Goa – One Week Itinerary for Perfect Getaway
- September 09, 2020
- Sanvi Sinha
Goa, a coastal retreat with lush green paddocks, refreshing sights of water bodies, blue lagoons and the glinting sands reflecting sunlight. Goa, a place that each one of us dreams to travel with our group of friends. People come here all around the world, to experience a different culture, architecture, to relish numerous serene beaches, to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and to gulp cheap booze. Goa Itinerary is important if you ask me because you might end up at famous cliches of this place. Do you also have that failed Goa trip story where something came up at the very last moment! Well, I guess we all had, but I think I was fortunate enough to get it done in just one go. Yes, you heard it right but before you make any assumption, let me tell you it was not easy.
How to Reach Goa?
The nearest international airport is Dabolim lying 29 kilometres from the capital city Panjim. Daily flights run from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and many other domestic airlines operating to Goa.
Major railheads in Goa are Madgaon, Vasco da Gama and Thivim. They all are well connected to other parts of the country.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation(MSRTC) are two actively working transport services. Kadamba bus stand services operating from Panjim receive daily bus services from Mumbai, Pune. There is an option of choosing buses from inter-city and intra-city bus services travelling from nearby towns and cities.
Well, there is another route via sea, linking Mumbai to ports at Panjim. There are some shipping companies which provide boat services from Mumbai to Panjim, Goa.
Top Things to Do in Goa (for that extensive Goa Itinerary)
- Shacking Up at the serene beaches
- Visiting forts, churches, hidden beauties
- Fishing and Boating
- Casino and Nightlife
- Carnival and Festival time
- Spice and Exotic Condiments
- Jet Skiing and Water Skiing
- Parasailing, Snorkelling and Kayaking
- Scuba Diving and Strolling
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Picnic and Flea Markets
- Beach Parties
- Relaxing and rejuvenating at Spa and Yoga centres
The winter is the prime time for enjoying lush vegetation, exotic activities and of course everything mentioned above. Monsoon is exclusive in every other term without the water activity part with fewer crowds around.
Reaching Goa – Walking to the nearby Beaches and talking to locals
Our stay in a small village called Parra was full of green fields and fresh air. Some of the famous beaches are nearby to this place. Walking towards Calangute, we found some bike/car renting shops, small cafe’s, and lots of greenery around making us forget our motion sickness after a long journey. In monsoon there are mostly high tide waves, so people sit around the beach. You can sip a bottle of beer or two but only if you buy it from inside the beach ‘dhabas’ because you cannot bring it from outside.
Note: It’s a crowded beach, bring fewer things and don’t wander alone after evening. Also, make sure you are not drinking in the ‘No Alcohol Consumption Zone’ which includes many beaches, roads, and highways or else be ready to pay a fine up to 10k!
Prepare your Goa Itinerary beforehand.
We went straight to the nearby bus stop and picked up our bike for the next few days. Enjoying a scooter ride on the roads of Goa is the best thing you can do. Anjuna is a 15 minutes ride from Parra and saved offline maps helped us to find out the location. We wanted to enjoy the empty beach of Anjuna in Monsoon, which is a rare thing to see in other seasons.
As we all know, it is one of the most famous beaches of Goa due to its extravagant nightlife and beach parties. Chapora Fort, yes the same fort we all have seen in the movie ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ has to be next in the list. This fort located in Bardez is a 17-minutes ride from Anjuna. The stunning view of Vagator Beach adjoining Arabian sea from the fort is splendid! We spent more than 2 hours doing nothing but just watching the waves hitting the shore from the top. You can go down to Vagator Beach, which hardly takes 5 minutes.
Hopping on the streets of Calangute for the rest of the evening trying out Goan cuisines is what we did, an easy-peasy relaxing day. Goa Itinerary for day one was all checked before going to bed.
We drove early morning after breakfast till the extreme north towards Ashvem. It was indeed a magical ride with an empty road with pine trees and greenery on both sides. There are so many little things in between that you get to see while riding along. You can cover Ashvem, Morzim, Arambol and Kalacha beach altogether. People say all of them look the same, but for me, they all are significant. After reaching Ashvem, we relaxed and let go of all our worries after the ride.
