Time Traveling to Goa’s Past at Goa Tribal Festival

Time Traveling to Goa’s Past at Goa Tribal Festival

Ever heard of Goa Tribal Festival? No, it’s not a psytrance party but a festival that involves REAL tribes of Goa. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you must be aware that San and I were volunteering in Goa and living here for a few months. In fact, I often call Goa my second home because I have visited it more than 20 times, but I never got an opportunity to meet Goa’s tribes.

Anyway, so talking about Goa Tribal Festival, are you must be wondering what it is all about, so here’s the basic info you need to know before I tell you what I did here:

What is Goa Tribal Festival?

A food stall at Goa Tribal Festival

A food stall at Goa Tribal Festival

Goa Tribal Festival is an initiative by the local villagers to spread the awareness about Goa’s unique culture, heritage and core. To be specific, the community that took the initiative to organize this two day festival is the Adivasi Sangatna of Quepem village. The idea is to preserve and celebrate Goa’s age old traditions, which are not just limited to food or but also craftsmanship, games, folklores and more!

Many of us have visited Goa many times and spent most of our time on beaches and parties, but how many of us ever got a taste of Goa’s old culture? I hardly ever did! And no, Goa’s old culture is not just limited to Old Goa’s churches and Portuguese influences, but is so much more. It’s got a lot to do with Goa’s oldest communities, which I got to meet at Goa Tribal Festival.

Where is Goa Tribal Festival Celebrated?

The 2017 edition of this festival, where I went was held at Village Panchayat Ground, Xeldem. Xeldem is in Quepem, which is in South Goa. Yes, Quepem is where the famous Goa Carnival is also celebrated. If you get a chance, do visit it because it is on the banks of Kushawati river and is scenic.

When is Goa Tribal Festival Celebrated?

It is usually celebrated in the beginning of the year. I went for the sixth edition, which was on January 7th – 8th 2017.

My day at Goa Tribal Festival

Ok, enough about the facts but I’m dying to tell you about my day here. After an amazing breakfast at Miramar Residency, we started our journey to Xeldem for the festival. I’m not a fan of Miramar and it’s my least favorite beach in North Goa, but the area around it is very crowded. However, the drive from here to Quepem is really beautiful. For many kilometers we could only see lush rice paddies. Everything around us was very green.

First Impressions

An hour later, we were in Xeldom. It was time to enter the festival! Let me be honest, I was expecting an overly crowded area like a Diwali mela or something like a Goan flea market but as I stepped out of the car, I felt I had gone back in time. I saw a spacious ground with a lot of room to move around. An elevated area was set up, with many chairs around it – like an old fashioned stage.

The Stalls

Villagers crafting new things at Goa Tribal Festival

Villagers crafting new things at Goa Tribal Festival

Around the stage were a few stalls and behind the stalls which were made with bamboo and coconut leaves – very old school and charming! Yes, this is the first area that caught my interest. Believe it or not, I must have taken 20-30 rounds of this area to sink as much details as I could. Most of these stalls were being handled by local women from various tribes. Some of these stalls were food related and the others were the ones where the tribes were crafting new things such as mats, brooms, flower tiaras, etc. I got to witness how they meticulously crafted these items with palm leafs and paddy grass.

The People

A beautiful tribal woman at Goa Tribal Festival

A beautiful tribal woman at Goa Tribal Festival

The women behind the stalls wore beautiful red sarees with puffed sleeves blouses, which were draped a tad higher when compared to the rest of India.  They all had flowers in their hair and smiles on their faces – the real hippies!

Beautiful Young Women at Goa Tribal Festiva

Beautiful Young Women at Goa Tribal Festiva

I also saw groups of younger women and children that were moving from stalls to stalls – all traditionally attired.

Beautiful Children at Goa Tribal Festival

Beautiful Children at Goa Tribal Festival

The Age Old Apparatuses

Using old instruments at Goa Tribal Festival
A few tribal women using traditional methods for grinding at Goa Tribal Festival
A traditional appratus for making food

A big thanks to Goa Tourism for hosting Drifter Planet in Goa to experience Goa’s history through Goa Tribal Festival.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Exploring the other side of Goa at Dudhsagar Plantation

Exploring the other side of Goa at Dudhsagar Plantation

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Goa? I bet it’s the beaches or palm trees. Same with me, because in my many visits to Goa and even living here, I usually stuck to the coastline.

If you look at the map of Goa, you will notice there is a lot more to Goa than just the coastline. No doubt the coastline is spectacular but after many visits, San and I decided to visit the Eastern part of Goa… or you may call it “the other side of Goa”.

Goa is massive, so in order to explore the other side, we decided to stay at a place from where we could easily access the places that we wanted to see. We didn’t have a specific plan, but had a general idea that we wanted to see a few waterfalls, visit a spice plantation and Goa’s forest area. Just for this purpose, we decided to stay at a centrally located place called Dudhsagar Plantation.

With hardly any research about the place or the surrounding area, San and I hopped on to our scooter and drove to Dudhsagar Plantation in Anjuna. In just about two hours, Google Maps announced that we had reached our destination, which felt like middle of nowhere.

Inside Dudhsagar Plantation

We saw a little board that confirmed that we were at the right spot. As we entered, we saw a little cow shed on our right and a few chickens walking around on our left. As we followed the path, we saw palm trees, banana plantation and many other tall trees. We were inside a tropical garden!

Exploring the other side of Goa with Dudhsagar Plantation

Exploring the other side of Goa with Dudhsagar Plantation

A man who introduced himself as Ashok greeted us and took us to a gazebo. We sat here with him and found out that Dudhsagar Plantation is aa family run place, which was started by Ashok’s parents Doris and Ajit Malkarnekar. Inside the gazebo, I saw many other people sitting who appeared to be from different nationalities. We couldn’t help but wonder if they were all one family. We got our answer within the next few minutes

Beautiful Family

Adorable Family at Dudhsagar Plantation Farmstay

Adorable Family at Dudhsagar Plantation Farmstay

Ashok’s father is a Goan and his mother is from Germany. Ashok himself lived in Goa, Germany and Indonesia, and his wife is from Indonesia. Ashok’s sister lives in Mandrem and is married to a Goan. Ashok’s brother, who looks a lot like Ashok is married to a girl from Russia. Quite an international family, no?

