Variously known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist Paradise", the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan.The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world. But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.Much of the real Goa is in its interiors, both inside its buildings and in the hinterland away from the coastal area.
Attractive Tourist Places
Calangute is a 4-mile long beach that lies between Candolim and Baga known for its golden beaches. This place is often referred as the Queen of Beaches in the state of Goa. The surrounding beaches Vagator and Candolim also depict some secluded, must see places to enjoy and relax. Varied cuisines, entertainment, wide accommodation options, amazing shopping experience are some activities makes this small census town of Calangute in Goa a tour-able one. The Church of St. Alex & the Kerkar Art Complex are some another attractions that lures visitors.
Candolim Beach is among the most visited beaches in Goa, located south of Calangute Beach. Candolim Beach has a mixed crowd of youngsters, monks, artists, seers, researchers and tourists. Different forms of art are prevalent in the place, with Jazz being the soul. Tourists can indulge in a wide range of water sports that include parasailing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, bump rides, banana rides, catamaran sailing and wind surfing. With considerable varieties of sea food, the different dishes cooked in Goan style are also popular.
Panjim is situated on the bank of the river Mandovi. here are several natural beaches in Panjim. Towards the downside of the capital is Dona Paula, which is a small town with many resorts that was earlier a fishing village. The Baroque Church, St. Augustine’s Tower and the Church of the Lady of Rosary re other attractions in Panjim.
Baga is a small village, which is essentially an extension of the Calangute Village of Goa. The Baga beach, situated just opposite the village, is known for its brown sands and the Baga Creek. The Baga beach is famous for its nightlife, shopping, food joints and various water and beach activities. The Mandovi River and Zuari River flow on the sides of the beach with backwater crocodiles and dolphins attracting tourists year-round.
Colva is favoured by tourists as it hosts parties, carnivals and flea markets. The white sandy beach stretch is outlined with coconut palms. The turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea along with this beach are a beautiful sight. To complement the retreating beach environment, there are colonial villas and fishing huts close to the beach. Among other activities, watching the sun set from the beach is popular. The hamlet houses the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, one of the ancient churches of Goa.
Varca is known for its beautiful beaches and hence is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Goa. Situated at a distance of 2 km to the south of Benaulim Beach, Varca Beach is one of the most prominent attractions of Varca. In addition, it is also one of the longest beaches of South Goa. Benaulim Beach, Fatrade Beach, Colva Beach and Madgaon city are some of the other popular attractions which are located in proximity to the destination.
For being one of the untouched beaches in Goa, the Benaulim Beach offers a view of rare species of fish, which also makes this beach one of the most suitable ones for fishing in Goa. Goa is known for its churches and the popular churches in the Benaulim town comprise the Church of St. John the Baptist and Nossa Senhora De Merces Church. Vaddi Beach is another popular attraction and is little less developed and crowded than Benaulim Beach.
Anjuna is a small village in Goa which is famous for its picturesque locale and the party culture. The white sands of the beach and the red laterite rocks create a unique arrangement. The red laterite rocks are sometimes called as the jewels of Anjuna. The waters here are safe for swimming and the beach is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing which attracts a lot of foreign tourists to Anjuna Beach. The trance parties are another attraction.
Cavelossim and Mobor are the two beaches of the region which is located at the southernmost tip of Salcette beach. The Sal River flows through the region and finally falls into the Arabian Sea, which is located south of the town. Comprising of soft white sand and black lava rocks, the beaches are known for their surroundings and pleasant atmosphere. The prime attraction of the beaches is dolphin watching, which is carried out on traditional fishing boats.
Salcette, an ancient hamlet of the Portuguese, is located in the South Goa District in the state of Goa. Some of the notable attractions of Salcette are the churches built by the Portuguese. The reign of the Portuguese has influenced the culture of the region. The Church of the Holy Spirit and the Rachol Fort are the prominent tourist attractions in Salcette.
Palolem is one of the famous beaches of Goa known for its unique crescent shape. One of the major attractions of this beach is the stone sculpture, which is created by an American conceptual and land art artist Jacek Tylicki. At Palolem, tourists can head towards places like Cortigao Wildlife Park and the Spice Farms, which are also among the major attractions. In addition, travellers can also visit the Dudhsagar Falls. Apart from these places, tourists can opt for Palolem holiday packages and explore the Pandavas Drum, which is a large cup shaped rock. It is famous for producing a resonating sound when hit over a particular spot with stones.
Margao is the largest and the oldest city as well as the commercial capital of Goa. It also consists of Goa’s biggest sports stadium, Fatorda, as well as the biggest theatre, the Metropole. Margao also comprises many famous temples and churches like the Holy Spirit Church, the Grace Church, the Old Sebastian Church, and the Monte Hill Chapel. Its range of popular temples includes the Hari Mandir, Damodar Mandir, Maruti Mandir, the Saibaba Mandir and the Shiv Temple. The city is also home to two popular mosques of Goa along with a Jain Temple at Pajifond.
Aguada Beach is famous among water sports lovers. Aguada Beach has an ancient history. This city was built with a moat around it and enclosed the royal palace, mosques and temples. Aguada Beach got its name from the Fort Aguada, which in turn was derived from the fresh water spring that existed within the Fort, utilised to provide water for the ships passing by. Fort Aguada also featured a gigantic bell acquired from St. Augustus monastery, which today is placed at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church at Panaji. A clear view of Cabo Raj Niwas, Maharashtra coast and the Arabian Sea are available from atop the lighthouse of Fort Aguada on Aguada Beach.