India – Places part 2. GOA
Everyone has their own dream destinations list and Goa has always been on mine. I don’t know why but I thought that it would be like the Maldives – a paradise on earth! I need to say that my trip to India has verified my expectations but it does not change the fact that this place is really marvellous.
Why do I like Goa so much? Because of the palm trees! They always set me in the holiday mood. Sometimes when you travel you can see few palm trees somewhere close to the swimming pool in your hotel or in the garden but in Goa they are everywhere.
The atmosphere is also one of the kind there. Although it is a tourist destination it has not been taken over by the tourist industry yet and you can still feel the real India. Especially when you travel along the seaside passing cows walking in the streets, when you meet local people, taste Indian food, experience road traffic and see poverty and riches at the same time.
We spent 5 days in Goa and every day we explored new places by a moped. All beaches look amazing on the Internet but the reality may surprise you. 🙂
Candolim – it was our starting point. This city is very popular and attractive, plenty of hotels, bars and souvenir shops. I definitely recommend a restaurant at the top of the roof in the Acacia hotel. It is an ideal place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the village underneath as well as to admire the sunset.
During our stay in Goa we stayed at the Sea shell apartments located close to the beach. We felt like home there and the beach was 3 minutes on foot.
The Candolim beach is long and wide with few bars where you can rent sunbeds (beach shacks). It is not bad if you do not mind cows, dogs and a little bit of mess 🙂
We loved going there for a short walk to see the sunset or to have a couple beers. But if you are planning to spend your holiday only sunbathing at just a single place I suggest you to look for a more luxurious beach area.
Sinquerium – located to the north from Candolim. It is a beautiful spot with a breathtaking view of the Aguada Fort. There is also the first luxury hotel in Goa – Vivanta By Taj. It is a perfect place for lunch and few drinks with an amazing view of the beach.
Not too far to the north you can visit the Aguada Fort complex, however, the best attraction is the Aguada Fort Lighthouse which stands outside the fort bastions, with a stunning view along the coast. Not everyone is aware that this lighthouse is actually open to public because it is located on the territory of the ministry of shipping. We definitely recommend this attraction!
Calangute and Baga – another great and long beaches with dozen of bars and beach shacks. It is not, however, the perfect place for the fans of nature and romantic escapes. It is quite loud and crowded there.
Anjuna – Beach the same as others – sea, sand and palm trees 🙂 I did not fall in love with this location but the enthusiasts of techno and rave music will love it. There are supposedly the best clubs with that kind of music.
Ozran – our favorite! This beach is exceptional but quietly located among palm trees and rocks. It is a perfect place to relax and also to taste delicious dishes at the Antares restaurant at the top of the hill. I could spend hours there sipping cocktails and just staring at the view of the beach. It is definitely my place! Even cows and dogs seem happier there.
Vagator – one of the most popular beaches in Goa.
When you are there you need to check in to The Mango Tree! It is a bar located along the main road and it can be easily found by the long wooden bar along the road and the ceiling made from paper. It is an ideal venue to have a drink, taste local dishes and meet other interesting tourist from around the world.
Further south there is the Chaporra Fort and I have heard that it is also a fascinating place. Unfortunately, we did not manage to see it because of a little moped incident on our way there 🙂
Our stay in Goa flew by very quickly! Actually I would like to come back there again, especially that I have not seen the Old Goa. However, next time I will be more organised and plan my trip more carefully. What do I need to consider next time? The season!
1. The best season for tourists is from November until March. It is sunny but not too hot.
2. Monsoon season is between June and August.
3. In between these periods there is very quiet and the weather may not be good.
We were in Goa at the beginning of June, it means just before the monsoon season. It was very hot and humid and most of the hotels and restaurants were closing. Also the water sport centres were closed and swimming in the sea was prohibited. As you can imagine it was not the perfect time to visit Goa but we did not have much choice. Nonetheless, we managed it and it was great. All the inconvenience has been compensated by the Goan prices. Outside of the tourist season you can really spoil yourself in India and everyone will find something interesting there.