Free Spice Plantation Tour

Free spice plantation tour at Dudhsagar Plantation Goa

Free spice plantation tour at Dudhsagar Plantation Goa

After the introduction, we put our luggage in our large airy room and were ready for a tour. As we walked further, I realized how massive this place was! Ashok informed us that there were more than 150 kinds of different plants and trees in this plantation. The first thing we saw was pepper, which was easy to recognize. We saw yellow turmeric, white turmeric, cardamom, bimla, cashew, gooseberry, cinnamon, lemongrass, mace, chilies and many more things. Of course I don’t remember everything but I do remember that cinnamon leaves were very sweet to chew and the taste kind of reminded me of Christmas.

Pepper at Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Pepper at Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

The most interesting thing for me was the lipstick flower. It is a natural coloring agent, which is used in food and cosmetics. The tour of the spice plantation must have lasted 45 – 60 minites, during which Ashok educated us about the fauna and entertained us with his jokes.

Fenni and Urak Distillery

Fenni Shots with Bimla after the spice plantation tour at Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Fenni Shots after the spice plantation tour at Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

At the end of the tour, Ashok informed us that they even have a Fenni distillery in the farm. Fenni is a local alcoholic brew of Goa, which is made with cashews. He took us to the distillery and told us about the process. Honestly, I have had really bad experiences with Fenni before so I wasn’t so interested, but Ashok made us try a shot with Bimla (citrus fruit) and I had to change my mind. He also made us try “Jungle Juice” which is made from Urak. Urak is the first distil of cashews before Fenni. I fell in love with Jungle Juice and drank a lot of it. You’ll be surprised to know that I had no hangover the next day and woke up clearheaded, despite multiple late night Fenni shots. If you also hate Fenni like I did, you need to try a glass here and you’re gonna change your mind.

Water Well

This may make you laugh but I have never drawn water from a well and I got very excited when I saw one here. I played around with it for a long time but finally managed to draw just a liter of it.

Variety of Animals

Guess what – on our little exploration walk with Ashok, we saw a deer inside his farm! A little while later, I saw a bison at a distance. When I thought things coulnd’t get more interesting, I saw a wild hedgehog here. No, these are not Ashok’s pet animals but the farmhouse is near Bhagwan Mahavir Forest Sanctuary so some of them come here for a little stroll.

Farm animals at Dudhsagar plantation, Goa

Farm animals at Dudhsagar plantation, Goa

Too bad the deer was so fast and shy that I couldn’t make a picture. By the time the other animals were there, I didn’t have any camera battery.

Natural Swimming Pool

Organic Natural Pool at Dudhsagar Plantation Goa

Organic Natural Pool at Dudhsagar Plantation Goa

If things couldn’t get better, Dudhsagar Plantation also has a natural swimming pool inside the farm. No chemicals or bleach is used here to clean the water but a few plans are grown in the corners to purify the water.

Organic Farm Food -Yummy

Delicious Organic food - Dudhsagar plantation, Goa

Delicious Organic food – Dudhsagar plantation, Goa

Did I mention that everything that grows in Dudhsagar Plantation is organic? Moreover, there are no pesticides used, so everything can be handpicked and eaten directly from the trees. During our time here, we got to eat freshly made home food from organic farm produce. I love Goan seafood and I don’t remember ever eating vegetarian food in Goa. However here, I couldn’t help but taking three helpings of every meal because it was so darn good! Chapatis, rice, Konkani daal, two kinds of veggies, buttermilk, salad and dessert – the food here was perhaps the best food I have had in Goa. It felt healthy; it was not oily and was light. Seriously, I can eat this food my whole life without getting bored.

 

Self-Sustainable Fuel and Biogas

I have seen this at music festivals, but I was very happy to see that almost everything gets recycled here. At Dudhsagar Plantation, they care for the environment and recycle everything.

 

Swimming in a Clean River

Amazing river swim outside Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Amazing river swim outside Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Right behind the farmhouse is a little river, which comes from Dudhsagar waterfall. If follow our blog, I’m sure you know by now how much we love jumping inside rivers, waterfalls and natural swimming holes. It was a good way to end our day here and cool off inside this river’s cold water.

Little river behind Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Little river behind Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Our Exploration Outside Dudhsagar Plantation

Honestly, we had so much fun inside Dudhsagar Plantation that we forgot we wanted to explore the nearby areas. Ashosk literally had to kick us out so that we wouldn’t miss out what’s outside

 

Dudhsagar Waterfall

San and I enjoying our cold dip at Dudhsagar Waterfall

San and I enjoying our cold dip at Dudhsagar Waterfall

Visiting the famous Dudhsagar Waterfal was the most obvious choice, because it is very close to where we were. This is India’s tallest waterfall and I had only seen it from the train while crossing Goa. To avoid the crowds, we arrived here at 9 am on our scooter. Since the waterfall is inside Bhagwan Mahavir Forest Reserve, we were not allowed to take our scooters inside, so had to buy jeep tickets. A single jeep holds 6 people and costs around INR 300 per person, including the life west. And no, you can’t enter without a life vest. Even though the waterfall attracted quite a lot of tourists, we found our personal swimming area and had a lot of fun swimming in the cold water here.

 

Bhagwan Mahavir Forest Reserve

Even though we had entered the forest reserve when we visited the waterfall, we were not really allowed to explore on our own because of the jeep restriction. Just for this, we decided to enter this forest reserve from Surla. We couldn’t; help but stop after every few minutes to make a few photos because everything was very beautiful and green inside. We also met a lot of monkeys here.

 

Tambdi Surla Temple and Waterfall

Tambdi Surla Temple, Goa

Tambdi Surla Temple, Goa

If you enter the forest reserve from Surla, you can also visit an ancient Hindu temple that’s inside. What’s unique about this temple is that it is made with black stone where as most of the temples are usually white or multi colored. There is a nice garden outside, which looked a little too well kept for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, but the forest and the temple had a very wild look, so the excessively well kept garden looked out of place. Oh and there is a hike to Tamdu Sural waterfall from here, which you should seriously consider if you’re wearing comfortable shoes.

