Stretches of white sand with the waters of the Arabian Sea surfing in, welcome to the lively state: Goa. Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, you can see that the Portuguese have left their mark behind in the exquisite architecture; fusion cuisine; spice plantations or in the joie de vivre. With the never-ending beaches laying out a variety of peacefulness but, also a series of exciting endeavours that’ll give you an adrenaline rush. Goa’s the place that promises to give you the time and memories of a lifetime. Be it the late-night dancing; luck-testing casinos; mouth-watering cuisine; shop-till-you-drop times; delightful wildlife; aromatic spice plantations or the trademark beach life.
So here are the five absolute must dos when you’re in Goa that you just cannot ignore.
- The Beach Life
Of course, this was going to be first on the list! The Goan beaches are a place you’re not allowed to miss while you’re there. They boast a wide range of water sports such as wind surfing, scuba diving, parasailing, water scooter or plain old swimming and surfing or more that are ready to give you that thrilling adrenaline rush. There’s also the dolphin cruise that’ll tickle your excitement with all the dolphins gracefully pepping in and out of the sea around your boat. You could even just laze around and bask in the Sun. You’ve also got some great treats for your taste buds lined up on the beaches that are not only going to fill up your growling stomachs but are also going to leave you asking for more! Although the beaches in North Goa seem to have the spotlight on them, the beaches in South Goa are less crowded. Some of the best beaches to visit are Baga, Calangute, Arossim Beach and Utora Beach. If you want to enjoy the beach life a bit more closely, you could always book yourself a room in the beach resorts at Goa.
- Animal Planet: Live
Some say that the Goan wildlife can be more exciting than the Goan night life! But of course, that’s going to be left for you to decide. With the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park thriving with animals like the panther, mouse deer and even the barking deer and, about 200 species of birds such as the paradise flycatcher, emerald dove and fairy bluebird, anyone is sure to be enchanted. Not to forget, there’s also the Butterfly Conservatory in Ponda that will leave you mesmerized. And of course, there’s also the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary named after the famous ornithologist, Salim Ali that’s a delight for anybody, bird enthusiast or not.
- Shop till You Drop
From hippie merchandise, colourful junk jewellery to imported T-shirts, electronics and almost anything that can be available under the Sun, the Goan flea markets are a dream come true for shopaholics. These flea markets had started out when hippies used it to trade various second hand items for money. But now they’re major tourist attractions with their attractive yet cheap buys. Some of the best flea markets are Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar, Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar and Anjuna Flea Market. Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar also boasts a global cuisine that ranges from Rajasthani and Kashmiri to Turkish, Spanish and all the others from the rest of Europe! Also, Anjuna is one the twelve Brahmin communards of Bardez. If you’re not much of a shopping enthusiast, you can always groove to the beats that play all through the day and into the night.
- Old Is Gold
History seems to come alive in Old Goa. In fact, Panjim is also known as the Rome of the East. Old Goa boasts exquisite architecture built mostly by the Portuguese. It’s hard to decide what to miss with all the churches, museums, art galleries, bakeries and so much more. But the absolute must visit are the Basilica of Bom Jesus with breath-taking Baroque architecture and the largest church in Old Goa, Sé de Santa Catarina. Did you know? Old Goa is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
- Spice It Up
There are several spice farms and villages in Goa that’ll tell your nose exactly why the Britishers came sniffing all the way from London to India. The spice farms and villages actually allow you to walk through the plantations. The oldest spice plantation is Savoi Plantation and the largest spice plantation is Spice Farm of Sahakari even allows you to try the different spices. You could taste Peri Peri, bathe through an elephant shower and you can also enjoy the tradition lunch cooked in farm spices. Some of The Other Plantations in The Region Are Pascoal Spice Village and Rustic Plantation Etc. Amongst Many. This spicy aromatic experience is quite serene and an absolute must.
All in all, Goa’s a place you can be rest assured you’re going to enjoy to your heart’s content and relax yourself too. A great place to chill away in under the Sun, Goa’s going to thrill your senses, aesthetic or adventurous.
About the author:
Rohit Agarwal is an engineer by profession. But, a self-proclaimed dreamer and globe trotter. He enjoys travelling and doesn’t miss a chance to do so ever. Not only that, but he also enjoys keeping a record of all his travels and maintains a travel blog, TransIndiaTravels.com where he shares his experiences with the world.