We guess that you already have heard or read that Goa offers more then the obvious known paradise beaches, hippies and karaoke.
As a quite small state (3.700 km²) Goa just joined the Indian Union in1961 after getting rid of the 451 year long portugese colonialisation. This past makes Goa to a part of India, which is different – for us travellers quite comfortable as it is not so “foreign”. Most of the 1.45 Mio Goanese live in villages. Each village is moreorless autonomous. To provide the basic needs, they all have a daily market where you can get everything for the daily use. Fishery, paddy fields, coconut groves, spice plantations – these traditional lines of business are still existing next to modern factories. Goa is full of history, alive traditions, friendly people, inviting beaches, grown architecture – all in all a clearly laid-out area to spend an interesting and relaxing time.
We don’t offer any packages or grouptours to Goa, but like to organise an individual journey for you – no matter wether it is a tour on its own or a part of a tour including other destinations in India.
Below we are introducing some topics which can be interesting for a stay in Goa. We like to give you more infos – as our friend Prashant lives in Margao, we are always up to date!
The number of accommodations in Goa is huge! There are all kinds of comforts and price-categories, in which they differ due to the seasons. From mid of december to mid of january the costs are minimum double as compared to the monsoon-season. Please tell us your criteria and wishes, we’ll find the suitable accommodation for you!
Goa is offering a most interesting mix of the impacts of the portugese colonial regime and the traditional indian lifestyle. Some aspects of the portugese culture (elements of architecture, way of life, music/dance) have been integrated and are nowadays visable moreorless. Especially the capital Panjim is inviting you to discover the indian-portugese mixture.
Due to portugese activity there are lots of churches in Goa. But most of them are closed except for the holy mass. Only the famous churches in Old Goa are always open for sightseeing, which you can do on a guided tour. The white from most churches is from a colour made out of mussles. In the rain it darkens wuickly, therefore they are freshly painted after each monsson.
But anyhow we recommend the visit of a holy mass, for example sundays at 7:30 am. One doesn’t understand a word, but can enjoy the festive, religious atmosphere. The believers are many more than in our countries.
Especially in the hinterland the hindu religion is alive. Next to many altars in the houses in the villages one can also visit quite some temples which are used by the people. The most beautiful ones are near to Ponda.
Many of the 3-400 years old mansions are still inhabited, but some are opened for sightseeing. These families are little low of money for renovations. A visit will shift you towards ancient times same as giving you a good insight into the nowadays situation of these old-established families. Most of the furniture was produced in Goa itself after a european example.
In Goa many different spices are growing. There are huge spice plantations, which prepared a small part for guided walks. In small groups one goes with a guide, who explains everything in a humorous and informative way. Quite surprising how many of the spices are growing in the nature. Such a visit is always topped with a delicious meal for sure with the use of many spices.
I guess you didn’t heard of trekking in Goa, but there are quite nice possibilities in the hilly areaof the hinterland. All treks include the transfer by bus/taxi or train. You will get a packe dlunch with sandwiches, biscuits, fruits, sweets, drinks etc. Most of the tours are roundabout 10 km, which can take a bit longer in the rough terrain than on an easy road. Usually you walk in the shadow so that it won’t become too exhausting. Good shoes are recommended.
Motorbikes can be rented in every touristic place. One just has to show the international driving license and maybe a copy of the passport. Most favoured are the Kinetic Honda Scooters (without gears) and the heavier Enfield Bullets. Better to look out first for a quiet area to get used to the left-side traffic before starting to dive into the indian traffic chaos, where the horn is sometimes more important than the brakes. One has to be really alert to get home safely.
Bicycles can be rented at many places. Either one starts to explore the surrounding on ones own or you decide for a guided cycle-tour. The beach, especially at Colva, is very suitable for cycling.
Next to swimming in the breakers of the Arabian Sea one can enjoy quite some different kind of activities like Parasailing and moving on the water (Banana-Boat, Waterbike, Swimming-ring).
ATTENTION: In the summer there is monsoon in Goa, means it rains more often and swimming in the sea is not possible. Who isn’t distracted by that, enjoys the silence, the flourishing nature and a swim in the swimmingpool.