Thinking about a Goan holiday? Looking at Goa for family holiday?
Look deeper, head inland....there is more to the "bite-sized" country than sun, sand, sea, beach, booze and bistro's. This time around, together with the normal, try a different Goa also and you are certain to return with more selfie clicks and memoirs to your lifetime.
Read on, and intend to surprise yourself with a true Goan experience this time around. Check out these 15 best places to visit in Goa and matters to do this will not allow you to miss out on any of the Goan "enjoyable".
Calangute: Go Beaching Like Never Before
One of the most popular beaches in Goa and the greatest beach in North Goa, Calangute beach is among the most recommended tourist places in Goa and popular with both national and international tourists. It is also the busiest and commercialized beaches in Goa and during peak seasons, this shore is swamped with people from all around the world. It offers a lengthy coastline with an wonderful view of the sea and the beach front is dotted shacks, restaurants, clubs and shopping outlets. Once can also enjoy a plethora of water sports in Calangute beach.
Anybody and everybody that has been to Goa would have seen Calangute beach, popularly called the 'queen of shores'. It easily tops the list of top places to visit in North Goa.
Fort Aguada: Take a Trip Down Rich History
Built as the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas, it was the most prized and most crucial fort of the Portuguese. 2 things worth visiting within the fort would be the 13 metre high lighthouse built in 1864 and a vaulted cistern capable of saving ten thousand litres of clean water. From here fresh water was provided to the boats which stopped there.
Some buildings of the fort remain in good shape having been transformed into a prison and interestingly, it happens to be the largest jail in Goa. Fort Aguada is among the greatest sightseeing places in Goa.
Deltin Royale Casino: Try Your Luck
The Deltin Royale Casino boat is the greatest casino boat in Panjim, Goa. It offers 24 hours of nonstop fun in an area spread over 40,000sq.ft of luxury live gaming on three levels with 850 gaming rankings. Live entertainment is on the restaurant floor and during peak hours. You have to purchase an entrance and play bundle to acquire access to the casino. You can also choose to buy a stay and play package which lets you keep at the Deltin resort and access to the casino also. For those travelling through national holidays, the casino is closed on all national holidays.
Popular as the location where the Bollywood movie "Dil Chahta Hai" was picturised, the Chapora fort stands in the mouth of the Chapora river as a classic guard. Today this laterite fort is virtually in ruins but does offer some spectacular views of the coastline from the surface of the fort. That itself is reason enough for almost any picture lovers.
Basilica of Bom Jesus: Explore Goa's religious legacy
Founded in Goa are an important legacy of this being an erstwhile Portuguese colony. Built across generations, these architectural miracles were more than just a place of worship; they maintain a place of historical or cultural importance too. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier is maintained here in this Basilica and hence admired by many. Additionally, it is an UNESCO World Heritage site
Pandava Caves and Arvalem Waterfall: Celebrate the wonder of Nature
Approximately 9 kms to the south of Bicholim town in North Goa is located the 6th century Pandava cave complicated and Arvalem waterfalls. The cave complex is divided into 5 compartments as well as the 'linga' enshrined in the center compartment is held in good reverence by devotees here.
Another attraction close to the Pandava or even Arvalem caves is the Arvalem waterfalls. The water cascading down from a height of 50 mts makes for an wonderful view, and there's a playground nearby from where you can watch the waterfall as well as the lake in the bottom.
Mangeshi Temple: Hunt Some Divine Intervention
Goa may have a long Portuguese history and a number of renowned churches, nevertheless it is also home to beautiful temples and elaborate mosques as well. Ponda area in Goa is famous for the 16th century Safa Shahouri Mosque in addition to the 450-year-old Shri Mangesh temple dedicated to Shiva. The highlights of the temple are the seven-story lamp tower (deepstambha), a magnificent water tank, considered to be the earliest part of the temple and there's a notable Nandi Bull as well within the temple. Located on a little hillock, it's also one of the largest temples in Goa. Because of its temples and churches, Goa is also a popular tourist destinations in India for religious travel.
Dudhsagar Falls: Witness The Fury Of Nature's Glory
Literally meaning a sea of milk, Dudhsagar Falls is a 4 tiered waterfall located and also the 4th tallest waterfall of India. Situated at a distance of 46km from Madgaon, the falls appear spectacular during monsoons after been fed by the rains. There is a railway bridge which passes right in front of the waterfall and passenger train passing through the fall tend to always slow down to passengers to see the fall upward close. Regrettably, there is absolutely no viewing platform or site for visitors to take in the full view of the tremendous waterfall. Some folks do get down in the Dudhsagar channel and walk backward on railway tracks, but that's certainly not recommended.
Ashwem & Arossim Beach: Enjoy Soaking Up Some Sunshine
Not everyone loves packed beaches. For those searching for some calmness in Goa, Ashwem beach is kind of an oasis. Situated in North Goa, around 27 miles from Anjuna beach, this beach is very opposite to what the popular North Goa beaches such as Baga or Calungute are. It is quiet, clean, not as crowded and peaceful. White sandy beach with a smattering of restaurants and resorts scattered around the beach area.
Arossim Beach is another such South Goa travel destination or rather beach. Situated at a distance of 12 kms from Margao, this beach is also a peaceful paradise with sparkling white sands and swaying palm trees. Excellent meals (both Indian and global) and amazing views are just two key reasons why these 2 places are hugely popular. Looking to see the sun go down with a chilled beer? Look no further.
Naval Aviation Museum: Get Ready For One of its Kind Expertise
Unknown to many, the Naval Aviation Museum is the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia and the sole Naval Aviation Museum at India. It's an outside and an indoor section and displays range from 7 different type of aircrafts, rockets, bombs, armamentsand protective equipment, parachutesand pilot's outfits etc.. Certainly a must see on your next Goa tour, especially for those keen in life concerning the defence forces.
Mollem National Park: Spot the Big Cats
Distribute over 240 sq kilometers, the park is home to several species of wild creatures, a vast array of birds, many species of rodents and even a wide range of butterflies.
Besides wildlife, the park is also home to "the Dhangar"; a community of nomadic buffalo herders. It is also known for some awesome trekking trails as well as the 12th century Tambdi Surla Mahadev temple dating back to the Kadamba Dynasty.
Fontainhas: Enter into a New World
Fontainhas, the older Latin Quarter of Goa appears to belong to another part of the world, perhaps Europe but definitely not India. Even the gorgeous number plates of the homes are like works of art. It gives an extremely Mediterranean appearance and feel to the entire place.
Located at the foothills, together with all the Altinho hills on the west and the Ourem creek on the East, it derived its title from 'Fonte Phoenix' (Fountain of Phoeni)', that was basically a water reservoir built during the Portuguese rule. The Fountain of Phoenix may Nevertheless Be seen on the way into the Maruti Temple in the Mala area.