Thursday, April 23, 2009

GOA in 2009

If you are still undecided on a destination for this year’s summer holidays, try Goa. As summer sets in, the tourist season ends. But there’s still time to join the fun, because most of Goa’s restaurants and nightspots will be open for some more time. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reclaim your place on all those beaches which had recently become unspeakably crowded. It has been a good few months though, with a small decline in numbers (less than 10% overall), offset by an appreciable increase in demand for the many establishments offering real value for money.
Goa’s brilliant restaurant scene has now become a draw in itself, and the state’s gorgeous villas-for-rent and boutique hotels are still good value for global travellers. We recommend good old Baga, now accessible again as the throngs thin. Follow signs from the Calangute Beach Road.
More great beaches
•For lazing around: Once deserted, most of Palolem is now firmly on the beaten track. But its smaller adjunct Patnem is a good place to get a taste of the idyllic experience that put Goa on the tourism map.
•For following the hippie trail: The legendary paradise of the 1970s hippie scene, Arambol retains an edgy countercultural atmosphere.
•For getting back to nature: Morjim and Ashvem are a half-hour drive from the tourist hub of north Goa, but a world away in atmosphere. A few protected Olive Ridley turtles come here every year to lay eggs, fending off most major construction work.
•For an escape from tourists: The last undeveloped beach in north Goa, Keri, remains a long and almost empty stretch of sand where you can sit blissfully alone in the shadow of casuarina trees.
•For watching locals at play: Miramar beach in Panjim isn’t safe for swimming but it is impressively broad and well situated, at the mouth of the Mandovi. Crowds of Indian tourists and Panjim residents watch the sunset in a pleasant, convivial atmosphere.
Where to eat
At the end of this season, there is no doubt that this year’s success story is Thalassa, the Greek restaurant on a cliff above Vagator beach in north Goa. Owner Mariketty, a native of Corfu who has relocated permanently to India with her young son, does a remarkably complete job of recreating Greek fare for her customers. Try the deep-fried home-made feta cheese (Rs100). We also recommend the Kleftiko, a traditional Greek stew of lamb, chicken, beef or vegetables (Rs200). The Souvlaki, skewered meats or vegetables, is available in wraps of home-made pita bread filled with Tzatziki (Rs130).
4pm-midnight, daily. Small Vagator beach, near Nine Bar. No credit cards. Meal for two, Rs800. Call 9850033537 or visit
Bocado de Cardenales
Globalization is good for foodies. Knowing this, we were still amazed to find the first-rate Bocado de Cardenales hidden away on a tiny bay past Palolem in the extreme south of Goa. It has a real tapas menu, presented by an impeccably mustachioed Catalonian. After a plateful of Patatas Bravas (Rs65), we felt transported to Barcelona, and the tiny platefuls kept coming: Abondigas, meatballs in gravy (Rs110), garlic prawns (Rs130), and a superb spinach gratinata (Rs85). There are also generous main courses such as the calamari negros, black squid cooked in its own ink (Rs240). One of Goa’s most unique culinary experiences.
1-10pm, Tuesday closed. 251, Colomb, Canacona (9921037069). No credit cards. Meal for two with drinks, Rs800.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beaches of Goa

The beaches of Goa are like the curves of a woman's body - warm, inviting, sensous.
Goa's beaches are speckled with quaint little beach shacks that serve ice cold beer and spicy Goan cuisine. It is easy to find cheap accomodation in a beach resort or hotel very close to the beach in Goa.
The list below includes some of favourite Goa beaches. You won't find any of the more popular, overcrowded beaches here - like Colva and Calangute beach - that are done to death in every Goa travel guide or information brochure.
These are only the best beaches to visit, some a little off the beaten track.

North Goa Beaches
Candolim Beach
Sinquerim Beach
Baga Beach
Bambolim Beach
Arambol Beach
Vagator Beach

South Goa Beaches
Benaulim Beach
Palolem Beach
Agonda Beach
Mobor & Cavelossim Beaches

Candolim Beach
Candolim is the birth place of Abbe Faria, a Goan Freedom Fighter and the Father of Hypnotism. When we stay at Candolim, we usually book one of the rent-back apartments a stone's throw away from the beach.
There is little or no shelter close to the beach, but you can hire out a beach umbrella, sample the good food available at the beach shacks that dot the beach, and sun yourself in solitude. This Goa beach is very popular with package tourists, but is still not too crowded.

