A hippy anecdote goes ‘Goa is not a place, it’s a state of mind’. If you’re thinking of taking a holiday to Goa, it’s safe to say the hippies are gone, but the place remains, beautiful as always, but also a little more spread out now.
No the map hasn’t changed and neither has the lazy Union Territory vibe that Goa seems to embody. Instead, what’s taken tourists by surprise is that Goa still is true to its original roots of being a place of natural beauty, peace, religious platitude and for some, party.
Filling you in on the bounty that Goa has in just one article is difficult. However, keep reading for a definitive bible on where and what you should be experiencing in Goa (depending on your state of mind). Click here to see 10+ Goa Tour itineraries.
Should I go North or South?
Yes, there is such a thing as North Goa and Southern Goa, and if any bag packer will tell you the two are poles apart. What’s the difference? Let me tell you.
North Goa is more commercial. It’s a great place for Goa Holiday: shopping, eat scrumptious seafood, dance, sing, explore and party through the night. In North Goa, consisting of Calangute, Anjuna, Bambolim, Baga and more has a lot of options for adventure sport, tourism and more.
South Goa, otherwise is different. There’s not a lot in terms of commercial tourism here, but the beauty is soul trenching. You feel surrounded by lush beauty, villages, long sandy beaches, spas, resorts and lots of nightlife.
Depending on what you’re in the mood to experience in Goa, you’ll find it either in the North or the South of the Union Territory. Besides these obviously Touristy attractions there also the numerous towns (like Panjim) and villages to explore. Goa also has a rich history of Portuguese Colonial rule since the 1500s, which is evident in the churches, monasteries, and basilicas of Old Goa district. Click here to look for a Goa Honeymoon package.
Explore North Goa
North Goa is famed for being a holiday paradise with tropical beaches (some sandy and some rocky), a lot of sunbathing, cheap beers and lots of beach shacks. North Goa is not too expensive compared to other tourist states like Kerala or Madhya Pradesh, however, North Goa has a lot to offer in terms of – food, language, adventure, yoga and more.
Here are some of the best beaches to explore in North Goa:
Grande Island, North Goa
Grande Island is a picturesque island just a few kilometers off the coast of Goa that lets you experience the lush tropical beauty of Goa to the fullest. Many services offer pick up and drop via ferry from beaches like Calangute/ Baga/ Arpora/ Candolim/ Senquim. The island offers lots of things to do including dolphin spotting, snorkeling, swimming, power boating and more.
Water Sports at Mobor Beach
Looking for adrenaline and adventure in North Goa? Then look no farther than Mobor Beach that offers some of the best adventure sports activities in the Haven. Banana Boat, parasailing, jet skis, Ringo rides kayaking and more await you at Mobor Beach.
Kayaking at Aguada
Aguada Fort and its surrounding areas are part of beautiful backwaters that adjoins the Aguada river in North Goa. At Aguada (in the backwaters) you can enjoy a leisurely kayaking adventure as you make your way under the Nerul bridge to beautiful mangroves that are home to rare Indian wildlife.
Party at Baga Beach
Just after you’ve spent the day exploring the various water sports options in North Goa then its time for a delicious dinner, party and night cap. Where better to go than the famous Baga Beach with its many beach restaurants, night markets, and hotels. Baga Beach has options for stay and leisure for every traveler, and though crowded, has a lot of charm as the party center of North Goa. Book a room here (which you will find are quite affordable) and settle down for a night cap.
How to get to South Goa from Panjim
Panjim is a beautiful city located in central Goa that resonates with the rich Portuguese heritage here. Panjim has a number of local markets and shopping complexes. There are also a number of local restaurants to experience the taste of Goan heritage.
Panjim is a good starting point for your travel to North Goa or South Goa. The Panjim Bus Stop is a busy location with buses that ply the length and breadth of Goa. A ticket by local bus (or shuttle as they are called here) to Canacona in South Goa should not cost more than Rs.350 (6 dollars). Click here to see 10+ Goa Tour itineraries.
Make Your Way to South Goa
There’s no definite way to describe South Goa. The beauty is immense and so is the geography with a hill range and thick tropical forests. The air of south Goa is unspoiled and tourists here can truly experience the culture and beauty of the place, undisturbed. South Goa is located about 3 hours drive from North Goa.
Canacaona town is the best starting point for your exploration of South Goa. The beautiful tourist destination has a number of white sand beaches like Patnem Beach, Palolem beach, Colomb Beach and Rajbag Beach.
Go Kayaking Off Cola Beach
Cola Beach is a beautiful beach with adjoining lagoon and river having clear blue water and peaceful scenery. Kayaking is a popular activity at Cola Beach.
Visit Cabo De Rama Fort
Cabo De Rama Fort has an excellent view of the sea. A blue sky makes it a picturesque location, but the climate is very humid so don’t forget your shades, hat and lots of water. At Cabo De Rama you can experience the charm of the old Portuguese architecture. Click here to look for an awesome Goa holiday package.
Relax on Palolem Beach
Palolem Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in South Goa. It has a number of pubs and shacks that operate through the night. Palolem is also known for its comfortable beach resorts and yoga retreats.
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