Goa Tourism

by - December 20, 2020


        Located on the western coast, Goa is India's smallest state, unlike any other, known for its countless beaches, fantastic nightlife, exotic seafood, world heritage design. Spread over just 3,710 km, Goa falls in the Konkan zone. It's a long way from a hippie paradise or a beach getaway, and one of the few destinations that's available the whole day & night (24 hours). Goa's tranquility draws as many foreign visitors as Indians do or more.

        The people of Goa are very welcoming to tourists and enjoy many festivals during the whole year, the most popular being the New Year and the Goa Carnival. Though seafood is fantastic, Goa has one of the best nightlife in India with trendy bars, beach shacks, fashionable cafes, and many clubs. Thanks to cheaper alcohol prices in the state, Goa is also ideal for younger visitors with reasonably tight pockets.

        For those of us who are always puzzled between North Goa and South Goa, this could help the state of Goa is split into North Goa and South Goa. Though North Goa is the nightlife hub where all the tourism beaches, flea markets, and beach shacks are situated, South Goa is the land of luxury resorts and relaxed beach vibes.

            Having been a Portuguese territory for almost 460 years, Portuguese culture & art is nowhere more prevalent than Goa-visiting one of the many sanitized churches, collapsing forts, or impressive churches. The yellow cottages with purple doors, ochre-colored mansions, and oyster shell windows complete the Goan architecture.

            Panjim, the capital city based in the center of the city, overlooks the quiet Mandovi River, where the popular Goa floating resorts are docked. The center is well linked to the International Airport and the roads and trains run from the North to the South of Goa. Goa has beautiful beaches with a coastline extending for over 110 kilometers. While Baga and Calangute are more famous among the Indian family, Anjuna and Arambol attract a lot of foreign tourists. The sea beaches in South Goa are comparatively less visited, but some of them, like Agonda and Palolem, are more spectacular.

1. Calangute Beach

            Located 17 km from Panjim, Calangute Beach is the widest beach in North Goa, extending from Candolim to Baga. It is a destination for visitors and travelers from all over the world because of its sheer scale and popularity.

            Famous as the "Queen of Beaches" the Calangute Beach of Goa is one of the top ten (bath) beaches in the world. One of the busy and most commercial beaches in Goa, it swarms with food, shacks and clubs serving drinks, beer and seafood. Calangute Beach is also popular for its water sports activities such as parasailing, water surfing, banana rides and jet skiing.

            Although the days here are full of beach fun, the nights call for lively parties. Calangute is also famous for staying in Goa as it has you well linked to other beaches in the north, such as Baga, Anjuna, Candolim, Aguada and plenty more.

How to Reach

            Calangute is one of the most famous spots in North Goa and is well linked to a wide range of transport options and highways.

            If visitors coming in from Panjim, it's at a distance of 17 km and can be easily reached by local bus or by renting a Panjim bike or car.

            The Thivim Railway Station is also nearby, about 20 km away, and a rent taxi from there.

2. Chapora Fort

            Around 13 km away from Mapusa, Chapora Fort, is undeniably one of the most popular forts in Goa. Established by the Portuguese in 1717-18, Chapora Fort has a long and eventful history. A shimmering escape, it provides a breathtaking view of the sea and the river Chapora.

            The fortifications across the present position of Chapora Fort existed before even the Portuguese had even landed in Goa. Originally founded by the Muslim ruler Adil Shah, it was called Shahpura. The fort was later restored by the Portuguese, who called it Chapora, after the river Chapora, which flows along there. The highlight of the fort is the spectacular view of the adjacent beach of Vagator overlooking the Arabian Sea, particularly at sunset.  To reach the top of the now destroyed fort, however, requires a steep 10-15 minutes climbing.

View from the top of chapora fort Goa
                For a lot of years, Chapora Fort has gone through the hands of various rulers, from the Portuguese to the Marathas, and the destroyed structure tell a tale of their own! Visitors can still see the entrance points of the 2 tunnels that were constructed by the Portuguese to be used as an escape in cases of crises/emergency.

