I came back a few days ago from Goa and I barely have words to describe the amazing experience I had there. I left London on the 21st March and had my flight back on the 30th April. From the 1st to the 29th of April, I was going to be part of a Yoga Teacher Training so I had a few days to visit before starting the training. Another article will follow about the training ;). I tried my best to see the most beautiful places on the coast but also went more inland to discover a bit more of the history of Goa. There has not been anything disappointing either by the sea side or the inland and I can’t wait to go back there to see more of it.
Day 1 & 2 – MANDREM & ARAMBOL
We landed in Dabolim Airport in the middle of the night between the 21st and 22nd. To be more convenient, we stayed in a hotel next to the airport for the first night and decided to head north in the morning. There is not much to see in Vasco de Gama so as soon as we woke up, we took a taxi to Mandrem. We didn’t book anything for our trip. We knew we wanted to travel from North to South but had no idea where to stay. The good thing in Goa is that there are guest rooms everywhere! It’s easy to just stop somewhere and ask for a room. We stayed for 2 nights at Spice of Life, a very nice place a few meters from the beach.
It was pure happiness to wake up in the morning with a view on the sea and the sound of the waves! We really loved Mandrem. It was quite quiet at the end of the season but the market was still open and the vibe of the village was quite special.
In the north of Mandrem is Arambol. We decided not to stay there but to go for one day. The best way to do so is to rent a scooter. Arambol was less quiet than Mandrem but such an amazing place! I called it the hippie paradise, with lots of huts and bars on the beach and with a very nice main road.
Day 3 – BAGA & ARPORA NIGHT MARKET
On the Saturday, we moved south, to Baga, Goa’s party place. We didn’t really fancy partying but we wanted to see what the place was like. The vibe was quite different from the one we got used to in Mandrem! Baga has a real party vibe, the spring break spot of young Indians. The prices for the accommodations are therefore more expensive. We decided to stay at Oliva Resort for one night as we didn’t want to spend more than one day there. As clubbing was not our priority, we went to the Saturday night market instead. It was amazing! The market was a mix between a family carnival, a market and a trance party. I fell in love with the smells, the colors, the smiles, the sounds…
Day 4 & 5 – PANJIM & OLD GOA
From Baga, we moved to Panjim, the capital of Goa. We stayed there for two days, to visit the city and Old Goa. There is not much to see in Panjim but the Immaculate Conception Church only is worth the stop and the stay. Panjim has some hidden gems and wandering around in the city is nice. From Panjim, catch a bus to Old Goa. There, make your way from one church to another. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a real treasure and you will be impressed by the architecture of the religious buildings of Old Goa. The ruins of the St. Augustine Tower are impressive and will take you back centuries ago.
Day 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 – AGONDA & AROUND
After two days in Panjim, we were tired of being in the heat of the city and headed back to the coast in the south. We went straight to Agonda and literally fell in love with this place! The beach is amazing, with huts, restaurants and bars all along. From there, you can rent a scooter and go to Cola Beach, a stunning small beach you can only access through a rocky path. I loved wandering around with the scooter, not only on the beaches but in the villages.
The architecture of the houses is amazing with loads of colors and a beautiful Portuguese influence. We stayed in Agonda for the last days. I wanted to relax before the teacher training and we wanted to enjoy being on the beach and only moving to get food! In Agonda we stayed for 3 nights at Saffron Sands and 2 nights at Madhu. I can also recommend Rama Resort and H2O. I’ve spent a lot of time there and the huts and rooms seem amazing and the service is great!
PALOLEM & PATNEM
I stayed in Palolem for my yoga teacher training and I really enjoyed exploring the cafes and bars there. Palolem is said to be the best spot of South Goa for the balance between beach and party. Many bars offer to rent kayaks -if you plan to do so, the best is to start early before the heat is too strong! or to go on a boat tour to see the dolphins, to go to Butterfly Beach, Honeymoon Beach…
Patnem is also a cute spot, more south on the coast. The place is smaller than Palolem of Agonda but there are many restaurants and places to stay on the beach.
The accommodations may not seem to be the fanciest ones but we enjoyed each of them and we didn’t plan anything or look at any recommendation. We just turned up and decided whether to stay or not!
For my review on my yoga teacher training, click here!
Safe travels ◊