Goa is full of touristic spots – natural and modern. From the beaches in Goa, to the national parks and hills, churches, forts, markets, and the backwaters, you will find virtually everything in this small Indian state. Many of the tourist places in Goa are famous landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, beautiful churches, interesting local markets, and old Portuguese structures. Here is a list of places one cannot miss to see when in Goa -
1 – FORT AGUADA
Fort Aguada is an old 17th century Portuguese fort in north Goa. It is at the confluence of the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea on top of a hill. The Portuguese constructed this fort as a defense against the Marathas and the Dutch. There is a deep dry moat here and a 13 meter high lighthouse, which was constructed in 1864. Many buildings within the fort are still in very good condition.From Aguada, you can get awesome views of the shoreline, the Arabian Sea, Mandovi River, and even the city of Panaji, which is on the other side of the river.
2 – CHAPORA FORT
The Chapora fort is in North Goa, close to Vagator beach. The Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea here. Chapora fort is a must-visit for those who love Bollywood Hindi movies. The famous Bollywood movie “Dil Chahta Hai” was filmed here. The fort is almost in ruins now, but it still offers incredible views of the river and the coastline. Take a picture – there are many photo opportunities here!
3 – TEREKHOL FORT
The Terekhol or Tiracol Fort is in extreme North Goa, on the northern side of the Terekhol River. It is actually in the neighboring state of Maharashtra, as the state lines pass through the middle of the river. But many tourists from North Goa visit the fort. There is a ferry service from Querim.It was constructed in the 17th century by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, a Marathi ruler. The fort sits on a hill and gives a commanding view of the river and the sea. There was a barrack and 12 guns here, but the fort still fell to the Portuguese. They extensively revamped Terekhol in 1764 and held it for strategic maritime defense till 1961 when Goa became a part of India.
4 – BAGA BEACH
Baga beach in North Goa is one of Goa’s most popular beaches. The Baga River is in the north. Calangute beach, also popular, is in the south. The Baga-Calangute stretch is one of the longest sandy shores in Goa. You will find many beach shacks, pubs, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and water sports activities, including banana riding, speed boats, paddle boarding, paragliding, surf boarding, and more. Britto’s at the northern end of the beach is a famous shack. Club Tito’s and Cafe Mambo are two famous Goa nightclubs, both in Baga.
5 – PALOLEM BEACH
Palolem beach is the one of the best beaches in South Goa. It is a natural bay with lofty headlands on both sides. Palolem is close to another beautiful beach in the south – Agonda. Cola and the beautiful Butterfly beach are also close. They are more secluded. Palolem is also a hot party destination. Silent Noise parties are held here every Saturday from 9 pm till 4 in the morning at Neptune Point, the southernmost part of the beach.