7 Offbeat Things to Do in Goa
On your next trip, give that generic Goa plan a makeover. This colourful little region has much more than beach parties and shacks to offer. We put together a list to help you discover the alternative culture of Goa. Go, enjoy!
1. Sao Joao Festival
Zestily celebrated all over Goa by the Catholic community, this vibrant event takes place in late June, and if you have the right company, it could be one of the best parties you go to. Traditionally, newly married men jump into a shallow well to retrieve gifts thrown in by village folk. The entire village gets together to watch this ritual. Other celebrations involve feasting on fruits, exchanging sweets with relatives and getting really drunk. Running across a field to jump into a well is one of those things that you didn’t know you could do here!
2. Embrace The Beach Life
And no, by that we do not mean you head to the nearest beach and spend all your time among the crowds, jostling for space. Goa has some very beautiful beaches other than Anjuna and Baga that not a lot of people know about. Take for example the beautifully isolated Querim or Kerri Beach. It’s probably the only place in Goa where you will come across blue, unpopulated waters. Butterfly Beach, another lesser-known locale, is as wonderful as its name. Other beaches to definitely head out to are Little Vagator, Arambol and Ashwem.
3. Explore The Islands
Clubs aren’t the only thing you need to be hopping whilst you’re at the party capital of India. Goa has some absolutely magnificent islands around it and most people don’t even know about them! You’re probably going to have to travel via multiple ferries but trust us when we say this, it’s totally worth the rides! Nestled in North Goa, Chorao Island is probably the one easiest to get to. Complete with quaint bakeries, sleepy Portuguese houses and friendly locals, it’s perfect for a day outing. Divar Island is yet another example of a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Hop onto a ferry from Mandovi River and set sail to explore the island.
4. Go All In At The Sea
Goa has some neat casinos that you need to check out. Did we mention that they also float? Since Goa law doesn’t allow casinos to operate on land, they hit upon the interesting idea of locating themselves on water. Mandovi River houses four of these floating casinos and they are a total dream. The Casino Pride is one of the few places that know how to have a good time!
5. Explore Goa’s Food Nooks
Zooming around on your bike or lounging around beaches is one way to explore Goa, but how about food? And no, we do not mean overcrowded restaurants and shacks that ‘promise’ authentic Goan food, but little nooks and corners that serve up the real fare. Chef Fernando’s Nostalgia is the ideal place to go to if you want to treat yourself to some delicious Goan cuisine. La Fayette, on Chorao Island is another nook that guarantees warm smiles and tasty food. We suggest you try and find local eateries that will serve you an experience rather than just a meal. Keep a lookout for street food and food trucks as well, as they tend to have the tastiest fares.
6. Catch Crabs And Chill With Dolphins
The Goan backwaters are where you should be if you are up for a little challenge. Crab catching, though not easy, is extremely exciting. You can try it at Baga Beach as well. We suggest you go to the backwaters for a much more fulfilling experience. Though if you’re looking for something much more chilled out, you can watch dolphins swim right by you along the beach belt of Sinquerim, Candolim and Baga. Some boat tours offer ‘No Dolphins No Payment’ options, so we’re thinking your chances of spotting these delightful creatures are pretty high.
7. Explore The Backwaters From A Kayak
While you’re at the backwaters and looking for a way to explore them, may we suggest kayaking? It’s laid back, offers precious solitude but not isolation and lets you scout peacefully. This is exceptionally beautiful in the rains, but only if you have had experience doing it before. The calm waters, lush green surroundings and your own company is the perfect way to unwind!
Location: Goa, India
Official Language:Konkani; Marathi, English and Hindi are popular
Food & Drink:Fried Fish, Rice, Curry, Curd-Rice, Sol Kadhi, Feni, Armada, Port Wine, etc.
Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30)