Things not to miss in Goa

Beach and Beer on your mind? Happy times. Lucky you. Seems like you’re planning your next Goa trip. But before we talk about fun things in Goa, you should read about common mistakes you should avoid on your Goa trip. If you didn’t read those in my last post, you should read it here.  As I always say, Vacations don’t always go as planned. So,

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For a beautiful place such as Goa, I’m sure there are plenty of things one can enjoy depending upon one’s liking. This is is just a small list of things which I personally enjoy on my Goa trips.

Great Food, Cheap Beer

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The best thing about Goa 😉 [Source]
Beer in Goa is super cheap compared to most parts of the country. You can drink it all you want in Goa but you’re not allowed to carry it with you home. There is a police check that happens on the border when you’re leaving Goa to make sure you’re not taking away more than permitted amounts of alcohol with you. I’ve had those crazy trips with friends where we’ve started drinking beer on the day of arrival right at 9 in the morning and didn’t keep a track of how many gallons we downed by night. Yeah, that’s the part about Goa trip, I love the most!

If you’re a seafood lover, one place in Goa which people consider absolute pilgrimage is Martin’s corner in BetalBatim. Once when I was in Goa, my friends made me come along with them and we travelled a whole of 25 km to go to Martin’s. We spent the entire evening just going and coming back to Martin’s. Well, not quite worth the trip for a vegetarian but its certainly the seafood lovers’ paradise. If you’re lucky you can also catch live music there on some nights.

 

 

 

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The other most common hangout place for me has been Britto’s at Calangute. Again although the food is quite good even for a vegetarian, but you’re usually more excited about the place if you eat seafood. The place is right on the beach and always has party look and very lively vibe.

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Britto’s never disappoints [Source]
The other good seafood places which me and my wife frequent are Hotel Mandovi and Cafe Ritz in Panaji.

Breathtaking sunsets

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Just the right thing you want on a vacation

I love sunsets. Especially when you can watch the vast ocean gobble up the fireball. There’s something very surreal about it and it drifts you into an almost spiritual experience. Whenever I’m in Goa, I spent at least one whole evening doing nothing but watch the sun glide into the ocean.

Tranquil beaches

If you’re like me then you’ll love the tranquil and serene beaches that South Goa offers. Beaches of south Goa are usually much less crowded and hence I prefer them when I’m seeking solitude. Although Colva and Palolem, being the main touristy beaches are usually very overcrowded, there are many other such as Agonda, Bogmalo and Majorda where you will probably find a quite beach to enjoy.

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Sunset at Agonda beach

Old Goa

I don’t find Old Goa all that interesting but I pretty much always make a trip there just to enjoy a ride through the lush greenery, ancient houses and see some Portuguese architecture. We manage to grab something delicious to eat as well in that part of town. If you’re travelling to Goa for the very first time and churches are your thing, then maybe a visit to the Basillica of Bom Jesus in old Goa might be worth it for you. I usually skip it.

Saturday night market

I’ve heard that lately the Saturday night market  has lost its charm but the ones which I attended in Arpora were quite good. We’ve had good food, live music and dance. Shopping is more enjoyed by foreign travellers than Indians. But if you don’t have another rave party to attend on any evening, this could  be a good place to spend the evening.

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Saturday night market [Source]

Cabo de Rama Fort

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View from Cabo de Rama Fort

Although Aguada is a more popular fort and is super crowded, there are few other forts in Goa which I think deserve a visit. Cabo de Rama is fort in Canacona area. Although most of fort now looks like old ruins, I think this is one place in South Goa worth visiting. It is historically significant location and offers a stunning and picturesque view. So don’t give it a miss.

Go for thrilling treks

This is one of the most underrated activity in Goa which way few travellers indulge in. But if you like hiking in scenic and beautiful nature like me, Goa has quite a lot to offer. There are more than a few well known tracks which let you enjoy picturesque and stunning views.

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Tambdi Surla trek

Netravali waterfalls is a popular trekking location. Netravali wildlife sanctuary is around 2 hour from Margao city. You can trek to the the Netravali water falls and follow the path through the dense forests. There are also few other well known treks such as Tambdi Surla Waterfall trek.

Few overrated things in Goa

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Water sports – Water sports are something which I found are highly overrated in Goa. If you need to give it a shot at all, first up, you need to find good beaches for that too. I think Calangute is a great beach if you want to do water sports. It is huge and stretches for at least a few kilometres. You get lot of options to choose from. Remember, fair price depends on your bargaining skills. Water sports in Goa are limited to a few thing which you can truly enjoy. There are absolutely no good places anywhere in Goa where you can do snorkelling or underwater diving.

Boat rides – We once went on one of the evening boat rides which take you the city tour. You can book on any of the kiosks on main road by the Mandovi river in Panaji. The ride lasts for about half an hour to one hour. Nothing great about the ride. You mostly sit and watch few people perform on the stage. The  dance performance by the crew is quite good. The young girls and boys who perform on are quite skilled. But I wouldn’t say its a must-do thing.

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Cashew Fenny

Flea market – Although few Flea markets are good to see, I’ve especially never found Anjuna’s Flea market any interesting. Anjuna is a great beach but if  you’re going to make a trip there just to attend the flea market, it may not be worth it.

Local alcohol – Although Goa is famous for cheap alcohol, Goa’s native drinks – Pot wine and cashew fenny are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. They’re not everyone’s cup of drink and not everyone likes it. So be careful if you’re trying them for the first time.

 

Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary –

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This is also one of the popular tourist places in South Goa. Although I’ve visited it only once. I personally haven’t found it very impressive. The jungle ride itself is very nice but you’d be lucky if you spot more than a few deer and birds here. So you can visit it if you have enough time at hand.

Main beach in Varkala, Kerala

Also read: Tips for planning your Goa trip

Things I’d like to try

Goa does not allow Casinos to run on any land territory. So you find most casinos on cruise ships in Panaji. You can hop on anyone to roll your dice. Sadly I haven’t tried my luck on this one yet. It wouldn’t be too bad to lose a few bucks just to see how your luck treats you.

Are there any particular interesting things you enjoy on your Goa trips? Let me know in the comments below.

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