A Memorable Trip to Goa
Goa’s got everything a hot tourist destination can offer: the best beaches, booze, food, and amazing nightlife. And apart from these fun activities, Goa also gives you a glimpse of the culture left by its Portuguese past and architecture giving you a chance to discover Goa’s rich and turbulent history.
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Think about tourist places in India and Goa will certainly come to your mind - it is undoubtedly one of the best places in India to visit at least once in a lifetime. And knowing beforehand how to make your Goa trip unforgettable certainly makes this place a real bliss for any kind of traveller. We also had a memorable trip to Goa three years ago but memories of this trip are still fresh in my mind.
In fact, Goa’s got everything a hot tourist destination can offer: the best beaches, booze, food and amazing nightlife. And apart from these fun activities, Goa also gives you a glimpse of the culture left by its Portuguese past and architecture giving you a chance to discover Goa’s rich and turbulent history. In short, Goa is a place that gives you plenty of opportunities to make your visit a memorable one.
While in Goa, you can enjoy a few of the famous beaches of India and witness striking landscapes along with astounding monuments and churches. And add the bustling Goa nightlife and brightly lit casinos and you’ve got something that no other tourist place in India has to offer their visitors. Here are three quick geographical facts about Goa:
- Goa is situated in the coastal Konkan region and on the bank of the Arabian Sea which forms its western coast.
- Goa has been divided into two districts, North Goa and South Goa with headquarters in Panjim and Margao respectively.
- Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations.
We planned our trip to Goa in the month of May - which is an offseason. Since we were in Bangalore those days, we had three options to reach there: by air, car or bus. We chose to travel by bus to make our trip more adventurous.
The bus trip from Bangalore to Goa is not bad if you are ready for a long 12 to 13-hour journey. Booking your tickets in advance and choosing the best travel service will make your bus journey comfortable and hassle-free. We took care of everything in advance and really enjoyed the bus journey and late-night gossips on the bus.
As I already mentioned, the bus journey from Bangalore to Goa is long, so be prepared to feel tired by the end of it. We boarded the bus at night from Bangalore, and by the time we entered Goa in the morning, the views were gorgeous. We saw waterfalls, lush greenery, scenic views and felt a warm welcome from Goa. Fortunately, when we reached Goa weather was pretty cool as there was a thunderstorm the previous night.
Staying in Goa
Goa is an amazing beach town, and is such a popular tourist destination that you can easily find cheap Goa hotel packages, with budget rates for Goa resorts as well as luxury accommodations. But the price of rooms, food and vehicle rent peaks in the areas close to the beach in the winter season. We were lucky as we visited Goa in the month of May - an off-season for Goa - because we got spared from the overcrowded beaches of Goa and we easily found affordable accommodation too.
We visited Goa along with our friends and we all wanted to stay in the same place, so for us, the convenient option was to rent a house from Airbnb. We booked a beautiful house and relished our late-night chats, cooking, playing indoor games etc. It was an awesome experience.
Do not forget to try Goan food
While in Goa, you can enjoy a variety of Goan cuisine that is influenced by Portuguese colonization. Whether it’s a classic fish curry rice_,_ a morning bhali-pau (bread roll dipped in curry), a piquant vindaloo, or a spicy xacuti sauce, the Indo-Portuguese influence is a treat for the taste buds.
It should not be a surprise that the Goan dishes are mostly seafood based, coconut-based and rich in spices. But, there are plenty of options in Goan Cuisine if you are a non-vegetarian. The famous non-veg dishes which are served in various restaurants in Goa are Fish Thali, Chicken Xacuti, Chicken Vindaloo, Crab Xec Xec, Mackerel. I am glad we tried most of them and really liked the flavours and taste of Goan dishes.
Places to visit
During our stay, we mostly visited North Goa beaches and some other famous places in old Goa.
I have visited many beaches around the world and every time I have found something different and special about every beach. I felt the same while visiting the beaches in Goa. Though there are several famous beaches in Goa and it’s not possible to cover all of them. We preferred North Goa beaches like Anjuna, Colva, Baga and Vagator beach.
Baga Beach, Goa
Anjuna Beach, Goa
Anjuna Beach, Goa
Sunset at Anjuna Beach, Goa
Vagator Beach, Goa
We witnessed a beautiful sunset at Anjuna beach, enjoyed late-night party scenes and dancing on Baga beach, paragliding activity at Colva beach and last but not least a quiet time on beautiful Vagator beach.
Aguada Fort, Goa
Aguada Fort in North Goa is a popular tourist attraction. We visited this fort on our last day of the trip. The beach’s highlight is the fort that stands on a cliff that faces the Aguada beach.
Aguada Fort, Goa
Aguada Fort is an old heritage site with a lighthouse. The fort is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and entry fees are required. The view of the Arabian sea from the fort is enchanting. There is a dense impenetrable jungle on the downside of the fort. The view of the rocks and boulders on the seashore, from the fort, is simply awesome. I would say that the Aguada fort has its own historical importance and must not be missed while visiting Goa.
Who doesn’t remember the scene from the movie Dil Chahta Hai at Chapora Fort. This scene made the fort so famous that since the movie, it is also known as the Dil Chahta Hain fort.
Built-in 1617, Chapora Fort was the watch post of the border. It is an incredible vantage point and offers a gorgeous view of Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Though the fort is in ruins today one can still see the two tunnels which served as an emergency escape for the Portuguese. The Portuguese are believed to have ruled over Chapora Fort for more than 150 years.
For visitors, this fort is a great backdrop for photographs and the view from here is undoubtedly scenic.
Basilica of Bom Jesus Church
Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is over 408 years old and is open to the public every day. The oldest church in Goa, it holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). A site with rich cultural and religious significance, the Basilica of Bom Jesus has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Inside the church, the floor of the Basilica is made of marble mosaic with precious stones, giving it a solemn appearance. The interior is embellished with a screen that runs from the floor to the ceiling and has the image of St. Ignatius Loyola protecting an infant Jesus.
Night Stroll and Casinos
And last, but not the least, do not miss the opportunity to take night strolls on Goa street and take a look at brightly lit casinos. We enjoyed our night stroll and also the view of casinos floating in the water were enchanting.
Earlier gambling was not allowed on Indian land but there was no regulation in water but later law changed for gambling. But still, we can see some best casinos of Goa are still floats and operates in water. Nowadays gambling is legal in Goa and you can also find casinos on land as well.
Floating Casinos in Goa
We saw and captured images of some of the best casinos in the state that are still on the decks of ships, along the Mandovi River.
Floating Casinos in Goa
As this was our first visit to Goa I really felt that this place is absolutely a heaven on Earth with sun, moon, sand, sea, greens, relaxation and tons of fun. You can also explore Goa beyond beaches by visiting old churches, forts and historical places. It also offers a great variety of finger-licking seafood, nightlife and fun-filled activities. If you like the crowd, partying, pubs and clubs then you must visit North Goa.
It will be even more fun if you visit Goa with your friends and make this trip your craziest one. And trust me, one time visit is not enough to experience goa to its fullest. We are definitely going to plan our next visit in future.
Let me know
Have you visited Goa yet? Share your experience with me in the comment section.