Sinquerim Beach
Sinquerim beach has clean, white sand, and is close to the historic Fort Aguada, the early 17th century Portuguese fort that was built by the Portuguese to control the entry into River Mandovi and to protect old Goa from enemy attack.
You can take a long walk from Sinquerim beach all the way up to Candolim beach, which continues all the way north to Baga.

Baga Beach
Baga is a small fishing beach with a grove of shady palms close to the water’s edge. There are few buses that come all the way to the beach's edge, but none after dark. Its a long walk to the Calangute taxi stand from the beach, so if you plan to stay after sundown, make sure you have your own transport.
Baga is really an extension of Calangute beach. But unlike Calangute, which is crowded, steep and marred by dangerous undercurrents, the beach at Baga is flat, safe for swimming, and has clean, white sand.
A little creek joins the sea between the beach sands and a hill that is home to the Retreat House.
Although not among the famous "nude" beaches of Goa, Baga is very popular with topless sunbathers who strip off to catch some sun, while the locals gawk. You can catch some action of a different kind if you like water sports and fishing. After dark, night-time revellers frequent Tito's - one of the more lively watering holes of Goa's nightlife.
Baga has a Saturday night flea market and you can shop for colourful Kashmiri handlooms and other artifacts all along the road leading to the beach

Bambolim Beach
Bambolim beach is a small, clean, largely undiscovered beach, in a shaded spot before the mouth of the river Zuari. The entrance to the beach is easily missed and lies along the hill between Goa Medical College and the Goa University.
The road goes all the way down to the Bambolim beach resort from where you can make your way to the beach. The beach is carpeted with broken mother-of-pearl and other shells, which makes it a haven for shell-collectors. Thick coconut groves line the beach and provide shade and privacy. Its a beautiful beach for a quiet, cosy picnic.
You can enjoy lunch at the Bambolim Beach Resort restaurant, serenaded by one of the local singers or bands. When you decide to head back home, take the road that goes to the beautiful Goa University all the way up to Dona Paula.
A little off the road before Dona Paula just before the National Institute of Oceanography, is a restaurant called White House. It serves excellent seafood and has a view of the bay to die for.
Its also one of the few pet-friendly restaurants in Goa, so if you have a well-behaved pooch along, you won't have to tie it outside till you finish your dinner.

Arambol Beach
Arambol Beach is near the traditional fishing village of Arambol and is an isolated stretch of beach known for its rocky and sandy terrain. Until recently Arambol was a favorite Goa beach for hippies and its claim to fame was the wild parties it was host to.
The main beach is relatively good for swimming. To the north are quiet bays where you can take long walks with starfish underfoot. There's a hot spring near the main beach that runs into a freshwater lake. Sporty types can enjoy activities like dolphin watching boat trips and paragliding.

Vagator Beach
Vagator is one of the more beautiful white sand Goa beaches. To reach the beach, you have to walk down a steep cliff. The sea here is not safe for swimming, but during the tourist season, it has an active nightlife.
The south beach is fairly spread out and more secluded. A little further south of the main beach you'll find the quiter Little Vagator or Ozran beach with a fresh water pool. You can also visit the nearby Chapora Fort. Accomodation is not always easy to find because there are few hotels here.

Benaulim Beach
My strongest memory of Benaulim is that of being bitten by a stray dog. But I also remember all of us - the entire family - feasting on a delicious meal of shellfish we dug out in bucket-loads from the sand. Benaulim beach is more peaceful and serene than Colva and still rather undiscovered by domestic tourists.
According to Hindu mythology, this is the place where the arrow of Lord Parsurama landed when he created the state of Goa. Known in Sanskrit as Banali, it was changed to Benaulim by the Portuguese. The main attractions on this beach are the dolphin cruises.
The church of St. John the Baptist on the hill is a wonderful example of Goan Christian architecture. With the first drops of the Indian monsoon, the village breaks into a celebration of thanksgiving for the Feast of São João.

Palolem Beach
Palolem beach, situated in the Canacona distrct, is also known as "Paradise Beach". Until a few years back, it was among the virgin beaches of Goa. It is a fishing beach popular for its dolphin cruises and fishing trips.
At the northern end of the beach is a tiny, island in the middle of a fresh water stream that can be reached by swimming across at low tide.
The Gaitonde's tent resort is one of the more popular places to stay, but be sure to book well in advance. You can laze in a hammock and sip your beer while enjoying the delicious fresh catch brought in by the fishermen.
There are a lot of little resorts along the beach with bamboo huts on stilts. The accomodation is nothing fancy, spartan even, but at less than $10 per day you can't really expect more.