 

Walking Route and Village Exploration

Village Exploration outside Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

Village Exploration outside Dudhsagar Plantation, Goa

If you like walking, you are going to love a little map that Ashok has made. This map depicts a route that he has made which you can follow to visit the nearby village and see some interesting sights. It is total 8 KMs, so do this only in the morning when the weather is cooler.

Anyway, if you’re heading to Goa, I urge you to try something different and explore the other side of Goa. Stay in Dudhsagar Plantation Homestay and experience the simple life. Cleanse your system by eating organic food here and chill in the natural pool. If you’re really adventurous, then don’t miss the forest area that only a few people visit. Oh and you can book Dudhsagar Plantation on AirBnB. Use this link to book and get a $15 discount.

Visiting Goa soon and need more info? Feel free to ask me anything! Post your questions as comments below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Goa Flea Markets – 7 Colorful Bazaars That You Shouldn’t Miss

Goa Flea Markets – 7 Colorful Bazaars That You Shouldn’t Miss

This guide is about Goa Flea Markets. To read more travel articles about Goa, visit this page.

Whether you’re a shopaholic or not, Goa flea markets are sure to win your heart. With their vivid colors, spicy aromas, interesting sights, and funny sounds, visiting them is an experience in itself! Some of these markets started years back and have an interesting history of how they came into existence. Many of them start only during the high season, which is November to March, while some are open throughout the year.

As many of you know, I love Goa and am now living here since the last few months. While I am volunteering in Goa, I am visiting some of these markets every week and still I’m not bored of them. Whether you’re visiting Goa for a few days or are living here, a visit to these markets is a must. So, here’s a list of Goa Flea Markets that you should visit while you’re here:

Flea Markets in Goa:

01 | Anjuna Flea Market

Goa Flea Markets - International artisans at Anjuna Flea Market

Goa Flea Markets – International artisans at Anjuna Flea Market

Back in the 1960s and 70s, when the hippies first arrived in Goa, they chose Anjuna as their home. Many of them sold the last of their material possessions from their home countries here to make money. The 70s are over but this market still remains.

Every Wednesday, many artisans from not just all over India, but also from all over the world set up stalls here. Anjuna Flea market stretches from the beach shacks area of Anjuna to the other side of main road where there are paddy fields. Here you can check out a massive collection of clothes, jewelry, bed sheets, wall hangings, hammocks, etc. The best time to visit is from 5 pm onwards when the sun is not very strong and some bars and shacks play live music.

Anjuna Flea Market Timings:

This market starts at 9 am and ends at sunset time, i.e., 6 pm on every Wednesday. This market exists only during the main season – November to March. To know more about Anjuna flea market, you can check other travelers’ reviews on TripAdvisor.

You may also like: A Detailed Guide to the Beaches of North Goa

02 | Saturday Night Market, Arpora

Considering Goa’s tropical temperature, a night market obviously makes more sense. As the name suggests, this market is set up only on Saturday night during Goa’s main season (November to February).

Arpora’s Saturday night market is a little “high end” if you compare it to Anjuna flea market. With live music, international food stalls, fire dancers and colorful stops, a trip to Saturday night market is an experience to remember. This market usually goes on till 2 am, after which it continues like an open party while the shop owners pack up their stuff and gradually leave.

From Christmas to New Year, which is Goa’s peak season, it is recommended that you arrive here early to avoid the crowds. Alternatively, reach by midnight and stay till 1 or 2 am. While here, eat some food, drink a few beers and watch a few live performances to make the most of it.

Saturday Night Market Timings:

This market starts on every Saturday during the main season at 6 pm and ends at 2 am. Again, the main season is from November to March. To know more about Arpora’s Saturday night market, you can check other travelers’ reviews on TripAdvisor.

 

03 | Mackie’s Night Bazaar, Baga River

Goa Flea Markets - My sister Priyanka Bajad at Mackies Saturday Night Market

Goa Flea Markets – My sister Priyanka Bajad at Mackies Saturday Night Market

Mackie’s Night Bazaar is not to be confused with Arpora Night Market, which is also on Saturdays. Although Arpora’s night market is the more famous one, Mackie’s is the original night market of this area and is closer to the river Baga.

This market features many food stalls, live bands and shops.Mackie’s Night Bazaar ends starts at 6 pm on Saturday nights during the high season and ends at 1 in the morning.

Mackie’s Night Bazaar Timings:

This market starts at 6 pm on Saturdays and ends at 1 am. Mackie’s Night market only exists during the main season, which is from November to March.

You may also like: Goa Travel Tips – 12 Things you need to know before visiting

04 | Arambol Street Market

Arambol's Shopping Street - North Goa

Arambol’s Shopping Street – North Goa

Unlike most of the listings here, this market exists everyday. This market starts a little before Arambol Beach main parking and extends for more than 3 kilometers till the end of Arambol.

Arambol is near the North most tip of Goa and has developed into a little hippie village over the decades. The prices here are a bit lower as compared to Anjuna flea market and Saturday night market.

This market is as colorful as Anjuna flea market and has a range of things such as spices, hand made soaps, glass pipes, hammocks, bags, clothes, tea, jewelry, bongs and chillums, etc. A lot of people that set up shops in India’s Parvati valley area in the summers set up shops here during the winters, which is Goa’s high season.

Arambol Street Market Timings:

Arambol Street Market is open everyday from 10 am to 9 pm.

05 | Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market

Out of all the flea markets in Goa, Arambol drum circle market is my favorite because it is on the beach. This market starts a few hours before before the sunset where travelers from all over the world sell their hand made creations.

More than just a market, it is a party on the beach where people bring their drums, handpans, Didgeridoo (didjeridu) and meet here everyday to make music as the sun sets. It is common to see performers at this time with their juggling balls, hula hoops, poi and many other props. With things like handmade clothes, food, jewelry, glass pipes – this market looks like it is right out of a music festival.

Arambol Drum Circle Beach Market Timings:

Arambol Drum Circle flea market starts everyday a little before the sunset. Like many other markets in this list, this market also exists only during high season.

BONUS: Watch this fun video about Arambol Drum Circle

06 | Chapora Fish Market

Goa Flea Markets - Chapora Jetty

Goa Flea Markets – Chapora Jetty

What better place to buy fish than a fishing village? Chapora fishing village near Chapora River is an affordable answer for your seafood craving.

