates the most is the Hospitality of the inhabitants of Goa and the mouth-watering food they cook. The more you explore the more you savour the tasteful Goa.

(Beach of Goa)

One may also shake a leg on the unique Goan music on the cruises over the Mandovi River or at some party place. Otherwise most discos and pubs play the Indian and International dance numbers too.

Things to do:

Exploring Goa to the fullest is never ending mission. Riding through the narrow lanes of the Goan streets, there are a lot of things that one should experience at least once when in Goa.

  • Go Shopping at Saturday Night Flee Market

  • Explore the Wild Life

  • Walk through the Lanes of old Goa for fascinating street photography

  • Dolphin spotting through a boat ride

  • Visiting the Churches - Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Se Cathedral, Church of St Cajetan

  • Visit the legendary Dona Paula – place where two rivers meet the Arabian Sea

  • Visit the spice garden and enjoy the Elephant ride and splash

  • Take a train and visit the Dudhsagar Fall

  • Trek through the lush green mountains

  • Visit the Butterfly Conservatory in Ponda

  • Experience the abstracts of the Goan villages

  • Go kayaking in the Goan Backwaters

  • Visit the Goa’s Oldest Fort, Cabo De Rama

  • Visit the Goa's popular Fort, Fort Aguada

  • Go fishing with the fishermen

  • Walk through the Arvalem Caves, the Lamgau Caves and the Rivona Caves in Goa

  • Relax at a rejuvenating and healing treatments and ayurvedic therapies in the form of massages

  • Visit a Portuguese home and enjoy the Goan hospitality

  • Each and every beach in goa has its own charm - Beaches: Anjuna Beach, Agonda Beach, Arambol Beach, Benaulim Beach, Cavelossim Beach, Chapora Beach, Mandrem Beach, Palolem Beach, Varca Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, Calangute Beach, Colva Beach, Miramar Beach

  • The serenity of the temples makes your feel devotional in this modern cultured tourist destination. - Temples: Shantadurga Temple, Mageshi Temple, Farmagudi Temple, Tambdi Surla Etc.

Places to Stay:

Finding accommodation in Goa is not difficult. But you need to pre- book the hotel for accommodation in the peak season. Otherwise you may land in Goa and find one. This destination offers various budget to luxury hotels. Some given below:  

  • Vivanta by Taj Village

  • Taj Exotica

  • Grand Hyatt

  • Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa

  • Hyatt Place Goa Candolim

  • Fidala Goa

  • Double Tree by Hilton

  • Leela Goa

  • Resort Rio

  • Costa Del Sol

  • Alila Diwa Goa  

  • Novotel Goa Resort & Spa

  • La Cabana Beach & Spa

  • Goa Marriott Resort & Spa

  • Aldeia Santa Rita

  • Sea Shell Beach Suite

  • Casa De Goa Boutique Resort

  • Caravela Beach Resort

  • Cisade de Goa

  • Orritel Village Square

Where to eat:

From Street food to 5 start hotels and restaurants, Goa serves a great variety of cuisines. The Goan recipes have a blend of Indian and Portuguese. Some amazing places to eat in Goa given below:

  • Ritz Classic Restaurant and Bar,

  • Martins Corner

  • Thalassa

  • Zeebop by the Sea

  • Gun Powder

  • KU, Morjim

  • Amigo’s

  • Britto’s

  • Ville Blanche

  • Zoori’s Anjuna

  • Sublime, Morgim

  • Salt & Pepper, Little Vagator

  • Bomra’s Candolim

  • Villa Blanche, Assagaon

  • Tamarind Cafe

  • La Plage

  • Lazy Dogs

  • Dunes

  • Sunset Ashram

(Goan Streets with Portuguese architecture)

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Goa is between November to February to enjoy different festivities. Many people also visit Goa during the summer vacation, but the climate is very ht and humid. Otherwise, you are welcome all 365 days.

(Shells on the beach of Goa)

(Curvy Roads in Goa)

(Native local house with red sloping roof)

(Train exiting the tunnel at Loliem on the borders of Goa and Karnataka)

Places to Shop:

Almost all the beaches host a flea market on the shores. There are markets in Panjim and Mapusa. Saturday Night Market is also an attraction for more tourists. One may shop funky t-shirts and dresses and flashy footwear, bags, hats, wooden handicraft, exquisite jewellery, custom made shoes and sandals, artefacts made from shells, souvenirs etc.

(Shopping in Goa)

 What to wear:

  • Thin cotton cloths to sustain in the hot and humid weather

  • Sunglasses, cap, sunscreen lotion are must while touring in Goa

  • Swim and beach wear

  • Footwear – preferable shoes while on touring and slippers when on the beach

Lastly, the best thing about Goa is, you can rest a motorcycle, bullet preferably and explore the tranquil yet vigorous Goa or just set out on foot taking help of the local transport. Water sports on the beaches are adventurous. Walking down the addictive lanes of Old Goa with houses in beautiful colours and textures is the best one for street photography.

Happy Travels!

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