Destination One: Goa, some call it the land of ‘Sun, Sand and the Sea’, brings to you a mix of opulence and self-indulgence, the perfect beach town to cool off your feet. From a dazzling nightlife to a romantic getaway, from a fun water skiing to sightseeing the ancient fourths, there are just so many things to do in Goa.
North Goa or South Goa, you will always find more than enough things to do. So if you are taking a trip down to Goa anytime soon, here is a list of the 10 things you MUST do in Goa, combining all of what north and south Goa has to offer:
1. Calangute Beach:
Well, first things first! You are visiting the seductive beach town of India, and you should definitely visit this Queen of all beaches in northern Goa.
A stroll down this beach and you will find numbers of restaurants and cafe at the shoreline with their own sunbeds. Don’t hold back! Apply the tanning cream or the sun-block, Gorge on the fresh cuisines you lay your eyes on and start your holiday in seventh heaven!
There are a lot of hotels and resorts around this area so you will have no trouble finding a good place to stay.
2. Water Sports:
Whether you are in north or South, this is one activity you should indulge in straight out!
So if you are up for water jets, parasailing, Wind sailing and water skiing etc, head down towards the North of Goa, at the Calangute beach. As one of the biggest beach in north of Goa and also one of the busiest and most commercial, these is where you get the best out of water sports.
You also get to enjoy these sports in other beaches like Baga, Colva, Vagator, and more.
3. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling:
Well if you just can’t get enough of the marine life, you can indulge in this scuba diving that has recently become a favourite for the marine lovers.
However, you will find most Scuba Diving activities in Grande Island which is 45 kms away from Calangute beach.
If you are really serious about diving and catching sight of Lion fish, Goat Fish, Moray Eels, Eat Fish and more, yet you are ‘not-so-good’ at dincing, you can head down towards the north Goa and get into one of the diving schools and enjoy a great holiday diving.
4. Arjuna Flea Market:
Another darling thing to do when you are in North (supposing that you have decided to come land at Calangute Beach) is to attend the Wednesday Flea Market. This will mean that you will have to time your visit around Arjuna on Wednesday.
Yes, Hippies in the 60s made it famous and to this day it still is well flocked to catch a glimpse of the colorful jewelries, shawls etc. Well, in early days it was known for the foreigners selling off their stuffs before leaving Goa, but now you would probably be seeing a less of stuffs from the foreigner hippies and more of the local people and other state’s stuffs.
5. Bathing with Elephants:
When you come down south to Goa for a quiet respite, your holiday will not be complete without a trip to the wildlife sanctuary or resorts. Whether it is in east of Goa or north of it, you should definitely have a bath with these heavenly creatures. One such place is the Tropical Spice Plantation.
Apart from the tours, you can simply watch the elephants take a bath in the cool stream or you can hop on their back and enjoy them splashing cool water at you with their trunk. A really good way to connect with nature and to rejuvenate yourself too!
6. Temple Town- Ponda:
A quite retreat in Goa is never a reatreat if you do not visit this holy town of temples, Ponda! Hosting the oldest temples in Goa, it is the heart of Hindu settlement in Goa.
Temples that dates back to early 1560s like Shri Mangueshi, Shri Shantadurga, Shri Mahalasa and more are located in this town. So for a respite with your inner self, Ponda town seems to be the right call for you.
7. Fort Aguada:
Just 18 kms away from the capital of Goa, Panjim, the majestic Fort Aguada stand still overlooking then serene Arabian Sea and the Mandovi River.
Built by the Portuguese rulers to protect against the invasion from other rulers, this fort stands tall in between Sinquerim Beach and River mandovi. Besides it is the light house.
Although Aguada fort does have an amazing sunset scene, a trip there early morning sounds like a fair idea owing to the sunny heat shone upon at noon.
8. Dudhsagar Falls:
A trip to India’s second largest waterfall, Dudhsagar is located quite far from beach area but offers you an amazing respite area.
Travel by road for 1 hour and 15 mins through shallow waters and green fields too then trek up to the top in Jeep! The cascading water will enchant you, and a swim in the stream is a MUST! Monsoon time is likely to be the best time to enjoy the falling beauty.
9. Baga Beach:
A small beach towards the north of goa, calm and not-so-high waves, hip and happening nightlife, this beach should be in your top list. This is also one of the beach where one of the Great Live Music Festival is hosted.
Tagged as one among the clean beach around the area, it lies in close proximity with Calangute Beach as well. Also an ideal place for water skiing!
10. Boat Trip/ Boat Ride:
Holidaying in a beach area is much more than sun tanning in the beach shacks! You should try out the boat trip in the big cruise ships or simple hire a small boat where you can have dolphin sightings on the way.
The best place for boat trips will be in south Goa where the boats will smooth sail amidst the hidden green mountains, quiet beaches and the breezing wind.
11. Se Cathedral:
One of the many things you will get to in Goa is the ancient churches built by the portuguese. One such that cannot be missed is ‘Se Cathedral’ which is the largest church in old Goa.
Just 10 kms away from the capital of Goa, it is very easy to get around too. It is an UNESCO World heritage site and one of the biggest churches in Asia.
12. Beach Shacks:
For a truly soothing and relaxing holiday mood, you should definitely take a break from the resorts/ hotels and book yourself in one of the beach shacks!
Sip a bottle of wine, stroll down the beach and enjoy the sunset! What more picture perfect way to enjoy a time away from busy life? Beach shacks can be found everywhere, just ensure that you choose from the beach that are less busy for a quite time.
13. Spice Farm:
Vanilla, Cinnamon, nutmeg, cashew trees and betel nut trees. If you would like to catch a glimpse of all these spices you cannot do without in your food, a trip to the many spice farms is called for!
Some of the farms you should visit are Sahakari, Abyss Spice Frames and Savoi Spice Plantation.
If you bustle your way to Goa from one of the busy metro cities, going fishing could be a pleasing remedy for you. You can either hire a boat and go fishing from the many boat owners are are ready to rent you a boat or you can do the lazy things and fish from the Aguada Fort!
And sometimes if you are lucky enough, you could meet the right person who will eb ready to take you river fishing too!
15. Cabo Da Rama Fort:
Coming to the end of our list, the one last thing you should do while is Goa is to go on an expedition to Cabo Rama Fort! This was one of the fort that predates the Portuguese invasion of Goa.
The fort has a link to the mythological legend where Ram is believed to have taken refuge in this forth with Sita during his exile from Ayodhya.
So next time you plan your trip to Goa, make sure that you include at least 10 of these things in your to-do list in Goa to have a really good time.