Goa is a beautiful country with multiple places which are a must see for any traveller. We've highlighted some which we feel are a must visit when you travel to Goa.
Goa! Where the sun meets the sand and holidays are as colourful as the cosy houses in the old Latin Quarter. Goa has achieved a legendary status as a holiday destination. With an exciting mix of sun, sea, sand and spirituality, this is the promised land for holidayers in search of the perfect vacation.
Every year, millions of tourists flock to this little gem to soak in the sun and the fun. Sleepy and laidback most of the year, Goa’s tourist places come alive during the peak season. From November to March, Goa plays the perfect host to its visitors. From parties to spiritual retreats and adventure sports to quiet excursions, Goa has something to offer to everybody.
Goa points of interest are its beaches, which have developed their own personalities over the years. Baga hosts the most happening parties while you can enjoy family time at Calangute beach. You can hunt for bargains at the Anjuna flea market, or enjoy the solitude offered by the pristine Mandrem beach.
But Goa is not just about the beaches. Dig a little deeper and you will discover other unexplored places to visit in Goa. Did you know that this sleepy city has 10,000-year-old Mesolithic rock carvings? Goa will surprise you. These are some of our recommended places to visit in Goa.
The capital city of Goa is a microcosm of this exciting holiday destination. Exciting and laidback at the same time, it offers the perfect balance of fun and relaxation. The centre of the city is dominated by a beautiful church that is a perfect example of Portuguese architecture.
The old Latin Quarter of Fontainhas, with its quaint Portuguese Villas, is one of the must-visit places in Goa. It is now home to heritage hotels, designer stores and boutiques. Discover local delights as you amble along the Panjim promenade at evening. You can gaze across the Mandovi river as beautifully lit-up local cruises sail back and forth.
For history buffs, the Goa State Museum and Goa State Excise Museum are treasure-troves of old stories and artefacts. For all this and more, Panjim is one of the most recommended tourist destinations in Goa.
Standing guard at the ocean’s edge, Fort Aguada is a timeless sentinel that has been around since the year 1609. This old-timer has withstood the ravages of time for around 400 years. This is one of the places to go in Goa to catch a glorious sunset.
Shutterbugs should climb atop the Aguada lighthouse to capture some stunning vistas of the surroundings. Built around 1864, this lighthouse is one of the oldest of its kind in Asia. The fort is around a 45-minute drive away from Panjim. The fort is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm all days of the week. For its rich history and a rugged countenance, Fort Aguada is one of the must-visit places in Goa.
This is one of Goa’s best kept secrets. Usgalimal, in South Goa, stands testament to the artistic inclinations of our ancestors. You will find these carvings on the banks of the river Kushawati around 30km South of Margao.
The drawings themselves represent intricate mazes, hunting scenes, humans, birds and animals including peacocks, horses, dogs, elephants, bull and deer. Roam among these works of art and marvel at their beauty as you contemplate the enormity of time. This is one of the most underrated places to go in Goa. Get this done early in the morning to beat the afternoon heat and avoid visiting during the monsoon.
Located on the island of Chorao, this bird sanctuary is one of the lesser-known tourist destinations in Goa. For an entry fee of Rs 20, you will be treated to some rare bird sightings that include locals like Kingfishers, Sand Pipers and Kites, and some visitors like the Russian Ibis and Kenyan Egrets.
In addition to the birds, you will also come across crocodiles and scores of colourful butterflies. This is a thriving ecological hotspot. You could explore it on foot or hire a boat for a detailed guided tour. You can catch a ferry from Ribandar Wharf to Chorao island. We recommend an early-morning start, around 6:30 am, for the best sightings. This one of the relatively unexplored Goa tourist places but makes for an enjoyable family experience.
A treat for the whole family, one of these is an unexpectedly fun places to visit in Goa. There are many spice plantations in Goa where you can witness the life-cycle of a spice from seed to your food. A tour usually includes lunch and sometimes even an elephant ride. This is your chance to observe spices in their natural habitat.
You’ll be fascinated to learn how vanilla, pepper, cardamom and other spices are processed into their final form. An added attraction at some of these places is elephant washing. This is a fun activity for all the family, especially children. Once you’re done with the tour, you can also buy some of the fresh spices for back home. Definitely a recommended experience.
Whether it is the legend behind the name or the carnival vibes, the Dona Paula beach is a favourite among Goa’s visitors. Blue and beautiful, this beach is a hub of water sports that let you indulge in adrenaline-fuelled adventures.
Explore the underwater marvels as you snorkel your way along the bottom or get a bird’s-eye view of landscape as you soar upwards while safely tied behind a boat. Once you’ve had your fill of the adventure, indulge yourself with some fresh seafood and spend the evening shopping for knick-knacks and souvenirs for loved ones back home.
Goa has many adventures and experiences waiting to be discovered. Simply choose a Goa holiday package from SOTC and start packing your bags. Onwards for adventure!