Goa is a must-visit place which holds place in every Indian traveler’s bucket list. Be it to party with friends, chill out with the group, relax with family or go on a romantic vacation with your partner, Goa fulfills every traveler’s needs and expectations.
When it comes to exploring Goa, it is perception that the place is limited to beaches and boozing. However, Goa offers multiple things to watch and experience, including serene beaches, vibrant nightlife, historic forts, old churches, delectable Goan food, and local markets.
Here is a list of key spots you can include in your itinerary.
- North Goa Beaches
North Goa beaches are best known for beach shacks, delicious food, and water sports to please beach bums. North Goa beaches host the majority of crowd visiting Goa. Famous beaches are – Baga–Calangute (beach shacks), Candolim beach (clean beach, water sports), Anjuna beach (rocky beach, good for shutterbugs), Vagator (clean, near to famous Dil Chahta Hai point), Morjim beach (natural beauty due to nearness to Chapora River), Arambol beach, and Mandarin beach (white sand shoreline), Sinquerim beach (near to Aguada fort).
- South Goa Beaches
South Goa beaches are known for their serenity and less crowd. If you want to enjoy the beauty of secluded beaches, away from the hustle and bustle, then South Goa beaches are perfect for you. Famous South Goa beaches – Palolem (unspoiled beauty, greenery lining the white sandy shore), Colva beach, Benaulim beach (palm-fringed beach), Bogmalo beach (peace & tranquility), Agonda beach, Dona Paul Beach (near to Cabo Fort, good to experience a beautiful sunset).
Grooving music and favorite cocktail offered by Goan nightclubs are perfect to unwind your mood which must not be missed when you are in Goa.
Some of the famous discotheques which promises a unique ambiance as well as unforgettable experience are:
- Club Cabana – Crowned on the top of Arpora Hill, north Goa, Club Cabana is best known for its terrace like structure. A Jacuzzi and poolside seating arrangement are other features of the place. Fresh air, foot-tapping music, and a fantastic view are other promising things you get at this nightclub.
- LPK (Love Passion Karma) – Located on the panoramic waterfront, LPK promises both, a lively indoor dance floor and breathtaking beauty from the deck, whenever you want to take a break from the noise.
- Leopard Valley – This nightclub boasts green surrounding, 3D laser light shows, fire pits, detailed cocktail menu and terrific sound system.
Beaches of Goa offer plenty of water sports which must not-to-be missed. Typically, it is offered in a package which consists of 4-5 types of water sports, like banana ride, water skiing, and so on. The price is around Rs. 1500-1800 per person.
SHOP TILL YOU DROP AT LOCAL MARKETS
Saturday Night Flea Market (Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar, Baga) is nonetheless a mini-party, held every Saturday from 6 PM to midnight, at Arpora Hill (between Baga and Anjuna). Paradise for shopaholics, it is a mix of food stalls, bars, clothes, footwear, hammocks, and an array of sundry items you can purchase for souvenirs.
Beach shacks in Goa promises a heart-filling meal overlooking the beach with some good music and company. A plethora of beach shacks can be found during the peak season of Goa, offering bright lights, sea food, cocktails, and music. Fit for everyone from couple, families and group of friends, they promise an unforgettable evening at Goa.
VELHA GOA / OLD GOA
Velha Goa is home to almost all the famous Goan churches including – Basilica of Bom Jesus (known for the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier), Se Cathedral (gorgeous), Church of St Francis of Assisi (picturesque).
Goan forts are one of the most popular tourist spots in India. They offer a great place to experience the panoramic scenery, hills, waterfalls, fresh air and above all they are best spots to click amazing photographs. Some of the most-visited forts of Goa are – Aguada Fort, Chapora Fort (known as DCH point, it is famous among youngsters, gives 360⁰ aerial views of Vagator beach, Chapora river, and Chapora beach), Corjuem Fort (majestic view), Cabo de Rama fort (secluded, awesome to watch the sunset).
Partying while cruising in the ocean is one of the unique and exciting experiences Goa offers. Cruise is a combined package of electrifying music, great food and drinks, the feel of a cruise and overall a completely different experience. There are river as well as ocean party cruise available in Goa which runs at different times. You can also make a booking from Goa Tourism Development Corporation website.
Yes, gambling is legal in Goa, and there are many casinos here, onshore as well as offshore which attracts a large crowd, like Casino Pride, Casino Royale, Deltin Royale Casino, and Casino Carnival. Onshore casinos have some restrictions like they can only have electronic games, so offshore floating casinos are the ones which dominate the gambling life in Goa. Party like ambiance, music throughout the night, foods and drinks are bonus which comes with casinos.
Situated on Goa-Karnataka border, Dudhsagar promises a life-time memorable sight. This four-tiered waterfall is located on the Mandovi River. The waterfall is a part of Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, so best way to reach it to reach the national park first by you own vehicle and take one of the several van/jeep to the falls. You can also reach the waterfall by trekking, however make sure is it guided one.
How to reach Goa?
Goa is well connected by road, frequent flights and train from all the major cities. The rail route of Mumbai-Goa is a scenic journey to expereince; it is recommended to take a sleeper class – day journey to enjoy the scenery enroute.
How to explore Goa?
Renal bikes (Rs. 400-600), Honda activa (Rs. 300-400), Jeep (Rs. 2,000 – 2,500) are easily available in all parts of Goa. Driving license is must.Prices are negotiable and may vary as per season.
Where to stay in Goa?
Accommodation in Goa comprises a broad range of luxury hotels, lavish resorts, budget hotels, comfortable home stays to low-cost hostels. During peak seasons, you may experience a higher price, so it is wise to pre-book your hotel.
How to enjoy to the fullest in Goa?
- Explore different beaches.
- Eat, drink and chill. Grab a seat in one of the sea beach shacks and enjoy Goan food with your favorite drink.
- Visit churches, markets, forts and casinos.
- You don’t even need to carry clothes. Land on Goa and purchase some funky lowers and t-shirts. They are available in every corner of Goa.
- Get tattoos if you wish.
- For souvenirs feni is a good option. You can also purchase handicrafts from local Saturday night market.
Must try sea food while you are in Goa. You can also try Goan fish, pork or chicken curry, however must ask specifications from the chef as they typically contain lots of spices, coconut and tamarind paste, not everyone would like. It is always to safe to go with shallow fried sea-food snacks, like Kalamari fried, spicy fried prawns, etc. Bakeries are very popular and peppered in all over Goa; must grab a few bites.
Being a responsible traveler, a few cautions to take:
- Do not drink and drive.
- Do not litter as all beaches and forts can be seen trashed with chips packets, broken plastic bottles and other debris.
- Wear helmet while driving.
- Roads are narrow in Goa, so drive carefully.
For your convenience, here is a perfect itinerary for 3 full-day tour excluding arrival and departure.
On the day of arrival – Book bike/jeep/car to explore the Goa. Visit a few nearby beaches and take rest.
Explore North Goa beaches + water sports + any one nightclub of your choice
Explore old Goa, visit church/museum + any one fort as per your wish + have dinner in a beach shack
Explore south Goa beaches + casino / Dudhsagar waterfall
Have a happy trip to Goa!
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