Madonna’s La Isla Bonita playing in my head …tropical the island breeze all the nature wild and free, this is where I long to be…The uncomfortable flight a distant memory. This was the beginning of an epic five day vacay, the objective being sun, sand, sea, savoring of scrumptious cuisine, sipping on coastal concoctions and last but not least, hip swaying. Goa offers all of this and more.
Greenery is my scenery so I was completely fascinated by the lush, abundant green vines, magnificent palm trees, hills and forests and Portuguese inspired houses sprinkled on the way to the villa. I couldn’t help but smile as I inhaled the crisp fresh air.
The Villa is not only spacious and fully furnished with a lovely pool but its serviced daily too.
Just a short walk down the path led to the main road which was bustling with people going about their daily routine, souvenir, convenience stores, cows, scooters, cafes all lined up the narrow streets. Scooters are the main mode of transportation, so if you have a license, be sure to bring it along.
North Goa is where all the magic happens, this is where you find all the hotels, bars, restaurants and most tourist attractions. Plenty beaches for all those looking for a tan or a beach party or some peace and quiet. The beaches in the North stretch from Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and a few more.
Since we were a large group we travelled in a mini bus which took us around each day. These are cost effective and very efficient.
Places we saw:
Basilica de Bom Jesus, which houses the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier. This Church is revered by Catholics all over the world. It is believed that the body of St Francis remains as fresh as it is when he was buried. He was known for his healing ability. Apparently a woman managed to find her way to the corpse and bite St Francis’s thumb, which bled, this led so extra security measures to protect the corpse.
Our mini bus took a ferry ride in Divar, It was loaded on the ferry and shipped across to the other side where we went for a quick lunch. I found this concept very interesting.
We climbed up a hill to Fort Chapora which was built to protect the city from the Portuguese in the early 15th century, its beautiful ruins now offer captivating wonderful panoramic and awe inspiring views.
We travelled to Colva Beach which is in the South, this is a more quiet beach and mainly for the locals. Shwarma, samosa, coconut juice and ice cream stalls litter the beachfront. Smoking is prohibited on the streets.
We settled in a nice beach shack called Kentukee Seafood. Where we stuffed our faces on delicious Goan cuisine. I tried the Pomfret spicy fish, I found it excessively spicy for my palate.
I ordered a surf and turf combo of steak and prawns. The steak was ok but the prawns marinated in delicious herbs and lemon.
Despite going during off peak season it was bustling with night revelers looking for a good time. One of my favorite places on this stretch was a place called Cape Town, which is an al fresco lounge that doubles up as a club where you can pull out your dance moves to amazing Old School RnB and Hip Hop beats. The DJ’s were amazingly skilled, the crowd phenomenal and the prices really reasonable. This lured us to come back a few times. Mambos, just down the road is also an awesome place to check out.
But Cohiba though! With its Cuban flair and ambience really rocked my socks transported me to Havana. The crowd diverse the décor retro, Latin and classic golden music playing from the fantastic live band, dance floor was packed with people with rhythm twisting, letting loose and genuinely enjoying themselves. Cohiba has something special in the air. Cavala has a similar vibe to Cohiba’s and is a reasonable alternative but it gets really crowded and the air conditioning I found poor.
Curlies is a beach shack located on Anjuna Beach. Such a hippie haven, ultimate definition of relaxation and zen. Delicious cocktails and delectable authentic fresh seafood and other continental dishes. There are shops along the way where you can buy souvenirs, sunglasses and swim wear along the way. Remember to bargain for a good price. The cost of living is really low and will make you feel like a baller.
Relaxing back at the Villa before leaving, reflecting on the jam packed 5 days, Ultra Kingfisher beer in hand, my darling boyfriend sitting right next to me…what more could a girl ask for..Goa was truly a thrilling and satisfying experience…so grateful for opportunities to travel. Truly Blessed!
Travel tips for Goa?
Make sure your Visa is sorted before you travel.
Get Anti malaria tablets just in case and mosquito repellant.
It’s hot so make sure you’re always hydrated
Pack lightly you can buy clothes flip flops, beach towels and anything you need for cheap
Ladies comfort is everything I’d advise you to not wear heels, I hardly saw any ladies in heels.
Vendor at shops are always willing to bargain so don’t settle for the first price you see
It’s a chilled out happy city, let your hair down and take it all in and live laugh love.
Have you travelled to Goa? Please share your experiences and other recommendations. I will be returning soon.