A classic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures, Goa is well known for its sandy beaches, hippie lifestyle, crazy parties, seafood and spirituality!! It is undoubtedly the first place that comes to our mind for a bachelor party, a relaxing holiday or a hippie trip in India. From quirky hostels and colorful beach huts to lavish hotels, you have multiple options to choose your perfect stay.
Best time to visit: Between November and March. Summers (March to May) are scorching hot, hence avoidable. Also, during monsoons (June to September) most of the beaches are closed due to rough waters.
I have put together some of the must see and do things in this little sin state!!
From the North to the South of the state, Goa enjoys a dramatic coastline!! Here are the best beaches:
North Beaches - Known for it's night life, water sports and activities.
- Morjim - Known as the most famous beach for the nesting ground of Olive Ridley sea turtles.
- Baga - Known for its beach shacks, lively night atmosphere and water sports.
- Candolim and Calangute - One of the most popular beaches, with a beautiful stretch of golden sand and beautiful shacks. Do try the local Goan curry in one of the shacks here.
- Sinquerim - A much calmer beach with towering palm trees. Definitely a place to just relax and get a sun tan!!
- Anjuna and Vagator - They aren't one of the finest beaches of Goa, but if you want to experience the best sunsets, then this is the place to be.
South Beaches - It is known for its calm and serene white sand beaches.
- Colva - It is quite an undeveloped and quiet beach. You could do fishing along with the local fisherman or even do parasailing.
- Mobor - If you are looking for a slow paced, laid back hangout, then this beach has it all. Soft white sands with bucolic shacks await you here.
- Palolem - Often rated as one of the best beaches of Goa, it is a long palm curved beach with one of the safest swimming spots in Goa.
- Cola - One of the best private beaches for camping in Goa
For a different party experience, do try the Silent Noise Club in Palolem. It is known for its headphone party!! The other party places are:
Hill Top, Vagator - Known for psychedelic trance parties (Open from October to April)
Club Cabana, Calangute - Known for its swimming pool and jacuzzi in the centre of the club. (Open from October to April)
Nyex Beach Club, Anjuna - 3 level club which opens into the beach. (Open through out the year)
Curlies, Anjuna - One of the oldest and the famous beach shacks. (Mainly Mondays and Thursdays, open throughout the year)
Love, Passion, Karma (LPK), Candolim - The entire interior is made of mud and stone. (Open throughout the year)
SinQ, Candolim - Sometimes plays bollywood music. (Open throughout the year)
Leopard Valley, Palolem - The best party place in South Goa. (Open from October to April)
Most of the clubs have an entry charge of Rs 2,000 for a couple and Rs.1,500 for stag. Ladies usually go free!!
Goa is among the very few states where gambling is legal. So go ahead and try your luck in one of these casinos:
Deltin Royale, Panjim - It is one of the most famous and talked about luxury floating casino in Goa.
Casino Pride and Casino Pride 2, Panjim - If you want a slightly cheaper casino with a similar feel, then it is this.
Deltin Caravela, Panjim - A newly renovated floating casino with guest suites.
Deltin Jaqk, Panjim - If you are a beginner in gaming and betting, then this is the place to be.
Snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and dolphin watching at Grande Island (one day or half day trips)
Dudhsagar Falls - one of the tallest waterfalls in India. There are 2 ways to get to this beauty. One by a trek from Kulem and then a jeep trail and second by a walk on the railway track (One of my favorite visits in Goa)
Water sports, parasailing, surfing and sailing at most of the beaches
Hot air balloon flight in Assolda Ground (The flights are usually at 6.30 AM)
Trek to Todo waterfall (Pick up from Panjim around 8 AM)
Quad biking in Anjuna
Rafting in Valpoi River (Usually at 9.30 AM and 2.30 PM - Class 2 and 3 rapids)
Canyoning in Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary (Near Palolem)
Camping in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
Backwater kayaking in Zuari River, Mandovi River and Sal Backwaters
Cycling at Divar, Chorao islands ( Starting Point - Soccour Church) and Old Goa (Starting Point - Panaji Bus Stand)
Spice Village tour
Crab catching in Sonaulim
Beach Yoga in Anjuna
Anjuna Flea Market (Held every Wednesday on the beach)
Mandovi River sunset cruise (Departures usually from Santa Monica Pier next to Mandovi River)
Crocodile sightseeing and bird watching along the backwaters of Zuari River
Thalassa, Vagator - A Greek restaurant with one of the best sunset views. Definitely reserve a table at least a month in advance.
Antares, Vagator - A hint of Australian cuisine, run by the Masterchef of Australia 2014 and another great place to witness sunset. (Neighbors Thalassa)
Burger Factory, Anjuna - Bohemian burger place
Fat Fish, Khobra Waddo - Goan and sea food
Martin's Corner, Betalbatim - Indian and Chinese Bistro
Britto's, Baga - Chic beach side pub
Starlight, Arpora - Known for its Fish Thali
Mum's Kitchen, Panjim - Fusion of Asian, European and American gourmet style of cooking
Sakana, Anjuna - Authentic Japanese Food
Bhatti Village, Nerul - Authentic Goan cuisine
Gunpowder, Anjuna - South-Indian restaurant
Bomra's, Candolim - Burmese Cuisine
6) Luxury Hotels
The Leela, Mobor Beach - It is a 5 star beach hotel located at Mobor in South Goa and offers scenic beach view, elegant rooms and buffer meals
Taj Exotica, Salcetta - Located on Benaulim Beach & overlooking the Arabian Sea, it is a Mediterranean inspired beach resort
Park Hyatt, Cansaulim - It is set within 45 acres of landscaped gardens with glimmering waterways and lagoons along the pristine Arossim Beach
Alila Diwa, Majorda - Elegantly designed for intimate getaways, it offers guests an exceptional luxury experience
Zuri White Sands, Varca - Soak in the sun at a resort that sits on the picturesque Varca beach.
Lalit Golf & Spa, Canacona - Boasting an 18-hole golf course overlooking the Arabian Sea, it offers spacious suites set in landscaped grounds.
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, Panjim - It offers luxury hotel accommodations, resort amenities, a spa and stylish restaurants along the waterfront of North Goa
Mayfair Hideway Spa Resort, Betul - a luxury boutique hotel in South Goa stands like a haven for travelers looking for luxurious seclusions
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