A psychedelic blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, alleviated with the shimmering sun, moon, azure sea and beaches, gleaming sand, seafood, beer, festivals and spirituality, Goa is India’s perfect beach capital. Although the small state in India, the lush green landscape and the golden coastline make Goa the most attractive place in the World.
From couples to friends and from solo backpackers to Group travellers, Goa has magical moments and diversified life for everyone. North to South and summer to winter Goa has different beauty in every season and at every location. If you opt for clear glittering water and beaches North is the main attraction but the South has its own charm with Portuguese houses, chapels and calm alleys. This tiny city gives a variety of options to the foodies in terms of Veg and Non-veg preferences. So, if you want to explore the complete Goa, here is the complete itinerary of North and South Goa.
It is said in Hindu Mythology, that Goa is connected with Dasavathar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his Parasurama Avatar made the area of Goa. He won the war against the Kshatriyas and proclaimed Goa as the place of the Brahmins. From that point forward to the fourteenth century, Goa had been a significant Hindu strict site. Toward the start of the fourteenth century, Islamic intruders took control of Goa but, didn’t run it for long. Since Goa was a port locale, it pulled in the Vijayanagar to rule and its waterfront regions were utilized by dealers to import Arabian ponies from the Middle East.
Toward the start of the sixteenth century, European powers began to arrive in India and it was not some time before Goa was heavily influenced by the Portuguese around the same time, Christianity ministers driven by Saint Francis Xavier entered India. His powerful influence destroyed many Shiva temples to convert people to Christianity one of the temples is the Basilica of Bom Jesus and other ruins of temples are still very much there in South Goa. Goa was heavily influenced by the Portuguese for 4 centuries and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. During this time, the Goan culture disintegrated to adapt to western culture and a unique lifestyle was born. Before the finish of 1961, the Indian Army took control of Goa and the Portuguese left the nation. The Goan populace didn’t need to be added to Maharashtra and in this manner, they were announced as a union territory.
Goa has incredible season variations around the year. There are some seasons which is so pleasant but crowded and costly and some are a little offbeat but less crowded and pocket-friendly. You have to decide which season you would like to pick.
The Best Season (November – February): This is the best season for a party, chilled beer, mild and comfortable weather and a perfect beach getaway. You can find most of the crowd, foreigners in this season also can cherish the festivals like Sunburn, New Year, Christmas etc. So the price gets higher in every aspect so book your hotels in advance since this is the peak season and prices of accommodation go way higher than you would imagine.
Summer (March-May): The season of extremely hot and humid. Prices are relatively cheap and the crowd are less this season.
Monsoon (June – October): My personal favourite season though rains hit goa and turn it into a rainy place. Most of the beaches are closed and because of the rain, most of the hotels are surrounded by bushes. I visited Goa in August and found it extremely pretty as the lush green Countryside, less crowded Sea beaches and cleanest roads make it so beautiful. The price is reasonable and a great option for budget travellers to explore Goa in a perfect way.
The tiny State is nestled between Maharashtra and Karnataka and is always on top priority in terms of beaches and holiday purposes. A lot of crowds often come from different parts of the country and abroad to enjoy a relaxing holiday here. Keep the Crowd in mind, Goa offers an extensive way to reach the destination via Air, Rail, Road and Water.
By Air: If you opt to Goa by airway then the nearest international airport is located at Dabolim. Dabolim airport is situated at a distance of almost 29 kilometres away from Panaji. This international airport is well connected with the major domestic cities as well as international major cities like the U.K. and Germany as well.
By Rail: It is quite easy to reach Goa via railways as there are a few railway stations in Goa located in Margao and Thivim. The main railway station is known as Madgaon and Vasco-da-Gama which is connecting South Goa and Thivim is the main station that connects North Goa easily. These railway stations are well linked with Mumbai and then other parts of the country as well.
By Road: Clean roads are accessible and well-connected to different cities. The bus services are also good here in the city. Anyone can easily commute via cars, and cabs too. The roads are beautiful and give a surreal view.
By Cruise: One of the Luxury affairs is to commute to Goa from Mumbai via Cruise. There are a few services available and also you have to book in advance, the price is really costly.
There are so many hotels, resorts, homestays, hostels and BnB available here and you have to decide exactly which part of Goa you want to stay in. Generally, South Goa is idle for those who want to spend a private vacation far away from the crowd and North Goa is best described for Nightlife, crowd, shopping, and beaches and is apt for party-orientated people.
