Oh Goa! That famed coastline, blessed with tropical sun and pristine beaches, adorned with cafes and shacks has been the main draw for international travellers to India, for many years now. Even for Indian travellers, there is no bigger getaway destination in the country and you can experience this almost every weekend when Indians of all ages alike, from all parts of the country, throng to its beaches to give their lives a momentary escape. We think Goa is India’s answer to Hawaii and Ibiza, albeit a lot smaller but equally charming. However, if you can take your eyes off the beaches and the accompanying bling-bling clubs, you will find many quieter and offbeat things to do in Goa. Unlike the rest of India, Goa has a Portuguese connection of over 450 years, which has seeped into the everyday lives of Goans. The cuisine is markedly Indian but has an unmistakeable European influence to it. The architecture, especially the churches, is what you would normally associate with the Iberian Peninsula. Needless to say, it also boasts of an intriguing history filled with fascinating stories tailor made for the trivia hunter. Nestled between the Coast and the mountainous Western Ghats, Goa offers stunning tropical forests for the nature lovers. Honestly, we think Goa is best experienced among its people, their culture, their food and their colonial bungalows afar from the maddening crowds on the beaches. Even for the beaches, we recommend the not so popular but equally pristine ones.
Whenever you go to Goa, give yourself enough time to soak in the vibe. The beaches and cafes sure will help you unwind but take a couple of days to experience the hinterlands, the rundown churches and the quaint fishing villages and discover why Goa is a truly magical landscape. Remember, there are quite a lot of things to do in Goa, apart from the beaches and the cafes. Also, come what may, never forget to ‘Susegad’.