Goa, the smallest state of India is a big giant when it comes to tourism. Goa is famous for its pristine beaches and old churches. People from far off lands come to enjoy the 365-day vacation life at different places to visit in Goa.
From the famed Aguada Fort to the blue beaches, Goa has a lot of attractive spots for everyone. In this tourist-friendly state, the best way to travel is by hiring a motorbike or scooter and explore at will. A trip to Goa can be divided into North Goa, South Goa, and the Old Goa.
Places to visit in Old Goa:
Consists of some imposing churches and cathedrals, which are amongst the largest in Asia. Many of the buildings are now museums and present information about the history of Goa. One of the most exciting spots to visit in Goa is the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Near to it is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the preserved remains of the body of Saint Frances Xavier are kept. The body is kept for a public view every 10 years, the last one being happened in 2015. Old Goa is around 12 km from Panjim.
Various old Hindu temples are also in south Goa. Some Funstays near calm beaches of South Goa are really nice to spend quality time in peace.
Places to visit in North Goa:
Heaven for those who seek to rejuvenate lazily on the beachside. Listing out the beaches for an oceanic experience…
1. Calangute Beach – Big and crowded beach, visited by thousands of travelers. This adventure place in Goa is famous for water sports.
2. Candolim Beach Goa – Nice beach with shacks available there. Have a dip and relax at shacks.
3. Vagator Beach – Its one of the cleanest beaches, with very fine sand, in Goa. Not a crowded beach. Also, it is the venue for the famous Sunburn festival in Goa.
4. Anjuna Beach – Small but Quite popular beach, particularly for night parties at beach or trance parties.
5. Bagha Beach – One of the best tourist attraction in Goa. Shacks, the market for shopping, Beachside restaurants like Sam’s Shack, popular clubs like Tito’s – all you get at Bagha. Must visit the place. Good to have your hotel at Bagha while you cover the belt of beaches in North Goa. Check out Sam’s Shack.
6. Aguada Fort – It is a historical site near Candolim beach – Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a well-preserved 17th-century Portuguese artifact standing in Goa.
Before planning your Goa trip, read Ultimate Goa tourism guide.
Places to visit in South Goa:
South Goa is around 80 km from Panjim City and promises a beautiful, topsy & turvy road journey. South Goa is a destination for those looking for beauty and calmness at the same place.
While you depart from North Goa, spend the evening in Panjim City, where you can explore the city streets, which will make you feel in Portuguese Era, enjoy the ferry ride and old churches.
1. The church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: Built in the year 1541, this over 450 years old church is one of the much-visited landmarks in Panjim. This church has featured in many of the Indian movies.
2. Dona Paula Beach – One of the best beaches in Goa for water sports like windsurfing, water skiing, parasailing, motorboat rides and also several organized water sports facilities are on offer in Dona Paula.
The lively Dona Paula beach has a tragic history attached to it. Dona Paula was the daughter of Portuguese Viceroy who falls into love with a local Goa boy. However upset and shattered by the refusal of his father to meet her lover, she threw herself into the Arabian Sea off the cliff. In memory of his daughter, the beach was named as Dona Paula beach. The best things you can do with your kids in South Goa beaches.
3. Other famous beaches are Colva, Benaulim, Majorda (water sports like jet skiing and banana ride), Varca Beach (calm ambiance and serene atmosphere, the perfect place to loosen up and sunbathe).
4. Palolem Beach – You can rent a beachside room here. The northern end of the beach is shallow and the depth increases gradually. In the film Bourne Supremacy, the protagonist Matt Damon’s home was here. This beach is quite popular for rave parties.
5. Betalbatim Beach – Golden sands blend well with the swaying coconut palms on the fringes. The beach is famous for Dolphin Spotting
Places to visit in Goa other than Beaches:
There is much more to Goa other than the beaches. Travel to Goa during the monsoon from June to September and see the flourishing nature, the rain brings refreshment and romance to the land of Goa.
Spice Plantations: Apart from beaches and churches one can also opt for guided tours for Spice Plantation visits in Goa. Farms are open to visitors, who can enjoy picturesque farms and also spicy lunch.
If you do not like Spice too much, you can opt for cashew plantation visit, which is cultivated extensively in Goa.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: One of the must-see Goa sightseeing spots is Dudhsagar waterfall. Sea of Milk is a beautiful waterfall located on the Mandovi River at the border of Goa, 75 km. from Panjim. Gushing splendor of Dudhsagar falls make it a popular spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
In rainy seasons Dudhsagar falls is really strong with plenty of water making the passengers of passing by train completely wet.
Crocodiles watching at Cumbharjua: Boat ride from Cortalim jetty will take you to Cumbharjua canals for experiencing the crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Goa is located along the Western Ghats, which are amongst the “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. So wildlife and birds also prefer Goa as their natural habitat. The wildlife sanctuaries are open all year round in Goa, however October to March are the best months to visit. Major sanctuaries being Bhagwan Mahavir and Cotigao Sanctuary. One can enjoy the sanctuaries on elephant safari too.
Best time to visit Goa:
Best season to visit Goa is Winter (November to February).
|Season||Months||Best time to visit|
|Winter||November to February||Pleasent time to visit|
|Summer||March to May||Temperature will be high.|
|Monsoon||June to October||Good for monsoon lovers.|
Awesome Sea-Food in Goa:
If only we did not have a stomach which tends to get hungry too often, we could have continued exploring places to visit in Goa without any break. No worries Goa is also a foodie delight place, as there are numerous eating options at the beaches as well as the city side. Goan food is a seamless blend of Portuguese and Indian flavors which is a hot favorite for the tourists, let’s try the flavors:
Fish Curry and Prawn Curry prepared in coconut milk based Goan curry.
Other delicacies include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel. And among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels.
Locally prepared Rava friend fish, chicken sausages, beef rolls and Chicken Cafreal which is cooked from roasting coriander, lime, green chilies, peppercorns, and mint.
Cake prepared from the egg, coconut milk, sugar and ghee. Preparation takes a long time as the next layer is added after the cooking and roasting the first layer. A most popular dish in Goa, enjoy hot or cold as per your preference.
Local alcoholic drink Feni, prepared from coconut and cashew. The one prepared from cashew is more popular.
Other than these Goa also presents delicious variety for vegetarian food like Bhaji, Malabar Paranthas etc. as well so that you can travel around places to visit in Goa and keep on enjoying the food as well. Keep on traveling and keep on exploring places as well as the culinary delicacies in Goa.
Contributed by Gaurav Verma…
PICTURE CREDIT GOES TO ORIGINAL ARTIST