Over the last few weeks, Mumbaikars have been blessed with a fair amount of long weekends. And as anyone who has been worn thin by Q2, we decided to pack our bags & take off of for Goa. Now being Goa aficionados, we always get the ‘Where do we go in Goa/What are the fun things to do in Goa’ calls pre-getaway or during the holiday.
So here is my three day guide to Goa…. but given that once you hit the shore you may just realize beer & breeze is all you need! Nonetheless here is s quick what to/where to guide.
If you want action, then North Goa is where its at. If you are more the laid back kind then without a doubt South Goa is where you should be. Having your own transportation,it is an added advantage getting from the North to the South.
To start your stay in North, a great way to begin your holiday is at Café Lila’s on Baga Creek (they are open only during the Oct –March season & they are closed on Tuesdays – we learnt that the hard way). This lovely whitewashed café is run by a German husband and wife pair & the menu has a completely European feel to it. There is lots to choose from & my personal favorites - the ham & cheese croissant(buttery heaven) and the cheese omelets. Highly recommend you try the seasonal fruit milkshakes & pastries. Next door is Poco Loco which is attached to the Royal Goan Beach Club. They too have an excellent breakfast & if you are looking at a hearty meal to take you through to a very very late lunch go for the English Breakfast. Must try the brownies here…best brownies in Goa! If you are craving for great Mexican, come back for dinner. Pretty close to the real thing.
Time for sun and the surf… amble across the bridge & head to two of the most famous beach shacks on Baga Beach, St. Anthony’s and/or Brittos. You can actually spend the day sipping chilled beer & gorging on everything from butter garlic prawns & squid to rechiado masala kingfish and of course the defacto fish curry rice.
Walk up to Siquerim beach, which is past Calangute (stop by at Souza Lobo for their coconut pancake… I swear it’s a little bit of the legal kind of ecstay), past Candolim & reach the grounded ship River Princess. That’s a nice little quiet patch just before you hit Aguada.
If you are in South Goa & looking for solitude, Colva tends to get a little crowded, but head further South towards Utorda, Arrossim, Benalium all the way to Varca. The beaches here are sylvan, uncrowded & trust me when I say the bluest of the blue skies. If you are in Goa on a Sunday & time (and the pocket permits), spend the day at the Alila Diwa. Their Sunday brunch & infinity pool set amidst the green fields framed by the palm trees on the oceans edge is worth every penny you pay. There’s nothing like watching the sunset over a picture perfect setting. Grab dinner at Martin’s corner while you are in the vicinity.
And for another spectacular sun setting head to Zee Bop or the more low key Johncy’s on the water’s edge. Its breathtaking watching the sun a blazing ball of gold tingeing the sky into hues of pink & purple, finally plunging into inky blackness.
Now breakfast in South Goa means making your way to Margao market a heading straight to San Pedro’s. A bakery that also serves traditional Goan treats like Rissois, Coconut stuffed Sanas, Poi, Bol & the list goes on.
Last & definitely not the least, for a cosy, homely meal drive up Fernando’s Nostalgia in Raia. Off the main Old Goa road, this slice of the old world is set in the old Portuguese house of Maggie. While you wait for your order of Caldeen, Pork Vindaloo, Prawn Balchao & Beef Chilly Fry to come up, take a walk through the beautiful old house which is a treasure trove of heirlooms from Macau & Portugal. For dessert do not (I mean it) miss the the Bol San Rival which means Cake without any rival. This melt in you mouth cake made of almond meal, egg white, sugar & butter are a perfect end to a perfect meal.
On the off chance, if you still have sometime to spare, take a drive down to Shakhari Spice farm for a biology class in the spices, fruits & veggies from Goa & end it with an organic Goan meal. Did I mention you also get a shot of in-house feni? The fire water that is feni does have a way of vetting the appetite. Or if you like the more prayerful side of things, head to Bom Jesus.
There’s plenty more you can do in Goa. Watch this space for more.