It hasn’t been 24 hours since I have returned from Goa and I am already sitting in front of my laptop to share my experience. Now that I have explored this Indo-Portuguese cultural heaven multiple times on multiple occasions, I think I qualify to write this content.
First, let me explain why I thought of jotting down this article. Generally, November-March is the best time to Visit Goa. When you visit the famous beaches during peak time, this is what you see:
So my suggestion is that until and unless you are attending world famous festivals in Goa, avoid visiting popular beaches during December-January.
Disclaimer: Goa has many things to offer other than cheap drinks. Enjoy the party-paradise, peaceful beaches, exotic food or water-sports while having a beer or two but sojourning in Goa just to drink in a hotel-room is definitely not my kind of vacation. This time when I got opportunity to greet Goa again, I ditched the favoured beaches and headed towards extreme north.
The moment you cross Chapora river, you leave the party-crazy Goa behind. From there you experience serene, divine and to some extent spiritual side of the place. Under the glittery, glamorous extravaganza, there lies traditional fisherman villages. I wanted to discover that.
Here is the list of my favourite unexplored and not-so-popular beaches of Goa:
Arambol: If you wish to experience glitz of Goan beach fiesta but not willing to drive 20 kilometers towards Baga or Anjuna beaches, Arambol beach is the right place for you. It is the most happening place in this area. You can enjoy candle-light dinner while the ocean unfolds itself in font of you. Here the sand is not as white as it is in the other beaches. Arambol is 20 kilometers away from Mapusa, 35 kilometers away from Panaji and 58 kilometers away from Goa International Airport.
Mandrem: Wiping away the history with drugs, Mandrem is now famous for Yoga. We chose to stay there because of its tranquility. Mandrem is far away from all the hullabaloo. What does make this place more attractive than other beaches? Mandrem creek that is flowing in parallel to the ocean, the bridge over it and those sunbath lounge chairs make it look like a dream.
Aswem: Aswem is another secluded, rocky and white sand beach. If you want to get rid of hub-bubs, this beach is a perfect place for you.
Morjim: If you are fortunate enough, Olive ridely sea turtles may pay you a visit here. Yes, this place is famous for sea turtles and diversity of birds. A small part of Russia resides in the heart of Morjim. Unlike Mandrem and Aswem, you can find a number of shops and shacks here.
There is no parking charges for visiting Mandrem, Aswem and Morjim beaches. You can visit the beaches as mentioned below. All these beaches are almost 3 kilometers away from the previous one in this order from North (Arambol) to South (Morjim) :
Arambol -> Mandrem -> Aswem -> Morjim
Querim: You can also visit Querim Beach that is the northernmost beach in North Goa District. Due to time crunch we could not visit the place. It is situated 9.5 kilometers away from Arambol.
If you are seafood fan like me, do not miss to try out Goan seafood recipes. These are bliss on plate.
As you already know I always provide detailed information at the end of posts, here it is:
Warning: If you want to stay in extreme North Goa and want to visit popular beaches like Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Vagator, Candolim etc, it is advisable to return by 10.30pm. By that time the road become vacant and there are places without any lights on the road. We experienced it and trust me, it is scary.
Points to be noted:
- It took 10 hours to reach Goa from Pune by Bus.
- Mapusa to Mandrem: Distance=17 kilometres. Time= 40 minutes. Charges= Rs. 600/- (By prepaid auto), Otherwise Rs. 400/-. Have you ever heard of the Superpower called “Bargaining Skill”? You have to have it here.
- If you are planning to rent vehicles there, do it as soon as possible. The availability of vehicles is inversely proportional with time.
- Whenever I plan to explore a place I keep my medicine bag ready.
- Beach= Tanning. If you want to avoid that like me, keep your sunscreen, cap/umbrella, shades and scarf handy.
- Whenever I am travelling to coastal area, I keep clothes that take less space in luggage and less time to dry.
- You don’t want to spend your time washing clothes and waiting those to dry, right? Keep adequate number of clothes.
- Wear beach-footwear.
- It is never a good idea to visit Goa in 2 days especially if you are coming from a place far away.
- Let’s be a bit sensible, even though you visit Goa to let yourself go. PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.
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