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Sun, Sea, Sand & Delicious Food
Oct 11, 2011 12:13 PM 35671 Views
(Updated Oct 11, 2011 02:41 PM)

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Read this review if you are interested in Goa because of the above title. These were the four things that attracted me to Goa and my 3 days stay were totally focused on these four basic attractions.


When to visit?


The tariffs of hotels in Goa are divided into three seasons- Off season (June 16 to September 30), Peak season (December 24 to January 1) and Season (for the remaining dates). The off-season is considered off mainly because of the heavy rains. So the best time to visit Goa is in last week of September as you will get the benefits of off-season and less rains or very light drizzling. But remember that it will slightly hot in September. If you want to enjoy to the peak, then visit in November or February.


Remember that the hotel tariff in Goa increases by around 50-100% (even more in some cases) in season.


How to reach?


Goa can be reached by air, train or bus services.


Air- Dabolim Airport is situated near Vasco da Gama, approx. 29kms from Panaji. All major domestic airlines operate to Goa.


Train- There are many trains that depart from major cities of India on daily basis. Margao and Vasco da Gama are the major railway stations of Goa. Taxis are available from the railway station to any part of Goa. Prefer having taxis from prepaid counters.


Road- There are regular buses from nearby states like Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. operated by government operators and private operators. Bus tickets can be booked online through many websites.


It is better if you reach there before 12noon as most of the hotels have check in time of 12noon, so it will save your one-day.


Where to stay?


It is the most important question that where to stay. There are many places worth staying. But if you are a couple and just going to enjoy the beaches then stay near by any beach. Remember that beachside resorts have very high tariff, mostly higher than 2k in season.


If you want to stay near beach, prefer a place near Calangute beach. It is world famous beach of Goa with most happening activities. But remember you have to walk a lot on the beach if you want to find an aloof corner. You can even walk to Baga beach (just 4kms away) that is less crowded and you can even bargain a sun-bed with snacks or you can pay Rs.50 per hour.


If you want to explore Goa in affordable prices, I would suggest you to stay in any city, as the hotels are available at very cheap rates (less than 1k per night). Check out the official site of GTDC (goa-tourism.com) as they have many hotels spread across the Goa and available at affordable prices. Online reservation facility is available on most of the hotel websites but book in advance as famous beach resorts are always full in season.


How to explore?


You can hire a two-wheeler starting from Rs.250 per day. The price range increases with the type of vehicle- high for a motorcycle and low for scooty etc. You need to carry a valid driving license and you can hire a vehicle from anywhere. They will take double the hire charges as the deposit and its very hassle free and convenient way of transport.


There is public transport available but as a visitor I will not suggest you to opt for that, as there are local crowd in it. If you are in a family, you can even hire a four-wheeler. For individuals or couple, hiring a four-wheeler or three-wheeler is a costly affair, as they will charge as per their wish, not as per kilometers.


The simple and best option (recommended for families) is to go for guided tours conducted by GTDC. GTDC has many tour options like North Goa, South Goa at Rs.200 each. You can check the details at their website and can even book in advance.


What to do?




  1. Try Goan dishes. My favorite is Chicken Vindalo.




  2. Relax on any beach shack/ sun bed.




  3. Just lost in the Arabian Sea. Lie down on the sand near the shore and let the waves push you back.




  4. Walk on the beach at sunset and sunrise.




  5. Go on a river cruise for sunset or dinner. My recommendation is for Santa Monica, run by GTDC at Rs.150 per head.




  6. If you get time, do visit once for dinner to Foodland at Miramar Beach, Panaji. Enjoy your food in open air with live ghazal program at very reasonable rates in the range of Rs.400 for two persons..




  7. If you are adventurous, do try water sports (parasailing, water surfing, water scooter etc), available at Calangute beach and many other beaches.




  8. Explore the varieties of beaches. Every beach has its own unique characteristics.




  9. Explore old Goa and churches, if you are interested in that.




  10. Do try Kaju Feni- the local alcoholic drink.




  11. Purchase Cashewnuts from a proper shop/ govt authorized shop. Cashews are of very good quality in Goa.




  12. You can visit Fort Aguada, Mayem Lake etc. But it all depends on your interest.






Beaches


I love Goa for the varieties of beaches. I would like to share qualities of some beaches. The list is just selective.


Anjuna Beach (North Goa, 18kms from Panaji) - It is a rocky beach and you need to carefully watch your steps. It is famous for Hippy Market held on every Wednesday (in peak season) and parties held on full moon night.


Baga Beach (North Goa, near Calangute beach)- It is extension of Calangute beach but less crowded. You can find plenty of sun-beds on this beach. Just walk a little far and you can get a bed at less than Rs.50 per hour (for couple). It is famous for various restaurants. Dont get shocked to see foreigners in bikini lying on sun-beds :)


Calangute Beach (North Goa, 16kms from Panaji) - It is known as ‘Queen of Beaches’ and is the most crowded beach and it is hard to find seclusion. It is having best infrastructure for tourists and famous for various water sports starting from Rs.100.


Candolim Beach (North Goa, Near Panaji)- It is less crowded beach and have few facilities compared to other beaches.


Coco Beach/ Senquerium Beach(North Goa, near Aguada Fort)- This is very small beach and is not very beautiful. It is famous for dolphin tours conducted on boats for Rs.250 each.


Colva Beach (South Goa, 6kms from Margao) – This is the longest beach in Goa and less crowded than Calangute or Miramar beaches.


Dona Paula Beach (North Goa, 7kms from Panaji) – Just sit in a corner and watch the swimming fishes.


Miramar Beach (North Goa, 3kms from Panaji) – It is the beach for local peoples of Panaji due to close proximity with the town. You will hardly find a aloof corner on this beach.


Vagator Beach (North Goa, 22kms from Panaji) – It is not much crowded but personally this is my favorite beach. It is combination of golden sand, black lava rocks and swaying coconut trees with background of 500-yr old Chapora fort (seen in DCH).


Things to remember




  1. Do carry valid driving license if you are planning to hire a two-wheeler.




  2. It’s better if you are equipped with road map of Goa while traveling on hired vehicle.




  3. Always notice the directions mentioned on signboards on the roads.




  4. Do compulsorily notice the one-way roads.




  5. Don’t forget to apply any sunscreen cream else you will get the suntan.




  6. Helmets are compulsory on highways.




  7. If you are couple, you can have your snaps clicked on your camera by any professional photographers. You can pay them anything like Rs.10, 20 etc.




  8. Smoking and spitting is strictly prohibited, where as drinking is allowed everywhere.




  9. Be aware of the petrol in your hired vehicle as mostly meters may not be working. So always calculate distance while roaming.






You can find ATMs, Cafe Coffee Day, Domino's Pizza and other major outlets at almost every famous beach. So just relax and enjoy.


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