How to Reach

            The fort is only 12 km away from Mapusa, and can also be accessed by climbing the hill from Vagator Beach. To enter the fort, one has to take the road to the right, just 2.5 km from Vagator Beach. From beach a small road will take visitors to the base of the hill, at the top of which the fort is situated. The Fort of Chapora is very accessible and can be easily accessed from any region of Goa.

3. Baga Beach

                One of the most famous spots in North Goa, Baga Beach is located close to Calangute Beach, about 25-30 km north of Panjim. Baga is the ideal destination to experience the sparkling nightlife of Goa, as the landmarks of Britto's, Tito's and Mambos are founded near. Being one of the most popular beaches in the North, Baga beach also offers a wide variety of water sports activities.

            Baga is called after the 'Baga Creek' which streams into the Arabian Sea. It is also renowned for its designer shops as well as its street vendors. While in Baga, enjoy a magnificent breakfast at Infantaria-a strongly regarded meal, relax by the beach all day, and let the party animal come alive in the evening. Baga Beach is recognized to be the expansion of Calangute Beach itself, both of which lie on the same stretch of the coast.

            Filled with a range of tattoo parlors, tarot shops, palm shops, spas, sun decks and some legendary shacks, it offers you the chance to enjoy your dream beach holiday. If you're not a party guy, you also have the opportunity to start your mornings with some beach yoga, have a healthy breakfast by the water, and then just enjoy the day reading softly on the beach recliner. There's something for any kind of traveler in Baga. 

How to Reach

        If visitors remain at Calangute, it would be wise to just take a comfortable and welcoming walk south of Calangute Beach to Baga, which is only 1.5-2 km away. This beach is situated at a distance of 18 km from Panaji, so if visitors want to reach Baga all the way from Panaji, a rent taxi or a rented bike is a good choice.

4. Cruise in Goa and Water Sport Activities

            Cruise in Goa helps you to discover tropical landscapes, sparkling waters and marvel at the stunning view of the sunset. There are many types of Goa cruises, ranging from basic evening cruises, lavish and romantic dinner cruises, backwater cruises and casino cruises. All of them typically originate from Panjim's Miramar Beach.

            A few Goa cruises also provide dining options along with assured fun and leisure activities run throughout the day based on daytime, sunset and moonlight. Booking a cruise in Goa is very easy, as a number of them already offer online booking choices. Based on everyones requirements and the time visitors want to spend on the boats, you can choose the kit that best suits you.

            Water Activities in Goa has always seen its fare share of enthusiastic visitors and explorers. The beach capital of India offers a long, smooth coastline with relatively saner waves and even sea floors. Though water sports in Goa can be enjoyed at any of the beaches in the north or in the south, they are more widely known and attract huge crowds to Baga, Calangute, Benaulim, Candolim and the surrounding beaches. While here, visitors has options from a range of water sports activities like knee-boarding, kite surfing, snorkeling, parasailing and paragliding, swimming, kayaking and much more. Start paragliding at the beach of Anjuna or Arambol.

Great Time to Visit Goa

            The great season to visit Goa is from Nov to Feb, when the weather is absolutely brilliant for sightseeing and relaxing on the beautiful beaches. The temperature during this time is between 22 and 29 degrees Celsius and is also the peak tourist season in Goa. Monsoons from Jun to Sep are another perfect time to visit Goa if people love the rainy beach. hSummer isn't a decent time to visit Goa for extremely hot.  

How to Reach Goa

            Goa is well connected with the most parts of India and international destinations by highway, train and air. Dabolim Airport (only airport in Goa) is an International Airport and a military airbase. Vasco da Gama Railway Station and Madgaon Rail Station are the two main railway stations serving Goa. Both platforms are extremely well-connected to all parts of India. Apart from this a lot of long-distance interstate busses operate to and from Goa, which is linked by 4 national highways.

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