My camera, my MP3, a good book, a pint, an overcast sky, endless sea…paradise… Beautiful Goa my home forever ❤ ❤ ❤
I may roam the world but my home will always be Goa. I’m not originally Goan but the place feels home and will always be my all time favorite holiday destination. The south of the state is what I prefer as it still retains its original goan charm and is not too touristy.
In this post is I share some of my favorite places and experiences which are offbeat and not usual to what most of us know Goa for.
So come to Goa and be charmed ❤
Bom Jesus Basilica
The saying goes…Throw a stone in Goa and it will either hit a church or a bar. So true 😉
The most well-known church is that of Bom Jesus where the remains of St. Francis Xavier rest. This place is on the World Heritage list and of religious and historical significance.
Of course there are many many more churches to explore and get to know.
Well for the bars, they are located at every corner and street and I need not tell you how to find one 😉
The Goa countryside
In the rainy season Goa changes into beautiful shades of green. Have you visited Goa in the rains? Come towards the end of August onwards when the showers are not so heavy.
For me Goa is the best during this season.
Goa is known for its susegad lifestyle and why not be susegad when on holiday? But if you’re feeling adventurous then take a detour to the legendary Dudhsagar waterfalls.
My friends and I trekked through railway tracks and jungle to see the waterfalls.
The trek started from Kulem station and merged into the Mollem National Park. So the trek is walking partly on the railway tracks and partly jungle.
You can also go by jeep which are operational from October to May.
Read more about my trek Trek-o-mania at Dudhsagar Waterfalls
Latin Quarters / Fountainhas
Do you know where this is? Well this place has been on my radar since a while and I finally explored it.
It is one of the most well-kept secrets and is located right inside Panjim city. Latin Quarters is located right next to the plush Althino Heights.
So Althino is located at the top of the hill and Latin Quarters is just below. This place is a must visit if you love knowing more about Goan / Portuguese architecture and way of life.
Latin Quarters will transport you back in time to the Portuguese era and will give you glimpses of their way of life.
Take a leisurely walk around the place and have a good look at the colorful houses here, each one will tell you a story, if you listen and look carefully 🙂
Most houses have been converted into hotels, restaurants and art galleries but they have retained the original art deco style.
There are quaint cafes where you can stop by for a cup of coffee and cake and watch life go by.
Beaches of South Goa
If you like serenity, calm some peace and quiet head south. The beaches here are not crowded and offer you the space to relax and rejuvenate.
The noisy, crowded and happening beaches are all in the north.
You can gaze endlessly at the sea. Relax with a good book, maybe have a sip of beer. You can really unwind here.
Take long walks, nobody’s gonna come in your way.
To getaway from it all I usually head out to Sernabatim beach in the South. You can almost own this beach 🙂
It’s not too crowded and you also have the beach shacks which serve some good food. Can you imagine relaxing on the beach in the evening with some beer and fish with the stars and the sea for company?
This is why I like Sernabatim, it lets me be 🙂
Another beach which is similar is Palolem, further down south. The waters are emerald and the shore is lined with coconut trees.
If you are an explorer hire a scooty and ride the narrow tree-lined roads to explore the beaches that come your way. You may discover a few quiet and small beaches which feel like paradise.
Living with a local is a great way to experience Goa and the added advantage is you get useful tips and news which turns out to be very helpful.
My favourite place is Mary’s Residency located bang in the middle of the main Baga beach road. But since the house is in one of the inner lanes the location is perfect.
Baga beach, Infantaira cafe and the all the cool hangouts are within walking distance.
Mary’s Residency is quaint and comfortable. Each room has a kitchenette and a big balcony. There is also a nice terrace for bbq with friends. This is the perfect place for me when Im in the north.
The host is an elderly uncle who loves to chat and is very hospitable. Uncle also makes and sells local wine and feni which I guarantee are worth buying.
Go into hiding at a local goan homestay. Live on the pao and goa sausages accompanied with some house wine. Explore the beaches and local markets nearby at your own pace.
The very delicious Goan cuisine
Sorpotel, fish curry and rice, goa sausage, chilly fry, prawns balchao, Poi the bread, bangada rechad, crabs in butter and garlic sauce, beef chilly, bbq on the beach, chicken xacuti….these are some of my all time favourite foods and it is one of the main reasons that I keep coming back to Goa.
There are many many food joints and places where you get good food. Each of you has a favourite place. These are mine
St. Anthony’s at Baga beach – Order your fav cocktail right on the beach. Listen to some enthu people singing the karaoke. Enjoy the cool sea breeze and the moonlight reflecting on the ocean. This is the best ambience you can get.
Martin’s corner at Betalbatim beach – My all time fav place to be. Classy place, great goan food, good cocktails, excellent music and a relaxed atmosphere.
Jhoncy’s shack in Banaulim – If you’re looking for a relaxed afternoon lunch then head right here. This shack is on the beach, so you can have some lunch which goes well with a couple or more of Kings Beer 🙂
Longuinhos Café – A local hangout situated right in the middle of Madgaon market. If you go for Sunday morning mass, then visit this place for breakfast. This restaraunt has some good and authentic goan food. You may even catch up on some gossip with the locals.
Shopping in Mapusa & Panjim
Mapusa is located in the north of Goa and has a huge market frequented by locals.
My annual stock of Goa sausages and sweets is brought from here. They have a great Friday market worth visiting.
Sweets – Pinag, dodhol, dal sweet, bibanca, bolinas, bath are some of the well-known local goan sweets. You can buy these freshly made from either Simona’s bakery or St. Peter’s bakery. Both are located in the market.
Bread – There is also the freshly baked local goan bread called Poi, which tastes great with butter and tea. I generally pick it up on the last day so I can take it back home. Carrying some memories which you can eat and relish after the holiday feels great 🙂
Chorizos – The ever flavourful and spicy hot goan sausages or chorizos as they are locally known are also sold in Mapusa market. There are ladies who will sell these daily near the main fruits stall. I buy from here sometimes, but if you know a local who can get you this then I advise you buy these from them for the sake of authenticity and taste.
Cashews – Another local must buy are the famous Goan cashews. I pick them up only from one place in Goa and that is at Zantye’s located on 18th June road in Panjim. This is the best shop in Goa if you want to buy good and tasty cashews. They have a variety of salted, chilli, pepper, plain and many more types of cashews on sale.
Booze – Now buying booze is controversial as we all know, but if you’re travelling back by flight then you can carry it.So shop at the wholesale store just outside Mapusa market – JK wines. Along with your regular stock don’t miss to pick up Cabo, it tastes similar to Malibu and is much cheaper 🙂
Not the end….
This has been a pretty long post, but I have tried to cover the other Goa which not everyone knows. There are many more interesting places of history and culture, hidden beaches and islands which I have yet to discover.
So this post will continue some other day with stories of my new discoveries and explorations.
Till then Ciao Patrao 🙂
Beautiful Goa my home forever ❤