Goa – A True Indian Gem And A Paradise For Tourists

It seems that the newest global trend considers visiting exotic destinations, and since Eastern cultures have been attractive for the last few decades, people now wish to visit the countries and learn more about them from the primary sources. That is why India has grown as one of the top destinations in the past years with millions of visitors coming from all parts of the world. But you have to understand that India is an enormous country, and it literally has a size of an entire continent. Hence, finding a right spot for a vacation is not as easy as one might think. There are hundreds of regions with unique customs, but the Goa area may be the most exotic to visit.

Caalangute beach

Meeting Goa

Goa is a small state located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Western India. It is well-known as a hot tourist destination whose beauties were first discovered by the hippies in the early 60s. Its tropical monsoon climate makes it more than a suitable place for spending a vacation, particularly from November to February when the weather is quite comfortable and without torrential rains.

Goa is divided into two districts, the North and South Goa, and the capital city of the entire region is Panaji, although Vasco da Gama is the largest. They are both substantial financial centres in Goa, which is among the richest parts of India.

The simplest way to come here is by plane, and once you arrive, you will have various means of transportation for roaming around including buses, taxies, and ferries. It is important to be familiar with all of this, having in mind that the entire region has a lot to offer and especially the northern part around the area of Calangute and Candolim. These two are probably the most famous beaches in the whole India.

You will surely want to visit both, Calangute and Candolim because they are the centres of tourism in Goa. These two beautiful sand beaches are perfect for relaxing or taking part in some of many water activities. They are filled with hotels, restaurants and bars, so it is almost impossible to get bored.

peannut seler in goa

The Unique Seal Of Past

Goa may be a small region by the Indian standards, but as soon as you get there, you will be aware that it is much different from other parts of this vast country.  The reason is the contact with the Portuguese. Namely, Goa was the regular Buddhist region like many others in India, but in the early 16th century the Portuguese have conquered the area and founded their first settlements. They continued their rule for more than four centuries and during that time, they have left a strong mark on the entire sector. Goa was their strongest and most important stronghold in this part of the world, and the Portuguese have transformed it into a major centre of trade and spice production. Portuguese missionaries have spread Christianity which has maintained here until today.

elephant ride in goa

What To See?

People who enjoy travelling and learning something new will be simply delighted with Goa for there are traces of history wherever you move. The Portuguese have made themselves a priority of preserving Goa for the good things. For that reason, they have constructed many forts to protect the area from invaders. Some of the most astonishing are  Fort Aguada located above the river Mandovi and Morugao Fort which used to protect the harbour from various attackers, especially pirates. Also, you should definitively see the Cabo Raj Niwas or the official residence of the governor. This architectural pearl was erected by the Portuguese, which can clearly be seen as soon as you look at it.

But it would be a huge mistake to think that Goa’s history starts with the Portuguese. On the contrary, there are traces of human living here which date as long as 30,000 years in the past. You can still see the rock carvings of animals, people and footprints in Usgalimal which are the best witnesses how sophisticated were the people living here millenniums ago. Arvalem Caves are a bit younger since they are dated in the 6th century, but are equally astonishing, just like those in Usgalimal.

What makes Goa soo unique are its numerous churches, temples and even mosques which can be seen even today. And if you are interested more in history and the way of living in this area then you should check out some of the local museums. The Indian Customs and Central Excise Museum is probably the best place to search the answers to your questions, but The Heritage Village at Loutulim may be even a better one since here you can even see how people actually used to live.

goa has has of churches

No Issues With Accommodation In Goa

Goa abounds with all kinds of accommodation, ranging from the private lodging to hotels and resorts. It is really all up to your budget and available funds, but before deciding to book any kind of accommodation, we advise you to search the Internet thoroughly and read all the offers, discounts, and available coupons. An excellent thing with Goa is that you can always bargain, even when it comes to the place where you will stay.

However, you should also be aware of the fact that, for instance, Candolim and Calangute are overcrowded destinations and that most of the visitors yearn to stay exactly in one of these places. For that reason, they have a wider range of offers, and one can find more than excellent lodging without even a much effort.

If you are looking for private accommodation, then you are lucky because of the residents of both, Candolim and Calangute offer numerous apartments for rent, most of which provide you with a full service including a private outdoor pool. A great thing about rented apartments is that you have the so much yearned privacy, excellent location, and what is more the lowest price. Searching the forums or apartment rental websites, you will see that one can have a studio apartment for $10-15. But tourists should be cautious since the owners always want you to pay at least 5-6 days in advance. So, try to make a deal with the owner in case you don’t plan to stay that long in the apartment.

guest house in goa

Candolim Is A True Host To Its Visitors

Should you want to enjoy the full comfort and luxury during your holiday, don’t hesitate to book one of the hotels or resorts in Goa. Of course, we can make a short list of them, just to give you a backwind in searching for the one that best suits your needs. To start with, a popular resort with the address in Candolim is a paradise for tourists. Its name is Whispering Palms Beach Resort. It has an awesome location, and even more spectacular amenities so that all of you who decide to stay in this lovely place will surely be satisfied and relaxed. The place is well-equipped, with polite and caring staff. No wonder why most of the tourists decide to become regulars here.

