A trip to Goa is not complete without a visit to its beaches. There is so much to see in India. There is something for everyone from snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas to the Great Thar Desert in Rajasthan and the tropics in Kerala.
We explored as much of the country as we could in three months, but we only scratched the surface. The highlight for us was the beaches of Goa.
Couples who want beach life without the high price tag have long made Goa their honeymoon destination. The most expensive aspect of visiting India is first the flight, followed by the level of accommodation.
India excels at 5-star hotels. The luxury resorts treat you like royalty and offer incredible value for money.
Goa is a popular weekend getaway for Mumbai residents, and this is similar to Parisians visiting Cannes for the weekend. Calangute, in the North of Goa, caters to the more affluent traveler. It offers upscale market resorts, busy beaches, and lively nightlife.
The pace of life slows down in Southern Goa, around Palolem. The beaches here are quiet, there are secluded bars, and there is a real hippy vibe. There are quaint beach huts along the water that are incredibly cheap and charming for backpackers. While it’s primarily a backpacking hotspot, there are a few luxury bungalows scattered around.
Activities in Goa
The coastline of Goa is long and winding, and it is perfect for exploring on a motorbike. During a day trip, we traveled along endless empty roads and discovered beautiful secluded beaches. We could ride around for hours with enough fuel in the tank and a bottle of water, stopping for a dip at one of the empty beaches whenever we wanted.
We sometimes made a beeline for famous seafood restaurants we’d heard were worth visiting. India’s cuisine is world-famous, and Goa is no exception. You name it, and we ate it – tandoor-cooked snapper, flash-fried tiger prawns, garlic squid. The bill didn’t break the bank either, and Calamari vindaloo makes me want to fly back right now. The combination of fresh produce cooked the same morning and fiery Indian spices cannot be beaten.
My favorite pastime was lounging on the beach, reading a good book. Isn’t that what beaches are for?
When you’re lounging on the beach, you’re bound to come across local hawkers selling their wares. You can stock up on souvenirs, sarongs, and gifts for loved ones back home. My favorite memory is getting traditional Henna applied by a lovely lady I got chatting with. It is an intricate process, and I enjoyed watching it.
South Goa was the place to be for us, and its energy enchanted us. Palolem, in particular, was much less commercialized than the North, so it was easy to relax.
India can often be a challenging country, and the crowded cities and stifling travel can be very exhausting. If you are spending more than a month in this vast country, I highly recommend visiting Goa. Get a lot for your money here if you’re flying in for a short vacation. My experience with the Goan people was joyous, warm, and vibrant, and I could not leave the beautiful beaches of Goa.