Agonda Beach
Agonda is a virgin stretch of beach twelve kilometres from Palolem and, until recently, was undiscovered by tourists. It is sometimes frequented by day picnickers. The waters are crystal clear and its easy to see the bottom of the shore while swimming. Watch out for the sharp barnacles if you decide to climb any of the rocks there.
Until recently there was just a solitary shack on the beach, however that may not be the case any longer. If you find it difficult to get accomodation here, you can stay at Palolem, and drive down to Agonda for the day. The more adventurous can rent a bicycle in the village and cycle cross country to the beach.

Mobor and Cavelossim Beaches
Cavelossim Beach, is a small stretch of beach eleven kilometres south of Colva beach. South of Cavelossim beach is the Mobor beach that currently boast of five star resorts like the Leela Beach Resort.
Both beaches are relatively isolated and there are few beach shacks here. Mobor has a fishing village with a small lagoon near the mouth of a river, and its fun to watch the seagulls that come to feast on the fish drying on the sand.

Goa-The Paradise on earth

Looking for a picture perfect holiday? Your search ends here at the gorgeous land of Sun, Sand and Sea- Goa. The holiday destination offers you the best in the world. The most breathtakingly beautiful beaches, the confluence of the East and the West let the holiday be the best time of your life. The balmy beaches of India are perfect escapade for the fun loving holiday seekers. The young state of Goa certainly happens to be the beach capital of the country. It is ideally situated on the western coast of the Indian Peninsula. The Terekhol River in the north separates Goa from its neighbor Maharashtra. The Western Ghats lie in the east and the Arabian Sea in the West.

Visualize yourself walking bare feet on the soft, golden sands while the sea breeze caressing you. The beaches are the feathers in Goa's cap. The world- dazzling stretches of golden sand edging the aquamarine expanse of the Arabian Sea are the beaches. At the Anjuna beach you will spot the magnificent Albuquerque Mansion, which is flanked by octagonal towers. Then the assorted seashells at the Siridao beach will be as much fun as the white sand fringed with coconut palms along the Colava beach. for boating speedboats and pedaloes you must head towards Dona Paula. South Goa offers some of the most magnificent and pristine beaches to the travelers. The ever-mushrooming resorts, hotels, beach huts, bars, restaurants, and souvenir stalls have not overtaken the natural beauty of Goa.

You must check out the major attractions of Goa that comprise of exquisite churches, ancient temples, adventurous forts, wildlife preserves and the lovely lakes besides the breathtakingly beautiful beaches. You may customize your itinerary too as per your personal interests.

Churches in Goa are the most prominent legacy of the Portuguese, you may visit the world renowned Basilica of Bom Jesus or appreciate the decorative paintwork & woodcarving & inlaid floor at Convent & Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The Church of our Lady of the Rosary presents the beautiful amalgamation of the European and Indian styles. Then are the ancient temples in Goa like the Shiva temple of Shri Mangesh and the Shri Mahalsa, a Vishnu temple are near the capital of Goa. The 500-year-old temple of Shri Bhagavati is the place to be at during Dusshera days. You may pay your homage at the temple dedicated to Lord Maruti at Mapusa for protection from evil forces. The other noteworthy fact about Goa is that one-third of the land is covered with forests and boasts of four wildlife sanctuaries. You may catch up with the sambar and the Wild boar at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, which lies in the foothills of the Western Ghats. Then comes the heaven for ornithologists and bird watchers the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary that is home to several species of local and migratory birds. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cotigoa Wildlife Sanctuary form the other wildlife covers in Goa.

Any time of the year Goa, is fun and laid back. This makes Goa the perfect holiday destination in all the seasons and for all the reasons. It experiences lovely and relaxing climate always. The visit will be as memorable with the summers on the golden sands as with the winters in the warm waters. The more adventurous of you may indulge in water sports like water skiing, para sailing, diving, gliding et al while on holiday at Goa. You may even hire the required equipment to advent and explore the sea. Well all the swimmers, anglers, water sports buffs and sunbathers are sure to have the time of their life on the holiday to Goa.

The fusion of the East and the West is best seen at Goa. In fact it is the charming combination of beaches, culture, architectural heritage and wildlife make Goa the supreme travel destination. The Christmas is celebrated in the same manner as Diwali, the spirits are as high at the Carnival as on Shivratri. The fun and frolic never ends, Goa seems to be hosting a big party all the time though it is the The celebration of the Carnival and the Shigmo that see the maximum number of tourists. You may sip at the Beer or the traditional drink of Feni, made from cashew or coconut. From the Portuguese love songs to hard rock though the nightclub circuit are just like other metros of India. The soothing guitar or the piano adds to the magic of the waves. That is what holidays are for, eat, drink and be merry!

