Goa is the smallest state of India but the most popular one because of its exotic beaches, tropical climate, and rich heritage. It’s my paradise place 🙂
In the ’70s, the area became a place for hippies, soon they started organizing parties and tourist starts to flow. There are 4 languages spoken: Konkani, English, Marathi, and Hindi. It’s the only state that was colonized by Portugees so the atmosphere around is totally different than in the rest of India. A lot of the Portugees lifestyle can be found all around these places.
This area is considered the safest in the country and I can confirm that I felt entirely safe all the time, there is even no dress code.
What to do and Where to go
It will be easier to travel with a rented scooter as the distances are big between best attractions. It’s easy to rent a scooter as you will find a ‘dealer’ at each corner, but we have rented a car as we were three. As you will drive, be carrefour with the animals from the streets (especially with cows that are considered saints in India).
One of the best beach in Goa, they said. And as we went there a lot of times, we found out why. You can find anything you want: beautiful sand, the best restaurants with exotic cuisine, the best parties in the night and, best sunsets. There are a lot of festivals all-year-round and you can check before planning your vacation.
Prepare yourself to see all sorts of animals 🙂
Tropical Spice Plantation Tour
After an hour of driving from Goa to South, we arrived. The staff here was so sweet, they greeted us with flower necklaces. The area is more than 100-acre plantation and the guide showed us multiple different spice and fruit plants, explaining to us about their culinary and medicinal use. I learned that saffron, cardamom, and vanilla are among the most expensive spices (saffron is the most expensive); cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree and banana trees and sugar cane are actually considered grasses.
Anjuna Flea Market
It’s one of the most famous markets in the world. The market is next to the sea so you can enjoy bathing, live music from small local bars, eating and shopping. Never forget to negotiate first 🙂
If you want to go somewhere fancy, that’s the place. The ambiance was perfect, you can seat outside by the pool or enjoy different architectural style from each room inside. They have a great DJ (check the schedule before) and a beautiful view of Goa from the top. At midnight there were fireworks and it was magical. Entry was Rs 2000/ couple (25 EUR) with unlimited drinks (for some specific brands only/ you have to pay extra tax for fancy brands of alcohol).
If you want a hidden beach from tourists, undiscovered by many, you should check Cola beach. This place is heaven, a perfect choice to escape from the crowded beaches and the hustle and bustle of city life. You can find only one restaurant with small houses to rent. Tip: you can go there only with a scooter or by walking, there is no road to this little heaven.
From the main beach, you can easily walk to the virgin beaches around. Be careful, crabs are all around but they are afraid of humans so they will hide in the sand.
Another recommended beaches in Goa:
In Goa, you have access to all kind of activities like horse riding in the sand, elephant riding (I don’t advice you to do this as the animals suffer because of the crazy tourist that are willing to pay for that), gastronomy lessons, yoga and meditation classes. You should definitely try the massage therapy salons or you can get a tattoo at one of the local artists (my friend did and it was totally safe).
For more information about traveling to Goa, check the official site here.
Also, you can check this article I wrote about New Delhi.