Goa is the region associated most with touristy beaches which have a happening nightlife and over 300-year old Portuguese architecture. In India, Goa is the first place that comes to mind when someone says beach vacation. It is also found on almost everyone’s bucket list. But this is not a place to just visit and strike off the list, once you visit Goa, you will be urged to go again and again. It becomes a tradition.
Baga Beach is named after the ‘Baga creek’ which flows into the Arabian sea. It is one of the most famous beaches of Goa and is a tourist hotspot. It is popular for its nightlife and some very famous clubs such as Brittos, Titos and Mambos. There is also a range of water sports that you can try your hands at.
Calangute Beach is the largest beach in North Goa and is known as the ‘Queen of beaches’. It is one of the busiest and the most commercialized beaches of Goa. Located between Candolim and Baga Beach, it is a hub for tourists and backpackers from all over the world. The sound of pop beats and rock music in the air elevates the festive mood.
Anjuna Beach is an unparalleled natural beauty with glowing soft white sand and swaying palms. The full moon beach parties are what attracts crowds the most. The key feature of the beach is the remarkable rock formation nestled over an inlay of white sand, jutting out into the sea. The area was popularly known as the jewel of Anjuna or ‘Ozran’. The place is a favorite spot among hippies.
Basilica of Bom Jesus Church
This historic church is located in Goa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier. Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade. The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. This church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is over 408 years old and is open to the public every day.
Dona Paula is a former village and now a tourist destination. It is a center for National Institute of Oceanography. This location a home for top industrialists and politicians of Goa and hence is the most expensive residential area. It also has the most number of hotels in Goa. It stretches into a crowded place during the high season and is a quiet place during monsoons.
Se Cathedra is one of the largest churches in the whole of Asia. Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to be constructed. It was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers in the city. The church has a huge Golden Bell which can apparently be heard all over Goa! The church consists of 14 altars, each one beautifully and intricately carved. l
Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a 17th-century Portuguese Fort which stands till date on Sinquerim Beach, Goa. It was built in 1612 to provide protection from enemies. It is the most priced and crucial fort for Portuguese, it was also used as prison. It is named after the fresh water spring which provided portable water to the shipmen who stopped near the fort. Hence, it gets its name from ‘Agua,’ a Portuguese word meaning water and 'Aguada’ meaning the place where water is collected. It is so strongly and firmly built that it has never fallen into the hands of enemies and exemplifies the Portuguese architecture in the best ways.
The dolphins are a way better sight in reality than on Animal Planet! A dolphin cruise in Goa is therefore exciting for the old and the young. Dolphins pepping out of the sea around your boat in a graceful motion is best savored by eye and saved on camera, ideal for a peaceful picnic.
Goa is one of the few places in India offering scuba diving. Diving in Goa is not the best owing to limited underwater visibility, but it is still popular among tourists. The water life and the variety of creatures you get to see are quite amazing. Multiple beaches offer diving facilities, Atlantis Watersports is one of the companies that organizes scuba diving trips.
Anjuna Flea Market
Goa is perfect for shopaholics. It has such funky and beachy stuff which will surely be a threat to your pockets. There are many shopping malls in Goa but the best shopping is done from the stalls near the beaches. The Mapusa Market, Anjuna Flea Market, Calangute Market Square and many other markets serve as the shopping spots in Goa. Night bazaars at different places like Anjuna Beach are also organized. The market at Dona Paula is another famous shopping spot.