There are so many things to do in Goa. But at times we are constrained by time. I had been to Goa with my wife in November 2012. Although, it was a package tour which included a one day site seeing, provided by Resort Terra Paraiso where we stayed. Still, we thoroughly enjoyed this crisp and neat site seeing trip which covered most of the major attractions and things to do in Goa in one day. Although, one day is no way enough to see and experience all that Goa has to offer. So, this trip covered only the highlights of things to do in Goa, the most famous sites that fall into the ‘top’ things to do in Goa. Thus, I thought to jot it down in order to help you plan something similar even if you were planning your trip on your own and had limited time to spend Site seeing in Goa.
The tour started early in the morning around 9:30 am. Post breakfast from hotel, we started in a mini bus in seat on coach basis. However, if planning on your own, you can as well rent a cab or self drive to places on the same itinerary that we followed.
Fort Aguada #1 – Things to do in Goa
It was the first of the things to do in Goa for us. We first headed to Fort Aguada. We spent almost around an hour there. Actually, ‘Aguada’ means water. As, this fort had a fresh stream of water inside the fort. And, the passing by ships in old age used to stop by the fort. And the crew filled their water vessels from here. Thats how the fort got it’s name. This is a Portuguese fort . It was built in the seventeenth century. This fort and it’s light house are one of the major attractions of old Goa. This fort was constructed as a guiding point for the vehicles that came in for trade from Europe at that time. The fort is located on the south side of Candolim beach, almost on the banks of river Mandovi.
River Cruise on Mandovi river #2 – Things to do in Goa
Then, around 11 we headed to a river cruise and dolphin spotting on Mandovi river. The fort is located on the banks of the river, so, within 5 minutes, we reached at the boating spot. Mandovi is one big river that flows through the heart of Goa. And it is rightly called the lifeline of Goa. The river is neat and clean. It is home to several Dolphins. Several cruises are offered in the river that include spotting interesting sights along the bank of the river and Dolphin spotting in the river.
The cruise that we took was almost around a half an hour cruise. And we had to wait a little for our turn as the boats were limited. But once on the river, we enjoyed the cruise throughly. Along the cruise, you can see the Aguada fort, some beautiful and luxurious hotels built alongside the river and across the banks you can spot the beautiful cities of Goa.
Anjuna Beach #3 – Things to do in Goa
Post the river cruise, we headed for lunch at Anjuna beach in North Goa in a beach side open air restaurant, around 1 pm. We took a leisurely stroll on the beach for sometime post lunch, enjoying the serene and calm atmosphere, before heading back to our tour vehicle. Although we spent just half an hour strolling on this beach, Anjuna beach made a special spot in our heart. Not sure if it was the serene atmosphere, the laid back environment or the view of the waves continuously crushing on the rocks that got embedded in our heart forever.
Anjuna is a village in north Goa. The place is particularly famous for the trance parties that are held on Anjuna beach during the new year time period. Also, there is a famous night market, a flea market, that is setup near the beach every Wednesday.
|Beach side restaurant on Anjuna Beach|
|Beach side restaurant on Anjuna Beach|
Shopping in Goa #4 – Things to do in Goa
Post lunch, we were driven to the thriving markets of Panjim where we had a time slot of around an hour (2:30-3:30 pm) for exploring the shops and the items on offer. We picked some items from spice and cashew merchants. Goa has several things to offer if you are looking forward to buying something. The spices and cashews of Goa are particularly very well known. Apart from this, cloths, garments, beach wear, slippers, cloth bags, silver jewelry and many other items can also be bought in Goa at very reasonable price.
Panjim is the capital city of Goa. It has a systematic market with clear zones for each kind of items that you would like to buy. You can head to the road side shops and explore the items available there. We have been to Goa two times and both the times we came back with some quality cashews that we liked a lot. [more details on shopping in Goa].
Bom Jesus Basilica #5 – Things to do in Goa
Post the shopping spree, we headed to Bom Jesus Basilica. It is one of the most popular churches of Goa. Actually, it is a UNESCO world heritage. The church is located in old Goa. After finishing our shopping in Panjim, we headed here across the bridge on Mandovi river. We arrived here around 4pm in the evening and and then spent almost an hour on the premises of the Church, part of it sitting inside the church in peace and offering our prayer, part of it taking a stroll around the massive architecture and admiring its details.
|Bom Jesus Basilica|
|Bom Jesus Basilica|
The church is made in the architectural style resembling the Baroque architecture. It was constructed in almost 10 years. This church also contains the body of St. Francis Xavier who was a close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola. The casket containing the body is made of silver. Actually, this casket was the gifted by the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The interiors of the church are done in Golden. And it looks beautiful.
Cruise, Folk performance and dinner #6 – Things to do in Goa
From the church, we headed to a cruise on river Mandovi. By this time, it was almost dark. We on-boarded the cruise ship by almost 6pm. The ship had two decks. We first headed to the top deck. A sitting arrangement was done with chairs on the open deck. While a stage was set on the other end for some folk performances. We enjoyed the folk performances. At the end of the performance, even the guests were urged to join the locals. The atmosphere was super charged at this point.
After the performance, we went ahead for dinner.While many others proceeded to the lower deck where there was a live disco going on. Overall, the cruise trip continued till 7:30pm. Post this, we slowly started departing from the cruise.