Goa, a famous Indian state, is the most preferred holiday destination, especially during the winter. The beautiful sunset at the beach, the breeze of Portuguese culture, and its adventurous nightlife attract tourist from all over the world.
If you're planning to visit Goa during this vacation, you may find this blog helpful.
Goa, India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population, has always been a preferred destination for Indian and foreign tourists. It’s a long history as a Portuguese Colony and it’s preserved churches makes it more appealing to explore this beautiful and adventurous state. Therefore, if you are planning for Goa this winter vacation, read this helpful blog for some good travel tips and ideas.
How to Reach Goa?
1. Via Airways
Goa International Airport or Dabolim Airport is located 4 kilometres from the nearest city, Vasco Da Gama. This airport caters to both international and domestic flight services. \
The distance from the Panjim (state capital) to Dabolim Airport is 30 kilometres.
2. Via Railways
Both of Goa's two major railway stations – Margao and Vasco da Gama, are located in the southern part of the state. Hence, if you are travelling from Southern Central railways, your stop should be at Vasco-da Gama, whereas the Konkan Railway terminus is Margao. After reaching your hotel/holiday home, it is best to hire any two-wheeler on a per-day basis to explore Goa’s inside. The two-wheeler comes in a pocket-friendly rate whereas Four-wheelers are bit costly.
No other way of sightseeing is available.
Please remember do not hesitate to ask for the helmet from your two-wheeler provider, as riding without a helmet is prohibited in Goa. And if you do, you may have to pay a hefty fine for it.
3. Via Roadways
If you're planning to reach Goa via road then Mumbai should be the preferred starting point. There are several good travel service providers, who offer direct bus services between Mumbai and Goa.
Else, if you're driving by your own then drive your steer through NH4 route, which is extremely smooth and well maintained.
Places to Visit in Goa
Like any other Indian state, Goa is also divided into its two districts - North Goa and South Goa. Both these districts of Goa depicts two different looks of the State. North Goa is spread over 1736 kilometres square of area. The State capital, Panjim, itself located in this district. North Goa is famous for its beaches. The beautiful beaches like Anjuna Beach, Candolim Beach, Mandrem Beach, Calangute Beach and few other beaches are located in North Goa.
The other tourist destinations in North Goa are Fort Aguada, Temple of Boghdeshwara, and Chapora Fort.
Fort Aguada is famous and well-constructed Portugues fort along with a Lighthouse. This monument was built in 1612 (seventeenth century) to safeguard against Dutch and Marathas. This old fort with its proud lighthouse was once used to be a reference point for the ships coming from Europe during that time. This fort stands on Sinquerim Beach, overlooking the waving Arabian Sea.
This four-storey Lighthouse is one of the oldest Lighthouse in Asia. It has the storing capacity of 2,37,6000 gallons of water.
The Fort today is just a fraction of the original area and has become one of the major tourist attractions in North Goa. The sight from the walls of this Fort, especially the Sunset is so majestic that it cannot be described in words. Moreover, part of the Aguada Fort was been converted into the Aguada Jail, which has been used to convict those who found guilty in case of narcotics, sale of drugs, trafficking and as well as for dozen of peaceful protestors who were demanding that Goa should be handed back to India.
Slide the above images to right and you can just imagine how the beautiful it was the real moment.
One can visit The Fort Aguada on any day of the week between 9.30 am to 6.00 pm.
This is yet another tourist major attraction in Goa. It is located in North Goa and about 22km from Panjim and just 600 to 700 meters from Vagator Beach. This fort gots its name from the river Chapora, which is flowing jut in its front. Although this fort is open all day with no entry fees, still from this place the sky looks best during the sunset.
Chapora Fort was built during the years, 1627 to 1656 by Mohammed Adil Shah to prevent attacks from the Hindu Rulers. However, post that several rulers came and conquered the fort, but lastly Portuguese held the command of the fort in 1941. They ruled until the year 1961 until the Fort was passed on to the hands India when Portuguese left Goa.
The famous scene of the movie, Dil Chahta Hai, was shot here on the walls of this Fort.
Apart from the beaches and Forts, North Goa is also famous for its food, nightlife, shacks, shopping and architecture. The restaurants here in North Goa serves sumptuous and mouth-watering delicacies which not only includes seafood and local flavour but also some continental cuisines too.
So, according to my experience, North Goa is a paradise for adventure lovers. It becomes a major part of the Goa holiday experience.
South Goa, on the other hand, is calm and peaceful in comparison to North Goa. It is spread over 1966 sq. kilometres. It is 60 km far from the Goa International Airport, which will take approx. 1 hour 35 minutes of drive. From Panjim Bus stand, it 67 km far.
If you are a nature lover, do not enjoy parties, then South Goa should be your choice. You won't find a crazy crowd on the beach, rather a clean and beautiful one where you can find some quiet time to rejuvenate yourself.
Apart from the beaches, South Goa offers you several good Yoga classes which will help you to learn more about your body and nature.
Lastly, I would say that Goa is not only a place for fun or beaches, but it is a place of understanding all together different culture and architecture. And this place totally justifies the caption "Incredible India"
Hopefully, this blog has been a useful read. If you have any further queries or doubt, please feel free to ask me in the comment section below.