The best time to visit this market is from 4 am to 6 am. This is the time when many fishermen return from their quest and their wives sell freshly caught fish. You can find things like tiger prawns, king prawns, lobsters, mussels, crabs, kingfish and Pomfrets at a very good price.

Chapora Fish Market Timings:

Chapora Fish Market starts everyday in the morning from 4 am to 6 am and then again in the evening from 4 pm to 6 pm. This market is closed during the rainy season.

You may also like: Hampi Travel Guide

07 | Mapusa Friday Market

If you’re looking to buy local Goan produce and goods, Mapusa Friday Market is the place for you. Just like Chapora fish market, Mapusa market is also a place that locals love to visit. In fact, the main Mapusa market is open everyday, but the special flea market opens on Friday morning.

In Mapusa Friday Market, you can find everyday things that you need to run your house as well as a lot of food. This market is famous for things like Goan sausages, organic food, spices, cashews, earthen pots, meat and even clothes. This is a day market and closes as the sun goes down.

Mapusa Friday Market Timings:

Mapusa Friday Market opens early morning on Fridays and ends at around 6 pm.

Have you visited these flea markets of Goa already and have a few tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!
Wondering what we’re doing in Goa?

Wondering what we’re doing in Goa?

If you’re following us on Facebook, you must have noticed that we’re in Goa. No, we are not here for a week or two but are here for a few months. We’re not “holiday”ing here but are volunteering in Goa. This is our way of slow travel because we want to make our way to Sri Lanka by January 2017.

So what exactly are we doing in Goa?

A little work in the hostel..

I’m volunteering in Goa ‘s Red Door Hostel in Anjuna. The same hostel also has a restaurant where San is working in the bar and kitchen. We get two meals a day here and get to sleep for free. I don’t get paid because I’m a volunteer but San get a little money because he’s a professionally trained chef. Both of us work for half a day and get a day off per week. Our work is very relaxed and a lot of fun.

A little travel blogging..

2016 was a very crazy year. I traveled to 10 countries and didn’t even get a chance to write about them all. I had to take a forced break from blogging while I was attending back-to-back music festivals and later preparing for my German examination. Sitting behind the hostel help desk for half a day has given me a little stability that I needed. I’m finally getting some writing done.

And a little party..

Goa is the birthplace of Psychedelic Trance genre and a typical old school Goa party has no match. This is where I got my first taste of Psychedelic trance music back in 2004 and I was hooked. So yes, we are partying a LOT here. Again.

Why did we choose Goa?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you know by now how much I love Goa. A lot of people hate it because it’s getting touristy, but which place isn’t? Honestly, Goa is massive and there are many empty areas. It’s mostly the beach belt that gets crowded and we have our own secret spots. We’re in North Goa, which is busier than South Goa.

The cost of living in Goa is definitely lower than most of the places we know of, so it is easy to survive here with little money. The fact that we’re sleeping and eating for free has made it possible for us to live off the earnings of our travel blog. Goa is a good place for digital nomads.

I visited Goa for the first time in 2004 and have always wanted to live here. After finally finding courage to quit my full time job, I can finally make my dream come true. Better late than never, don’t you think?

Want to meet us?

A lot of my friends and blog readers are in Goa at the moment because it is a popular spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you’re planning on visiting, do check out my post about Goa travel tips and my detailed guide about North Goa Beaches. It has some amazing hotel and hostel reccomendations too. Oh, and send us a message on Facebook or Instagram if you want to meet us in Goa.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Goa Travel Tips: 13 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

Goa Travel Tips: 13 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

Travel Tips to get the most out of your Goa visit

I’m sure by know you know that I absolutely LOVE Goa. I love it so much that I spent many hours a few days back in my attempt to create the most detailed guide on the internet to North Goa! Here are some essential Goa travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit to this glorious destination.

In the past few years, I have seen many Goa travel tips on different websites that say things like “carry a sunscreen” or “carry comfortable flat sandals or flip flops”. Yes, these tips are correct but don’t you think they are pretty darn obvious?  Of course if you’re visiting a beach destination, you’re going to have to carry sunscreen and flip flips. Anyway, I want to help the first time Goa visitors and have decided to share a little more insight about things you need to keep in mind before visiting Goa.

Here are Goa travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit to my favorites destination:

01 | Visa for Goa.. umm India

Based on the volume of people that visit my website from other countries, I feel it is necessary to add information for obtaining a visa for India in this article. If you don’t know this already – I’m married to a German and he often applies for a tourist visa for visiting India. India doesn’t offer a visa free entry OR a visa on arrival but you can apply for an eVisa. Sadly the government run website for an eVisa for India or a general tourist visa for India is not so simple to use and usually gives errors on things as simple as picture upload. Based on the number of painful hours my husband has spent on Indian embassy’s eVisa website, I highly recommend you make things simpler for yourself and check iVisa. We availed their service when we were in the Philippines and it really made things simpler for us.

02 | When Not to Visit Goa

Goa doesn’t just have high and low seasons, but it also has a peak and moderate seasons. Here are some more details:

Mid January to February High Season Good to visit but rooms are expensive because of high demand
March to May Moderate Season Good time to visit. Shacks and beach bars begin shutting down for the season. Look out for season closing parties.
May to August Low Season Most of the shacks, beach bars are shut but it’s a good time to enjoy Goa’s rainy season
September to October Moderate Season Good time to visit. Shacks and beach bars begin opening up for the season. Look out for season opening parties.
November to Mid December High Season Good to visit but rooms are expensive because of high demand
Mid December to Mid January Peak Season Do not visit around this time. Room rates skyrocket. Lots of traffic jams and Goa loses its amazing vibe.

 

Low season is from May to mid-September, High is from November to the middle of December and the peak is from the middle of December to middle of January. Avoid visiting Goa during the peak season because you will waste a lot of time in traffic jams. If you must visit during this time, try to find the most secluded beaches. Chances are, even those beaches will not be secluded during the peak season.

