Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea.
Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda.
11:00am-12:30pm : Animal Shelter Agonda
Animal Shelter Agonda offers free veterinary care to sick and injured animals. If you're an animal lover, be sure to drop by and bestow cuddles on the patients. You won't feel pressured to leave donations, although they are welcome and well spent, mostly on sterilization of stray cats and dogs, and vaccinations against rabies. You can also contribute by bringing food and medicine or volunteering to groom, feed, or walk the animals.
1:00pm-5:00pm : Agonda Beach
Enjoy the vast strips of pristine white sand, along with a beachside candle-lit dinner, at Agonda Beach. Easy on the eye, the large, clean beach features characteristic rock formations poking out of the deep blue water. This doesn’t mean you’ll encounter hordes of tourists; on the contrary, it’s easy to find a secluded spot for some peace and quiet. Rows of bars and cottages line the coast, with restaurants even setting up tables on the beach during the evening for that additional romantic touch.
11:00am-11:30am : Tortoise Rock
12:00pm-4:00pm : Palolem Beach
11:30am-1:00pm : Cyril Yoga Ayurveda Centre
1:30pm-4:00pm : Vagator Beach
An old hippy haunt, Vagator Beach features dramatic red cliffs overlooking the shore and two freshwater springs. Most visitors come here to attend wild dance parties, which often last from sunset to sunrise. Feel free to try out a variety of dishes, since the area's restaurants cater to both Western and Eastern tourists.
11:00am-11:30am : Basilica of Bom Jesus
A World Heritage Site, Basilica of Bom Jesus serves as the final resting place for widely revered Saint Francis Xavier. Consecrated in 1605, the church and its grand mausoleum housing the canonized Roman Catholic missionary are considered a landmark in Christian architecture. As you approach India's first minor basilica you will be struck by the simplicity of its Jesuit Baroque architecture, looming over the historic streets of Old Goa. Inside, an ornate gilded altarpiece greats you with a warm glow, to the right of which the mortal body of the saint lies, enshrined in the church since 1622.
12:30pm-4:30pm : Calangute Beach
At Calangute Beach, rest on a warm, sandy shoreline which shelters a small fishing town. Besides swimming, you can surf, paraglide, or parasail. Well-connected routes enable tourists to reach the beach either via taxi, state buses, or train. Explore the tropical ambience by hiring two-wheelers or rickshaws. If art and culture interest you, visit the local galleries where you can learn about this region's history and religious heritage. Be aware that during monsoon season (June through September), swimming is prohibited.
10:30am-12:30pm : Benaulim Beach
At Benaulim Beach, experience a quiet marine ambience suited for recreation and leisure. Go on dolphin spotting boat rides offered by the fishermen or attend live music performances on the beach. If you want a break from the sun, head to the beach in the evenings, as there is no shade here. The town offers bike, scooter, or car rental. If you want to try local food and purchase quality spices, visit the bustling market nearby.
1:00pm-3:00pm : Colva Beach
Lined with leafy coconut palms and beach shacks, Colva Beach offers white powdery sand lapped by waves ideal for a range of water sports. To escape the crowds often congregating near the beach's entrance, head north or south and discover a more serene setting in which to catch some sun. A bustling selection of nearby restaurants and street vendors serve up tasty seafood and coconut curries.
3:30pm-5:00pm : Din Brothers
11:00am-1:00pm : Cavelossim Beach
A meandering stretch of snow-white sand lies in stark contrast to the deep black lava rocks at Cavelossim Beach. Remote enough for serenity yet developed enough for comfort, the beach sits in between the Arabian Sea and the Sal River. Take your pick of beachside activities, from dolphin watching tours to water sports. A selection of beach shacks serving up freshly cooked sea food is sure to tempt you, while the scattering of beach bars offer welcome refreshments.
1:30pm-3:30pm : Varca Beach
Offering soft white sands and a feeling of solitude in a calm coastal environment, Varca Beach features rows of wooden fishing boats belonging to the local Christian community. Watch dolphins or go on boat trips up the River Sal, or treat your taste buds to some Goan cuisine, known for a variety of seafood delicacies. To add a bit of culture to your visit, drop by the nearby church, one of the oldest buildings in town.
4:30pm-5:00pm : Fernandes House
12:00pm-2:00pm : Morjim Beach
A scenic beach on the northern coast of Goa, Morjim Beach is renowned as the nesting place of the endangered Pacific sea turtles. Known as "Little Russia" thanks to its popularity with Russian tourists and expats, the beach and its surroundings serve as an ideal place for a picnic. Swim, laze on the sand, go bird-watching, or get a drink and a snack at one of the beach huts and just soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
2:30pm-4:30pm : Baga Beach
Lounge on the white sands of Baga Beach, a scenic Goa beach lined with palm trees and numerous shacks offering drinks, souvenirs, and water sports equipment. A popular hangout spot for locals, the beach can get crowded, especially during holidays. Head to the north end of the beach to where the Baga creek flows into the sea, rent a banana boat, or try your hand at parasailing. An array of bars and restaurants provide refreshments and entertainment, with the lively, laid-back atmosphere of the beach continuing into the night.