There are a billion people in India, from different destinations, landscapes and culture. Yet Goa remains one of the popular destinations in the country for all age groups to take a break from their regular life. One can argue things have changed since 80’s and that the cliches of Goa and the crowded party scenes are not that “happening” but that’s not all Goa has to offer. Anyone who truly knows Goa knows that.
I first visited Goa with my parents when I was 6 years old. I grew up in Chennai and had been to beaches many many times before. And yet there was something about Goa’s beaches and it’s beautiful relaxing waves that still reminds of a great holiday! Since then I have made multiple trips Goa, with friends, family and with my boyfriend/husband; sometimes twice in a year too. Never once getting tired of the place.
Goa has changed a lot since then but if looked closely you can find the charm hidden away from the spotlights. This time when I visited in February, I rolled down the window of the car and immediately filled the car with the familiar humid air and salty smell I love. The view of the tall palm trees, the tiny little chapels on the side of the roads and I am home almost instantly.
My love for Goa is inspired from a lot of trips with different people and many new experiences each time. But for anyone visiting the place for the first time might take some useful tips from this blog.
My take on Goa with 5 important Q’s – Why? When? Where? What? How?
Why Not? Goa is not just popular for its beaches. It has a number of options from variety of food options to rich history left by the Portuguese to beautiful forts and churches. There is a lot of development in the city now compared to just 5 years back which makes the entire city more infrastructure friendly and convenient to travel from one end to another. The food options are just brilliant and local Konkan food is simply out of the world experience! And if that does not float your boat there is always the wide lane roads along side the beaches. Simply walk around and stop when you find serenity. You don’t need a set itinerary to enjoy Goa, which is the best part!
Although Goa is beautiful to enjoy anytime of the year, it depends on what you enjoy the most. If it’s the calm serene Goa experience then probably Feb – Apr or Sep – Oct would be a great time to visit without the party crowd or the usual summer holiday crowds getting to you. If you enjoy monsoon, greenery and drizzling rain drops out on the front porch while enjoying a good book then Jun – Aug is your time. Or if you want to enjoy the good party scenes in Goa and what to catch the latest DJ around the block then Nov – Jan is your time to visit Goa. The whole year offers something to everyone. You just find time and make your trip!
This can get tricky. Where you stay in Goa should depend on what kind of Holiday you love. If you love the calm beaches and less crowded areas, stay in southern part of Goa. The beaches are beautiful, private and a lot cleaner too. I love spending alone time at the beaches here. But the northern parts of Goa are not a total nightmare too. There are places where you can get a nice stay by the beach that is not too crowded. However the northern end is mostly picked for its beach shacks, parties and a lot of shopping. Plan your stay depending on where your preference lies.
If you Google – things to do in Goa you are in for a lot of confusion. But it really depends on what you love about a holiday. Apart the usual sipping on beer or cocktail on the beach, you can take a lot of heritage sight seeing which is quite interesting. Take a trip to see all the forts one day and explore the night markets. Check out the Sunday mass and open markets. Drive down to south Goa and visit the Vasco de gama. Some serene and clean beaches in south Goa can transport you to a whole other world. And if you are ever looking for some extra action check out the casinos docked in the river. They are fun and you never know you might get to win something at the end of the night. The only issue you might face would be the time to do all the things on your list.
To work your way around Goa, a scooter is probably the best way! It’s always fun and something about renting a scooter on holiday makes you feel free. Not only is it cheap way to commute, it beats the traffic during peak hours. Use any driving licence and rent the scooter for as many days as needed. Of course for a long distance commute it might not be ideal. Go for a taxi or auto rickshaw for longer distance.
These are the list of all the things I have done in Goa and don’t mind repeating because each year I come back with a new found love for the place. Sometimes it takes me back to the 6 year old kid inside crazy in love with the beaches or sometimes the grown up me feels the warm hugs from the waves calming every nerve in my body.
~ Until my next visit to Goa ~