03 | Where Not to Stay in Goa

I have mentioned this before and I want to mention this again – Goa offers way more than Calangute – Baga – Candolim or Anjuna beaches. Trust me, these above mentioned beaches are definitely some of the most crowded ones and no longer have a “Goa vibe”. For more details about where to stay, check out THIS post.

04 | You DON’T need to book a place to stay in advance, unless…

Unless you’re visiting very late at night and don’t have time to hunt for a bed, or you’re visiting at peak season, which is December 20 to January 5, I’d recommend you not to pre book your place. Most of the travel websites will brainwash you into booking a room, because they sell rooms on their websites or on a commission basis. If you book in advance, you miss out on places that don’t advertise on the internet but only through word of mouth.

05 | Save money from Goa Airport to your hostel / hotel

If you’re visiting Goa, most likely you’re going to arrive here by a flight. Unlike most of the India, tuk tuks are not so easily available in Goa. The cost of traveling in Goa is usually low except the taxis are expensive and unfortunately that’s the only mode of communication you will find at the airports. However, there is a way you can save money on your taxi fare. At the prepaid taxi counter queue just at the exit gate of the airport, just ask around and try to find fellow travelers that are heading to your direction. Most likely, you will easily find people to share a taxi with for your destination. This has always worked with me!

06 | Reaching Airport by bus

It is possible to get to the airport by bus. From North Goa (let’s say Morjim), take a tuk tuk (or taxi) to Silom or Mapusa bus stand and from there catch an express bus to Panjim (Panaji). From Panjim, you need to catch a bus to Vasco and it will drop you 2 KMs away from the airport. Make sure you let the bus driver know that you have to reach the airport because there’s no proper bus stop where they will drop you. Do this only if you’re ready to walk with your luggage. Keep in mind that the last bus from Panjim to Vasco departs at 7 and queue behind the ticket counter is usually massive, so take out extra 30 minutes or more for this. Similarly, if you’re in South Goa (let’s say Agonda), you need to take a tuk tuk to the nearest bus stand and then take a bus to Margao Bus Terminal. From Margao, board a bus (or Kadamba shuttle) to Vasco. Try finding a bus that goes from Maragao to Vasco via Majorda. Again, make sure you inform your driver that you need to get to the airport so that he can drop you to the nearest point.

Do this only if you have a lot of time before your flight. It took us 4 hours to travel from Vagator to the airport by bus.

07 | Best way to Explore Goa

Goan Roads by Drifter Planet

The best way to explore Goa is by renting a scooter

If you like walking, you will only be able to explore your beach area and around. If you want to explore further, I’d recommend you rent a scooter. Exploring Goa on a rented scooter is the best and the most affordable option. These scooters are usually available for INR 200 – 300 per day. Please make sure you carry your driver’s license because there are many check points. It is possible to rent cars too but many spots can only be accessed by scooters or on foot.

08 | Where Not to Swim in Goa

In Goa, certain areas are marked by red flags which means it’s dangerous to swim there. The sea will appear to be calm but the undercurrents are powerful and dangerous. If you go inside, you will be transported to the open sea much faster than you can swim. These are the situations when people drown because they try to fight to current in their panic. Most likely, you will see a lot of people in the water already but please follow the rules and don’t be an idiot. Oh and on a side note, don’t swim in the stretch of ocean in front of Curlees and Shiva Valley of Anjuna because I have personally seen people puking in that water after Anjuna’s crazy parties.

09 | A tip about Goan Food

Goan Food - Crab Curry

Delicious Goan Food

You love Indian food? You’re going to LOVE Goan food. However, keep in mind that the Goan curries are spicier than most of the Indian curries. If you can’t handle spice, make sure you inform your restaurant staff to go easy on the chilies. I love spicy Goan food but San can’t handle the chili overdose.

10 | How not to get ripped off

Shopping in Goa is fun because of the variety of things that you can buy. Lamps, incense sticks, swim suits, clothes, jewelry, tea, spices, fruits – almost everything that you will possibly need will be available on the streets. While grocery stores have fixed prices, street shop vendors will hike the price up when they see that you’re not a local. To avoid getting ripped off, you need to learn how to haggle like a pro. As a rule of thumb, cut the quoted price in half and then negotiate your way to a middle figure. Do not forget to smile when you do this. If you find something unique at a high price, most likely its handmade and maybe it’s worth the price, so just buy it.

11 | Find the best parties

A PsyTrance party in Goa, psychedelic trance Goa

A PsyTrance party in Goa

Ok, so you have heard that Goa is the birthplace of psychedelic trance and you want to experience a typical old school Goa trance party. But how to find the best PsyTrance parties? Well, stay in Anjuna / Vagator area and just follow the music. There is usually a party every night. Ask around and you will find out. When you reach the party and if you every get hungry, you will definitely find affordable snacks right outside the parties. Outside every party are rows of Ammas (older mother-like women) with stoves selling cheese omelet buns, burgers, cigarette, water and tea. These Ammas usually know where is the next party so just ask them.

12 | Be Safe

While Goa is safer than most of India and perhaps many parts of the world, it doesn’t hurt to take typical safety precautions. Trust your instincts and don’t accept drinks from strangers. When in doubt, head to the nearest shop and contact a local to seek help.

13 | Respect the culture, nature and Goa way of life

Yes, Goa is perhaps the most open minded destination of India and the locals are liberal. But please don’t treat their home as your “nonstop party on the road” destination. I don’t know why I’m even typing this but I feel it’s my responsibility to inform you that you should cover yourself a little more than what you do at the beach if you end up visiting any of the churches. Please don’t leave your trash on the beach. If you find any, just pick it up and put it in the nearest dustbin. Oh and don’t forget that most of the shacks (beach bar and restaurants) are run by families and you should not expect a five-star service. Appreciate what you get and don’t forget to smile.

Enjoyed these Goa travel tips? Why not share with a friend! If you live in Goa or have visited it a few times, why don’t you add your own tip in the comments?

 

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Goa Travel Tips - things you need to know before visiting

Goa Travel Tips – things you need to know before visiting

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

North Goa Beaches and Beyond – Everything You Need to Know

North Goa Beaches and Beyond – Everything You Need to Know

A detailed guide to the beaches of North Goa. You think North Goa is full? Yes, it is full but only if you visit the likes of Anjuna, Baga, Candolim and Calangute areas. Those who wander beyond these beaches will fall in love with this wonderland. Yes, I have visited South Goa also and just like North, there are some crowded as well as empty beaches.