An excellent five-star hotel also located in Candolim, is a Lemon Tree Hotel. Choosing to stay in this heaven-like place will surely pay off since you will receive a royal-like treatment, and moreover, you will never be bored here thanks to numerous additional services and activities the hotel has to offer. The rooms with luxurious furniture and cosy beds, overlooking massive pools or well-decorated gardens are more than spacious.

But, in case you want somewhat cheaper variants of hotels, you surely won’t be dissatisfied. Try with Bougainvillea Guest House or Banyan Tree Courtyard. These also provide you with a great service, but they also keep your budget.

Lemon-Tree-Amarante-Beach-Resort-Goa

Calangute Abounds With Resorts And Residencies

And for all of you who want to stay in Calangute, there is a broad range of residencies that undoubtedly fulfil everyone’s needs and demands. Calangute Residency, for instance, has a terrific location with rooms overlooking the sapphire-blue sea. Your mornings may start with a coffee on a beautiful terrace while the sun beams tickle your feet. The residency has a large outdoor swimming pool as well.

Premier Resort is another excellent service provider that will surely make your stay nothing but a homelike. The place provides you with all inclusive service, with an excellent outdoor pool and additional offers.

Moreover, a lot of visitors go for renting luxury villas, most of which are located on the beach and have indeed anything you could wish for. They are not even that expensive, so think well before deciding between overcrowded hotels and private villas.

beach in goa

Cuisine – A Fantastic Mix Of Sea, Spices And Foreign Invaders

Being invaded more than once, Goa is now famous for its somewhat distinct cuisine that combines chillies, coconuts, rice, vinegar and spice. Almost all the meals are meaty or fishy, which mostly enthrals the visitors who yearn to taste traditional Goan dishes. Hence, if you come to Goa, don’t dare to leave it without trying xacuti – a spicy chicken with coconut milk, vindaloos and cafrials – both of which involve meat in a spicy sauce, or balchao – a spicy seafood. Also, try a caju feni, made from fermented cashew apples, you will surely love it.

Just like in any other touristic place, the big and famous restaurants get all the attention, but our advice is to give a chance and credit to the smaller and not so famous ones. We say this for a reason. Namely, the best and the tastiest dishes are cooked in the small, unnoticed restaurants, where locals have all of their meals during the day.

In Candolim and Calangute, the situation is the same. And if you wonder, where should you eat on your vacation in Goa, then don’t hesitate to pay your visit to Cafe Chocolatti (Candolim) for a tasty breakfast. Apart from the unforgettable coffee, you can have the best brownies ever. But the best offer relates to the English breakfast and sandwiches, and the polite owner will always surprise you with a homemade chocolate which is, briefly, to die for. Bombra’s (Candolim) is another great and well-decorated restaurant with a marvellous list of gastronomical delights. The place is always full, so it would be good to arrive earlier to grab your meal in time. On the other hand, Pousada on the Beach (in Calangute) is the place where you can get refined Goan food, and moreover, the staff uses only mature coconuts from their own trees.

International cuisine is present on every corner, so if you get bored with the traditional one, you can always grab a snack, order a pizza or take a Chinese food. You have a thousand options at least.

bamboo shoots in goa

An Inexhaustible Source Of Activities

In order to meet the real spirit of Goa, you need to dig a little bit more under the surface, but if you are staying only a few days in this beautiful country, then you won’t lack activities here.

There are many natural beauties to visit since Goa is covered in forests with amazing flora and fauna. You can visit many wildlife sanctuaries such as Mhadei with Bengali tigers, or Bhagwan Mahavir with leopards and other jungle cats. There are also places with snakes, various birds, monkeys, and moreover, you can check out the turtle nestings too.

Those more adventurous types can take a hike in the jungle and visit some of the lakes such as Mayem or Carambolim Lake, or see the amazing Kesarval Springs. And probably the most picturesque places are the Dudhsagar Falls and Salaulim Dam, and not to forget the Cumbarjua Canal scary marsh crocodiles.

However, the most famous activity involves swimming with the dolphins, and you will always find someone on the beach to offer you a memorable excursion and close encounter with these dear friends of ours. The excursion involves the short cruise on a ship to a place where you can see, touch, and take pictures with dolphins. For many visitors, it is a one-life chance to experience a dolphin encounter, and if you are one of them, you surely don’t want to miss it.

Crab catching trip is another exciting activity offered in Goa. If you are an adventurer, and not afraid of touching and catching the crabs, then this is your chance. The crab-catching activity is done with the homemade nets that are called ‘kobblem’, and these activities are offered almost on all the beaches.

And of course, inevitable activities consider visiting spice plantations as well as playing with elephants. You can walk through aromatic plantations and at the same time learn about various spices. The two most famous plantations in Goa are Sahakar Spice Farm and Savoi Plantations, so if you have the opportunity, book your trip there and get to know the history of spices. In addition, you get the chance to play with the tuskers. You can just sit on their back while they splash you with water. It’s pretty exciting, isn’t it?

activies in goa



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