A tourist paradise
Goa – a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is a state in western India. Its coastlines stretch along the Arabian Sea. Goa’s Portuguese history is evident in 16th-century architecture in churches and tropical plantations.
Goa is the smallest State of India – having received statehood in 1987. It was an union territory between 19 Dec 1961 to 30 May 1987 before it became a State.
Marathi and Konkani are the two main languages in this state. English is prevalent as well as Hindi as in most parts of India, especially with its colonial past.
Goa is a well connected state and thrives on tourism with almost 1/8th of the tourist arrivals in India being catered by this small state.
See Also: States of India
Beaches in Goa – Beauty & the Beast
Goa is all about its beaches and waves. This former Portuguese colony is blessed with some incredible scenic beauty and caters the taste of every fun loving party animal. Goa is optimum for solitude as well as sunbathing. The essence of Goa lies in the diversity of people all around with a clear majority of foreigners than domestic tourists. The coastline of Goa has many beautiful beaches and some of them are:
Former colonial capital, Old Goa, is home to 16th century churches and convents which make it a scenic photo spot. This UNESCO World Heritage site is rich in history, and famous for Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St. Augustine, Silver Castle of St. Francis Xavier. etc.
Goa has innumerable tourist spots of romantic history and if you are in search of one to redefine the meaning of love, Dona Paula Beach is at a distance of seven km from the city of Panaji with great view of Zuari and Mandovi rivers meeting with Arabian ocean. Dona Paula provides magnificent views of Mormugao harbor.
The Dona Paula monument is connected by a bridge to the main land. The cliff, located near the beach, is adorned with the statue of the couple hugging each other. The cliff-top has been named as Suicide point and is a major tourist attraction. The availability of a variety of water sports makes it an ideal honeymoon retreat for couples.
Fort Aguada & Sinquerim Beach
Strategically constructed by Portuguese at the shore of the Mandovi River on Sinquerim Beach to control the entry of Dutch and the Marathas in the 17th century. This fort had a freshwater storage that used to provide water supply to the ships that used to stop by. That’s why the fort got its name Aguada, meaning Water!
Sinquerim beach is located 13 km from Panaji in Goa. This Beach is quiet clean, and offers activities like para-sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving. Tourists can take long relaxing walks along this beautiful beach with its quiet ambience. The beach is clean and is considered an ideal place for swimming.
Located about 18kms from Panaji, Anjuna is more famous for its market, happening bars and nightclubs and outdoor parties.
Anjuna beach is all about western sea food and chilled beer which attracts innumerable foreign tourists every year. The restaurants serve delicious food and the flea market are worth to be visited. This place is ideal for tourists with limited means but with unlimited expectations in heart. Don’t forget to pay this beach a visit, if you travel to Goa during the winters.
Miramar or Gasper Dias Beach is the beach in Panaji and is one of the most visited beaches of Goa. It is a lovely beach of soft golden sands.
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This is Goa’s flagship beach and one of the most popular Bollywood destinations also known as ‘Queen of Beaches in Goa’. It is the most commercialized beach of the state, dotted with shacks and clubs, and remains chocked with tourists. The beach has unlimited water sports to serve delight to its domestic and international tourists. Calangute is adorned with several beach-line restaurants and retreat parlours that offer the much needed relaxation both mentally and physically. Hotels and guesthouses stretch uninterrupted from Calangute to Baga. The beach is best to be visited during Christmas and New Year when several parties, sun-burns and cultural events are organized.
Next to Calangute is Vagator Beach. Its scenic beauty, with the creek. The Vagator Beach has a naturally mystical look, what with its fine white-sand beach, black lava rock and red laterite cliffs and coconut trees. Vagator is one of the quietest of all beaches in Goa. Set amongst the picturesque red cliffs that extend to the soft warm sand, Vagator beach is perfect for relaxation. Though this beach has minimal to zero sea-side accommodation, the vast stretches of coconut trees provide a very soothing view. Nestled in its unspoiled ambiance is the isolated Chapora Fort, looming over the beach and offering a commanding view of it.
Mae De Deus Church, Saligao
This beautiful church is at Saligao about 13kms from Panaji towards Mapusa. The church building reflects gothic western architecture, stands tall against the picturesque backdrop in Saligao. The wooden statue of Mae De Deus is beautiful and reflects Goan artisanship. The mesmerizing church transforms into a spectacle in itself at night on being illuminated.
Mary Immaculate Conception Church
The Church of “Mary Immaculate Conception” is one of the greatest tourism destinations in Goa. Panjim church is one of the oldest churches in Goa. It was constructed in 1541, and rebuilt from it very foundation in 1619 in the shape of a wedding cake. It is an immense church, and is a commentary on the wealth and religious climate of the region at the time of its construction. The interior of the church is simple but colourful. This church is not only famous for its religious importance but also for its picturesque site. The church has been the venue of numerous film shoots.
River Cruise & Floating Casinos
Provides an hour river ride on Mandovi while watching lively culture of Goa. Enjoy snacks and some beer or simply soak in the mind-blowing surroundings. Apart from being important as visual lynchpins or historic landmarks, these places have the dual attraction of being witnesses to some memorable moments in Bollywood history.
See Also: Popular Beaches Of Vishakhapatnam
This North Goan is tranquil and secluded, it is perhaps the all-time favourites for honeymoon couples offering them privacy along with the scenic extravaganza. It is mainly a tiny village and is perfect for quiet relaxing. One can lounge or swim or enjoy the delectable local food.
This beach is relatively less crowded. One can simply meditate and spend some time reading or sun bathing. The lack of proper mobile networks in the area makes it a perfect retreat. You can embark on dolphin rides or even hire a bike to ride along through this countryside.
Baga beach is famous for nightlife and awesome sea food. The beach is lined with shacks that serve mouth-watering delicacies. It is known for water sports, dolphin cruises and wind surfing. The place has enough elements to entertain its visitors year-round.
This beach is an escape from the crowd during the peak seasons in Goa. Candolim was the first village to completely convert to Christianity. If the crowd and noise of Goa irritates your peace, Candolim beach is your ideal destination.
Cavelossim beach’s beauty lies in the rare combination of white sand and black rocks that cover the entire stretch of the beach. This piece of Goa is a tiny delight and is sure to attract the attention of anyone exploring the true beauty of the place. Sal River connects to this beach.
Being the north-most beach of Goa, Querim is a must visit in terms of the enchanting beauty it offers. With the Tiracol fort in background, the beach displays real-life canvas of fishing boats lined up on the beach in the evening. Like Calangute, Querim supports several water sports like paragliding making it another inevitable reason to visit the place.
With inputs from Sayan