Being a lover of sea beaches and unspoiled sands with sips of wine, I decided to plan a holiday trip to Goa. I wanted to have some fun with my family so thinking about a few different places. I always loved the beaches much more than hills and slopes. The vast ocean with no ends and falling sea waves give a mixed feeling of peace and storm in mind. The thoughts come and go leaving a calm spirit in the end.
At first, we were about to book a Goa tourism package, but later on, we decided to plan our trip to enjoy everything at our convenience.
The first thing while planning a tour is the lodging and boarding place. We selected an elegant hotel to stay on the island, and it contributed a lot to making our holiday trip to Goa most pleasurable.
We luckily had our halt in Ibis Style at Calangute road situated close to two famous beaches. The hotel is majestic with all the luxuries and offers excellent service to its customers. It is really the best place to stay in Goa.
Top beaches in Goa
Generally, the best beaches in Goa include Anjuna beach, Candolim beach, Calangute beach, Baga beach and Palolem beach. These are the five topmost beaches in Goa. But we stayed in the Ibis Style hotel in Goa, so the first beach near the boarding spot was Calangute beach.
It was nice visiting the beach as it is about 15 minutes away from our place. The soft sand crowded with coconut and palm trees is somewhat hard to cross if the footwear is not compatible. Try to walk bare feet on the beach and reach the waters. Soak your feet in the upcoming waves to clean them and feel fresh!
Being a shopaholic, I enjoyed shopping at stores situated on the outer side of the beach. Many vendors are selling eatables, but frankly, I avoid street food when I am on tour. I prefer to consume natural things like coconut water and if you are fond of food made from coconut, then try the typical cuisines of the state on Calangute beach.
Another tourist attraction located close to Calangute beach is Baga beach famous for fun, adventure, and excellent food. Britto’s bar and restaurant on the Baga beach is an amazing place for foodies. We visited two times to Brittos on a four day trip to Goa. The food was delicious, and the service was flawless. A provision for outdoor sitting in the evening still added charm to the restaurant as the people were enjoying finger-licking cuisines with a beautiful view of the sea waves.
We had a foot massage on the beach that was much relaxing after long walking on the sand as we were not used to sand trekking. In addition to this, water sports on the beach like scuba diving, jet skiing, dolphin rides, banana rides, motor boat ride and river cruise are amazing for adventure lovers.
The Saturday night market in Goa
We landed on Friday so luckily we had the option to see the famous Saturday night market in Goa. The arcade has everything from clothes, jewelry to carpet and spices. The entertainment options include rock to Indian classical with delicious cuisines and typical Goan dishes along with other international foods. The handmade items as belts, apparel, carpets, etc. attract foreigners and hobbyists from all over the world.
The liquor bar serves a variety of wines and drinks for those who are fond of beverages. The fun at the market goes till late at night; also, Goa is famous for nightlife.
5 top Casinos in Goa
A great combination of favorite drinks, tasty food, a wide range of games, and dance performance by international dancers make a part of the fantastic nightlife of the planet. The best casinos include Deltin Royale, Casino Palms, Casino Pride, Casino Paradise and Casino Carnival.
Deltin Royale Casino
The best of all Casinos is Deltin Royale, famous in Goa for the excellent atmosphere and fine dining with a wide range of games. We visited the Casino about 65 kilometers from Ibis Style, but as we were not well versed with games, we enjoyed the ambiance. Luxury is redefined at this place providing you with a unique experience prompting you to revisit it.
Location of the Casino- The casino is located in a royal ship in Mandovi River, Panjim, Goa. You have to reach the destination where tickets are bought, and an arrangement is there to take you to the real casino.
Choose the evening time to enjoy most in the casino as the real fun is at dawn.
The Palms casino is situated on the Baga beach. Although not as good as the other can be visited as a time pass. The entry fee is nominal so if you are looking for a nice place and want to spend thriftily, then go for Casino palms.
We visited it once as it was a short distance away from our boarding place.
Another floating casino in Panaji, Goa is Casino Pride known for gaming and glory includes Roulette, Baccarat, Paplu, Andar Bahar, etc. The casino is well-known to provide endless entertainment to adults and kids alike with Indian and international games combined with delicious cuisines and amazing dance performances. It nis located at river Mandovi, Panaji, Goa.
A grand casino in the hotel Neo Majestic and across the Mandovi River located close to Panaji. Besides games and food, it also offers a spa, sauna, and steam to rejuvenate body and mind. A beautiful place to spend time with friends or spouse in Goa is Casino Paradise. If you are a guest at the hotel then you can find it pleasing to visit the casino now and then, else it is a good option for everyone.
The two locations of casino carnival are- near Miramar beach and on the Mandovi River. The carnival casino is famous as it offers something to every age group. The Indian and international games with delicious varieties to eat, make this spot the favorite destination for hobbyists. The kids can party with games and toys.
Besides, you can also arrange parties for your guests as the roof is available for tourists and Goans both. The casino is open the whole day with Rs 1500 entry fee from Monday to Thursday and Rs 2000 for Friday and Saturday. The charge includes play coupon worth Rs. 1000 with unlimited buffet and drinks.
Reis Magos Fort-A famous tourist destination in Goa
We stayed for four nights and five days in the lonely planet including Saturday and Sunday. I searched for a few favorite Goa tourist places and found Reis Magos Fort that tells a lot about the history of the site.
We went to see the fort on Sunday. Although there was rush owing to the holiday but the entry fee was only Rs. 20, the lowest as compared with weekdays. For adults, the charge is Rs 50, and for students, it is Rs 25 on weekdays. A fort vehicle is also available for those who wish to explore the site on wheels.
The fort is well maintained and constructed in 1551 by Portuguese on the bank of river Mandovi. It was built to safeguard against attackers and also to accommodate the foreign delegates. It was kept as a treasure till June 2012 when it was opened to the public.
Timings- 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Days- Tuesday to Sunday
A vast citadel with prison, armaments, and antiques in the fort are amazing for history seekers. I love seeing historical monuments to appreciate the craftsmanship and the scientific values of the past. The history says that Afonso de Albuquerque convert the small outpost in this area to a fortress. The fort was renovated and restored by the famous architect of Goa named Gerad Da Canha.
The fort is now available on rent to arrange parties and weddings.
A Banyan tree grew as a parasite on a coconut tree after 1900. The host tree ultimately collapsed, and the Banyan one survives and stabilized. The prison and death hole are prominent in the citadel, and the past is written to provide acquaintance with the Goan history.
Churches in Goa
Goa is famous for churches as most of the population follows the Christian religion. I visited one of the oldest church near the Reis Magos Fort dedicated to St. Jerome. The church is painted in white- a color reminding of peace. The opening hours of the church is from 6 am to 11 pm on weekdays and on Sunday, the time shifts to 7:30 in the morning to 5 in the evening.
The interior of the church is gracefully adorned with the statues of the three wise man giving gifts to the baby Jesus. There is a grand celebration on the 6th of January every year when a procession starts at the church and goes around the village. You can be a part of the pageant and the feast if you are in Goa at that time.
The church and the fort are close to each other so that you can visit two of the favorite Goan sites at one time. Moreover, the refreshment is also available outside the tourist spots.
Whether you are scheduling a holiday trip to Goa, via a ‘Goa tourism package’ or you wish to explore the island at your convenience, plan whole day fun at this fantastic place. I suggest visiting Goa in winters or in any favorable weather to enjoy the trip to the fullest.