Well beaten track? Yes. Over-packed? Yes. Hyped-up and overrated? Maybe, maybe not! No matter what the sceptics say, Goa remains a must-visit place for every vacationist in the world, and it remains so full of zest. There are many surreal places in Goa, and together they offer a perfect blend of outlandish beach wonders and imposing wildlife adventures.
Here is a list of the most beautiful places in Goa, covering islands and beaches for the thalassophiles; fun-filled escapade destinations for adventurous souls; and popular landmarks for city explorers.
1. Baga Beach
Baga beach, located in the north end region of the contiguous beach stretch, is one of the most extensive seashores and popular beaches in Goa! You will find many restaurants, beach shacks, nightclubs, pubs, shops, and fun-filled water sports activities, including banana ride, paragliding, surfboarding, paddle boarding and more in its vicinity. If you like to spend a night at the best beach shack in India, book a place at Britto's, which is located at the northern end of the Baga beach. And to party all night long head to Club Tito's and Cafe Mambo; two famous Goa nightclubs, both located in Baga.
If you like adventure activities head to the best escapade destination in Goa, Arambol. Take off from a rugged cliff and get an excellent view from the headland. Firstly, you have to hike to the top of the rolling hill. Once you are there, your pilot will give you concise guidance and explain the safety precautions. You can fly high over Arambol and see the seasides, interiors and other natural bounties from the sky. It is one of the most partaken adventure activities in Arambol, and it is sure to give you a lasting memory!
3. Agonda Beach
It is one of the stunning beaches of Goa located along the Canacona coast in the South Goa region. Agonda Beach is a secluded stretch of sand, adorned by palm groves! And with the changing hues of sun rays, the waves look lively and magical, making it one of the best places to visit in Goa in May. Besides its water body, you will find many cafes, shops, beach shacks, bars, yoga centres, restaurants, and massage parlours in and around Agonda Beach.
4. Anjuna Wednesday Market
Wednesday Market is one of the most visited markets in India. Since hippies started it in the '60s, it has attracted millions of foreigners to Goa. Moreover, it has become a significant landmark in Goa over the decades! There are more than 450 stalls in the market, and they sell anything and everything from handmade jewellery, bags, clothing, artefacts, spiritual souvenirs, Kashmiri and Tibetian goods as well! You can hear jazz or soft-rock music reverberating across its vicinity all day long. However, the market is open only on Wednesdays between 9 am and 6 pm.
5. Fort Aguada
Nestled at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandovi River, Fort Aguada is a significant draw for tourists in Goa. Located on top of a hill in North Goa, it is an archaic 17th-century Portuguese fortress with a deep dry canal and a 13m high light-tower (constructed in 1864) in its vicinity. Solely built by the Portuguese to defend their territory against the Dutch and the Marathas, this fortress attracts tens of thousands of people from across the world. You can enjoy impressive views of the shoreline from the headland, including the Mandovi River, Arabian Sea, and even the city of Panaji, which is on the opposite side of the river.
6. Grande Island
The awe-inspiring backdrop of steep, forested islets, shining blue water and sizzling shores, makes Grande Island a perfect delight for travellers. It is one of the lesser-known destinations yet a most recommended place to visit. Rich in aquatic flora and fauna, including rare varieties of corals, it is a must-visit place in Goa. Apart from its natural bounties, you can also partake in fun-filled water sports activities such as reef diving, scuba diving, fishing, snorkelling, and dolphin watching.
7. Chapora Fort
Located close to Vagator beach, Chapora Fort is another famous landmark that attracts a lot of tourists to Goa. Like Fort Aguada, Chapora Fort is also based at the confluence of a river(Chapora River) and the Arabian Sea. The famous Bollywood movie "Dil Chahta Hai" put this landmark on the map. Most of its structure is in ruins; nevertheless, it still offers unbelievable views of the river and the coastline. Visit this site to take some Insta-worthy pictures or to re-create the famous movie scene with your friends!
8. Casinos in Panjim
If your idea of travelling is to make money, then Casinos in Goa are an ideal place for you! Gambling is big in Goa. There are both off-shore (on ships) and land-based casinos. Most of the casinos are located in the vicinity of Panjim, on the Mandovi River. There is dancing, entertainment shows, live music, mouth-watering cuisines, and bar counters. Casino Paradise, Deltin Royale, Deltin Jack, Casino Pearl, and Casino Pride are some of the popular casinos in Goa, to name a few.
9. Basilica Of Bom Jesus
The remains of St. Francis Xavier is kept conserved at the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa. The Saint's body was carried here in 1622, and it has since then preserved in a glass mausoleum. It is one of the most prominent tourists draws in Goa and a memorial for Catholics from around the world. Basilica Of Bom Jesus has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
10. Palolem Beach
Palolem Beach is one of the most visited beaches in South Goa. It is a rustic bay with towering hills on one side and an endless sea on the other. Palolem is adjacent to another stunning beach in the south - Agonda. Since it is secluded, it is in pristine condition. Moreover, Palolem Beach is not a hot party destination either. However, every Saturdays from 9 pm till 4 in the morning, there is a Silent Noise party held at Neptune Point, located in the southernmost part of the beach.