You STILL haven’t visited Goa?! Oh, come on. Goa may be smallest state in India, but is in arguably the biggest state in terms of fun, frolic and vibrancy. Whether you’re a nerd of history, a nature lover or a wild party animal, this late- Portuguese colony will never let you down and that is precisely why it sees so many visiting tourists per year. North Goa, especially has a number of places- ranging from beaches, casinos to old Forts and places of worship, that will blow the mind of the traveller in you! These are the places you absolutely CANNOT miss in North Goa…
Beaches in North Goa, for the water-baby in you:
1. Aguada Beach
This Beach in North Goa is a paradisaical destination. One can see an old fort overlooking the sea, as if a distraught person looking upon a distance, waiting for their old friend to arrive. However, this is also a great place for the thrill seekers as it offers a good variety of water- sports that is sure to give you a kick of adrenaline. People who just want to “chill” will also find this place excellent as it houses many cafes, massage centers and places to shop cheap. Make sure to also check out the rich history of the fort as much as you enjoy the jazz music playing in the shacks, here!
2. Baga Beach
Named after the Baga creek, this beach is another popular destination in North Goa. During the daytime, one can see the usual sight of a typical Goan beach- rows of shacks, with an addition of rows of motor boats too. There are many restaurants here that are popular and crowded by tourists and at night, this place comes alive with music and a diversity of tourists grooving to its beats!
3. Calangute Beach
This one is called “queen of beaches” by many tourists who have absolutely loved their experience here. Undoubtedly the busiest and the most commercialized beach in North Goa, this place is very famous for its restaurants that is heaven to any foodie. This place also boasts of multi- cultural showrooms like those of Kashmir, Tibet, Indonesia, etc., that line up along the sandy shores of this beach and attract curio collectors.
4. Vagator Beach
What’s more, here you could also live your own Bollywood dream! This beach appears in a couple of Bollywood movies, including Dil Chahta Hai. To reach the fort here, you’ll need to take a short trek and the sunset or sunrise you will see, is all worth the sweat and more! along with that, you’ll also see stretches of sand and the vast Arabian Sea. In case you escape to catch the sunset, be mindful and carry a flashlight for your way back.
Shopping and Casinos in North Goa, for the splurge-er:
1. Friday market in Mapusa
This market is a charming bazaar located in Mapusa and it put up on Fridays, on a weeky basis. It is situated right outside the Municipal Market. You can see ladies put up stalls that display fresh local harvest that are brought in by farmers and small businessmen from all over Goa. By sundown, the market closes up.
2. Saturday Night Market in Arpora
This is a MUST visit for all tourists visiting from November till April. It has hundreds of small stalls that display various things- from accessories, clothes to other curios. It is also a food paradise where all sorts of cuisines are available- from Greek, Thai, South India, to Chinese, Italian and Mughlai. The Indian stalls of the market feature exotic Kashmiri handicrafts, pashminas and other antiques. You can also dip your toes into the supernatural world by visiting the fortune- tellers and tarot card readers here!
3. Anjuna Market
This market is put up on Wednesdays and is perfect to shop your beach clothes from, at dirt-cheap prices!
4. Casino Palm
This casino is one of the most famous in Goa and it is located on the Calangute Beach. Try your luck here and make enough bucks to even out-stay your visit in Goa!
5. MV Caravela
This casino is extra special because it’s the first off-shore casino in Goa that sails from Mandovi Beach. You’ll be onboard with the best crew, fabulous crowd and ready to enjoy a glamorous night with good food, music and lots of money. The fee per person is Rs. 1500, which also includes 500 gambling chips for making the most out of the hidden gambler in you!
6. Casino Pride
Casino Pride was the second main floating casino to hit the river Mandovi in Panjim Goa after Casino Royale. Casino Pride has a sibling called Pride 2. Yes, there are two Pride casino boats in the river now known as Pride and Pride 2. The original one is called just ‘Casino Pride’. The beauty of the operation of Casino Pride is that with just one entry ticket bought at either of the casino entry points, a guest can visit both the casinos.
Historic Sites and Places of Worship in North Goa:
1. Houses of Goa – Museum
This museum, as the name suggests, is dedicated to showcase the progress in the types of houses built in Goa, from the early centuries till date. The houses are considered as chief feature in the Goan identification and is thus given importance here. The Museum is built in Torda, Salvador-do-Mundo Bardez Goa.
2. Saligao Church – Ancient Gothic Church of Goa
This church is located in village of Saligao and is one of the oldest in Goa. Made in a Greek architectural style, one can see the tall building painted in pearly white. There is a gong at the top of the church and a statue of the Mother of God in the centre. Inside, one can see a large chandelier and a lng aisle that leads to the main alter.
3. Aguada Fort & Lighthouse
Already briefly mentioned above, this place deserves a special description. Fort Aguada and its lighthouse stands tall from the seventeenth-century Portuguese colonial times. Originally built in 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas, it now still stands over looking the vast sea.
If you’re planning to visit North Goa, book your trip easily and at a cheap rate here!