Goa- The Ultimate Beach Haven/Stop of India
Goa looks very sultry and attractive during the monsoons. We believe that the Portuguese arrived in India much before the British and even the Mughals. They left around 1961, having being ruled India for almost 450 years. Very naturally they had a remarkable influence on this territory of 3700 square km. Hence Goa emerged as a place unique in lifestyle and cuisine which is distinctly different from other parts of the country. There is something different about Goa.
Goan homemade cuisine is a curious blend of Indianised Portuguese flavours which is subtle in nature but also has spice. The Portuguese specialties like ‘crisis’ which are small half-moon pasties and ‘caldeirada’ which is an onion fish stew are enjoyed immensely. Likewise, a pungent Goan sausage, a spicy sister of the Spanish and Portuguese chorizo is also relished equally. The staple of Goans is the sea-food. The people of Goa loves fish and prawns so much that they sun-dry them earlier in the year to make sure that their lust for sea-food is met during the rainy seasons when these gorgeous big catches are unavailable. They consume a wide array of fishes and sea-food from lobster to pomfret to jumbo prawns to modest mud crabs, mussels, mackerels, and clams. Fish is coated in a red masala and fried in a dusting of fine semolina or stuffed with a red spice paste called ‘Richardo’ or sometimes even dunked into silky smooth coconut curries.
There is so much that can be said about North Goa. The restaurants in North Goa win top awards like the Bomra’s, Gunpowder, Black Sheep Bistro, Thalassa and they are fully packed in seasons. You can connect to your senses in North Goa which is an ideal getaway for weekenders by which we mostly mean the Mumbaikars and Delhites or a trip for the others living elsewhere. It is so much required to slip away from the daily hustle and bustle which is in other word called the ‘City Life’. North Goa has an atmosphere of its own, replete with resplendent beaches, throbbing nightlife, and delectable cuisine.
Nothing can prepare you for the riveting views of the red cliffs and the freshwater springs around the visually enthralling Vagator Beach. Located on the northern side, Vagator Beach is divided into two major beaches; the North Vagator Beach also known as the Big Vagator and the Ozran Beach, known as the Little Vagator Beach. This is a calm and rocky beach. Just visualise sitting on a rock and the water dashing against the rocks and splashing on you. The fresh and clean air will kiss you all over and make you experience the true essence of Vagator. One of the most beautiful beaches in Goa is encircled with supple white sand and coconut & palm trees. One of the popular and favourite activities for the tourists here is to view the fabulous sunset through the rocks. The area around Vagator Beach has lots of cottages and farmhouses where you stay or party.
Time for some adventure! Goa is the party capital of India. This beach is famous for adventure seekers, nature aficionado and fun lovers. Mostly popular among the Hippie culture, this beach is the most favourite for foreigners. This happening sea-side was discovered in the ’60s by the hippies and quickly became popular for trance parties and backpackers. Later on, it gained popularity among the Indians also. This sea-side has many flea markets and inexpensive guest houses. Anjuna Beach stretches for nearly 2 km and is lined with beach bars, cafes, family run-guesthouses, and coffee shops. This place is ideal for water enthusiasts. Water activities that take place here are paragliding, jet skiing, etc. There are many small rocks scattered over the sea-side where you can sit and sip your drink and enjoy the Sunrise. Casa Anjuna, Banyan Soul, Whole Bean Tofu, Cafe Diogo, etc. are some places to let your hair down. The trance parties are held from October to April.
A beautiful sea-side town in Bardez, Goa. Baga Creek and the Beach is very famous and lots of tourists flock to these places. The beach is named after the Creek only. Baga lies in between the Baga River which is in the North and Calangute beach which is in the South. You will find lots of shacks in Baga Beach, and it is also very popular for water sports. You can relax at the shacks and soak up the vibrant atmosphere that the place has to offer. The beach also has loads of street food vendors, bars, shops, and cafes. Baga Beach is rightly called the ‘home of nightlife’. This beach is also a very nice place to shop. Here you will find street markets as well as designer shops. Baga is the extension of Calangute beach. There are wellness centres, nightclubs, tattoo parlours, sub-decks, etc.
Calangute stands on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The ‘Queen of Beaches’ as it is also known as is the flagship beach of Goa. Down north, you will find the Baga Beach and to the south, there is the Aguada Fort. Calangute is the biggest beach in North Goa and is a favourite destination for travellers all over the world. Here you can engage in water sports activities such as water skiing, parasailing and many more. It is lined with shacks. This show-stopper beach is also very popular for organizing lots of shows like the pop-beat, rock shows, open-air dances, etc. Needless to say, there is wall-to-wall drinking and numerous nightclubs peppered all over the beach. This is Goa’s favourite party strip for the cashed-up young Indians. Calangute is choc-a-bloc during X-mas and New Year. Swanky restaurants, as well as simple eateries, are found here. You can try Souza Lobo which is very popular and is in business since 1932.