Goa will always hold a special place in my heart. The vibes, the people, the energy, the beauty, the food, and even the roads – there is magic in everything here. Goa is not a city but it’s a state (province) and it’s massive! No matter how many times I visit, I always end up discovering a new spot here. Yes, I love Goa.

As Goa Gil once said “Goa is not a place, Goa is a state of mind.” I’m in Goa state of mind right now, hence I have decided to write this guide. To make things easy for you, this guide is ONLY about North Goa, i.e., the top half of Goa. You can find information about North Goa’s beaches, including some hidden spots that only a few people will want to tell you about. Keep an eye on my website for a detailed guide about South Goa too!

The beaches of Candolim, Calangute and Baga are the most popular beaches in North Goa but I discourage my readers to visit them. Why? Because they are crowded and dirty. Moreover, they have an un-Goa-like vibe. (Yup, I’m a Goa snob)

Oh and if you’re wondering how I know Goa so well, it’s because I have visited it close to 20 times and San & I am now living here. We love this place so much that we decided to move here for a few months.

For your benefit, I will divide North Goa in 5 zones –

Detailed Map of North Goa Beaches by Drifter Planet

Here is a list of North Goa beaches starting from extreme North to South:

Zone 1 – from Terekhol to Kalacha Beach

This zone starts from Terekhol River, which is at Goa – Maharastra border. The end point of this zone is at Kalacha Beach. These beaches are secluded and are perfect for spending an entire day if not more.

01 | Keri Beach (or Querim beach)

On the way to Keri beach and Terekhol fort

On the way to Keri beach and Terekhol fort

Querim beach, also known as Keri beach is on the North most tip of Goa and is quieter than even the so called quiet beaches of Goa. This is on Maharashtra – Goa border which is separated by Terekhol River.

The beach is of course beautiful but for me, it was the drive from Arambol to Keri which was special. There are many spots where one can stop to appreciate the beauty. In fact, there is two points on this way where you can see an amazing view from a higher level.

The best part: At the entry of this beach, there is Ajoba temple. This temple is round, colorful and looks very psychedelic. Many people claim that there is a small tunnel through the hilly cliffs which will take you to the other side, but I have never seen it. If you find such a tunnel, then please let me know.

What to do at Querim beach / Keri Beach: Explore the rock formations. If you’re lucky, you will find a little cave. Hop on a ferry boat to visit the nearby Fort Terekhol (or Fort Tiracol) and enjoy the excellent views.

Recommended places to stay in Querim / Tiracol: 

Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel: High End – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Hotel Hill Rock: Mid Range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

02 | Kalacha Beach

Perhaps my favorite beach in this list, it cannot be reached by a road. It can only be reached by walking from Arambol beach and crossing the market area along the cliffs. It is possible to paraglide here.

Sweet Lake opposite Kalacha beach, Arambol

Sweet Lake opposite Kalacha beach, Arambol

The best part: It has a sweet water lake opposite the beach where it’s a pleasure to swim. This lake is commonly known as the “sweet lake”. Even though it is technically opposite Kalcha beach, the lake is commonly known as “Arambol Sweet lake“. I think it’s beautiful! Where else will you find a beach and a lake that’s walking distance from each other?

What to do around Kalacha beach: If you walk from the sweet lake to the direction of the jungle along the stream, you will find a few spots where it’s possible to take a mud bath. As you walk further, you will reach an old Banyan tree. Under this tree a baba sits who lives here during winter months.

Zone 2 – from Arambol Beach to Chapora River

This zone has a few hippie villages, yoga communities and artists from all over the world who call this place their home. Find a place to stay on these beaches so that you’re away from the main crowd but not too far from night life.

03 | Arambol Beach

A Shack on Arambol Beach - A Guide to North Goa Beaches

A Shack on Arambol Beach – A Guide to North Goa Beaches

Arambol village is a little disconnected from most of the North Goa, because of it has maintained its low key charm. Many people say that the hippies who came to Goa back in the 1960s and 1970s all moved to Arambol village from their original place – Anjuna.

This village has evolved into a self-sufficient are where you can find almost anything. Finding budget accommodation here is never a problem and I have never seen a resort here. This beach is much bigger than the nearby Kalcha beach and has plenty of shacks where you can chill over a pint of King’s beer.

It is usual to see a musician or two on the beach making music around the as the sun sets. Arambol has a very active Yoga community with multiple workshops. So if you like keeping fit while traveling, Arambol is the place for you!

Arambol's Shopping Street - North Goa

Arambol’s Shopping Street – Guide to North Goa Beaches

The best part: Arambol has the most interesting street market where you can buy a variety of things for a bargain. The narrow lanes of Arambol will give you sensory overload because the shops have everything – spices, bed sheets, lamps, clothes, jewelry – sab kuch milega!

What to do in Arambol: Walk around on Arambol village’s inside lanes and visit some interesting cafes (or bars). Visit the beach during sunset and watch the famous Arambol Drum Circle and beach market. Walk from the northern end of Arambol beach to enter Kalacha beach and to the famous “sweet lake”.

Recommended places to stay on Arambol Beach and around: 

Ludu Guest House: Mid Range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Lotus Sutra: Mid Range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Om Ganesh Guest House: Budget – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Hostels in Arambol

Happy Panda Hostel: – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Roadhouse Hostel: Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

No Name Hostel: Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

 

04 | Mandrem Beach

Mandrem Beach - Guide to North Goa Beaches

Mandrem Beach – Guide to North Goa Beaches

This beach can be accessed crossing a small bridge to over a narrow canal. This beach is beautiful but strangely not many people visit it. Compared to the nearby beaches, this beach has very few shacks which is what makes it so special.

The best part: There is a cliff opposite this beach across the road which offers a good view. Climb on this cliff for a spectacular sunset experience.

What do do in Mandrem: Sit at the End of The World beach shack and enjoy the view.