Arambol is at a distance of around 7 km from Ashvem. Kalacha Beach is located at the end of the Arambol beach and is known for its shallow sweet water lagoon. Sand is supposed to have healing properties here. They all are known as the most beautiful beaches of North Goa.
Aguada fort is situated in Candolim offering mesmerizing views all around. This 400-year-old fort is known to have one of the oldest lighthouses in the entire continent of Asia. The fort remains one of the renowned places in the history of Goa.
Sinquerim Fort is an extension of Aguada fort on a different side. Sinquerim Beach is next to it, so if you want to spend your evening watching a sunset with fewer people around, then this is the spot.
Note: It is advisable to travel with some company here.
The day was full of glory, filling and surprises around. Old Goa is full of history and some hidden beauties around. Start early, if you want to cover more in little time. We headed towards the former capital of Portuguese India, Old Goa. The monuments of the British colonial era soaked with a southern European vibe are charming and very elegant!
It takes around 30-35 minutes to reach old Goa which is approx. 21 km from Parra, where we were staying. You have a lot to see in old Goa and its nearby places. Trust me, you can cover many of them in just a day if planned accordingly. There are several churches, but the architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus is something you cannot miss. It is magnificent with magnificent emblems, statues, a massive collection of paintings by some greatest artists, and intricate carvings, woodworks along with a museum are one of its kind.
An abandoned church in the old city was our next destination. Church of Saint Augustine is a ruined heritage property and nothing more than a 45-meter tower but known as the largest church of its time. Well, you can skip if you want, but I found it a unique yet beautiful space for photography and peace of mind.
St. Catherine Chapel is another beautiful church here. Do visit if you have spare time as it had been marked as the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa back in 1510.
Just a 5-minute ride will take you to The Chapel of Mount Lady. The place situated on a hill beholds a pristine environment in silence. With a lavish interior, this place overlooks & presents the breathtaking Mandovi River and the island of Divar and Chorao.
Divar and Chorao islands
Divar and Chorao islands are divine lying on the Mandovi River, and one can spend the whole day over there. Not to forget, there are homestays and hostels available at the islands itself. You have to take a ferry to reach the island which runs back and forth after every 30 minutes from 7 AM to 8 PM free of cost. Did you add this place in your next Goa itinerary?
Next time you are here, make sure to visit these two with a proper amount of time. Remember there is a bird sanctuary called Salim Ali in Chorao through Mangrove forests where you have to float on motorboats to experience the rest. Sounds astonishing, isn’t it! Take your time to explore these two islands, take a cycle available on the island to roam around by yourself. This place is peaceful, with a vibe of Susegad Goan life!
Fontainhas, also known as the Goa’s Latin Quarter, is a colourful place in Panjim, the capital city of Goa. It enhances your taste highlighting Goa besides the glittering beaches and party animals. Heritage Walk through Fontainhas is one of the most colourful experiences in the influences of Portuguese and Indian culture. The lanes contain many hidden treasures (only if you are ready to dig deeper)! The cottages & houses built in pastels and some fluorescent colours are so picturesque, immersed in colonial architecture.
Do try the bakeries inside the cute, vibrant little cafes over here. If you are staying in Panjim, you can visit Hanuman Temple at the end of Fontainas sitting at height. Colourful stairs in the expanse lead you towards the top of Althino Hill. Climb up to confront the gorgeous 360° view of Panjim.
If you have time, you can visit Bambolim beach, which is at a distance of 7km from Panjim. Settled in calmness, you will find not many visitors around here. This beach is known for its oyster shells. Sometimes even the simple walk can turn into the special evening with your people around. Add this place in your Goa itinerary the next time you are here.
Have you heard about the paddle boating at serene Mayem Lake in Bicholim? Maybe or maybe not, but note it down for the next time when you are in Goa. Surrounded by forest in the laps of nature at a hilly countryside, this place is known as a picnic spot. An hour ride from Panjim lead us to this place, and at the time of monsoon, this place remains almost empty with lush green vegetation around.
