Our last week’s tour to Goa was my first time in Goa and it was one of the most exhilarating trips of my life!
We chose to travel by Jet airways, tickets were booked and everything was planned in May, almost 4 months before, but regrettably on the day of our travel, we had the Jet go on a strike. Hopefully, we went to the airport expecting a miracle to happen and it did! A very courteous person, working for Jet offered us seats with Air India flight to Dubai that would stop at Goa, it was a 50 minute trim journey, we reached safe and before schedule!
The details read it was 32 degrees. For someone from a land known for its cool and pleasant weather, Bangalore, it was way too hot. However our excitement of being in Goa was hotter! The Dublin airport is quite a distance to our resort which was 200 meters from the Anjuna beach on the northern part of Goa.
The first glimpse of the resort was exciting! We were at The country club de Goa, the welcoming reception hall and people did make our greeting special!
We chose to have lunch at the country club restaurant. The food here was delicious! There were some good restaurants referred and recommended by a few Goa devotees and still, in our 5 days at the resort we did not hesitate to relish the restaurants delicacies at least for one meal a day!
The food, people and places around craft your visit to Goa totally fantastic! My husband and I chose to navigate through a two wheeler, they make an easy and convenient option. They can be hired on a daily basis and cost you an inexpensive amount of 150-200 a day.
The well-promote sign boards and the Goan fun loving, helpful attitudes indeed helped us explore the place around!
Here are a few places we visited, read on to get more details….
1. Fort Chapora
The trek up to this fort was tiring, but the spectacular view of the sea that was gifted after the tiring trek was truly worth it!
This fort is near Vagator beach. It’s a breath taking view with the sea covered on 2 sides and river on the other side.
Surprisingly there want anyone else in this famous place, It was a beautiful moment for the duo and we were immersed in appreciating what was around!
2. Fort Aguada and Jail
The drive to this fort was pleasant with the sky a little cloudy and the thick trees on either sides of the road way. This is more a crowded and a commercial place with an awesome view of the sea. It was at this seen that I remembered the verse, “water water everywhere, not a single drop to drink!” from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
A few kms down the hill one is the Aguada Jail. At the entrance of the jail, is a beautiful scene to the left where the fierce sea in its full glory gushing towards the rock boulders. There is no doubt why so many movies have been shot with this spectacular scene as the back drop!
The Shantha Durga and Mangeshi temples gave our tour a devotional touch. Both these temples are on Panaji-Ponda road.The lotus garlands adorning Goddess Durga was stunning.
* St Cathederal Church – This magnificent 16th century monument is one of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa. This is on the main road of Old Goa and did us wonder on its high walls and brilliant architecture.
* Basilica of Bom Jesus - Considered a world heritage monument also in Old Goa. The church is popular because the sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier are kept in this church.
5. Dona Paula - At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fantastic view! The legend attached to this place is of two lovers separated and distressed because of differences in their cultures and nationalities, they ended their life from this cliff.
At this mythical and spectacular place they offer some exciting water sports too. Dona Paulo is 7 kms from Panjim, the capital of Goa.
6. River Cruise rides – These delightful rides during the sunset make a wonderful journey on river Mandovi. The vista through out was marvelous. It gets better with some live entertainment, songs and traditional Goan folk dances! The other attractions were the disco and the open top of the cruise. It was magnificent to see the azure heavens meet the orange hues and touch the moon n star lit sky!
7. Beaches! – we were completely blown out by the beauty of the beaches, it is so beautiful to watch the clear blue water spin to white waves rushing to embrace the bright golden sand on the beach. The first touch of these cool waters on the feet and the heart goes “woah!!”
Anjuna - Anjuna beach is in the northern part of Goa and is one of the most popular beaches. With the shallow sands to a distance, it was safe to play or swim in the waters. There is a flee market with handicrafts and clothes from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kashmir.
Vagathor – another beautiful beach with rocks and a dramatic cliff in the northern part of Goa, presenting a beautiful view of the beach. This was crowded with crowded mostly with Indians. It was hard and sore to see one of the main drainages let to the sea.Calangute Baga Beach – Baga beach is an extension of Calangute and these two are the most popular and obviously crowded beaches of Goa. Around these beaches are some attractive shops and good restaurants.
Candolim – It’s perfect to retire to Candolim when you are tired of the crowd and want to just relax on a
quite beach.Sinquerim – With all these beautiful beaches, Sinquerim which is in the northern part of Goa had to be our favorite beach with hardly anyone, some costal forts, white sand, blue waters and palm and coconut trees stretch!
Miramar – This was a crowded and commercial beach in the south of Goa and very closely located to Panji. On the roads of Miramar beach one shouldn’t miss the yum Bombay chats more precisely their Bhel puri!
The food at Goa was great. Other than the restaurants at Country club, Subway and Dominoes, these are places that need a mention!
Brittos – A popular place with some great food and a splendid view of the sea! Located on the Baga beach, this place was completely crowded. Luckily we got a table close to the sea and the experience was fabulous! We had the most yum and Fish fry and chocolate mousse here!
Infantaria – Mostly known for its bakery, Infantaria can be easily located as it is facing the main road from Baga to Calangute. We tried the famous Bebinca – the traditional Goan dessert and loved it. It is more delectable when served with some vanilla ice cream. The Tandoor Gobi and Vegetable Dum biryani were also delicious at this place.
Aishwarya’s Café – A hot afternoon at Panji. It was a new place and we had no clue where to dine, a lady alighted out of a luxury car and I approached her to suggest a place for some good fish, She mentioned Aishwarya Café. This is on the road just next to the Panji Bus stop. Surprisingly it was a humble place crazily crowded. We managed to get a table and quickly placed order. If there is a superlative to delicious, I wouldn’t think twice if using it only for this place. The food here was absolutely great and the prices ever so reasonable! On our last day at Goa, we again visited this place on our way to the Dublin Airport.