Goa anytime ..


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Goa can be visited anytime and by anybody. Each one of you might have different interests in Goa and there is plenty of reading material available on most of the tourists places / things to do in Goa. Hence, I will give you only few tips based on my first hand experience with Goa.

Best Season to Visit -

Nov - Feb is the peak season in Goa. Mid September-October would be the ideal period when there are no rains, lush green surroundings & waterfalls post monsoon, pleasant climate and you will also enjoy off season tarrif. However, Goa can be visited at any time. Apr-May would again be off - season due to hot summer months.

Weather

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How to Reach?

  • Goa can be reached with overnight travel from most of the cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Mangalore, Hyderabad etc. It takes 9 - 10 hrs to reach Goa from Pune and around 12 hours from Mumbai. For Mumbaikars, Train (Konkan Railway)/Flight is the best option while for Puneites, only good option is to travel by Overnight bus. There are plenty of Sleeper, Non-Sleeper, VOLVO bus options available (Neeta, Paulo, Konduskar etc.). They start at 8:00 PM in the night and reach 7:00 AM in the morning. Avoid VOLVO Sleeper Coach. They are not quite comfortable especially when it rains and floor gets muddy and starts stinking.

  • Even if you travel by bus, you don't have to worry about local transport. Most of the times, Hotels will arrange for pickup-drop off from the bus stand / train station or airport. There are full day conducted tours are available for North Goa and South Goa destinations. If you stay near calangute - Baga stretch, you get 2 wheelers (Bikes or Honda activa) on rent for Rs. 200. And you can just roam around. Nearby places you may visit are - Fort Aguada (Dil Chahta Hai fame). Anjuna / Vagator Beaches etc.


Where to Stay?

  • Try looking for accomodation on Candolim - Calangute - Baga beach (9 KM stretch). They are the best beaches in North Goa and you will find lot of activities over here. Parts of the beach is very clean, and safe for swimming.

  • Refer to the list of hotels from Goa at http://www.amchogoa.com/or http://nivalink.com/. Look out for the hotel / cottage which has beach access (closer to the beach). You may also look for the GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) hotels which offeres accommodation at some of the best locations at economical rates. You should also refer to www.holidayiq.com to find out more about the hotels as not all the hotels entertain Indian Tourists. We visited Goa towards May end and stayed at Colonia Santa Maria (CSMGoa) Resort. Place is adjacent to Calangute - baga beach and was very secluded and good. However, it could be little expensive for family of 5. For couple, it is the best! Go for their Honeymoon Package and pamper yourself (doesn't matter even if you are not newly married). Contact Hotel Manager - Stephen Fernandes.

  • Many Goa Hotels are situated few meters away from beach or they are couple of minutes of walk from the beach along the main roads. There are apartments, homestays options available. Every other house in Goa will offer you accommodation during the peak season.

You may also refer to following advertisements for the latest discount offers and travel packages to Goa from various Travel Partners. They have tie-ups with most of the good hotels.

What to Eat?

  • Goa is famous for its seafood, the 'classic' dish being Goan fish curry and rice. With the variety and range on offer, however, combined with the skills of the local cooks, there is a mouthwatering choices available. Surmai or Seer Fish is probably the most common item, on the menu, but there are many others including pomfret, crabs, prawns, tiger prawns and lobster. Other seafood includes squid and mussels.

  • Few Other dishes from Goa are Chichen Xacuti, Chicken Cafrial, Pork Vindaloo. Goan cuisine does not naturally cater for the vegetarian, and as compromise various cooking styles like xacuti, caldinha etc., are sometimes used in the preparation of vegetables.

  • The basic components of Goan cooking are local products like Fresh grated Coconut, Kokum, White Vinegar made up of toddy and use of spices like Turmeric, Coriander, Chiili and Garlic. Another item you will find in every dish is Potato! There are potatoes for the breakfast(tossed potatoes, mash potatoes, fingure chips etc.) & potatos for the meal (Checken Curry with Potato etc.)

  • The most famous Goa's sweetmeats is "bebinca", a wonderful concoction made from layer upon layer of coconut pancakes. Cooking the perfect bebinca is an art form, for not only does the cook have to be timed just right to ensure that all layers are cooked equally, it'll put inches on you waistline if you develop a taste for it, but it's not to be missed. Many times, you will see it missing from the menu or not available though.

  • Best place to try Goan cuisines are the homestays or beach shacks and local restaurants.

  • Drinks - Donts forget to taste Cashew or Coconut Feni (goes well with Coke or Pepsi) and various other Cocktails. Goa trip is not complete without Can/bottle of fresh beer.

Places you must Visit -

  • Other places you should visit are - Old Goa Churches, Shree Mangeshi, Shatadurga & Mahalasa temples, Dona Paula & Miramar Beach, Evening Cruise on river Mandovi, Dudhsagar Falls (Optional), Fort Aguada, Plenty of beaches in north & South goa, dolphin watch ride off Panjim (Upto Rs. 300 Per Person or you may hire a small launch for Dolphin Watch for Rs. 800-1000. etc.

  • Goa Tourism (GTDC) conducts daily tours of North Goa & South Goa. Most of the hotels offers half-day sightseeing packages included in room tariff.

  • There are good water sports options available at select beaches including Parasailing (Rs. 800-1000 for 2 persons together, Jet Ski Water Scooter ride (upto Rs 300 for 1), Banana Boat, Bumpy Tube ride etc. Click here for the various Watersports centers in Goa

  • Click here for Tourist Map of Goa

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