Last Updated: September 9, 2019 Sudip Dey
Can you tell me, what are the first three things that come to your mind when Goa is mentioned? If I am not wrong, it’s nothing but the trio: beaches, churches and feni? But, that’s not all. The secret of the vibrant Goan life is hidden in plenty of other options which are worth exploring. Starting from palm backed beaches, to the spice garden, sea food and nightlife, they all complement each other to boost the exceptionality of Goa, the smallest state of the country. Let’s have a look at the best things that Goa is famous for or what are the best things one can do and see when he/she is in Goa.
Unwind yourself on the white sand beaches of Goa
Beaches in Goa are no less than paradise by the seaside. The pride of the state and source of attraction for the foreigners, these wide stretches of sea shores invite visitors from across the globe to descend here to bask under the sun. White sand, palm backed beaches are visited by both domestic as well as international tourists who are desirous of spending some memorable moments of their life lying on the seashore with their beloved. While the beaches like Baga, Calangute etc invite beach party lovers, the Mandrem beach provides the much needed privacy and tranquility to make the special moments of honeymoon utterly memorable. For those who love to visit beaches for enjoying solitude Agonda is the ideal destination for them. Visit the stretch of Morjim/Ashvem beach to spend a lovely beach day. Some of the most popular beaches in Goa are:
- Anjuna Beach
- Aguada Beach
- Candolim Beach
- Sinquerim Beach
- Palolem Beach
- Agonda Beach
- Colva Beach
Witness the splendor of unprecedented architecture of Old Goa
Another notable feature of Goa tourism is the imposing architectural style of the ancient churches and cathedrals which are the major tourist attractions of Goa. Some of these churches are known to be the largest in Asia and have been converted to archeological museums which depict the fascinating history of Goa. Many of these churches date back to the the sixteenth century. Mainly their constructional designs replicate the variety of architectural style prevalent in Europe, starting from Classical, the Baroque or the Manuline. The Church of St. Cajetan is built on the original style of St. Peter’s Church in Rome. The most happening church of Bom Jeusus is designed with the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian pilasters, which reflect the Classical order. The Se’ Cathedral is an example of Renaissance with Tuscan Exterior, with the Corinthian columns at its portals and raised platform with steps leading to the entrance.
Get rejuvenated joining lively water sports activities
The expansive and contiguous coastline of around 105 square km and numerous rivers and their tributaries open several ways of getting engaged into water sports activities. Starting from primitive banana boat rides, Goa offers multiple options for water sport such as parasailing, wind surfing, water skiing, to dinghy sailing as well. Those who are fond of exploring beneath the water surface scuba diving is the ideal marine recreation. One can get acquainted with exclusive marine life like corals and fishes of varied colours. Some of the most promising destinations for water sports activities in Goa are:
- Dona Paula Bay for wind surfing
- The Zuari estuary at Dona Paula for Dinghy Sailing
- Angling in Agonda Beach
- Water skiing in Candolim Beach
- Water Scooter ride in Dona Paula jetty
Sink in the invigorating nightlife
The vibrancy of nightlife in Goa is something which barely exists in other parts of the country. Music and revelry flow in the veins of the Goans. Whether it is a birthday celebration, anniversary, or a grand marriage party, music and dance are a must in all these celebrations. For immeasurable fun and vibrancy one can descend at the Discotheques, restaurants, pubs and bars, or even at the casinos both offshore and onshore. Depending on one’s mood and inclination one can join sequenced, live, or DJ music etc. Those who are not fond of shaking legs can simply sit back and enjoy the music over a drink. If you are on weekend trip to Goa do not miss to the Saturday night flea market in Arpora.
Make money and merry in the floating Casinos
Goa harbours some of the best onshore and offshore floating casinos where betting is legal. Onshore casinos are found in starred hotels and resorts whereas the offshore ones are housed on board floating vessels in water. Casinos cheer up Goan nightlife and one can rake in the moolah or can join live gaming facilities like blackjack, roulette, baccarat etc. Most of the casinos are cosmopolitan and greet the visitors with hearty hospitality, good food and drink along with enlivening music. Along with money-making have unlimited fun in any of these Casinos. Casino Royale is known to be the best casino in Goa in terms of size, ambiance and facilities. Other popular casinos in Goa are:
- Casino Pride
- Casino Carnival
- Chances Casino and Resort
- Dunes at the Zuri Sands
Parasailing at Calangute to witness Goan beaches from air
There cannot be a more thrilling and enigmatic session than witnessing the magnificent views of Goan coastline and the lofty Western Ghats while sailing in the air. It is in fact one of the best adventure activities to do in Goa. A strong 300 feet rope is tied with a speedboat at one end while the other end is attached to a parachute. Once the boat takes off from the beach you will be floating in air in a multihued parachute, you can see the majestic views of Fort Aguada and imposing vistas of sea delighting your eyes. October to April is the best period for parasailing in Goa.
Head- to- toe wellness experience in Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre
Let all your stress get soaked by the healing and soothing powers of Ayurveda, Yoga and the traditional alternative medication. Ayurvedic centres present Relaxation and Rejuvenation therapies for visitors of all types coming to Goa, India on holidays or vacations and love to revitalize their energy and mood.
Experience an out of the box stay in floating tents
Now spending nights on water beds is no longer a matter of day dreaming in India. Spice up your life staying in a one bed room floating tent, a concept recently introduced here in Goa. One needs to go to Mayem Lake near Bicholim to check into floating tents. After checking in at any of these tents one can laze or even go for a shikara ride or even for a bumper boat ride. The most interesting part of this stay is the floating restaurants and various other boat rides which will serve you all the facilities. Thus one has no need to step on the shore for any daily need.
Watching crocodiles in their natural habitat
Cumbharjua Canal is the exact place where crocodiles are found in plenty. Cortalim Jetty is the starting point of this trip from where you can board a boat in the morning. It is a bit challenging to identify these crocodiles as they mostly look like wooden logs or giant rocks as they usually lie and wait for their prey hiding themselves under the marshy mangroves. The area is one of the most amazing wetlands in Goa where varied species of birds are found.
Watch Goa’s very own Tiatr
Goan theatre is known as Tiatr in Konkani. For an insight into the subtleties of Goan society, these are the perfect options. If you are facing difficulty understanding Konakani, take a Konkani speaking Goan with you. She/he can give you a running translation. The plots of these theatres are certainly different from the contemporary Bollywood masala movies and mainly work as hilarious take-offs on the contemporary socio-economic and political issues in Goa. The guest singers often sing item songs which are brought to criticize the activities of politicians. Though the issues are a bit serious but one will find them almost like comedy show. There are plenty of interesting things to look forward to on a trip to Goa, and none of them are discouraging. But for holidayers or vacationers with limited time it’s challenging to go for all. However, if one has a long vacation then he/she can utilize whole break exploring the most happening sightseeing and excursions in Goa. So, this vacation plan to fly to Goa with your beloved to enjoy the days wrapped with copious amusements not found in any other corner of the country.
Published: 17 Jun, 2014