The end of a trip can leave you craving for more such trips. It sure did that to me. I had long been planning a vacation for myself as you would all know how absolutely difficult it is for me to be a cave-person. Since I have been traveling extensively this month, I inevitably ran out of cash. This trip to South Goa happened only because I managed to convince my sister to sponsor me. Besides, another major reason was that two of my friends whom I had met while traveling a few years back insisted that I go back to Goa, and this time the onus was on them to take me to the offbeat beaches of South Goa. Last year on Diwali, I had set out to explore North Goa. Read on and I will be giving you a few reasons to help you with your decision between North and South Goa.
My friends took care of my accommodation in their campus which happened to be in Central Goa. My stay was pretty much of an illegal affair as I was using someone else’s identity card!
I planned on taking a train from Bangalore to Goa. I knew that this particular route crosses plenty of canals and there’s even a fair chance of getting a glimpse of the Dudhsagar waterfall (which I did!).
As you guys might have already learned, I would never leave a chance to rent a bike. The moment I arrived Vasco De Gama railway station, I rented a bike at Vasco and rode all the way to the campus and sneaked in with my friend’s help. We thought of renting a car to save us from the heat and also to catch up on the major events in our life that we had missed out.
South Goa is the more serene half of the state and it attracts many travelers for this very reason. There are fewer activities and not as many bars, clubs or restaurants, but the beaches here are cleaner than and not as crowded as those in the North Goa.
At first, they took me to this old fort of Cabo de Rama which was followed by a short beach trek. The panoramic view of the Arabian Sea from the fort itself is magical.
The next beach on the list was my favorite beach in all of Goa- The one and only Cola Beach. It didn’t just please me with its beautiful shacks but also the lagoon which I hadn’t seen in any of the other beach destinations that I have traveled to so far.
Palolem beach is the most populous beach in South Goa. The moment we got to the beach, touts started approaching us to take us to the Butterfly beach and Monkey Island, which lie off the coast and in the middle of the sea, via a motorboat. Since my friends knew about the right price, we settled for INR 1100 for all 3 of us. We didn’t want to miss out on the sunset point at Agonda beach and we were running short of time. My friend drove the best he could and I put all my faith in him hoping that we would make it there on time before the sea swallows the sun at the horizon.
Now you know what I was expecting out of Agonda beach and it sure made my day.
When it comes to North Goa, you will hear about crowded beaches, upbeat nightlife, Goan trance, great food, hippie markets and yoga retreats. If you like a fast pace and plenty of things to do, this is the place to go.
I stayed at PappiChulo last year. This hostel brings to life the crazy vibes of being in the North. Of all the beaches in the North Goa, my favorite beach was the Vagator. The reason for that will be the fact that it is slightly secluded and the seaside is lined with many shacks and food stalls loaded with exotic and savory meals and drinks. I would recommend that you visit the Fish and Tail shack here.
If you want to experience the stunning landscapes, luxury accommodation, seclusion, nightlife parties, reliable seafood dainties and voguish shopping opportunities, plan for Anjuna Beach and make it your best ever holiday experience for ages. There are certain shacks which offer live music sessions daily. As the localities suggest, Guru Bar, Anjuna beach would be your best bet.
Baga Beach in Goa is a beautiful paradise and a welcoming retreat for nature buffs. A long sandy beach packed with lively shacks, resorts and fishing boats, it is a sheer delight to the soul. Wandering all around and relishing everything, right from souvenir shops to the best party center of the city, the captivating beach offers a wonderful retreat with a wind warm with a strange vibrating energy. Whether it’s the endless variety of drinks and food or the long list of available water sports, this beach is full of life. You can just lose yourself in the gentle lap of nature. Baga usually features high on tourist routes due to its exciting nightlife, flea market, eateries and watering holes. Popular for its shack life, many foods and drink joints offering delicious seafood are set up by St. Anthony’s. The well-known Cafe Mambo and Tito’s Bar are the go-to places for the night-time revel.
Arambol Beach is the last beach in North Goa that is serene, clean and has a pretty long stretch. Fireworks are hosted by shacks every night. You can also enjoy Jimba music while sitting around the bonfire having supper and drinks.
Before I dropped my bike at Vasco, I did end up getting a ticket from a cop for driving into a one-way lane. I hope you have made up your mind between North and South Goa by now. Goa has always greeted me with crazy-good experiences and I believe it will do the same to you.