How can a holiday tour be complete without shopping? Goa has several shops making items easily available for the tourists. Right from Carpets to Papier Mache, Textiles and Silk to Wood Carvings, you name the souvenir items and Goa has them. The traditional crafts of Goa like Pottery, terra cotta, bamboo and jewelry will not fail to entice you from buying them. You may even pick up items made from seashells that remind you of your gorgeous holidays in Goa. You may check out the restored Goan houses that make up for the best of lifestyle and fashion shops in Goa.

The beach capital of India is well connected through air, aqua, rail and road. The Indian Airlines (domestic) and the Air India (international) have frequent flights to Goa. Then there are the charted private airlines that operate from Germany and UK. In terms of connectivity through train, the Konkan railways unite the Margoa and the Vasco do Gama stations with the other major cities of India namely, delhi, mumbai and bangalore. The bus services provided by the transport corporations of the three different states of Goa, Maharastra and Karnataka make Goa easily accessible by road. Further the boat service between Mumbai and Panaji offer the accessibility through water. For local transport the car rental services are easily available. The two wheelers rides are other fun options to enjoy the holiday at Goa besides the ferry services.

The holiday travel packages offer a variety of options for the tourists. The cruise on the Santa Monica yatch will be as zestful as the song and dance along the Mandovi River. On your holiday trip to Goa you may even catch a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the land. The archaeological museum & portrait gallery, the archive museums of goa form the crux of the treasure troves besides the many art galleries in Goa.

We have exclusive travel packages and holiday offers for Goa that satisfies your desire to go on a Goa Travel to the fullest.

For the ultimate holiday experience we offer the Goa extravagance. The travel services will make all the comforts and conveniences close at hand. We at Goa india Hotels will help you plan the entire holiday. For all the information pertaining to getting there, staying where, expecting what will be duly answered before the commencement of the tour. Let us be your one stop for the complete travel guide to Goa. What are you waiting for? Grab your sunscreen and take your pick for the activities you would love to indulge in and the spots that are to be visited. Holiday at the paradise on Earth Goa!

Hotels in Goa

List of Hotels in Goa(by

Five Star Goa Hotels

Taj Exotica in Goa
Fort Aguada Beach Resort in Goa
Goa Marriott Resort
Cidade De Goa Resort
Renaissance Goa Resort in Goa
Holiday Inn Resort
Kenilworth Beach Resort in Goa
Bogmalo Beach Resort in Goa
Leela Palace Hotel in Goa
Majorda Beach Resort in Goa

Four Star Hotels in Goa

Sun Village Resort in Goa
The Taj Holiday Village Resort in Goa
Hotel Aguada Hermitage in Goa
Dona Sylvia Resort in Goa
Varca Beach Resort more..
Two Star Hotels in Goa
Hotel Baia Do Sol in Goa
Longuinhos Beach Resort in Goa

Three Star Goa Hotels

Nanu Resort in Goa
Hotel Nova Goa in Goa
Whispering Palms Beach Resort in Goa
Highland Beach Resort in Goa

Other Hotels in Goa

Paradise Village Beach Resort in Goa
Panjim Pousada Hotel in Goa
Hotel Aroma in Goa
Concha Beach Resort in Goa
Delmon Hotel in Goa
Four Seasons Resort
The Leela Beach Hotel in Goa
Hotel Golden Goa in Goa
Haathi Mahal Goa
Hotel Mandovi in Goa
Hotel Marinha Dourada in Goa
Park Plaza Hotel in Goa
Hotel Prainha in Goa
Ronil Beach Resort Goa
Hotel Seema in Goa
Varma Beach Resort in Goa

GOA-The Party Palace

Goa is a perfect destination for that special party, off the beaten track! Goa the smallest state of India, was a Portuguese colony until 1962. Goa is famous for its beaches, which reflects colourful mosaic of history. Apart from beaches, the state is also famous for its Indo-Portuguese culture and architecture.

The combination of the relaxed lifestyle, refreshing weather and festive carnivals has been known to lure many into a psychedelic trance. This face of Goa makes it a perfect destination for partying. As you party in Goa, dancing on the soft sand beneath your feet, you'll find that there is no place as warm and welcoming as Goa. The inviting beaches, the friendly people, the flavoursome cuisine, are in abundance to offer you that perfect ambience needed for every special party. And when the party includes specialities like local crab, king prawns and typical Goan delicacies, it becomes one of its kind.

