Before you embark on your journey to Goa, going through a quick overview of things that you must do there will give you an idea of how to make most out of your Goa visit. Goa, India’s own land of sin, is known for picturesque beaches, crazy tourists, scrumptious wine, wild parties and multi-cuisine foods, but there is a lot more to it. Find out here what it is.
Its colonial past and holiday popularity come together to offer a range of must-do activities and must-see attractions, including temples, stunning architecture, spas and sporting pursuits. Here are our top ten things to do in Goa.
1- The Temples of Ponda
The north Goan area of Ponda is not somewhere people automatically head to as it is set back from the coast. But you’d be wrong to discount it because of this. Ponda is home to a great many Hindu temples, many of which can be visited by tourists. But do check first as some have ceased to allow tourists to visit and for any that do accept visitors it is very important to dress in clothes which are not deemed offensive.
2- Cruising— the ultimate fun in the sea
Hold your lover’s hand and get on board on any sunset or moonlight cruise to closely view spectacular sea at night and witness the glittering sky while lying down on the ship deck. The yachts or ships are beautifully lit up at night and seem to be jewels floating in the sea. You can try your luck once at the casinos of the cruise.
3- A night on the beach
Sounds tempting Isn’t it? If you are a group of tourists, spend a grand night of endless drinks, electric dance and party at the beach. This is the coolest thing to do in Goa, although, we do not recommend small tourist groups/individual tourists to be on the beach all night long due to safety reasons.
4- Dudhsagar Waterfall
This is one of India’s highest waterfalls and can be found in south Goa near Mollem. The best time to view the waterfall is during Monsoon Season from June to September and at this time the most convenient way to visit is by train. It is possible to reach in a hired Jeep, but don’t attempt this during monsoon season when the road is often closed.
5- Partying in Vagator
Unlike many places in India, Goa has a reputation for partying. As a liberal area and a long-term tourist destination it has many established bars and parties. For a truly Goan holiday experience, head to the Nine Bar at Vagator where trance music and Goan sunsets collide for an unforgettable experience every night during the tourist season.
Goa offers a number of well-known and lesser-known spas. Relaxation is what Goa is all about, so you can’t go home without giving yourself a treat at a Goan spa. One of the most highly recommended is Sereno Spa in Cansaulim, south Goa. Spa treatments in established spa centres are similarly priced to those at home, but much cheaper treatments and massages can be found elsewhere.
7- A stint with Old Goa
Your trip to Goa would be incomplete without visiting old Goa’s the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are first-time tourist to Goa, explore the tomb and mortal remnants of St. Francis Xavier. Visiting old Goa is like transporting yourself to the time when Portuguese were ruling the smallest Indian state.
Along with the relaxing spa experiences, Goa is also home to many Yoga centres and retreats. Many places offer drop-in classes for visitors, such as ABS yoga in Baga. Each morning they hold classes on the beach at 7.30-9.00, which is the perfect way to start the day in Goa. You can expect to pay around $11 for a class.
9- Old Goa
Old Goa is an absolute ‘must-see’ place. Located in the north of Goa, this once great town has a rich colonial past and although the old city is no longer complete, the remains have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the monuments are free to visit and open daily from sunrise to sunset.
10- Tomb of St. Francis Javier
Of the many monuments within Old Goa, the most important one to visit is the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier. St. Francis was a leading European missionary whose mummified body can be found here.
No top-ten list of things to do in Goa is complete without the beaches. It’s a given, of course, that you’ll want to spend a fair amount of time there and while you need to be careful to avoid the midday sun, the beaches can be as beautiful as anywhere you’ll find in the world. Open all day, every day, the best beaches are often said to be Palolem and Agonda.
12- Arpora Night Bazaar
While most holiday makers head to Anjuna’s flea market, this night bazaar is both calmer and cooler. You’ll find an eclectic range of goods, crafts, foods, clothing and much more. There are even street performers such as dancers and fire eaters to entertain you as you shop. The Bazaar is held every Saturday night from 7.00pm and runs till dawn.
There are many activities available in Goa, from paragliding to kite surfing, but diving is one of the most rewarding. Diving can only be enjoyed outside of the monsoon season, but that is probably when you’ll be there, from October to May during the tourist season. The warm waters are bursting with marine life and there are even a few shipwrecks waiting to be explored.
14- Water sports: Explore your limits of adventure!
The several Goa beaches offer a golden opportunity to the tourists to indulge in adventurous water sports and conquer their fear. From parasailing to jet skiing to sea surfing, Goa offers a plethora of water sports for every age group. All water activities are supervised by well-trained water sports’ staff, and they will ensure adherence to various safety measures before you try a water sport.
15- Go Goa!
The fun of exploring Goa on a rented bike cannot be compared with a trip headed by a tourist guide. Rent a bike and ride around Goa’s colorful and little roads and pathways surrounded by paddy field. The roadside stalls and tourists in multi-coloured clothes and knickknacks will be an instant mood enhancer, and you will be captivated by Goa’s cheerful and vibrant culture.
16- Celebrate Christmas in Goa
Goa is a pre-dominantly Christian state which is known to celebrate Christmas in the most frolic way than the rest of the India. Kick up your heels in Goa during Christmas and experience the western festivities and zeal. It might be expensive during Christmas and New Year, but hardly there is any state in India which as enthusiastically welcomes Jesus and a new year as Goa. So let your hair down and party hard in Goa!
Carry all your tunic tops, shorts, bright-coloured one piece dresses, half-sleeved shirts and sunglasses to Goa. And, do not forget to take bottles of sunscreen to beat the scorching heat of Goa. Hope you are planning to do all these fun things and more on your next trip to Goa!