This year on our anniversary my Husband instead of giving a gift, told me about planning a trip to Goa in the New Year’s week (uncommon, unprecedented to ask for from a Husband! 😛 ). I must say that it was one hell of a rocking trip..
Here are some of my personal take away tips & tricks for making your next to Goa a maximum fun one! 😉
Goa is a party state especially towards the year end when the state is busy celebrating its two important festivals, Christmas & New Year. Even the air goes crazy there!
Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim
Perfect Timing: If you have plans to visit Goa around New Year’s, try and do the booking well in advance yet be prepared for the season’s most hiked up rates. Your flights, hotels, & even the bikes on rental get costlier in these days. More so because usually Sunburn Goa Fest happens around this time only. However if you are flexible about the dates in the same season, my advice would be to go either a week before or a week or two after the New Year week. I wouldn’t suggest you to go in the second half of January purely because then the India Bike Fest happens which sees a lot of Indian & foreigners coming.
Party Hub or Serene beauty, Where to go? North Goa beaches are the places where the major party & adventure activity happens. On the other hand you can enjoy the serene beauty of Goa and relax at the southern Goa beaches like Colva, Benaulim or Palolem. If you are my type of traveler who wants the enjoyment of both then head for North Goa only to stop at Vagator, Morjim & Anjuna beaches. In this case the overcrowded Candolim beach can be missed. For me visiting Dona Paula & Miramar beaches in Panjim was a complete waste of time.
Get the Hotel Right: You can choose from a shack on the beach to a suite in a five star resort, Goa has a wide variety of Hotels to offer you. Choosing the hotel also will depend on whether you would like to visit the popular beaches like Candolim or beaches with less visitors like Anjuna. Whichever is your pick I suggest for the season around January it is best to do advance booking. Since I prefer to go on beaches with less visitors so I took a hotel near Vagator beach which is closer to beaches like Anjuna, Morjim, Ashvem. These beaches have clean water, less of trash, & less of sea weeds. If you have more days on hand and you want to see South Goa as well then you can split the days and make a separate hotel booking for South Goa. It may be near Colva beach or Palolem beach. For visiting Panjim you can drive from either sides of Goa.
Foodie Delight: Well almost the whole world knows it now that you get dead cheap alcohol in Goa. So you can enjoy the wide variety of drinks but not without the Food! For food as a traveler I was disappointed when it came to eating fish fry. The restaurants do not mention the rates for it hence the rates are negotiable mostly on a higher side. I couldn’t have a good wholesome Fish Fry meal in the entire Goa trip. 🙁 However if you just excuse this part you have a good amount of sea food proposed for your platter. Do not miss Chicken Xacuti served in Cafe Liliput at Anjuna Beach. Even their chicken sandwich/ burger is a hit. Some good restaurants that you can try for Breakfast are Curlie’s, & German Bakery both near Anjuna Beach. Mango Tree, a restro-bar at Vagator beach road is an all meal even midnight blockbuster! For South Goa you can go eating at the Colva beach road they have some very good restro-bars. Just be on time for the meal service otherwise they get close after each meal service for an hour or two.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa
Zooming Goa on a Bike: Usually the bikes on rent are available near the beach areas only. Don’t expect that you will have it in Panjim or Margoa. Bargaining is the key thing and if you buy for a bunch of days then the cost will automatically go down. Important is to check preferably take a test ride of the vehicle before you make a rent deal. Make sure you give a glance at Petrol meter and if you happen to see a pump station then fill the petrol from there. Petrol Pumps are rare near beach area.
Fill those shopping bags: Apart from beach streets full of beach wear the most popular shopping destinations are Panjim, Mapusa & Margoa.