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Best places to visit in Goa, India

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Best places to visit in Goa, India

Goa unarguably holds the reputation of being the party capital of India. Goa is home to some of the best beaches of India. The sun, sea, and shacks are the perfect combinations of Goa that have attracted visitors for long. The quaint settlements, colonial architecture, historic churches, whitish waterfalls, and local markets make Goa a top destination in the bucket list of travellers. Goa is not just the party capital but also home to adventure sports avenues. Goa is one destination that fits all, be it for family, or with your significant half, or for your group of friends, or a solo trip.

Goa has it all, from UNESCO world heritage site to walls with modern graffiti, Goa has everything that will keep your inner self wanting for more. In this blog we have listed some of the best places you need to visit when travelling to Goa.

Baga Beach

Your trip to Goa is incomplete if you haven’t made a stop at Baga beach. It is the best place to soak up some sun, indulge in water sports, and eat food from one of the many lined restaurants along the beach. Baga Beach is geographically bordered with Anjuna Beach and Calangute Beach. On the Tito’s lane you will find many clubs that host page 3 parties. Clubs like Tito’s, Mambo, and Kandy make this place lot more happening.

Baga Beach is also popular for Thai Massage spas and tattoo parlours. You will find plenty of options for water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, banana ride and boating. From Baga Beach you can also go for Dolphin spotting tours. Britto shack at northern end of Baga is also quite popular. The natural beauty and scenic landscape of Baga beach is something you shouldn’t miss.

The Saturday night flea market of Baga Beach is also very popular amidst the masses. Be it for buying a new pair of beach wear, or getting a souvenir for a friend, or be it for knowing your future by a tarot card reader, you will get everything here at affordable prices.

Calangute Beach

Calangute is the longest beach of Goa, and is also known as ‘Queen of Beaches’. It is at the distance of 15 kilometres from Panjim. Interestingly Calangute beach is one of the top ten bathing beaches of the world. Calangute and Baga beach are just separated by rocks, and easy to hop around. Calangute beach is popular for water sports like kayaking, sailing, surfing, snorkelling, water skiing, and also for fishing. It is also the most popular and most commercial beaches in Goa.

On an average there are Lakhs of people that visit Calangute every year. Just like Baga beach, Calangute also has a good party scene. Calangute beach serves as base to explore other parts of Goa such as Morjim Beach, St. Alex Church, Nerul River, Mapusa Market, and River Betul. Throughout the stretch of 7 kilometres of Calangute beach, you will find shacks, and restaurants.

You must also take a note that during summers this beach is very crowded. Near the beach you will also find, Kerkar Art Complex which hosts many exhibitions, in case if you are an art enthusiast. The Calangute and Baga beach stretch is also known for having maximum hotels and resorts in Goa.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls

Dudhsagar is a four tiered waterfall and one of the tallest in India. It is located on Mandovi River. This fall cascades down from a height of over 1000 feet. This natural wonder is a part of Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. It can be reached by trekking from Kulem, or from Castle rock in Karnataka. There also a railway station at Collem where train picks up people to a trip to Dudhsagar Waterfall. There are two such trains that operate every day.

The beauty of this fall is best viewed in monsoon, when water flow in the fall is high, and so is the force of fall. The surroundings of the waterfall are all covered in thick forest, which make it even more picturesque.  You will also enjoy camping around the fall site. When visiting Dudhsagar waterfall you should also indulge in swimming inside the pools that are created by the falls.

There are few other places near Dudhsagar waterfall that you can enjoy while visiting here. There is a Tambdi Surla Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that is also one of the oldest historical places in Goa. There is a Devil’s Canyon close to the fall that you can visit.

Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada was built by the Portuguese in the start of the 17th century and it stands on mouths of River Mandovi. The site where the fort sits, divide Sinquerium Beach and Candolim Beach. Fort Aguada is known to have massive capacity to hold cannons and other weapons back in time. It also encloses a Lighthouse which was built in 18th Century. The purpose behind the construction of this fort was to block the entry of intruders through the River Mandovi.

The name of the fort which is Aguada means water in Portuguese. The fort gives a reflection of the Portuguese architecture. It is a perfect stop in afternoons when beaches are too hot to visit. The fort gives a picturesque view of the shore along with the sea.  The fort is also one of the largest forts in Goa. You can visit this fort every day throughout the year, without an entrance fee.

In recent times a part of this fort has been used to build the Central Jail, and another part of the fort is converted into a heritage luxury hotel.  Interestingly this fort is the only Indian fort that has never been conquered by any enemy.

Chapora Fort

Chapora Fort is located by the river Chapora meeting Arabian Sea. This historical fort has been centre of many battles, and possessed by many rulers. It gained popularity with the shooting of Film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and ever since more people especially the youngsters flock in here for photo opportunities. The scenic views of sunset in the Arabian Sea from this fort are also something you should watch out. The kind of peace you will get in here is matchless.

