UNWIND & DISCOVER HAPPINESS IN GOA : INDIA
September 24, 2016
by Marcia Rodrigues
Goa is one of the places in India which helps any traveller explore the best of themselves. The coastal breeze, scenic beaches, historic locations and undiscovered stretches make you sense the laid-back yet frolic atmosphere. The place wins your heart and will make you long to extend your holiday. The state is filled with cheer but is mostly uplifted during season which begins October and ends in March. Peak season is the best time to visit Goa and you are sure to make most of your stay. Unlike any other place that I have visited, life in Goa begins after sunset and continues till early morning. It is much easier to locate a store for any regular need in the evening rather than scouting around at noon or morning.
Goa is divided into two parts; north & south. While north is where the glory begins with tourist locations, popular beach destinations, old Portuguese churches and a vivid night life; south Goa is pristine and a treasure yet to be discovered by many. Off-season it doesn’t have many options to explore but during season, the place is divine. What you’ll find are white sandy beaches, serenity and calmness. Colva and Majorda are the most busiest locations while the rest remain low line.
Accommodation is one of the most important aspects especially if you are visiting during the season. Be sure to book in advance as rooms are high on occupancy and you can get stranded if you’re planning to find a place on arrival. If you’re lucky enough to find a place, chances are that you will get charged high. I always recommend people to cut some slack on accommodation whilst in Goa, as you’re anyway spending most of your time out. Goa has plenty options for budget accommodation with many B&B’s and guest houses run by Goan families.
Avoid budget hotels as the amenities are never too great and they charge you taxes.
Almost every corner in Goa offers bikes or cars on rent. Personally, I find that it is the best option as its reasonable and makes you more independent. Taxis are quite expensive to move around in the city; petrol being inexpensive in the state most tourists prefer to hire their own vehicles and drive around themselves. Bikes are mostly rented for INR 350 – 750 per day (depending on the model) and cars or jeeps can be hired for INR 1000 – 1500 per day.
Most of the local guest houses and B&B’s offer their guests an option to hire bikes as well. The Goans are pretty hospitable and extremely helpful when it comes to guiding their guests around the city.
POPULAR PLACES TO VISIT
- Old Goa Churches
- Dona Paula
- Fort Aguada
- Baga & Candolim Beaches (very popular with tourists; there are plenty of other beaches to explore)
- Panjim City (You can choose from a boat cruise with live music and a jazzy night affair or get lucky at the floating casinos in the state capital)
- Flea Markets in Anjuna (Wednesday) & Arpora (Saturday)
- Palolem Beach (Located at the tip of Goa, it has water sport options and a few shacks)
- Cansaulim Monte (The locals will have a few stories to share, so its best to visit during the day. Be sure to catch a spectacular view of the Arabian sea from here)
- Dudhsagar Waterfalls (Located 60 kms from the city, on the border of Goa & Karnataka, it is considered a special attraction)
- Tropical Spice Plantation
Local travel and tours offer 1 day tour packages at reasonable rates to North Goa / South Goa / Dudhasagar & Spice Plantations
As you google some information to find the best restaurants in Goa, you will find most of them directing you to visit Martin’s Corner. It remains a classic but a bit heavy on your pocket. I am listing down a few favourites along with their speciality;
- Zeebop by the sea, Utorda (Must try their Red Snapper in butter garlic sauce)
- Spicy Restaurant, Madgaon (Must try their Special king fish thali)
- Peep Kitchen, Panjim (Garlic Cheese Naan, calamari batter fry and prawn rava fry)
- Cafe Bodega, Panjim (Amazing property and delicious red velvet cupcakes)
- Infantaria Cafe, Calangute (English Breakfast & Desserts)
- Brittos, Baga (Breakfast, desserts & amazing sea view)
- Pentagon Restaurant, Majorda (Pastas are delicious)
While these are some of my favourites, I would suggest that you explore beach shacks as they are plenty and the best way to relish local Goan cuisines.
NIGHTLIFE LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Titos lane in Goa is one of the busiest streets at 1 am. You will find people manoeuvring for food, parties and much more. The lane is home to two most popular clubs in Goa; Titos & Mambos. While they are the most raved about, you should visit some of these to get more from Goa!
- Club LPK, Candolim
- SinQ Beach Club, Candolim
- Club Cabana, Arpora
- St. Anthony’s, Calangute (You can enjoy karaoke nights and live music at the beach)
- Curlie’s, Anjuna (One of the best views you will find in Goa. Try to get a seat on the top)
And there’s much more to explore… Let your hair down, explore and enjoy the city Goan style.
Do not miss out on the city’s favourite dessert delicacies; Bebinca & Doldol are easily available at any departmental store. Vini Cola & Golconda are my two favourite, locally produced wines which can be picked up at any liquor store in Goa or visit a local winery for some fresh taste.
We’d love to know if this post inspires you to experience Goa and some of the places listed here.
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