Goa is India’s premier-league travel destination, attracting millions of tourists each year.
Located on the west coast of India, Goa is the smallest state, but packs a big punch. It has palm-fringed beaches, legendary nightlife, bustling markets, colonial-era buildings, great food and a laid-back vibe that makes visiting a pleasure. And, if you’re a first-time visitor, be warned: this coastal state fast becomes an addiction. Here are the “Things to See and Explore in Goa“
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Relaxing on the beaches
Goa consists of approximately 101 kilometres of coastline stretching along the Arabian Sea, Goa has a plethora of sun, sea and sand for all beach-loving travellers. But perhaps what’s best about them is that there’s truly a beach for everyone. If you want some action, look no further than Calangute, Candolimand Baga beach. They are the busiest and most commercial beaches, with plenty of water sports on offer for all ages and abilities. Baga is also known for its lively nightlife, with clubs like Café Mambo and Tito’s that stay open into the wee hours.
For a more relaxing beach experience, Agonda and Benaulim are perfect for you, where the only priorities for the day would be swimming and bathing under the sun. You’ll also find a handful of beach shacks and accommodation here.
There is no wilder or better way to enjoy Goa’s gorgeous coastline than indulging in water-based pursuits. If you prefer adrenaline boosting activities, wakeboarding, water skiing, kite surfing, parasailing and white-water rafting are the activities for you. For the less adventurous amongst you, go for tamer activities such as kayaking, banana boat rides or yachting. The main hubs for water sports are Calangute, Candolim, Baga, Anjuna, Palolem and Sinquerim beach.
There are a number of water sports operators in the state – all you have to do is show up at the beach and they will approach you with various offers.
Amazing Flea Markets
Strolling through the flea markets is one of the best ways to experience the local culture and vibe, and there are many throughout Goa. Under sky or canvas, the markets sell almost anything and everything, from local handicrafts and antiques to clothes, funky accessories, freshly ground spices and herbs, seafood, souvenirs, trinkets and so much more. Also, there are many food stalls, with typical Goan fare and international treats; and many entertainment options close to hand too.
The must-visits include the Arpora Saturday Night Market that operates every Saturday (October to December) and Anjuna flea market that is open every Wednesday (October until May). Other local markets, such as Mapusa market, Panjim market and Calangute market square operate on various days of the week.
Treat yourself to some pampering
Goa has a myriad of yoga retreats and wellness centres to soothe your body and mind. A few excellent options include Ashiyana Yoga Centre, Little Cove Yoga Holiday Retreat, Bamboo Yoga Retreat, Swan Yoga Retreat and Sereno Spa. These offer all kinds of R&R treatments, and often serve organic meals to keep you hale and hearty.
Goan Special Cuisine
Dine on Goa’s most celebrated and awarded Thai cuisine beneath the shade of a 300-year old banyan tree, is one of the best restaurants in Goa. Enriched with spices handpicked from their own dedicated garden, the menu brings together a delectable of authentic sweet, spicy and their service is just treat to watch.
Red Snipper Fish and Fried Rice
Tub Tim Krob – Dessert
Chef and Staff in Banayan Tree – Taj Hotels
Experience the Old Goa
Considered as ‘Rome of the East’, Old Goa is a historic city that served as the capital of Portuguese from 16th to 18th century and flourished under their rule. However, it was abandoned in the late-18th century due to widespread plague in the area. But you can still witness that grandeur as you stroll through the quaint streets of Old Goa. You’ll find many beautiful churches and convents, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some of the noteworthy ones include the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier (a well-known Spanish missionary); the 16th century Se Cathedral that is famed for its giant bell, called the ‘Golden Bell’ and Archaeological Survey of India