In present times, the fort lies in ruin, but the landscapes and seascapes it offers are simply breath taking. Inside the fort once there used to be a St. Anthony Church built by the Portuguese, but has been worn down by time. The fort also has underground tunnels which were built for the purpose of retreating in case of invasions.  

Geographically the fort is situated near the town of Mapusa, and is easily accessible through cabs and public transport. Earlier this fort used to be a desolated spot, but with recently growing popularity you will find many small establishments around this spot.

Candolim Beach

There is one thing that we all need to agree, that most of the beaches of Goa at least have one thing in common. They all have avenues for water sports, and it’s there in Candolim Beach too. The Candolim beach has a stretch originating from Fort Aguada to Calangute Beach. The beach is dotted with Churches and Chapels that are eye candy for all the travellers visiting this beach. Just close to this beach is the Fort Aguada Jail that will surely keep your itinerary occupied.

The best thing about Candolim is that it never gets crowded in here, and one can enjoy Goa in serenity. Along the beach you will find many stalls selling handicrafts, and affordable beach wears. The beach is also dotteed by many restaurants that offer not just Goan food but cuisines from all across the world. It is also great place for Goan Yoga.

By the beach there also is Stone House to enjoy live music. If you are seeking to explore the delights of central Goa, and experience the charm of old Goa, then Candolim beach could be a great starting point. The best thing about it is that it is not as crowded as Baga or Calangute.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the oldest churches of India. It is built in Baroque style of architecture that still fascinates travellers with its raw exterior beauty. It is also the only church of Old Goa which isn’t plastered from the outside. It was built during the end of 16th century.  The time of establishment of the church is closely associated with the introduction of Christianity in India.  The body of St. Francis Xavier is kept here in a glass mausoleum.

The name of the church which is Basilica of Bom Jesus, translates into Holy Jesus. It also has a gallery of Modern Art that is dearly loved by all, that visit. The art gallery of this church is one of its kind, and mostly houses Italian paintings. Some of the best works housed in the gallery are ‘The Last Judgement’ and ‘Genesis’.

The church is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a landmark for Catholics around the world. Best time to visit it, is during December with the zeal of Christmas celebrations in the air. You can visit this church throughout the week.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

It started with a construction of a chapel that further got built into a church. In years that followed, it was over and over revised to this date that stands tall as a landmark in Goan Capital of Panjim. It is one of the oldest and one of the most popular churches of Goa. It is built in the Portuguese Baroque style of architecture. The church was originally built in the 16th century, but the structure that stands today was built in the 17th century which was much larger than the original.

The bell of this church is the second largest in Goa, and only second to the Golden Bell of Se Cathedral. It attracts locals and travellers from all across the world. Portuguese sailors offered their prayers in here for good and safe voyage. This church celebrates a feast of Lady of Immaculate every 8th December making it the best time to visit this church.

The best views of this church are in the evening, when the facade is lit by numerous lights. When visiting here you must also observe the marble statues of St. Paul and St. Peter that flank the altar. Rising up on the steps of this church also offers some good views of the Panjim city.

Anjuna Flea Market

Anjuna Flea Market is the best flea market of Goa. It was started by Western Hippies selling their prized belongings to fund their stays and party more. It has evolved into an organized market selling clothes, goods, artefacts, electronics, bags, etc. You will also find food stalls, live music, to not let you bore while you juggle the stalls to stuff your bags. There are thousands of stalls that make upo this flea market of Anjuna.

The flea market is also popularly known to be a place where you can find Tibetan and Nepali goods. It is believed that this flea market was originated in the year of 1975 by eight fingered Eddie. The flea market is not only for buying the merchandize, but is also home to many dance parties. Amidst lots of bargaining, you can expect to grab some good deal in here.

The most commonly sold items in Anjuna Flea market are the clothes, right from traditional to chic wear. You can also expect to bump into some great embroidery items and jewellery over here. You also got to take note of that this is a Wednesday only market.

Grand Island

Grand Island is located at a distance of 1 kilometre from the coastal harbour of Goan city Vasco Da Gama. It is also known by the name of Bat Island. Grand Island is just like its name, grand by all means of touristy things. Water sports is everywhere in Goa, but in Grand Island you will find all of them at one place. Plus what makes it special is underwater experience consisting of ship wrecks and reefs. The popular ones are Suzy wreck and Davy Jones Locker.

Some other lesser known ones are the Serge City, Bounty Rock, and Turbo Tunnel. It is also a great spot for fishing in evenings to grab a catch to become the meal of day’s end. A visit to Grand Island is a day trip by ferries from South Goa. You got to take note of it that visiting this island is only permitted during the day.

There are no hotels, or hostels, or any accommodation avenues on the island, which means that you cannot stay overnight. This island is a must visit spot if you are seeking some calm and peace. If you plan to visit it then you got to take out a days’ time for it.

In Goa, Hospitality is not just a word, but a Tradition!

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