We love Goa, it is a place I would probably never grow tired of. Goa gives me a sense of relief even if getting to the state is a bit tiresome. This time we headed off to the South Goa instead of the happening and always partying North Goa. It was probably one of the better decisions we made.
|A Lantern at Palolem Beach Goa|
South Goa probably is at the stage where North Goa would have been a decade ago. Quiet pockets and secluded beaches along with good food and readily available services. I still remember the first time we went to Goa way back in 2012, we knew just one Goa- the one which revolves around Baga, Calangute and Anjuna beaches. It was busy, chaotic, crowded and expensive. Our second trip took us to Velha Goa as we were on the GoUNESCO 2013 mission of visiting all world heritage sites. In 2014 we got our SCUBA certifications here and spent a blissful week soaking in the relative quiet of off season in the state.
After our trek in the Himalayas we had been really busy with all the shifting, and our next decided travel plans were far away in August, when we head over to Maldives. This meant we had six months of no travel (I don’t count visiting family as travel) and by March we were both getting cranky and travel withdrawal was getting to us really bad. so we decided to head over to the beaches and as always they did not disappoint for our 2015 visit to GOA.
Goa to most means beaches, cheap booze and sea food, it is way more than that. Here are somethings you should do in Goa apart from just lazing on the beach.
|A School of Fish|
You know I love diving and if I could I would be diving every beach we can find, this time we were out of money but if you are heading to Goa go diving. We are certified divers that means we can dive with minimal assistance, go deeper and it is usually cheaper. If you do not have a diving certification and are mot interested in spending upwards of 18000/- to get one go for Discover SCUBA.These are pretty cheap starting from around 5000/- and you don’t have to spend time learning and then passing the test.
Visit the Churches
|Bom Jesus Basilica|
These churches of Goa are a World Heritage site and for good reason, they are beautiful and where else can you pay respect to St. Francis Xavier, whose mortal remains are displayed in a coffin at the Church. Ride to the church is beautiful as you navigate streets of Velha Goa early Portuguese capital.
See the forests
Goa has a huge forest reserve and if you ever make the journey to the state on the train you would pass many water falls and dense forests as the train moves slowly along the edge of a cliff. Many companies run treks to falls and various parts of forests. Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife sanctuary along with Netravali, Cottigao make for a perfect vacation for forest and animal lovers. Two of our friends spent a morning visiting Cottigao (I was sleeping in pain, with a weird stomach ache) and we all went to the beach later; win-win for every one.
Tap your feet to music
|Axwell performing in Sunburn Goa|
Well this is definitely seasonal but there is almost always something going on in Goa. If you would like to be a part of some of the best EDM concerts in India, head to Goa in the end of December. Though this will be way more expensive compared to visiting Goa any other time, but as they say you gotta live a little. After thinking and ending up broke just before booking tickets every year; we are pretty sure we would be at sunburn this year and it is expensive already.
|The famous Vindaloo|
If you want it there is probably a shop in Goa that sells that food- within reason. We have sat down for traditional North Indian thalis, Goan food, Israeli breakfasts, Italian, Mediterranean and a lot more. though the pricing is not as cheap as you would find in some of the smaller cities but they are fairly good for a tourist magnet like Goa. The portions are usually decent and once you add a few drinks (always cheap) it will be a great meal. Have at least one meal (candlelit dinner anyone!) in one of the numerous shacks along the beach.
Goa is probably one of the places which will make you feel comfortable and welcomed no matter what your life beliefs are and what you want to do. Take a few days off and head over to Goa for a much deserved break.
Our recommendations for booking your stays
|A villa on Airbnb|
1. Airbnb– If you still haven’t registered with them I don’t know why but we have stayed in one of the places through them and it cost us 700 per person. If you are actually not registered, use this link to get 25$(~1500) off on your first booking. If you are looking for luxury book some of the beautiful villas near the sea.
2. Hostels– Goa has so many hostels that you would be counting them all night and most of them are great with free wifi and sometimes even free breakfast.
Tow of the best ones are Prison Hostel and Brick & Bamboo both near Anjuna Beach. These social hostels will never let you feel lonely even if your friends ditched you, definitely a reason to travel solo.
3. Luxury stay– Some of the most expensive resorts are in Goa and if you are looking for luxury you are at the right place. Taj has various properties around Goa but if you are looking to be close to Palolem beach in South Goa you might want to look at Lalit and Fern Gardenia.
|A Beach Hut on Airbnb|
Check out Camp Sanfrancisco, Art Resort and Ciarans they have some of the higher end huts and for regular huts, seriously just walk along the beach.