Goa travel guide

Attractions in GOA

Panaji:
The capital of Goa is a heritage location with many renowned Churches and buildings constructed in Gothic style, situated on the left bank of the Mandovi river. The church dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception, the Chapel of St. Sebastian, the Goa State Museum, the Secretariat building, the statue of Abbe Faria are must-see stops on the itinerary of any tourist.

Old Goa:
The holy Basilica of Bom Jesus, houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is a famous pilgrimage center among Roman Catholics. Other well-known churches are the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of St. Cajetan, Church of St. Augustine Ruins, Church and Convent of St. Monica, Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Chapel of St. Anthony and Chapel of St. Catherine.

Calangute Beach:
Perhaps the best known of Goa’s beaches, this beach is a stretch of 7 kilometers of golden sand. Curving across the coastline of North Goa, Calangute beach is popular with people of all ages. Food and trinket stalls add to the tourist attractions of the idyllic beach itself.

Dona Paula:
This popular beach, which is 7 km from Panaji, derives its name from the daughter of a viceroy who chose to kill herself when forbidden to marry the man she loved. This beach is also called Lovers Paradise. This beach offers various water sports activities including water-scooter rides motorboat rides, windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting.

Anjuna Beach:
Located 18 km from Panaji, this beach, popular among young revelers, was known for being a favourite hippie party spot in the 1970’s. Even today the Anjuna beach is the site of trance parties, on moonlit nights. A flea market on Wednesdays, where trinkets and memorabilia can be bought is also a popular tourist attraction.

Colva and Benaulim Beaches:
Located in South Goa, 20 km from Panaji, these beautiful beaches are quieter and more laid back than the more popular beaches near Panaji. Colva beach is stretches for 20 km and is Goa’s longest beach. The festival at the local church, bull fights in the vicinity and stalls on the beach selling trinkets are some of the attractions of this beautiful getaway.

Vagator and Chapora Beaches:
Located in North Goa, about 24 km from Panaji these beaches are known for their laidback charm. A 500-year-old Portuguese fort nearby provides an interesting venue to visit, when you’re not relaxing on these pristine beaches.

Fort Aguada:
This heritage site has structures built by the Portuguese rulers of Goa, including a lighthouse and the Aguada jail.

Dudhsagar Waterfall:
These exotic waterfalls, which appear like milky streams from a distance, are located 60 km from Panaji. The landscape around these falls in the Western Ghats is truly breathtaking, particularly when the falls are at their fullest after the monsoon rains.

Palolem Beach:
Located in South Goa, this beach is 37 km from Margao. This beach, also known as Paradise beach, has a peaceful atmosphere and is less crowded than some of the more popular beaches. Dolphin cruises and fishing expeditions are other attractions of Palolem.

Agonda Beach:
Located in south Goa, near Palolem this beach is unspoilt and pristine. There are no hotels or souvenir stalls here, just the 3 km long beach fringed by palms. Nearby is the picturesque fort Cabo de Rama, which is worth exploring.

Temples of Goa:
Goa has a number of Hindu temples that have historical significance. Temples worth visiting are the Shri Mangesha Temple, the Shanta Durga Temple, the Shri Ganesha Temple, the Mahalaxmi Temple, and the Shri Nagesh Maharudra Temple, Shri Anantha Temple, Shri Chandreshwar Temple and Devaki-Krishna Temple.

Shopping in Goa

The excellent and unique local handicrafts of Goa are the most popular souvenir items and include brassware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work, etc. These are readily available in the Government Emporia and also at shops and stalls near the popular tourist spots. Another item which every traveler would love to take home is a packet of salted, plain or masala cashew nuts, available at every market shops.

Many old Goan houses have been renovated and transformed into lifestyle fashion shops where variety types of dresses are available at reasonable prices. The dresses are colorful vibrant and boast latest cuts and designs.

The travelers also love to shop for traditional Goan items. Two of the most famous such market areas are Mapusa and Anjuna. The Friday Market at Mapusa, where stalls sell everything from curios and old coins to dried fish and spices. The Wednesday Market at Anjuna Beach started is an extremely lively spot where souvenirs, beachwear, trinkets and handicrafts are sold at bargain prices.

If money is not a problem for you then you can shop till you drop from the in-house Shops of deluxe hotels. The prices of clothes are quite high but they do not compromise with quality. A wide collection of clothes and interior decoration stuff is displayed in front of you to pick your choice.

Goa is a shopper’s paradise. Wooden carvings, straw bamboo hats and coir mattresses are popular item which you can shop for staying at Goa.

