I do confess that from all states and regions in India, Goa would not be my first option of a place to visit when travelling to this magnificent country.
I had completely different ideas in mind, but Goa is open for business, and you may want some tips on what to see and do in this quite popular travel destination.
It’s always important to remember to check all the travel policies when visiting any country during COVID-19 pandemic.
Goa is known for its bubbling nightlife and daydream beaches. However, it’s also an India state well-known for its extensive history and impressive heritage sites.
I would love to highlight the presence of Portuguese influence in the history of Goa as well. It’s quite interesting to check some of the landmarks and buildings around have names in Portuguese. It is worth to read more about the cultural influence in the “velha”(old) Goa.
So, here is my guide to what I would like to see and do in this rich in culture, history and stunning landscape region of Indian.
Enjoy the Old Goa’s Architecture
The remains of the city that used to be the capital of Portuguese India is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where you are going to find listed building with the huge influence of Portuguese architecture, of course.
Some of them are the stunning Basilica of Bom Jesus. The church constructed in 1605 is also one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World. Another important religious site to be check over there is the Se Cathedral – needless to say we also have a Se Cathedral in Sao Paulo, Brazil? This impressive building with Portuguese-Manueline features is the largest church in Asia.
Besides several churches, you can also take a bike trip to check all important local sites in Old Goa.
Trekking in Chorão Island
Take a ferry from Ribandar to this magnificent island is a must-do when visiting Goa. As a settlement next to the river Mandovi, this paradisiac island is the perfect spot for a trekking day or a relaxing moment with family and friends.
The largest island among other 17 other in Goa, Chorão is a special site for being boosted with wildlife and stunning landscapes. Trekking the island can be the most perfect way of exploring its natural beauties, Hindu temples, more Portuguese architecture and of course, stunning beaches.
Tip: After spending time exploring the region on foot, ferry or bike, it’s always great to count on a relaxing place to stay. I would recommend choosing a cosy luxury villa to spend some time relaxing time with your beloved ones.
Explore Arvalem caves and waterfalls
You probably already noticed that Goa is a quite great match for adventurers. You’re right. The region surrounded by nature and unexplored landscapes reveals fascinating ancient structures that deserve to be visited and preserved, of course.
One of those spots is the Arvalem caves, also known as Harvalem or Pandora Caves. They are five compartments in the caves, revealing that they were once a type of residence before in the 6th century.
This is only one of the theories about this amazing site. You will also find the famous and popular Arvalem waterfalls in this spot. Enjoy it.
Visit the Rei Magos Fort
It’s another ancient and important heritage site in the north of the Mandovi river. Rei Magos means Three Wise Men in Portuguese and this fort is listed under the Goa Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
The oldest fort in the state was restored to serve as a Cultural and Heritage centre.
Before COVID-19 times, you could also enjoy festivals, craft arts, and other educational events in this location. It’s worth to check its website to see some restriction about the visit to this amazing site.
Take a Local Food Tour
Last, but not least, food – glorious food! I probably said several times that I never understood people that don’t indulge themselves in the local cuisine when travelling. No, mate, eating pork pies abroad is not acceptable.
It’s not a secret that I worship Indian food. Besides, Goa is a mecca for seafood and diverse street food.
There is no excuse to not indulge yourself in one of the hundreds of local food tours available in Goa. Eat like a local and have the privilege of visiting the food markets around. The Goan food trail is probably one of the most interesting activities for this trip. Here are more things to do and see in Goa.