Recommended places to stay in Mandrem

Aura Spa Retreat: High end – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Beach Street Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Riva Beach Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Sol Beso Mandrem: Mid range – Read reviews on Tripadvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Mandrem Beach Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

The Mandala: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Boking.com or Agoda.com

Banyan Tree Yoga Goa: Budget – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

05 | Ashwem Beach

Ashwem Beach, North Goa

Ashwem Beach, North Goa

Ashwem is perhaps the most scenic beach of Goa because of the river flows into the sea dividing this beach into two. It is not as crowded as Arambol or Anjuna, but has a lot more shacks as compared to the nearby Mandrem beach.

The best part: Depending upon the weather, the river forms a shallow fresh water lake and a small sand spit on the extreme right side. This sand spit and a little river island appears or reappears depending on the tide and the weather.

What to do on Ashwem beach: try to get inside the lake or the river if you can. It’s fun!

Recommended places to stay in Ashwem –

Palm Grove Beach Resort: High End – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

La Cabana Beach and Spa: High End – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Aanahata Retreat: High End – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Rococco Ashwem: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Boomerang Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Leela Cottages: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

06 | Morjim

Sunset at Morjim Beach - Guide to North Goa Beaches

Sunset at Morjim Beach – Guide to North Goa Beaches

Morjim is the best and the cleanest beach of North Goa. This beach has a sandy triangular area with waves on two different directions. During low season, this beach is usually empty but I have seen a few kite surfers here when the season is high.

The best part: This beach has an area that is dedicated for nesting Olive Riddley turtles.

What to do on Morjim beach: Swim. This beach is perfect for a swim and is clean so enjoy your time in water here or just kitesurf! Drive around Morjim and explore the nearby village – Siolem. Siolem village is very green and it’s always easy to find a few family run restaurants here where you can eat a delicious fish curry thali.

Recommended places to stay on Morjim Beach: 

Marbela Beach Resort: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Morjim Hermitage Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

La Vaiencia Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Hostels in Morjim:

Wanderers Hostel – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Places to party in Morjim: Tesso Waterfront and Marbella Beach are two famous clubs in this area. Both of them play Techno music.

Zone 3 – from Chapora Fort to Anjuna Beach

A PsyTrance party in 9 Bar, Vagator - A Guide to North Goa Beaches

A PsyTrance party in 9 Bar, Vagator – A Guide to North Goa Beaches

This is the party area of Goa where it’s possible to find a good PsyTrance party every day. From underground psychedelic parties to commercial techno parties – this area has it all. Moreover, you will also find some of the best restaurants of North Goa here. Although it gets crowded during the peak season here but if you know your way around, you will surely find many empty areas.

07 | Big Vagator

A cow on Big Vagator Beach - North Goa beaches

A cow on Big Vagator Beach – North Goa beaches

Unlike most of Goa beaches, this beach can be accessed by climbing down a cliff. This beach is rocky beach and is frequently visited by cows.

The best part: This beach is divided in a few small parts because of the rocks. Some people call the first part “Chapora beach”. The bigger part is called Big Vagator, which will further lead you to the next beach in this list.

What to do on Vagator beach: Vagator beach is next to Chapora fort which offers stunning views of this beach on one side and Siolim river on the other side. Visit this fort around sunset to make the most of it. Moreover, it’s a 2-minute climb which can be painful if the sun is strong (mid day) or can be pleasant as the sun begins to set.

Recommended places to stay in Vagator: 

Casa Vagator: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

The Grand Leoney Resort: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Naked Space Boutique Hotel: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Cochichos Resort: Mid range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Leoney Resort: Budget – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Hostels in Vagator:

Pappi Chulo Hostel – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Jungle Hostel – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Dreams Hostel – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

 

08 | Small Vagator or Ozran Beach

Ozran beach or Small Vagator Beach - North Goa Beaches

Ozran beach or Small Vagator Beach – North Goa Beaches

Small Vagator is a tiny beach as the name suggests. This beach is perfect for watching sunsets as you sit on the rocks and sip Kings beer. This is my favorite place to stay in Goa during mid season. I highly recommend you stay at Cochichos Resort if you’re looking for a place to stay in this area.

The best part: As you walk along the end of Ozran beach, you will notice a carving of Lord Shiva’s face on one of the rocks. This carving was done in the 1990s by an Italian traveler.

Shiva Rock Faces in Vagator - Faces on the Rocks - North goa beaches

Shiva Rock Faces in Vagator – Faces on the Rocks – North Goa beaches

What to do in Vagator: Vagator has some of the best bars and party areas of Goa. Try to attend a typical old school Goa trance party in 9 bar or Hill top.

Recommended places to stay on Ozran Beach: The best is Cochichos Resort but it gets sold out very soon. Ozran and Vagator beaches are together, so I have combined the hotel / hostel list. Please refer to the recommended places to stay in Vagator.

09 | Anjuna Beach

While Anjuna area is good for parties, the beach is bad for a swim because it’s very rocky and the water doesn’t feel clean. At the end of this beach, you will find Curlies shack which is perhaps the most famous shack in all of Goa.

The best part: The best part of Anjuna is not the beach, it’s the back lanes! While most of the beaches have straight back lanes where it’s easy to keep a track of the direction, Anjuna’s roads are more like a maze. There is one straight road which has a few ATMs and a hated Domino’s pizza point which goes to the beach and connects to a many other small streets.

Curlies Shack, Anjuna Beach, North Goa

Curlies Shack, Anjuna Beach, North Goa

What to do in Anjuna: Back in the 1960s and 70s, many hippies visited Goa and did not leave. Anjuna was their home and they often sold their belongings on the streets. Soon artists from all over India joined them and started selling their handicrafts. This is how Anjuna Flea Market started and has evolved over the years. It’s a must visit for any traveler.

Also, Anjuna is famous for its parties so check out places like Curlies, Shiva Valley, UV Bar or Pirate bar (it was earlier known as “Hippie bar”) for a psytrance beach party that usually goes on till early morning. If you’re not into psytrance, you may want to check out Liliput cafe.

Places to stay in Anjuna:

Laguna Anjuna: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Casa Anjuna: High end – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

The Banyan Soul: Mid Range – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

Starco Goa: Budget – Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Hostels in Anjuna:

Red Door hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Lazy Llama Hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Wonderland Hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com

Prison hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Agoda.com

Bollywood Backyard Hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor

Roadhouse Hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

 

Zone 4 – Baga river to Fort Aguada

This is perhaps the most crowded part of Goa. These beaches are frequently visited by Indian families. Sadly, this part of Goa gets more visitors than it can handle, which is evident from the amount of traffic jams that one has to bear.