I stayed in the North part and it was pretty reasonable with one private beach ( but it was closed due to the monsoon). There are plenty of beaches, markets, nightclubs, most of the crowd in the north part and you can consider it too. The stay options are also varied according to your budget and seasons. Let’s say the good hotels or resorts are very reasonable in the offseason but yes in the main season there are a whole lot of options available according to the pocket and the ranges are from INR 600 to INR 40K plus.
South Goa is calm with a blend of vibrant colourful Portuguese culture, churches, chapels, beautiful walking alleys, splendid cafes, and amazing greeneries everywhere with a few mind-blowing beaches just perfect for a peaceful vacation where you can relax your days at any cafe while sipping your favourite drink with a book or just to walk in any colourful alley while holding the hand of your love. In the South part, stay options are also available according to your budget and trust me you can find every option like a hostel, resort, hotel and BnB according to the pocket.
Goa is called the paradise of beaches. There are almost 50 beaches you can find here and almost 21 beaches are in North Part. Surprised ?? Yes, I was surprised too to read that rest of the 29 beaches are in the South part but not every beach is accessible there and most happening beaches are considered in North Goa.
The famous beaches not to be missed in North Goa are Arambol beach(my hot favourite), Mandrem Beach, Ashwem Beach, Morjim beach (the cleanest one and also called little Russia), Chapora beach, Vagator beach, Anjuna beach, Baga beach (Crowed beach) and another famous my favourite beach is Calangute beach. There are so many more beaches you can explore but these mentioned names are really not to be missed as there are a lot of differences you can see at every beach like Arambol has the most spectacular sunset whereas Anjuna has the rocky part to explore and so on. These beaches are placed like a necklace of the northern coastline with tons of shacks buzzing with life, serving lip-smacking delicious food from Konkan cuisine to Portuguese dishes with cocktails, beers and mocktails to go along; Goa’s beaches make your dream come true at any cost.
Places to visit in North Goa
If you are a traveller who wants to explore every nook and corner like me then you must visit :
Chapora Fort: Chapora Fort first appeared and got famous in the movie Dil Chahta Hai. This ancient fort in North Goa offers surreal views of the Arabian Sea. The fort is located on top of a hillock with slopes on all sides, and though it is almost in ruins, the government started refurbishing the fort to make it worth it again.
Fort Aguada: Lighthouse in a fort; who wants to miss this ??? Yes, you can be mesmerised by the view and the lighthouse of Fort Aguada.
Apart from that, there are plenty of Chappels and churches surrounded by the Northern region, just walk down the roads and enjoy your moments.
** I have made a video on my trip, which describes every small thing in North Goa, You can check it here
South Goa is rather dulcet, with serene beaches like Colva, Miramar, Palolem and Galgibaga (famous as a nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles) which are simply away from the world, but really worth paying a visit if you are looking for some peace and calm ambience. There are other beaches also situated in the South part but most of them are not much clean and not accessible.
The South part has really blessed with lush green beauty and some amazing places to visit.
Spice Plantation: India is often called a “Land of Spices” and the Tropical Spice Plantation is proven that term with its huge variety of spice species. Based on 130 acres of land, only 2 acres are allowed for tourists to explore. This place is worth a visit and the ticket charge includes a welcome drink, lunch and a guide charge also.
If you visit this tour you can get to see the Indian hospitality, where you will be greeted with garland and a lemongrass welcome drink. Also, this educative tour will provide you with the perfect knowledge of different spices such as Cocoa, Turmeric, Vanilla and a lot more. The aroma of the spices, the greenery and the eco-friendly nature with the surreal walking view will surely provide you with the feeling of a Green Paradise.
Basilica de Bom Jesus: The UNESCO heritage site and the famous church in South Goa where you can see the mortal of Saint Francis Xavier still remains in a coffin. Also, you will not find any single cross inside, as it is said that this church was built on a shiva temple and henceforth no cross had been established in the church. Many people or architects came but they did not get the success to put a cross over there.
Dona Paola: I can say it’s a spot to sit and chase the sunset or just walk around the nearby stalls.
** I have made a video on my trip, which describes every small thing in South Goa, You can check it here
Goa has so many local markets where you can easily get a lot of souvenirs, beach hopping dresses, accessories and many more at a very cheap price. Sometimes you have to bargain a lot to get the product else this is a great place for shopaholics.
Well, if you are an adventure nerd then you should try these activities for fun :
(Based on my Personal Experience)
Showered with beaches, lush green roadside views, coconut trees, and rivers Goa have something to fall in love with again and again….