Destination of the week: Goa, India
Why you should go
With 21 kilometres of coastline along the Arabian Sea, there’s something for all kinds of beach lovers in Goa. It’s one of the best hotspots for water sports. Dive (literally) into kitesurfing, parasailing, rafting and plenty more. Time your visit around Diwali in November when locals and tourists come together to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Being the party capital of India, Goa’s nightlife shines with clubs, cruise ship parties, and even silent discos. If you get tired from all the partying, Goa does not fall short on the culture front, with beautiful churches, temples and mosques as well as handsome Portuguese-style homes.
Unwind on one of Goa’s famous beaches, like Baga or Palolem and partake in all manner of water sports. For calmer waters or something more family-friendly, head to Palolem and Agonda in South Goa. You can take boat trips to Butterfly Beach and spot dolphins en route.
The jungle trek to the Dudhsagar Waterfalls is simply stunning. Explore the historical side of Goa with visits to churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus (a Unesco World Heritage site) and Sé Cathedral. Shop for souvenirs and try out local produce at the bustling Anjuna Flea Market and Mapusa Market. To capture the essence of Goa’s nightlife, Mambo’s or Tito’s in Baga are iconic spots. If you prefer quieter evenings, many beach shacks host live music nights, where you can groove meditatively with the sand beneath your feet.
Take a guided tour of one of Goa’s spice plantations to learn about what makes their dishes shine and enjoy a traditional Goan meal. Dig into a plate of Goan fish curry rice at a local eatery. Spicy vindaloo is a local favourite but tame taste buds beware. Sannas, fluffy Goan idlis, are perfect to soak up the curries. Prawn balchao, a pickled prawn dish, and bebinca, a seven-layered dessert, are also must-tries. For a mid-day snack, stop by a local bakery for pao or rissois, a deep-fried prawn pastry. Wash it all down with a glass of feni, Goa’s indigenous spirit.
For more to see and do in Goa, visit goatourism.gov.in