The Goan Perspective
A Simple take on one of the basic question: Which Goa to visit - North Goa or South Goa?
If there is one Indian city/ state which truly resonates with tourism, it is Goa. If we talk about millennials, be it our last years of graduation, initial few years of bachelorhood and job there would have been one friend, one colleague who would have popped this question – “Let’s go to Goa this year” and after numerous plan failures, breakups, or after getting married, every second or third Indian would have succeeded in executing their plan.
And we can say surely, it takes not an itinerary but a simply fun mood to visit Goa. Pack summer clothes, book a flight, and arrive in Goa that’s all you need. After all, what’s Goa if not “Beach, Booze, Food. Repeat”. This is at least true for the first or second visit and if you are doing this for the fifth or sixth time, and you are loving it, then you are at the wrong place searching for an itinerary.
We will not call ourselves experts in Goa planning. But we can say with utmost confidence, that Goa might be amongst the smallest states in India, but it is the largest in terms of tourism. Don’t trust us? Open Instagram and search Goa. You will get at least 200 different pages only for Goa promoting one or another thing.
Without further ado, let's focus on why you are reading this blog? So basically, every second person can make a Goa itinerary, but we hope to provide a different perspective on how to plan your next Goa trip. After researching, planning, visiting, and learning from mistakes on what to and what not to do in Goa, we present to you how to plan your next goa trip.
As we mentioned, it's all about perspective when visiting Goa. Goa has two facets. One which is calm, exquisite, green, vast, and expensive on the pocket, or what we call South Goa. Then there is spoilt with choices, hip, and happening, yet exquisite and a little less expensive is North Goa. So based on your company, budget, and expectations from Goa (or simply perspective) you should choose where you want to spend your holidays. Oh and expecting you are there for a holiday of max a week or less. If you are spending around ten days or more, you can divide your stay and cover both parts.
We will suggest if you are spending 4-5 days and are interested in covering both, then please don’t. You will not be able to enjoy both as much as you want. The distance between two locations(North and South) is about 3-5 hours, depending on your stay location with Airport being somewhere in middle.
When and Why to Choose either South or North Goa?
Starting with South Goa, this is the place for relaxation, meditation, and connecting with your inner self. Below is a snapshot of what your day will look like:
Waking early in the morning around 6-7 and wearing an additional layer as you feel chill in the air. You will take your vehicle and visit the nearest beach where you will find missing human souls. You will sit on the shore and play with soothing waves crashing at your feet. You will be back at the hotel/resort for your breakfast and dip in not so chilling swimming pool. You will get ready and decide to explore forts, and waterfalls near you, which probably will be an hour's drive or more depending on your choice. You will hop from one waterfall to another and have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants before heading to watch the sunset on another beach. There will be a couple of enthusiasts like you on the beach, clicking photographs for Instagram or recording the next Youtube video. By the time sun says goodbyes you will be tired but your mind will be full of energy. Your next stop will be the resort where you will get ready for the night and head to another restaurant right on the beach for live music and some booze. You head back to the resort late to enjoy the next day lazily. If not a party lover, then you will find architectural beauty spilling on the roads here. You can turn to visit monuments during the day apart from beaches in the morning and evening to have an eventful day.
In North Goa, all the things are in close vicinity. You will get restaurants, stores, and stay locations in abundance. When you are out in your vehicle, you will probably reach one hotspot to another in a very short span, whereas traveling time in South goa is a little longer as all the spots are scattered. You will see civilization and huge gatherings in North Goa which is totally opposite of South Goa.
Selection of location comes down to your budget, if you can spend some extra and look for a quality, distant peaceful time, prefer South Goa. If you are tight on budget and want a similar feel as South Goa, you can opt for Airbnb in North of North Goa, i.e. near Vagator beach. Another highly helpful tool, especially in Goa is Google maps. Search your stay property and work outwards to find locations that you can explore on your humane strength and pocket strength. Just to give an idea average room tariff in South Goa will be around 3.5-5k (10-20% higher than North Goa of a similar rated stay location)
One piece of advice: You cannot cover everything if you are not in a “traveling profession”. Pick things that your group likes, which they agree on, and as per your capacity. Please do not blindly follow Instagram or YouTube Ideas. Goa is your fun destination; it does not need to be a traveler’s course.
To conclude we will give you some good tourist spots from South Goa:
Cabo De Rama Fort and waterfall right along with Cape De Goa
Waterfalls like Bamanbudo, Netralim, Mainapi, Doodhsagar, and the list goes on
Untapped beaches like Butterfly beach, Mobor beach, Palolem beach among others
Restaurants: The Farmhouse (a personal favorite), Leda Balcao, Martin’s Corner
Coming to North Goa, the following will be our recommendations:
Chapora fort (Dil Chahta hai), Fontainhaas, Immaculate Conception Church (though it is very crowded almost at all times)
Beaches: Though most of them are crowded like Calangute, Candolim however there are some quiet beaches like Anjuna, Vagator which are further in the north
Restaurants: Baba au Rhum (must visit), Artjuna, Caravella Coffee house (another must-visit) but in any case, there will be endless options for you in terms of food and restaurants here.
Various water sports like parasailing, banana ride, jet and many more at almost all the major beaches of the city but do bargain well for the best price
In addition, we will not personally recommend scuba diving in Goa if you are a scuba enthusiast, though it's cheap compared to other locations, it is not at all worth a single penny. They try to create a fake scuba experience better to explore it in other locations.
So that concludes our take on Goa, hope we helped you gain some perspective when visiting Goa.
Travel, Mi Amor