Goa Travel Guide
Goa, India’s smallest and most distinctive state, is on the country’s western coast. Numerous beaches, vibrant nightlife, a wide variety of foods, and architectural landmarks make it well known. This location only covers 3,702 km and is in the Konkan region. It is very different from a beach vacation or a hippie paradise, and it is one of the very few places that is open every day of the year. The Goans welcome visitors and hold numerous festivities throughout the year, the most well-known of which are the New Year and the Goa Carnival. Despite having superb seafood, Goa boasts some of the best nightlife in India, with hip pubs, beach shacks, classy cafés, and numerous clubs and discos. Do you know what I loved about Goa and was excited to try in Goa? Well, alcohol, yes; this mini-state offers cheap alcohol so try as much as you wish right after you reach here.
How to reach Goa?
Goa is effectively connected by air to all of the major cities in the nation and is a well-liked vacation place and relaxing location. Regular flight bookings are available to this tropical haven from New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Flying from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the shortest way to travel to Goa, albeit it takes about an hour to get there.
Best time to visit:
The best months to visit Goa are November through February. These are the months when summer isn’t here. Given its location on a tropical coast, Goa experiences constant humidity. The summer season lasts from March through May, however, it also gets very hot during this time. In contrast to the other months, November through February are bright and cool.
Tips to remember:
● Keep your cash and essential documents safe since you may get robbed.
● Do not consume drugs since it is banned in India and you may face severe troubles if you do so.
● Make sure you find a spot to stay where you can take in a beautiful beach view if you want to always feel the beach atmosphere. In Goa, there are numerous beach resorts, hostels, hotels, and homestays where you may relax after a long day.
● If your budget is tight, I suggest booking inexpensive hostels rather than searching for pricey hotels or seaside resorts.
● Due to the unpredictability of the waves and the prevalence of crabs, it is unsafe and not recommended to sleep on the beaches in Goa.
My take on Goa:
● Saligao Town
We started our journey from Saligao town as we wanted to see a lot of beaches. But our spiritual heart asked us to first visit the church. One of the greenest communities in the Bardez taluka is Saligao. The well-known Mae de Deus church is there. The Gothic design of this cathedral is well-known. The nearby towns of Calangute, Candolim, Parra, Pilerne, Guirim, and many others are accessible to visitors of this village. There are lots of coconut palms and rice fields all around this area.
Next, we planned to visit two beaches. The first one was Calangute Beach which caters to tourists. It is bustling with activity and full of useful amenities. Whether you want to spend an afternoon lounging in the sun, enjoying the delectable local cuisine, or participating in waterspouts on the water, this location has something to offer for all tastes and price ranges. We had our lunch here and I photoshoot myself all the time since my friend is a photographer, so why not ask him to showcase his talent here?
In the late afternoon, we decided to check out another beach so after taking some refreshments, we left for Baga Beach. Baga Beach, one of Goa’s most popular coastal resorts, is well-known for its beachside bars and nightclubs, where revelers dance all night long. The long, wide expanse of the beach is vibrant and lively during the day, with many opportunities for activities involving the water. One may enjoy the living environment while sunbathing, participate in thrilling watersports, and hang around after sunset for a taste of Baga’s nightlife. Guess what, we tried them all!
We started our tour in Panjim by visiting Dona Paula Beach. Our excitement level was high since we were sure we had numerous things to try out here. Two lovers in a tragic love story gave Dona Paula Beach its name. There are numerous picturesque locations around, and the water is crystal clean. As this beach has a tranquil vibe, one can sunbathe and unwind there. Some of the best things to do here include participating in various water sports like parasailing, kayaking, etc. This is among the top shopping areas in Panjim for those who enjoy retail therapy. Travelers may find several little shops nearby. There are also bars and eateries on the beach that serve delicious food.
While I was in Panjim, I did a lot of things since I couldn’t resist any of these wonderful spots. Being a foodie, I visited the Awadh House, and I ordered Galouti Kebab, the Murgh Angara, Dal Awadh, and the Tangdi Kulfi. All of these dishes were so tasty and we also took a coffee break. One will adore Blue Tokai, where they may sip on freshly roasted Arabica coffee if they enjoy coffee. I believe this is the only location where you can find flawless flat white coffee. Furthermore, We went shopping at M.G. Road and 18th June Road. Here, I was able to locate a variety of stores, both foreign and local.
For nightlife, we decided to try our luck at Cruise casinos. My first visit was at Big Daddy Casino which cost us somewhere around 2000-2500 Indian rupees. This is one of Goa’s largest onshore casinos, and it is in Grand Hyatt. With games like Roulette, Baccarat, Mini Flush, Black Jack, and others, it is famous for its stylish, top-notch gaming rooms and guarantees to keep you entertained for hours. One can enjoy gourmet cuisine at the casino’s Cilantro restaurant, and visit any of the five bars to sample exotic cocktails and malts. Since I didn’t want the fun to stop, I also went to King Casino. This casino is by far the best one since it offers a warm and intimate setting for a personal gaming experience. There were various popular slot machines as well as live casino games here. But we were only able to try Andar Bahar, Blackjack, and Roulette.
● Diver Island
Divar Island, which is 10 kilometers from Panjim in Goa, is a piece of paradise buried away in thick forests amidst the splendor of nature. We took a ferry to reach here. Tourist knows it for its stunning scenery, tranquility, and solitude. The region, which is sometimes referred to as a “village stuck in time,” is yet untouched and untapped by tourism or commercialization because it is cut off from city life.
Divar Island is bordered by lush paddy fields and is filled with old residences constructed in the Portuguese style. It also has numerous ancient churches. This place offers the contrasted calm and environment to the travelers, in contrast to the boisterous and hippy party culture of Goa, to pique their curiosity. The intrinsic beauty and charm of the tiny tea stalls, the winding, narrow roads, and the general atmosphere of the location are what I personally find to be its greatest qualities.
● Vibrant Beaches
And of course, our prominent reason to visit Goa was to explore its vibrant beaches. There are many destinations that capture the essence of this vibrant coastal state.
One such place is Anjuna Beach, famous for its lively flea market and happening nightlife. Visitors can soak up the sun, indulge in water sports, and witness mesmerizing sunsets. Another must-visit spot is Calangute Beach, known as the “Queen of Beaches,” offering a wide range of activities, beach shacks, and bustling nightlife. For those seeking tranquility amidst natural beauty, a trip to Dudhsagar Falls is a must. This majestic four-tiered waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery, creates a captivating sight.
In addition, if you’re a nature enthusiast, a visit to the serene and picturesque Butterfly Beach should be on your itinerary. This secluded beach is known for its pristine shoreline, crystal-clear waters, and the opportunity to spot a variety of colorful butterflies.
● Mangeshi Temple
Lastly, for a touch of spirituality, we headed to the peaceful Mangeshi Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Its intricate architecture and serene atmosphere make it a perfect place for reflection and spiritual rejuvenation. Surrounded by lush greenery, the Mangeshi Temple stands as a testimony to Goa’s rich cultural heritage. Its stunning white structure, with intricate carvings and a golden kalasha atop the spire, is a sight to behold. Inside the temple, devotees can offer prayers, seek blessings, and immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance, creating a truly memorable spiritual experience.
While it was so much fun, we were still not happy since we got to cover very little. Goa has end number of things to check out there and I wanted to stay here more to experience them all. Nevertheless, I know I am coming back here to try numerous things including thrilling watersports, delicious food, inexpensive alcohol, and whatnot!