Oh! So you love travelling? Where all have you been? Have you been to Goa? These were the standard questions my friends used to hurl at me.
And post my answer they used to react as if it’s a crime not to have visited Goa haha! But this time Goa finally happened. And I must agree that my friends weren’t wrong! In India if there is any place which is the epicentre of beaches it has to be Goaaaaa- India’s hippest city and Now onwards It’s going to be my top pick for it has SUN, SAND, WATER and for me it’s more than enough. I went during the Christmas time when Goa is at it’s peak and in full bloom. So the next few days as you can guess were blissfully amazing. Wake up in the morning, have a hearty breakfast, go to the beach, lounge at the shacks, swim in the sea, have an exotic spread of lunch, catch quick zzz’s ,watch the sunset at the beach, drinks and dinner. Sleep. Repeat. Wow! I couldn’t have asked for more.
“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in”- Robert Orben
Whenever I plan my trip anywhere I do a lot of research and speak to various hotels, write them emails and keep a tab on the flight and hotel rates through apps like skyscanner, trivago, Goibibo and Expedia to name a few. I know this sounds a little tedious to some but trust me nobody can give you a better insight of a place then you yourself. So a little research doesn’t harm anyone! Yes you can ask sites like makemytrip, Thomas cook to do all this for you but I prefer the former.
My husband and I stayed at the Golden Tulip Hotel, at Candolim and a short walk from the hotel takes you to the main street which gets really vibrant in the evenings with the sound of pop and rock music in the air which elevates the mood.
Address- 315 A-G1-315B-G2,Bamon Vaddo, Candolim, Goa- 403515
Price- Rs.3000-5000 per night approx.
Our first stop was the Candolim beach. Here one can traipse over the entire stretch of seashore which is not much crowded. It is serene and tranquil away from the rackety crowds of the other beaches of North Goa. It is 14 km from Panjim the capital of Goa. We spent our time dodging the waves, and lying under the canopy watching the infinite ocean.
Next We headed to Fort Aguada. The sea waves casually crashing up the shore were euphonious to my ears. It is a 17th century fortress and lighthouse which was built by the Portuguese to defend them from any attack from the sea route. I don’t know why I find lighthouses so fascinating. Probably because I loved Enid Blyton’s novels especially the famous five series during my childhood.
Sinquerim beach is at stone throw’s distance from Fort Aguada and is calm as compared to the other beaches.
Next Point to check out was Calangute beach, the largest beach in North Goa and is famous with people from all over the world. The beach swarms with eating joints, shacks serving drinks and sea food making it a hot favourite among tourists. Despite being a famous beach, it gets really noisy and over crowded which eventually let down your expectations from this over hyped beach.
In North Goa you get to experience from hedonism, crazy all night parties, flickering neon lights which woos you to party hard to quaint, quiet, serene side and everything else in between. Which is why I love North Goa!
Casino was a definite yes in my to do list. We headed on to the Deltin Royale which is Goa’s largest luxury floating casino. It features several games like- roulette, slots, poker and more along with live entertainment on glittery stage. And not to mention even as a first timer I did manage to win some bucks! So do try your luck at one of the casinos. Even if you are not a big gambler, cruising on the high seas is a great way to unwind.
Address- Noah’s Ark, RND Jetty, Dayanand Bandodkar Road, Panjim, Goa- 403001
Entry Fee- Couple entry RS 5000 with 2500 free casino chips, includes multi-cuisine buffet dinner and unlimited house brand drinks.
In Goa, choose two wheelers which is everyone’s favourite. Bikes can be rented on a per day basis for Rs.200 to Rs.400 approximately. Your hotel manager can help you in providing these if you have a valid driving licence. Even though we had our four wheeler but we chose to cruise on two wheeler cutting through the coastal breeze and looking at the horizon of the Arabian sea.
Experience some zinging nightclubs
Club Cubana is at Arpora beach,a night club in the sky, a bit of sinuous maze with a pool and many dance floors and chill out areas amidst coconut trees all under the open sky. Although the road leading to this club isn’t that welcoming but once you reach there it’s out of the world and this tops my nightclubs list in Goa.
Address- Arpora Hill, North Goa
Entry Fee-Couple entry Rs.1800
Next I’d suggest LPK- love passion karma which is an amazing, opulent waterfront night club which has sculpted terracota statues.
Address- Road Opposite Bank of India, Bhatiwado, Nerul, Goa-403114
Entry Fee- Rs.1500
SinQ in Candolim is a uber cool place, I simply loved the poolside deck and lounge and of course the happening nightclub.
Address- Opposite Taj holiday village, Candolim, Goa
Entry Fee- Rs.500
They say Goa trip is incomplete without shack hopping so we planned to visit these shacks and experience the craziness.
Curlies, Anjuna beach is perhaps one of the most famous beach shacks and party hotspots in Goa. It is pure psychedelic and it’s freaking crazy to see so many people swinging uncontrollably to the music. I didn’t really like the food much so I’d recommend pizza, scrambled eggs, maggi and simple dishes made from sea food as these are the ones which are worth eating and rest you’d regret!
Address- Near flea market, Monteiro Vadodo, Anjuna, Goa- 403509
Shiva valley, hilltop(vagator) – We could see people pilgrimaging to this place. It’s the Hippy Mecca for trance lovers from all over the world who come to these places for addlepated wacky culture.
Vagator beach is just like one out of a picture postcard. Black rocks, swaying coconut and palm trees. This beach is my favourite pick after Candolim.
Thalassa is situated atop a high cliff in Vagator, it is a greek alfresco restaurant which offers a stunning view of the Arabian sea. The aqua and white coloured theme stole my heart. And this is a place you won’t want to miss. It has a Mediterranean feel and scrumptious food to die for. Do try out spicy prawns saganaki and Ouzo shot.
Address- Small Vagator,Orzan,Vagator, GoaContact- 09850033537
Goa’s local brew king’s beer is amazing and is only available here. There’s another drink called Fenny which is made with cashews and coconut. It is an acquired taste which I haven’t yet acquired!
On my last day in Goa I wanted to Stargaze and it’s hands down such a dreamy thing to do! Lie down on a beach away from the maddening crowd and watch the sun go down and as the night sky takes it place bedazzling with stars against the unfathomable ocean, feel the breeze and gentle waves which are nothing short of therapeutic and restorative.
Well now I can happily promulgate that yes I’ve been to Goa 😉 and its bizarrely awesome! haha!
Hey do let me know if you’ve been to Goa and share your experiences. I’d love to hear it all about it in the comments section. Till then take care, stay happy and yes don’t forget to keep it stylish!