Goa is every teenager’s perennial party place, every adult’s escape and everyone’s pass to take that proverbial chill pill. But if you think you have had enough of the sand under your feet, the sun over your head and the shacks for company, here’s a Goa beyond the ever-popular sea-bathing, beach walking, beach partying version. This place is so much more that you would happily shun the cliché and don your explorer hat than the common traveler one.
1. Flea market shopping
Be it the exclusive junk jewellery pieces which add that wow factor to dresses, handicrafts that make for wonderful souvenirs or home decor, or just the ambience, these flea markets – at Anjuna (Wednesday), Arpora (Saturday) and Calangute (Saturday) to name a few are a world in themselves. The sheer sight of locals and foreigners selling their stuff at one place, their languages, music and food co-existing in harmony, is an experience to cherish.
2. Take a crocodile tour
Goa has a small population of crocodiles that dwell in the swampy mangroves of Cumbharjua Canals. You can catch a glimpse of these aquatic predators by taking a boat ride to Cumbharjua Canals. Some of the local boat tour operators organize “crocodile tours” for visitors—the best ones include John’s Crocodile Dundee Tour, Lar Amorosa, Atlantis Watersports, and Thrill philia.
3. Tour the spice plantations
One of the best-known items produced in India are spices. And to learn about the different spices produced here, it is best to take a tour of the spice plantations . You can do just that in Goa, which is home to numerous spice plantations. The must-visits include Tropical Spice Plantation, Sahakari Spice Farm, Savoi Plantation, and Pascoal Spice Village. These plantations have spices like vanilla, cardamom, and black pepper, among others. Taking a tour of these plantations also provides an insight into the Goan culture.
4. Heritage walk in Panjim
The heritage walk through the Old Latin Quarters or the Fontainhas area of Panaji is a colorful and quite an illuminating experience. Here you can get glimpses of the shared connections with the Portuguese, discover the various facets of the Indo-Portuguese homes, find wishing wells while you pass through their old cafes and bakeries. You will also be able to see the fresh water spring on the basis of which this area was named as “Fountain has” or the “Fountain of Phoenix”. Truly a unique and vibrant experience.
5. Houses of Goa Museum
Another exceptional museum that is not just unique in the way it is built but also, showcases the various aspects of the Indo-Portuguese homes. Built by a local architect Gerard Da Cunha, this museum explains the various traditions and signature styles and symbols of the Goan homes. And while you are here, take a tour of the cheerful and eco-friendly schools that have been built by the same architect.
Published by Espressotive