Ok, so you young, wild and free! You are going to Goa and thinking that you will have a crazy trip, ofcourse you will but hey read on for few minutes and you will thank me later!
Goa is divided into 3 parts- North Goa, Old Goa and South Goa! Old Goa is famous for its heritage buildings and churches whereas North and South Goa are famous for their beaches. I can help you prepare a fantastic itinerary, drop me a message.
We were a group of 6 and we planned a trip in such a way so that we could minimize travel and living costs and enjoy the food and the booze. We were flexible on leaving dates and we didn't pre-booked the tickets, instead we decided we would leave when our pockets would go empty.
We took a sleeper class coach to Madgaon Station, the train takes around 11 hours from Pune station and there are a number of tunnels in the route and you can even see the majestic and famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls which was pretty dried up during the summers.
Beware of the taxi drivers standing right outside the station, they charge too much and please let a good negotiator talk to them! Hotels are decently priced during the off season of March to May and quite expensive during November to February. The best time to visit is however in December just because of the sheer number of parties happening around (rave as well :P).
We stayed near Delfino's mall in Porvorim Goa, pretty remote from rest of Goa btw Goa is really huge!
Because we reached the hotel in the afternoon we decided to rent bikes and get acquired with the surroundings and rest for the day. There are many places in Goa where they give cars and bikes on rent. You have to give them some deposit and a valid photo ID. Bikes are for average 400-500 INR, Scooters for 300 INR and Cars for 1200-2000 INR and the prices increase during peak season. We hired 3 Avengers for 400 INR each and some deposit, again you have to negotiate a lot.
In the evening we decided to go to Mandovi river bank to enjoy cruise and have dinner in a good restaurant. There are different cruises for different purposes like gambling (certain age limit of 21 or 23), to party or to watch the local culture.
If you are vegan be prepared there aren't many veg options around and if you are not it's a feast for you guys and ofcourse the sea food, hell lot of options!
After the cruise party we left for hotel and everyone slept. Me and a photographer friend sneaked out to explore the city. We decided to go to Calangute Beach and trust me it you are with your girlfriend/wife or boyfriend/husband a candlelight date is a must at Calangute beach. Unfortunately i was with a friend so we instead opted to photograph the beach :P
We left early in the morning for Arambol beach. It is a clean beach, with white sand, less people mostly foreigners and a beach where you can relax with a beer ofcourse. There are many shacks and the food is quite cheap compared to other beaches in North goa. However the waves are pretty ok ok, not that great! There are many little cafes while you drive to Arambol beach, stop at any cafe and eat anything- you will love the taste! Also try the Kaju Feni (Liquor made of cashews) - a local drink!
Then the next beach we went to was Morjim beach to enjoy the sunset. There are stone formations inside the water so avoid taking a dip into the water. I didn't know this and got hurt and luckily a friend was around to save me! We waited for the sun to set and then left. Wont upload sunset photos because couldn't capture it due to less battery.
Then we had dinner at a small restaurant and sipped some vine and packed up for the day!
The 4th day we decided to visit old Goa and Fort Aguada. The popular churches are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral to name a few.
I personally liked the history behind St. Augustine complex and if you visit this place do read about it. There is nothing much to visit in Old goa other than churches. Take a stroll on the roads and observe the Portuguese architecture and you will find it beautiful.
We reached Fort Aguada in the evening and back in time it was the most important port during the Portuguese rule.
The next day was to visit the popular Indian beaches like Baga, Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute, Candolim! We didn't wasted much time at these beaches except for water sports at Candolim as these are more family oriented beaches! Baga beach has some really nice waves but there is too much security over there!
Make sure to have lunch at Candolim deck near Candolim beach. They serve extremely delicious fried rice and pizza's and the pricing is decent as well.
You can do water sports at Calangute, Baga or Candolim beach. Pricing is almost the same.
The next day was our last day as we were almost out of money and we were yet to go to South Goa and we had to again leave the next day in evening for Pune as we didn't have money to bare the hotel costs anymore. Porvorim (our hotel) to Palolem Beach in South Goa was almost 100 kms by road and hence we booked bus tickets of 9 pm and thought that we would complete South Goa by 6 and return back to North Goa by 7.30-8 pm, we knew the schedule was very hectic and tight and risky as well because if we missed our bus we would have to spend the whole night on the streets! So we decided to leave early in the morning by 7.30-8 am. And who knew this would be one of the most adventurous trips of our whole lives!
Early in the morning, without wasting much time we left for South Goa. The roads were beautiful and our bikes didn't come down below 80-90 km/hr. We reached South Goa by 10 am, had breakfast and ready to explore Palolem Beach. South Goa is BEAUTIFUL and trust me do not skip out South Goa from your list, it is a must.
Please, Please, i beg you do not miss out on South Goa, especially the beaches i have mentioned. Palolem beach is a very clean beach, full of ferries, and cheap shacks and beautiful cottages and the gateway to the hidden butterfly beach. You don't find many Indian tourists or travelers in South Goa as it is less explored and known among Indian people. The beach is filled with foreigners and the local people. The people are really chilled out and sweet in this part of Goa.
Take the god damn ferry to Butterfly island or beach- the price is around 1500 INR for a ferry of 6 people we bargained and got a deal for 1200 INR. He showed us Dolphins, monkey island, honeymoon island and the beautiful butterfly island. The sea here is cleaner than most of the Indian coastline.
You can even camp on this island but it can be risky to camp near the water line because of the tides which almost sinks the beach on this island, hence camping in the jungle is an option and it is not dangerous. However we couldn't camp due to time restrictions but do not miss the chance, i regret even today.
The next stop after Palolem beach was Cola beach- the hidden gem of Goa what the title is all about. It is another 10 kms away from Palolem beach towards extreme South Goa. The roads are decent and don't expect them to be like a national highway. There is 2 km off riding as well. Actually this beach is the property of Cola resort but people are allowed to go to this beach. We took the unofficial path to the beach where we had to descend a mountain and reach the beach!
On one side of the beach there is the sea- extremely high current of waves and quite dangerous and on the inner side there is a blue lagoon formed because of a waterfall of max dept of 10 feet. You will not find any Indian on this beach. Do kayaking in the Blue Lagoon!
Spend a day here and experience it yourself!
So we decided to leave from Cola Beach by 5 pm and would reach our hotel by 7 pm but when i started my bike and accelerated the accelerator wire broke and we were stranded. My friends then went to search for a mechanic but they didn't find any mechanic in the proximity of 5-6 kms. They returned back with the mechanic after an hour or so. The whole repairing stuff was completed by 6.45-7 pm. Now we had only 1.30 hrs to reach our hotel and then leave again to catch the bus. It was already dark and we hurried up and reached Porvorim by 8.15 pm. The speedometer didn't come below 100 for more than a minute or two every time we had to slow down for some reason. We then packed up our bags and checked out at 8.45 pm and took a cab to Panjim where our bus originated and luckily reached there on time.
Woah... One hell of a day it was!
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