Reis Magos Fort
On our way back we stopped at Reis Magos Fort(oldest fort serving as cultural and heritage centre). You can easily reach here by your vehicle or public transport.
Of course, we came all drenched in our colourful Teletubbies raincoats!
Life never stops in Goa. True!
We hit Love Passion and Karma, riverfront night club to make our feet dance and enjoy every beat till the end! People usually leave this place after confronting the sunrise! Tito’s, Club Cabana, Antares are some other places to check out if you want to enjoy the best musical night, lights and food!
Note: Do not forget to check the opening & closing time as you might reach late to some of the places!
Well, so yes if you are reading till here let me remind you, always keep an extra day even if you are missing out on something you wanted to do. Let this day be doing absolutely nothing but relaxing maybe near the shore, out there in your hotel’s balcony, some cafe-bakeries, near the grassland.
Last night we spent at Baga Beach, which is at a distance of 6.5 km from Parra. Even at the time of monsoon, there was a decent crowd. Some signature places remain shut during monsoon.
Music, karaoke, waves of laughter, barefooted walking by the beach and me wondering about my next visit already!
Note: Do not plan any water sport on your last day. Keeping your body and mind stable before your journey is something we should look after.
Day 6 (Goa Journey comes to end)
Our flight was scheduled in the evening, and we spent our day dropping at random cafe’s nearby Candolim. And last few hours at Candolim Beach until the announcement was made to empty the place due to high tides and bad weather. We were ready to adieu to this party capital, a journey which changes a lot in us.
Note: Of course, we had a ton of fights, clashes but this is what friends are for I guess!
Goa Travel Plans in Monsoon
- Goa in Monsoon is a Bliss. Period!
- Green lush paddocks are like a gift to the sore eyes.
- Fewer people, the lesser crowd, makes you feel like having a private space on the beaches.
- Cheaper-hotels, homestays, and discounts in many pubs and clubs are not going to disappoint you.
- Dudhsagar waterfall appears in its full glory only during monsoon.
- Ride like never before in the lush tropical paradise.
- Enjoy the wildlife sanctuaries as the clean green backdrop makes you fall in love with them.
- Monsoon brings some colourful festivals in Goa to enjoy a vibrant side of the place.
- Unavailability of water activity, sports or adventure might let you down.
- Due to high tide waves, none of the beaches offer that water sport thrill you are looking for in the month of July-September.
- Lying carelessly on shacks is a no-no. Well, you might get to see some of them but cannot enjoy the beach while relaxing back down there.
- Rain showers can happen anytime disrupting your plans many times a day.
- Well if you are looking for an open, beach party, you will hardly find any. And some of the famous party poppers might be shut as well.
- No famous flea markets are open at Anjuna or any other beaches during this period.
Brief Overview of North Goa Six Days Itinerary
First day: Picking up the bike- Anjuna Beach – Chapora Fort – Vagator-Calangute street hopping
Second day: Ashvem-Arambol-Kalacha-Aguada Fort- Sinquerim Beach
Third day: Old Goa- Basilica of Bom Jesus- Church of Saint Augustine- St. Catherine Chapel- The Chapel of Mount Lady- Divar Island
Fourth day: Fontainhas- Hanuman Temple- Mayem Lake – Reis Magos Fort- Night Party at ‘Love Passion and Karma’
Fifth day: Relaxing and rejuvenating- Walking by Mapusa market- Baga Beach
Sixth day: Cafes near Calangute- Candolim Beach- Hotel-Airport-Back To Delhi
Note: Include the water sport/activities if you are planning in winters because summers could be scorching and super hot!
Goa is indeed a place to explore on yourself, but an itinerary like this can help you plan it in your way. Otherwise, you would end up doing a party on one or the other beach. No offence it’s perfectly fine if you are just here for the same because as we all know, it is the ‘Party Capital of India’. What places you are going to add in your next Goa Itinerary?
Did you like it? Have You Ever Visited Goa? Let us know in the comment section. Check out how to create a travel itinerary.
Feature Image Credits- Unsplash.