Goa the pristine beach location is situated to the West of India. The beaches are running alongside the Arabian Sea. Goa has a long history and was also under the Portuguese rule from 1510 to 1961.
Languages spoken in Goa: Konkani, Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, English
The two things that come to your mind while thinking of Goa are Beaches & Beers.
Goa is clearly demarcated in to South Goa and North Goa.
South Goa is pretty much laid back with lot of five star resort properties. The resorts here will give you an option of private beach. The beaches here include Varca, Benaulim, Palolem, Bogmalo, Mormugao, Majorda beach, Colva, Varca.
North Goa is the happening party place. Starting with Sinquerim beach at one end to Ashwem at the other end – you can enjoy the best happening beaches here.
Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim, Arambol and Ashwem are the main beaches stretching from one end of North Goa to the other end.
Sinquerim has the Agoda fort and Taj Agoda on the beach side. It is a good sightseeing spot. Watersports activities can be done here.
Candolim beach is normally not crowded, but it is a clean beach. Kids can have a good time here as they will feel the whole beach is for them.
You can find some good roadside shops while traveling from Candolim to Calangute where you can get beach accessories, dresses, etc.
Calangute beach is one of the most crowded beaches of Goa. Watersports activities can be done here. Lot of street shopping also can be done in and around this beach.
Baga is adjacent to Calangute and is similar to Calangute beach. There are some good pub joints at Baga namely Titos, Kamaki, etc.
Anjuna beach – enroute to this beach place known as Arpora hosts the famous Saturday night bazaar. This is a must visit location on a Saturday night. Bazaar will have lot of stalls (shopping) and live music performances happening. It also has some good food stalls. Taking kids here may be a task but they may enjoy the variety of food they can enjoy here. Anjuna has a flea market that has stalls but the prices are exorbitant here. Curlies Shack is located on this beach.
Chapora fort is also on the way to Ashwem beach.
Ashwem is one of the beaches not frequented by many tourists who visit Goa. This beach is some 20-25 kms away from the main happening beach destinations. Ashwem offers you a clean pristine beach with literally no crowd at all. So this will be like a private beach with enough shacks to fuel your stomach and quench your thirst. You can walk 150-200 m in to the water as well as the water levels are shallow. At right end of this beach you have shopping stalls. Once you walk past these stalls you will be happy to see a small beach on the other side of the rocks. The beauty of this hidden location is that you have beach on one side and a small fresh water lake opposite to the beach. Paragliding can be done at this location.
South Goa stretches from Monkey beach near Panjim to Cabo De Rama towards the end of Goa. Monkey beach, Palolem, Bogmalo, Mormugao, Majorda beach, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cabo De Rama beach.
Palolem beach offers you white sand beach and if you can persuade the fisherman then they may take you to spot dolphins. Only few shacks are available here.
Bogmalo offers shops selling local handicrafts.
Varca is one of the beautiful beaches of Goa. You will find shacks offering Goan cuisine at reasonable prices.
Colva is the main beach location of South Goa. It is like the Calangute beach of North Goa. The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is famous here. You will find resorts, food joints, seashell artifact shops, etc. in and around this beach.
What Goa has to offer other than the beaches:-
– Tropical Spice Plantation tour:-http://tropicalspiceplantation.com/index.php
– River cruise – Goa tourism also conducts cruises – evening cruise is approx. 200 INR per head and dinner cruise is approx.. 650 INR per head. Private operators are also available.http://www.bettysgoa.com/cruise.htm
– Basilica of Bom Jesus, Panaji
How you can plan your Goa trip ?
Day One: – Arrive at Goa by afternoon. Have lunch and then Check in to the hotel. Settle down at the hotel and take an evening tour to nearby beach. Arrange for a buffet dinner with cocktail at the hotel itself or depending on which side of Goa you are planning to stay you can visit a good restaurant for dinner. If are staying at South Goa then I would suggest you to check out Martins Corner restaurant (http://www.martinscornergoa.com/ https://www.zomato.com/goa/martins-corner-betalbatim Good seafood restaurant). Slightly costly but worth visiting. If you are staying at North Goa and you would like to try Greek food then visit Thalassa, Vagator beachhttps://www.zomato.com/goa/thalassa-vagator or if you want to have South Indian cuisine then visit Gunpowder, Bardez https://www.zomato.com/goa/gunpowder-bardez
Day Two: – Finish your breakfast by 10:30 am. Enjoy the water sports preferably at a nearby beach location so that you can go back to resort to change your dress. Lunch at the resort. Take rest till evening. Visit nearby beaches and dinner at local restaurant. Since it will be Saturday for you – suggest you should be at North Goa to enjoy the night life/ Saturday night bazaar / pubs, etc.
Don’t miss visiting the Casino on either of the days –http://www.casinoroyalegoa.com/ ,http://www.bestgoacasino.com/casino-pride.php ,http://www.deltingroup.com/deltin-jaqk/ , http://goindia.about.com/od/nightlife/tp/goacasinos.htm ) – cover charges include unlimited food and drinks plus live performances. Check the dress code as shorts and flip flops may not be allowed. Some of the casinos even have a kids area so that they can also be with you.
Day Three: – Finish your breakfast by 10:30 am. Drive down to Ashwem beach covering the spice plantation (along with lunch) or local sightseeing on your way.
If you want to get a massage done then you can try SNIP Saloon & Spa (located between Candolim and Calangute beach – North Goa)
If you are planning for a day long cruise then you can alter the itinerary accordingly.