These beaches are connected and you can reach from one to another by just walking on the sand. Please don’t completely write off this part of Goa because of my post. If you visit Goa during low season, then I recommend you make a day visit to this part of Goa to visit some famous restaurants and Fort Aguada.

These beaches also have many water-sport options available, such as jet ski, banana boat, para sailing, etc. Of course by now you know that this is my least favorite part of Goa and I don’t recommend you visit this are if you’re visiting Goa during peak season.

10 | Baga Beach

Baga River, North Goa Beaches

Baga River, North Goa Beaches

 

This beach is very popular among young Indians. This beach starts at Baga river and ends at Calangute beach. The beach is dotted with many beach bars and shacks. The most famous restaurant in this area is Bittos. If you visit, do try their seafood platter, which is surprisingly affordable for the amount and quality. One of the most famous street of Goa is here and is called “Tito’s lane” which has been named after the famous nightclubs of this area – Club Tito’s. Other party areas are Club Mambos and LoungeFly.

Things to do in Baga: Visit the nearby village – Arpora. The location of Goa’s famous “Saturday Night Market” in Arpora. This market is a lot of fun to visit because of live music, performances, good food and of course a fantastic market. Saturday night bazaar takes place on Saturday nights from November to February every year.

Places to Party in Baga: Club Cabana in Arpora where there is a ladies night every Wednesday and it’s an open bar with unlimited drinks for women. Men can pay INR 1000 to enter and also drink unlimited drinks. Other party places are Club Tito’s, Mambos and LoungeFly.

11 | Calangute Beach

Parasailing on Calangute Beach - North Goa Beaches

Parasailing on Calangute Beach – North Goa Beaches

Perhaps the most crowded beach of Goa, this beach will offer you sights of families fully clothed and in water. You will also spot many newly wedded couples wherein women are inside the water wearing expensive gold jewelry and high heels. This beach is what I had in my mind when I wrote this post about what not to wear on the beach.

Recommended restaurant: Souza Lobo

Recommended place to stay: None. Please do yourself a favor and don’t stay here.

12 | Candolim Beach

Candolim is one of the better beaches in this zone. It is definitely not as crowded as the above two beaches and if you’re lucky, you may find yourself a decent shack with good reggae music and King’s beer. This beach is frequently visited by retired English couples and you will find that most of the bars play “The Beatles”. In fact, the first time I ever saw a beach in my life was Candolim!

Sunset at Candolim Beach, North Goa

Sunset at Candolim Beach, North Goa

Recommended Restaurants: Bob’s Inn, Santana Beach Shack, Bob Marley Beach Shack.

Recommended Hostel: Read reviews on TripAdvisor, Check deals on Booking.com or Agoda.com

13 | Sinquerim Beach

This beach is further south of Candolim and is home to a few high end resorts, including the famous Taj. This is the most peaceful beach of zone 4 and has only 2-3 beach bars (shacks). Do visit the nearby Fort Aguada while you are here. Right next to Fort Aguada is Central Jail of Aguada, Goa.

Zone 5 – Nerul river to Dona Paula beach and beyond

This zone is the remaining part of North Goa which is beyond Fort Aguada. It has some of the smaller beaches of North Goa. This part of Goa gets fewer visitors as compared to zones 3 and 4. It is mostly inhabited by locals with fewer accommodation options for visitors. I have limited knowledge of these beaches but here you go:

14 | Coco Beach

This is a small and rocky beach with almost nothing on it except a place that you can rent on AirBnB called Ahilya by the Sea. This little property is new but it’s already a favorite of travel writers from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and India Today.

15 | Miramar Beach

I have visited this beach only once with a local. I like how things are affordable on this beach because it is frequently visited only by the local Goans. I ate a memorable meal of sorpotel (Goan pork delicacy) in a local restaurant near the beach called De Silva’s.

On the way to Miramar beach from Panjim road, there are many river side casinos where you can try your luck. As you drive on this road, you will notice a row of casinos next to Mandovi river. One casino that stands out is Casino Royale.

Casino Royale next to Mandovi river near Miramar Beach

Casino Royale next to Mandovi river near Miramar Beach

16 | Dona Paula Beach

This beach is on a triangular part of Goa, so can be called a peninsula with a smaller Dias beach on the other side. A jetty connects to a spot in the middle which is called
“Dona Paula viewpoint”.

17 | Bambolim Beach

Perhaps it was Grand Hyatt North Goa which put this beach on the map for most of the non Goans. They say it’s easy to find oyster shells here. Let me know if you ever find any!

18 | Siridao Beach

This is a long strip of fishing beach that is divided in a few parts by rocks. At the extreme south corner is a Chapel of Jesus Nazareth.

Where to go after Goa:

South Goa

South Goa can be reached by a scooter, car or a bus. Travel time can be anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on how far you want to go. Watch out for my guide to South Goa’s beaches which will be published soon.

Hampi

Hampi can be reached by an overnight bus from Goa or an early morning train. Hampi is a unique destination with ruins of an ancient civilization and weird geology which will make you feel like you’re a part of Star Wars movie. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Read my guide to Hampi here.

Gokarna

A little beyond South Goa is a hippie destination called Gokarna, which can be reached by a 3 hour train ride or car ride from Goa. Gokarna is famous for its “OM” beach, which is in the shape of ॐ (Om). Watch out for my guide to Gokarna which will be published soon.

Have you been to North Goa already and have a few tips to add? Let me know in the comments section. If you enjoyed reading this guide to North Goa beaches and beyond, please share it with your friends on Facebook.

You may also like:

Goa Beyond the Beaches

11 Reasons Why I love Goa and Keep Going Back

9 Reasons Why Cochichos Resort is the Best Place to Stay in Goa

11 Hippie Destinations in the Himalayas

North Goa - The Only Guide You Will Ever Need
Ashwem Beach in North Goa -A detailed guide to North Goa Beaches
North Goa - The Only Guide You Will Ever Need

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