Goa lends an ethnic Goan touch to every goods which makes it a stand out item. Goa shopping also means shopping for grand and rich glassware, bronze ware and furniture.

Dining in GOA

Maya Indian Grill & Bar
Calangute Baga Road, Goa, India
+91 832 276497
This Indian Restaurant servers only dinner and offers authentic North Indian cuisine.

Kebabs & Curries
Near Kamat Holiday Homes, Gauro Vaddo,Calangute, Goa, India
+91 832 275931
Specialising in North Indian cuisine, this restaurant also gives the take-away option.

The Hindu
Colonia Santa Maria, Cobrawaddo,Calangute, Goa, India
+91 832 277299
This Indian restaurant serves pure vegetarian cuisine, a feature quite common in South Indian restaurants.

Paris & La Brasserie
Camotim Vaddo,Candolim, Bardez, Goa, India
+91 832 276323
A restaurant catering French tastes it also serves Goan and Indian cuisine

Sher-E-Punjab
Hotel Aroma, 18th June Road, Panjim, Goa
Phone: 0832 – 2227204, 2227975, 2435983
Cuisine: Non-vegetarian, Indian. Good food.

Delhi Darbar
MG Road, opp. Magnum Centre, Panaji Goa, Goa
Phone: 222 2544
Cuisine: North Indian Cuisine.

Barbeque – Multi-Cuisine, seafood, Indian, Continental
Cidade De Goa hotel, Vainguinin Beach, outdoors in a lush tropical space
Phone: 245 4545
Cuisine: Multi-Cuisine, seafood, Indian and Continental seafood is cooked right before your eyes.

Kamat Hotel
Church Square, Panaji
Phone: 222 6116
Cuisine: Typical South Indian fare.

Fiplee’s Restaurant
Near Maria Hall, Benaulim Beach, Goa
Phone: 277 0123/ 277 1411
Cuisine: Multi- Cuisine, Indian, Continental.

Fiesta
Opposite Tito’s nightclub at Baga
Phone: 227 9894/ 228 1440
Cuisine: Multi-Cuisine – Mediterranean and Italian Cuisine, Indian, Continental
Enjoy sea views, Mediterranean food and prawns steamed in red wine.
The ambience is great. Food is also very good. Definitely worth a stop on your visit to Goa.

Robert’s Place
Vagator -just off the main road
Phone:
Cuisine: Goan, Italian, and Chinese.

Little Italy
Near the Baga River
Phone: 227 5911
Cuisine: Multi-Cuisine, Italian, Continental and authentic Italian food. The decor is very nice especially for a quite evening.

Getting Around Goa

The 760 km long Konkan railway project between Mumbai and Mangalore has facilitated trips to Goa. There are trains to Goa from Delhi. Goa has two railway stations, one at Margao and the other at Vasco da Gama.

There are also interstate bus services to Mumbai, Mangalore, Bangalore, Pune and other important places. The important bus stand is the Kadamba bus stand at Panjim. Private air conditioned buses are also often found.

Getting around within Goa is also very easier these days. There is a variety of options of getting around. Buses are the cheapest ways of traveling in Goa. But they are often overcrowded and slow as they follow their own time. Thus people opt for other modes of transport.

Self driven car rental is available is Goa although it is an expensive option. Besides, ferries, generally painted in blue give a very frequent service. They are quite cheap and run from dawn to dusk. The motorcycle taxis are ideal for small trips and relatively economical and convenient. Moreover, rented motorcycles are also found in Goa which gives a lot of freedom but can be unsafe occasionally. Again an international driving license is also required to drive those motorcycles.

About the GOA AIRPORT

Goa International Airport is located at Dabolim, 30km from capital Panjim. Various domestic and international airlines operating from Goa Airport are Indian Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, and Air Deccan. The airport extends to an area of 688 hectares. There are two Public Works Department (PWD) terminal buildings operated by the public sector Airports Authority of India. The Goa Airport is one of the few profitable airports of the Airport Authority of India.

Spread over an area of 688 hectares (1,700 acres), Goa Airport comprises of two terminal buildings, operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The domestic terminal, built in 1983, covers 2,000 sq m (22,000 sq ft), while the international terminal, built in 1996, has 1,000 sq m (11,000 sq ft) of space. The remaining area has been reserved for other service areas. The parking space can accommodate 84 cars and 8 buses, but has been reserved for staff vehicles. Private cars and buses have to be parked outside the airport premises.