Though we crave for quietude many times; again there are many a time we want to travel to somewhere where we want to let down our hairs and unwind ourselves with a heavy dose of partying and fun. That is exactly what you can do in Candolim which is situated south of Calangute beach. Candolim is a quieter beach but still, you will find restaurants, packed shops, and water activities. You can enjoy bump rides, windsurfing, water skiing, catamaran sailing, parasailing, banana rides, and jet skiing. The cool breeze from the sea will entwine you and the beauty of the beach will spellbind you. The backpackers might find this place a tad bit expensive. Waking up near the laps of the Arabian Sea is truly a Heavenly experience. The beach has beautiful dunes and white sands. This popular beach is also lined with umbrellas, sundecks, massage parlours, yoga centres, etc.
This is a village in Bardez which is famous for its beautiful beach. This beach lies along the Bogmalo and the specialty is you can enjoy water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing, etc. without having to be a guest in the hotels. This scenic stretch of endless sandy beach is teeming with people; vendors and tourists alike. This beach lies on the northern side of the Baga beach. Want to view the rains in Goa? Then visit this place during June and October. Otherwise, the ideal time would be from November to February. Watching the sunrise and the tide drifting in is a couple of experiences that you should not miss. This beach is lined with hotels, restaurants, and resorts. You will also get many beach shacks around here like Big Blue, Patrick’s, Tony’s among others. Just note, some charge for the sunbeds and some don’t.
Aguada Fort was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. This fortress of tranquillity is a testament to time. This fort stands on the Sinquerim Beach. It also has a lighthouse which is four-storeyed. The lighthouse of the fort against the sun’s rays paints a very pretty picture. The lighthouse is spherical and you will get a grand view of the surroundings from there. The lighthouse was built in the year 1864. Aguada Fort was constructed to defend against the Marathas and the Dutch. At that time, this served as a reference point for all the ships coming in from Europe. You can witness the confluence of the Arabian Sea with the Mandovi River from the Fort. This fort can be said as the best maintained Portuguese Fort in India today. The timings of the fort are from 9:30 am till 6:00 pm. It was also used as a jail.
The beach is breathtakingly beautiful with palm trees and the vast Arabian Sea in front. The beach is uncluttered and ideal for a romantic spot. The best months to visit this beach are from January to February and from October to December. Travellers find this beach stunning. You are recommended to stay here for two to three nights if you wish to explore the beach and the nearby tourist places. It can be said that the Aguada Fort has made the beach special. This beach is around 4 km from Sinquerim Beach. This beach with a tropical and exotic beauty is an a-must-visit beach in Goa. The scores of tourists give this beach a very vibrant look.
It is a beautiful scenic beach with white sand and clean waters. There are lines of fishing boats made out of woods on this beach which makes this beach look quite amazing. There are many resorts which are built-in true Goan style and takes pride in spacious rooms with glorious private balconies. Varka is the place to enjoy a leisurely siesta. Wake up with a view of the beautiful sea around you.
Colva is a coastal village in Salcete. Colva Beach is quite long. This is a very popular tourist hangout. The beach is lined with shacks, budget hotels, bars, etc. This long sandy beach with coconut trees is also a place to shop. You can buy pieces of jewellery, clothes, etc. from this beach.
Palolem is a beautiful beach dotted with palm trees and covered in white sand. The calm waters and the colourful shacks are a distinctive feature of this beach. Palolem has a very good nightlife. Another distinctive feature of the beach is the ‘silent discos’ as the party animals wear headphones while partying.
This expansive long sandy strip has a laid-back feeling and is full of shacks providing drinks and foods and the prices are reasonable. This beach lies just 2 km from Colva. There are loads of waters sports activities which one can enjoy. But mostly this is for those travellers who are seeking a slice of tranquillity and serenity. The beach has a good deal of sun-beds. The picturesque beauty and the architectural marvels add more brilliance to this place. Benaulim Beach is a Heaven for tourists. It has it all. From nightlife to parties, shacks to accommodation. Benaulim Beach is the ideal spot for the beach bums to relax and unwind. This beach is best visited from October to February.
Mandavi River Cruise one of the best ways to experience Goa. You can listen to the DJ or just groove with it. The Konkan folk dances by Kunbi and Dekni add to the flavour. Corradino which is the Portuguese folk dance also takes place on this cruise. The spectacular vistas of the landmark buildings overlooking the sunset and the Arabian Sea will surely mesmerize you. The performances of the folk dancers and the DJ come in the inclusion list.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls is a four-step waterfall situated on the Mandovi River in Goa. The name translates into ‘sea of milk’. Dudhsagar Waterfalls takes pride in being the tallest waterfall in India. This staggeringly tall waterfall is 1017 feet in height. The waterfall makes the border between Goa and Karnataka. Lush green deciduous forests encircle the entire area.
Butterfly Island is like a paradise. Catch the glimpses of Dolphin while taking a boat ride. This hidden land has an astounding marine life. The views are fabulous and the place has a calmness attached to it. There are lots of butterflies flying all over. Not many people are aware of this treasure trove of Goa. It is technically a beach which is located in the north of Palolem Beach.
and Spice Jet have hopping flights to Colombo.