Place for Partying
Although all the beaches and picnic spots of Goa are great spots for party, there are some delightful places, made to make your party very very special. Not necessarily, beaches are the only place far from the madding crowd and perfect for that special party time. Some of the favourites, with beautiful views of the sea and sand are :

Club Tito's
The most famous, talked about, written about place in Goa. Located on the Baga Beach, this place is more like a hangout for everyone and anybody in Goa. Besides a reasonable discotheque, it has speciality restaurants stretching upto the beach. Plays mostly funky, trance music and although famous has a shady reputation.

Club Extreme
This is another trendy discotheque situated on the Miramar Road in Panaji. Open everyday of the week, it plays good disco music.

Club Cubana
Great location on top of the Arpora Hills. Good music, unlimited drinks available here.

Club Antoos
Newly opened up on the Calangute Beach, next to Goan Heritage Hotel. It has great ambience with a large pub and dance floor. The DJ's however, are known to lack in playing the right kind of music.

Bamboo Forest/Paradisio/Hill Top
All the above are situated in the hotspot at Anjuna and Vagator area. All of them are known to have non-stop all night music, but is more famous for its drug scene and trance music.

Goa Nightlife

For a state that is on holiday all the year through, where tourism is a major source of income for the state and the population living here, a lot credit goes to the nightlife of the state. What adds to the merriment here apart from the sun sand and sea is the terrific nightlife of the state. Even the most developed metros of the country cannot compete with the nightlife here. The beaches are popular undoubtedly but what makes them popular is the never dying party spirit of the people. Ever since the hippies made Goa their hangout zone, partying has come to be an integral part. The laws of the state are liberal with alcohol, you can get a drink almost at any spot in the state. However, it comes strict against drunken driving, nudity and drugs.

What surprises is that every third house at some place is a bar cum restaurant selling chilled bear and reasonable Goan delicacies and sea food.

There are numerous ways and places to have a wonderful evening ahead once you are in Goa, but don't plan ahead. If you plan to dine, drink and party at three different places through the evening then you might end up doing all three at a single place. Most restaurants also have bars, many bars have night clubs here. The atmosphere is relaxed. Nightlife in Goa is not just wine, dine and party, there are many options to choose from to spend your evening.

Party, Party and Party!

If you are a party animal then Goa is a party zoo. Rave parties became the mark of Goa in 1960's with hippies introducing them. Drinks, drugs and loud music marked these parties. However with government crack down on drugs and efforts to promote up market tourism instead of backpackers tourism, the rave parties have become trance parties. 'Trance' is the unique Goan music style developed by local music bands. The parties are now called Trance parties with dance and live bands performing, and controlled boozing. Anjuna, 'freak capital of the world' is popular for its night long trance parties. There is a pounding music system here on the beach. Its a rave party venue around Christmas and new year. But it's not just Anjuna raving with parties, Calangute, Baga, Colva, Dauna Paula are all venues for parties. Tito's at Baga, Ziggy's at Colva, Temptations at Red Cab on Vagator, Lido's at Dauna Paula. Except for few uncommercialized ones, you will find places of beach parties.

For a Laid Back Evening

If you have tired after exploring Goa through the day and are not in the mood to party or if you are one of those laid back kind of people then may be heading to a beach party will not be on your list. Goa has something to offer to every one. You can spend the evening gorging on sea food and chilled bear in a beach side shack. The shack owners in the evening organize bonfires and beach side barbecues. Just look for a shack and enjoy the fire, take your guitar or listen to recorded Goan trance. Or better still sit listening to the waves sipping your cocktail.

Goa Casinos

'Life is a game' if that's your take, then Goa has the best casino's to offer you. Though many casinos are on board cruises but there are others on the lands of Goa as well. Of late, government has been trying to implement a deadline of 11pm but has not been successful so far. For now casinos are open till wee hours in the morning. Goa's top class casinos offer games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat and craps . Some of the famous casinos are Cicade de Goa Beach Resort and Casino at Dauna Paula, Las Vegas - the Gaming Club Leela Palace Hotel, Treasures Casino Majorda beach resort.

The Night Cruises

For a truly out of world experience and party in a different way try the Goa night cruises. Several options are available on Mandovi river. Music, dance, drink and food all are included in the ticket or else take a luxury yatch. The journey will take you through the lights of Panajim - Miramar one one hand and Aguada fort and Reis Magos on the other side. You can also hire a private yatch for party purposes or other such affairs.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Map of Goa

For your convenience, below is the map of Goa, which will give you an overview of your hotel location and places of interest in Goa . Various attractions in Goa such as beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hills, resorts and pilgrim places are indicated by different symbols.