Goa is considered as one of the top destinations in India. Famous for its beautiful beaches and parties, it stands ahead in priority list of tourists. I recently visited Goa for three days which were not enough but a good break. Here are few pointers which might be useful for you in your future trips.
1. Goa can be primarily divided into two parts – North Goa and South Goa. There is a remarkable difference between two regions. North Goa is completely touristy and South Goa is very less commercial. Depending on your interest you can decide in which part to stay when you visit. If you are more interested into beach parties, water-sports and busy areas then head straight to North Goa near Calangute or Baga beaches.
On the other hand if you are looking for a relaxed vacation with a laid back environment then South Goa is for you. South Goa has equally beautiful beaches which are very less crowded and of course less developed.
2. The second best season to visit after winters is during monsoon. Of course water sports are out of question as sea is rough, there are other benefits of visiting during this time. Goa has more things to offer than beaches and its very green everywhere after rains. June-July is the season of heavy rains so try August where there are rainy days but probability of having open sky days is more. And if you are lucky like me you can have 3 full days without rains:). If you are visiting for very short duration of 2-3 days then there is a risk involved of rain during your entire visit so set expectations accordingly.
3. Another reason to visit just after monsoon is hotel prices are discounted as compared to peak season so you may get good deals in bigger hotels.
4. Most of the people will disagree with me but I found Goa a bit overhyped. Yes its beautiful but it’s not the only place to go in India. I have seen equally good or sometimes better beaches than Goa in other parts of India. If Goa = Alcohol for you then Goa may be the best place to visit :).
5. Renting a bike/car is the easiest way to see Goa. Beaches are spread across a long coastline and reaching their by public transport is not easy and sometimes not possible. Moreover driving on Goa roads is fun especially since petrol prices are much less than other states of India :).
6. Google maps don’t work correctly when searching for beaches. The paths for other landmarks can be accurately determined but when it comes to beaches there are wrong directions shown. It was my general observation. Let me know if you found it other way.
7. Football is popular sport in Goa and can be seen played by locals everywhere just like cricket in other parts of India.
8. Goa is not a weekend destinations. You need at least 3 days for each part of Goa if you want to experience Goa’s life.
9. If you are planning to visit by bus from other cities choose travel operator after reading some reviews. Sometimes buses take much longer time than stated and this can spoil the fun. As per my observations sleeper buses take much longer due to reasons unknown to me. So opt for semi sleeper buses from good operators or check reviews about sleeper buses from same operator.
10. Connectivity from Panaji to South Goa is very good and there are non stop buses available from bus stand that can take you directly to Margao bus stand in South Goa in around 45 minutes.
11. If renting bikes then fill up some extra fuel than you estimates. You might travel some extra kilometers in search of a beach and if fuel tank goes empty in between it’s not easy to find fuel nearby unless there is bike renting shops.
12. Don’t stick to beaches and if you have time in hand explore various temples, churches, forts, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. There is much more to Goa than beaches.
Finally some pictures of Goa to show what it is like to be there in August.
All Photos Credits : Abhishek Pandey.
Evening at Calangute Beach
View from Fort Aguada
An area in South Goa