9 Best Things To Do In Goa
Even though India has been blessed with a coastline that stretches to more than 7,500 kilometres, there is only one beach destination that comes to the mind for many people, and that is Goa. Formerly a Portuguese colony, it was a major holiday destination for the British troops and officials. They frequent this destination because this state offers a varied range of attractions and things to do in Goa.
Besides a comprehensive range of things to do in Goa, travel to this state is also relatively cheap, both internationally and domestically. And while Goa can be quite crowded during some periods of the year, it can still be quite a charming destination, especially if you know where to head and what you can do in Goa to make your journey truly memorable. To make your trip truly incredible, we have a list of things to do in Goa – whether it is activities or experiences or places to visit, this article has you sorted at every stage.
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Best time to visit Goa:
The best time to visit Goa is during the dry, relatively calm winter months between late November and mid-March. The summer months are quite hot and can make travel tedious, so it is best to avoid these months. However, visiting Goa during monsoon can be a good idea as tourists decrease and tariff rates decrease. A word of caution – it can rain quite heavily in the state, but if you are willing to adjust, this can be a time to witness a new side of this sunshine state.
List of things to do in Goa:
1. Explore the beaches of Goa
One of the best things to do in North Goa is to visit its numerous beaches. Some of the famous beaches include Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach, Candolim Beach, Vagator Beach, and Morjim Beach. However, suppose you are looking for a quieter beach with peaceful vibes. In that case, we recommend you check Sinquerim beach home to verdant green palms and the majestic Aguada Fort, built in the 16th century overlooking the Arabian Sea.
If you are looking for a beach holiday in South Goa, there are many quaint and hidden beaches that you can visit here. Our top recommendation for a beach in this part of the state is Majorda Beach. Located around 19 km from the airport, this beach offers a rustic and secluded beach experience. With various resorts and homestays to pick from, you can spend weeks here with your partner/family. Add to that there are multiple water sports and dolphin spotting activities to keep you engaged throughout your day.
2. Plantation Love All The Way
Another unmissable things to do in Goa is to visit the Spice Plantation located in the state. There are various spice plantations in Panjim including Tropical Spice Plantation, Pascoal Spice Village, Rustic Plantation, Sai Herbarium, Parvati Madav Park Plantation, etc. Each plantation offers something unique like Savoi offers a cashew factory tour, Sai Herbarium gives you an insight into organic farming while Sahakar offers elephant rides to visitors. Be sure to pick according to your interest, so that you can make your trip extra memorable. That being said, every plantation offers guided tours of its properties and lunch afterwards. In other words, visiting these spice plantations is one thing to do while staying in Goa – highly recommended for everyone.
3. Take a Walk Down History’s Lane
Another unmissable thing to do in Goa is to visit its numerous tourist attractions, including churches, convents, museums, art galleries, and forts. However, if you are looking for something quirky and offbeat, Goa is sure to surprise you. If you like hidden gems, here is something that should be in your top ten things to do in Goa. Head to Olaulim where you can check into a rural property to experience the ”other side” of Goa.
Canoe your heart out in the adjoining mangrove forest, channel the bird watcher in you at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and cycle through your sleepy villages that are sure to be the highlight of your trip. Another unmissable thing to do in the city is to visit the buzzing Mapusa market and stock up on an enviable collection of chorizos, hand-woven sarees, and antique handicrafts.
4. Stays in Goa
The state of Goa has travel options to suit almost every type of budget. From fancy five-star resorts to the budget hostel, you will find anything to match your mood and requirements.
Located in North Goa, Elsewhere boasts of some stunning decor and location. It’sIt’s cottages are set amidst swaying coconut trees with ocean views. They also offer three tents that offer creek views with a private bamboo jetty. If you are a nature lover, get ready to spend your day watching kingfishers and herons.
Another stunning property in Goa is Wildlflower that is located one hour from the airport. The resort offers the luxury of a forest stays coupled with features of a boutique hotel. It has five villas that are spread over eight acres that is also home to diverse birdlife. You can take a dip into the infinity pool or go on a cruise in the nearby Sinquerim river at the hotel. If you have luxury on your mind, nothing surpasses the Taj Fort Aguada, one of the prime properties in the state. With stunning vistas of well-manicured lawns and the overlooking Arabian Sea, coupled with world-class cuisines at the resort’s restaurants, this hotel ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a Goan luxury getaway.
5. Food To Try In Goa
Not without surprise, Goan cooking has a strong Portuguese influence, thanks to the 451 years of colonisation. Some of its cuisine’s trademark elements include palm vinegar (rarely used in other parts of the country), copious amount of coconut and a generous helping of local chillies. Home to the famous vindaloo is one of the main things you should eat while in Goa. While it used to be made from pork, there are variations of meat and fish also available.
Another traditional Goan Catholic dish is mutton xacuti – it is made with lemon juice, peanuts, coconut, chillies and spices. It is then cooked with a choice of seafood, coupled with local masalas. If you are a dessert lover, be sure to try out bebinca, a creamy, delicious solid egg custard made with coconut, and the toffee-like dodol. When it comes to drinks, local wine spirits and beer are a constant favourite, thanks to the lower taxes rates. However, if you are ready to experiment beyond beer, we recommend trying a local beverage called feni, which in 2009 was even awarded a G.I (Geographical Indication) tag. It is usually drunk after the first distillation, made from distilled cashew or the sap of coconut palms. Still, you can also find it double-distilled and flavoured with ginger or cumin, producing a smooth liqueur. Do not miss a chance to try it.
6. Try water sports in Goa
When you are planning your itinerary for Goa, trying adventure water sports should be on it. From scuba diving to snorkelling, river rafting, kayaking, kite sailing and banana boat rides, there is no shortage of Goa’s water sports. Some of the popular places where you can indulge in all of these (and other sports) are Sinquerim, Palolem, Baga and Morjim beach. Grande Island is another place that offers all kinds of water sports.
While water sports in Goa is a popular activity, make sure you plan to depend on the season and check-in with agencies that offer these activities. Moreover, it is of utmost importance to book through trusted and reputed companies who have been helping tourists indulge in all of these activities for years.
7. Shop to your heart’s content at Anjuna and Ingo
Had your fill of beaches in Goa, head to the flea markets for a day of shopping and hoarding. While the Anjuna flea market is one of the top places to visit in Goa, Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar is a haven for all the shopaholics. There is nothing you won’t find here, from junk jewellery to merchandise, branded t-shirts, and art décor for your home. When it comes to shopping in Goa, Anjuna is the popular choice but make sure you don’t miss out on this hidden gem frequented by the locals. Oh, and there is also cuisine to be relished and devoured from India, Spain and Turkey.
8. Go for a safari in the Mollen National Park
Suppose you need a break from Goa’s blue, golden and white stretches, head to the beautiful Mollen National Park. A picturesque and verdant park, the central area, encompasses Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. The park is located in Sonaulim and is perfect for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. A variety of animals like the Bengal tiger, sambar can be spotted here on a jeep jungle safari.
9. Catch your crabs
Are you a self-professed sea-lover? Catching your crab and having it cooked by the locals so you can eat it fresh is an experience you cannot miss out on while in Goa. This unique activity is offered in the backwaters of Goa. The backwaters calm, serene and a world away from the madding crowd of the city. It is also perfect for catching crabs. You can cast a special crab net called ‘Kobblem’ in the water and wait patiently. Once you have the crab, the locals are more than willing to cook it for you. Eat it fresh and hot.
This activity can only be done in the months from October to May, so plan your trip to Goa around that time.