People from all over the world travel to India, and when they do, they often travel to Goa. The beautiful region of Goa is one of the most popular travel destinations in India for backpackers and other tourists.
The vibe in Goa is relaxed and peaceful. Golden sandy beaches and a hot sun cover the coastal area of the province in the summertime. Goa is famous for many things but is especially known as a great party destination for those who like long nights of dancing on the beach. But other than that, The region also has a lot of historical and natural treasures, which easily can be explored by a cheap hired motorcycle or scooter.
This article about Goa covers 5 trendy things to visit in the area: beaches, colonial remains, a night market and a cozy hippie village next to the aquamarine ocean.
Table of contents
1. Watch a Sunset on one of Goa’s golden beaches
The best beaches in Goa are to be found in Palolem, Anjuna, Calangute, Arambol, and Gokarna. Every here beach here has great restaurants and cozy bars located right next to the ocean. In the area of Anjuna, there are also great Psytrance and Techno parties on the beach, for which Goa is famously known.
Watch a Sunset on one of Goa’s golden beaches with a cold beer or a fresh fruit juice and settle down for a couple of hours to absorb the relaxed atmosphere.
2. Visit Old Goa & Fontainhas – Portuguese Colonial Remains
Several old churches and monasteries that date back to the 16th century decorate the area of Old Goa. Back in Colonial times, Old Goa used to be a Portuguese settlement for over 450 years. The name ‘Rome of the East’ was often given to the historic site because of all the religious architecture in the area.
Step back in time during your holiday in Goa and spend an enlighting day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Goa.
Old Goa is a perfect place to visit if you want to see something completely different than the beaches in Goa. Also consider visiting Fontainhas, which is an old Portuguese District near Panjim, the current capital city of Goa. Panjim is about a 15-30 minute drive from Old Goa.
3. Chapora Fort
Chapora Fort, in Bardez, Goa, is located next to the Chapora River on a hill. The historic fort offers an amazing view on the ocean and surrounding beach areas. The Fort was rebuilt in 1717 by the Portuguese Colonists and was a constant win-lose checkpoint for either the Portuguese as the old Indian Maharajas.
The Fort still has fortified walls and some smaller towers on the corners of those walls. Also, some remains from a church and housing can be found inside the fort. Mostly decorated with a tumble of stones, the fort makes a perfect 2-hour trip to enjoy the sight of the breathtaking surroundings.
4. Arpora Saturday Night Market
The Arpora Saturday night market is a must-see visit if you are willing to spend about 1-3 hours on a Saturday evening in Goa. The market is one of the largest shopping and entertainment events in the area. You will be able to find almost anything in the local market, which also attracts a huge number of local and foreign traders, including European jewelry or clothing designers.
The range of products in the Arpora Saturday Night Market is considerably extensive, from Indian wall carpets to high-quality branded products and jewelry. Keep in mind that the skill of bargaining will be necessary here to get an honest price.
The Arpora Saturday night market happens only during the tourist high-season. The opening hours are from 4:00 p.m till 11:00 p.m and the market is usually arranged before the New Year, while the last one is organized at the end of April.
5. Visit Arambol, An Old Hippie Safehaven
Arambol is a traditional fisherman village in the north of the province that offers a quite different atmosphere compared to many other villages in Goa. People that visit Arambol ofter stay for a longer time, on a cheap budget. Yoga is often practiced on the beaches and bonfires decorate the beach next to Arambol in the evenings.
Arambol is originated in the 1960s when the hippies took the over the whole area. People escaping from the busy West, settled down in the Area of Arambol or Calangute to spend the rest of their lives there in peace and harmony.
Arambol is a charming paradise for tourists that stay for a bit longer. Enjoy some great food and good music in one of the cozy restaurants near the coastline.
Other Places to visit: Spice plantations
The whole world knows that Indian food contains quite a lot of spices. These spices are grown in spice plantations throughout all of India. In Goa, you will be able to visit some of these spice plantations as an activity that makes another great alternative to the sunny beaches and the abundant amount of parties.
Some of the better know plantations are Abyss, Sahakari en Savoi. Do a tour in one of the spice plantations and see how every different spice is grown and processed. It can be a quite interesting experience to actually see these processes.