Other places to visit in Goa
Goa tourism is a lot more than just the shining sun, or a sandy beach stretching along a beautiful shoreline. The place has a lot to offer to make your Goa honeymoon trip or your family Goa holiday memorable. Here are some significant Goa tourist places that should be included in a Goa city tour or excursion.
- Grand Island
Grand Island is one of the most popular islands in South Goa. The island offers a variety of adventurous water sports and can be reached by a boat ride. From diving to snorkelling to fishing, this island has a water activity for everyone. Take a boat tour of the mesmerizing Grand Island to witness cheerful dolphins in the middle of the Arabian Sea. One can get a glimpse of other attractions like Aguada Fort, Goa Jail, and Millionaire’s Palace from the boat. Explore the exotic underwater life with snorkelling or scuba diving. Along with some reefs, one can also find shipwrecks. The tour to Grand Island can be booked along with Goa packages. It is a very popular inclusion in MakeMyTrip’s Goa honeymoon packages.
- Dudhsagar Waterfalls
Located in South Goa, the Dudhsagar Falls are a magnificent marvel of nature. Serene and spectacular, it is one of Goa’s most breathtaking sights. Dropping down from a height of 1,017 feet amidst dense jungle over four tiers, it is counted amongst the highest waterfalls in India. Approximately 60 kilometers away from Panjim, on the NH4A, it is located on the border between Goa and Karnataka. The pure white gush of water cascades down into an emerald lake at the bottom and offers amazing photo opportunities. The literal meaning of the term ‘Dudhsagar’ is ‘Sea of Milk’, which is mainly because of the illusion of the white spray the waterfall creates when it cascades down into the pool. The waterfall is also known for its immense bird and animal population. Tourists can see the Dudhsagar Waterfall from a distance. Else, one can trek to get a closer look at the falls. This is one of the best places to visit in Goa especially for couples and groups of friends.
- Fort Aguada
Fort Aguada is a fine example of Portuguese architecture built in the early 16th century. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it offers a stunning view of the beautiful sea and its surroundings. Constructed in the year 1612 to protect Goa from enemy attacks, the majestic Aguada Fort is perched over the Sinquerim beach. One can see a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea from the fort. Ringed with a thick battlement, the fort features a 13-meter high lighthouse built in 1864 and a vaulted cistern. The fort and its lighthouse is an ideal place to click beautiful pictures. Another star attraction is the Church of St. Lawrence, patron saint of the sailors. The church was built at the outskirts of the fort to prevent it from being fired upon at close range. This is one of the oldest Goa tourist places in North Goa.
- Chapora Fort
Chapora Fort is located in North Goa and is a perfect place for a leisure stroll. Perched upon a hill, the fort overlooks the Chapora River and offers a splendid view of the surroundings. Located on the top of a hillock with slopes on all sides in North Goa, Chapora Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1617. Presently in ruins, the fort offers a beautiful view of the adjoining Vagator and Anjuna beach. While taking a tour, do not forget to see the heads of the escape tunnels built by the Portuguese.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus, a popular church in North Goa and one of the main Goa tourist places included in an Old Goa city tour, features Baroque style architecture with beautiful mosaic Corinthian style interiors. Counted amongst the famous churches of Goa, especially in the Roman Catholic world, the Basilica of Bom Jesus features a tomb and mortal remains of St Francis Xavier. Located in Old Goa, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The un-plastered exterior of the church might be deceiving, but the charming interior is beautiful. The main altar of the church holds a large statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and one of Francis Xavier’s companions. There’s also a modern art gallery with paintings depicting various Biblical scenes.
- Anjuna Flea Market
One of the most popular and coolest markets of North Goa is the Anjuna Flea Market. It’s a perfect place to shop, eat and enjoy live local bands. Bringing elements from around the world in one place, the Anjuna Flea market is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Goa. Offering an unforgettable experience, the market offers dreadlock makers, nose and body piercers, and professional hairdressers, who would cut and paint your hair in any style possible. Visitors can also get unique patterns painted on their body. Tourists could also enjoy delicious Indian, Israeli and Western cuisines or shop for Tibetan goods, junk jewelry, handicrafts, crystals, semi-precious stones, fancy knives, and many other remnants. The market is located a short walk away from Anjuna Beach and one of the best places to visit in Goa especially for couples and groups of friends.
- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
For nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Goa. Spread across an area of 8 km and perched at a height of 3000 feet on the lush foothills of Western Ghats, Bondla Wildlife sanctuary nurtures the amazing flora and fauna of Goa. It is a natural home to a wide variety of animals like Leopards, Jackals, Gaur, Deer, Porcupines, and Sloth Bear, along with species of birds like Brown Fish Owl, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Ruby-throated Yellow Bulbul, and Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. Speckled with bamboo plantations, rosewood trees, medicinal herbs, and beautiful orchids, the sanctuary is also home to a mini zoo, a botanical garden, a rose garden, and a fenced deer park inside the area. The wildlife sanctuary remains closed on Mondays.
- Mapusa Friday Market
One of the best things to do in Goa is to visit the vibrant Mapusa Friday Market. It’s a traditional Goan market buzzing with local traders and sellers who sell a variety of local items. Mapusa Friday market is one of the popular traditional Goan markets for ardent shoppers. The market takes place every Friday and is bustling with local vendors and traders from all over the Goa. At this vibrant market, one can buy items such as antiques, Goan pottery, handicrafts, textiles, clothing, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables and much more. There is a spice street, a bakery section, a fish street and many other sections from where tourists can buy items at a reasonable price.
- Dona Paula
Dona Paula beach in North Goa is just 7km from Panjim. It is a popular beach offering good views of the Marmugao harbor. It offers various watersport and sightseeing activities for tourists. According to a myth, at night, the beach is visited by Dona Paula, who emerges from the sea wearing only a necklace of pearls in search of her love. People also believe that Dona Paula committed suicide on this beach. Her tomb, Cabo Raj Niwas, can also be found here. One can enjoy a lovely view of the Arabian Sea from the beach. Other sightseeing options nearby include Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, National Oceanography Institute and Reis Magos Church. Tourists can also engage in water activities like windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling etc. Beachside restaurants are also available on the beach that serve delectable sea-food and other varieties.
- Arvalem Waterfall
Arvalem Waterfall is one of the spectacular sightseeing spots in Goa. The water gushes down from a height of 50 metres into the lake at the bottom. The scenic surroundings are ideal to enjoy picnics with family and friends. The majestic sight of the Arvalem waterfall will leave one with awe and wonder. The falls are surrounded with hilly slopes covered in lush greenery. There is a well-maintained park near the waterfall which is an ideal picnic spot to enjoy the waterfalls. A little away from the waterfalls, there is an old arched bridge which also offers a great view of the waterfalls. Other nearby attractions include the historical Rudraksha Temple and the carved Arvalem rock caves.