- Ajaz Shaikh
Offbeat Goa - Add Them To Your Bucket List!
Goa is one of the most popular holiday destinations in India. Thanks to its image as the party capital, hippie joint and laidback attitude, a trip to Goa every year is a norm for many travellers. It has some of the most famous beaches and has been beloved by both foreign and Indian tourists. On actively looking for “Hidden Goa” and “Undiscovered Goa” and found the state can be just as charming off the beach.
I am rounding up a few of Goa's best offbeat places that I’ve discovered in this post. Here you will find information on offbeat things to do in Goa. So, the next time you visit Goa, give the usual suspects a miss and try these offbeat things and places instead
How to reach?
The cheapest and convenient way to reach Goa is via railways. Goa has good rail connectivity with major cities of India. So here are some of the options for the people directly coming from Mumbai.
The railway track put up by the Indian Railways (Konkan Railway) in the Western Ghats is nothing less than a work of engineering marvel.
For a part-time solo traveller like me, I would recommend taking 12201-Kochuveli Garib Rath on Friday evening from Mumbai to Thivim and 12620-Matsyagandha Express on Monday evening from Madgaon. It would be a perfect plan for a long weekend trip.
Goa is also very well connected by road from Mumbai. The frequency of the buses is quite high. Goa is also connected by Air.
Where to Stay?
For a trip that is gonna full of adventure, you need a good and budgeted place to relax like a king. So, Kings Villa Resort in Palolem is absolutely worth mentioning. It is a perfect blend of relaxed vibes, hospitality, friendliness, cleanliness, safety, comfort, liveliness, and beauty!
The Palolem beach is just a short walk away, but the fact that the resort isn't directly on the beach is actually a bonus as it's extremely quiet and peaceful Would certainly recommend staying here.
Day 1: Experience Offbeat Goa
Scuba Diving At Grande Island
Visualize yourself underwater with the view so breathtaking that it will satisfy your senses with tranquillity. Experience the exotic sensations of serenity and idolize the glimpses of underwater life and discover the true beauty of nature for this will be the experience you will cherish forever. Scuba Diving at Grande Island is a place for adventure seekers and its shallow and clear water makes it an ideal location for scuba diving.
Grande Island is famous for providing an amazing experience when it comes to scuba diving in Goa. With a depth ranging from 7-20 meters, the place offers some excellent dive spots to choose from. Whether it's your first time or the tenth, Grande Island packs adventure for all divers ranging from beginners to world-class. Once you are inside the magical underwater world, you will come across a plethora of fishes, skates, sea turtles, shellfish, dolphins and exotic and colourful corals. For certified diving packages I would recommend doing it with Dive Goa, Goa's biggest Dive centre.
Grande Island is located just off the coast to Vasco De Gama and is only an hour long ride away. To be in the laps of nature is a true delight for it will rejuvenate your existence. Embrace the mesmerising views of Nerul River surrounding starting from Nerul Jetty to the Grande Island passing through the Famous Fort Aguada and Governor Mansion which is famous for 60 servants serving the two people in the mansion.
With Dive Goa, indulge yourself in a thrilling adventure of underwater dive and experience the world you haven't seen before. Rest assured for a Scuba Diving experience ensures complete safety with all the safety equipment. An experienced instructor to guide you to engage in a lifetime experience of Scuba Diving.
Know Before You Go for Grande Island Goa Scuba Diving
Please note that you cannot take a flight for 12 hours after scuba diving. Please make your return travel plans if you are flying back from Goa keeping this in mind.
Never eat a big meal before diving and wait for at least two hours after eating before you start scuba diving.
If you spend less time during scuba diving because you're not comfortable in the water, The Divemaster may immediately take you out from the water & another chance to dive may not be given.
Asthma, BP, Sinus & patients with heart problems cannot perform the activity at any point in life.
Please bring along a towel, your swimming costume (T-shirt, tank top, shorts or tights are okay) and a pen drive/memory card to copy your photos.
In Goa, diving season start from mid-October and goes on till the end of April.
Dive Goa Contact Details: Ajay Patil +91 93250 30110
Lunch @ Palms & Sand Beach Restaurant
After a day full of adventure you need good food to satisfy your hunger stomach. Just 10 mins drive from the Dive Goa Diving Centre and one of my favourite place to hangout in Goa is Palms & Sand Beach Restaurant. Located by the beach this restaurant offers the perfect deck seating for the perfect evening.
Hidden Gem with an amazing beach view and finger licking yum food.
Day 2: Experience Offbeat Goa
After a day full of adventure your body needs a day to rest before you move to the next adventure from our list. But rest doesn't mean just lying on the bed in your hotel room. Go for an evening walk on an unexplored beach.
You can bag the best time of your trip at Butterfly Beach which is in Southern Goa. Enjoy your solitude, away from the rest of the world. Butterfly Beach is a fairy place, the beach of butterflies, which occupies a tiny semicircular bay — one of the most photogenic places on the whole Arabian Sea coastline and a real natural wonder.
Butterfly beach is also popularly known as Honeymoon Beach as a lot of honeymooners and couples come here for a secluded vacation. You can spend your evening till sunset with your partner by enjoying a picnic with wine. You can also wait for the low tide period to witness wandering Sea urchins, redfish, goldfish, and sea cucumbers here. This is a unique sight that you will not get to explore anywhere else in the entire Goa. Moreover, on one side, a million butterflies dance.
It's a secret beach. Wondering why? Well, the tiny beach cove of white sands & translucent waters is heavily forested. Vehicles, not even the two-wheelers or ATVs can make the trip that goes through steep climbs, fields, and forested areas.
For the very same reason, you might find some private rave parties happening on the beach. And yes, its privacy is a boon for romantic couples as well.
Dinner @ Round Cube
Right bang on the Palolem Beach, another superb place for a Goan hippie style dinner at the beach. If you really wanna chill and want to spend time near the sea, you should definitely go here for dinner.
Day 3: Goa Jungle Adventure: Canyoning
If you’ve seen Jason Statham (know for action-thriller roles) in Mechanic: Resurrection where is break from the prison and jump off a cliff straight into a water body and thought these were stunts, you are probably mistaken. Curious? Here’s how you too can live a scene out of those movies, right here in Goa. Yes! It's in Goa a place we all visit or we wish to visit Goa in our lifetime.
So what is canyoning exactly? It’s a form of extreme sports in which you are required to traverse over land and water, jump into streams lining gorges, and abseil (rappelling) down a waterfall.
My first cliff free fall experience
Rappelling down a cliff, I got to a small ledge that overlooked the river. This was where the training on abseiling and the jumps happen, which would help me all the way. I was a few meters, maybe 5, above the river. The instructors point to a target point upon the river. "Jump a little to the left and you will hit shallow waters. A little to the right and you could hit the boulders. Don't jump far enough and you will scrape through the cliffside. Jump with all your heart in it or u might loose your footing". The instructions were clear. It was now time for action.
The point when both your feet lose contact of earth and all you see is a deep river below, and a small falls beside you, something just ticks in you and reminds you this is not what you are used to. You can't help but tell yourself "this is awesome". You wait for that impact. Shield your chests with your hands crossed. The water envelopes you. You then fight back and rise to the surface with a smile that says it all, I wanna do that again.
For a detailed blog do check out my blog Goa Jungle Adventure: Canyoning
Listen To Me:
I would suggest packing lite for this trip.
For Scuba Diving & Canyoning please wear full sleeves T-shirt and Pant, that will atleast protect you from getting tan.
For local transport bike on rent in Goa is the best option. But inform the vendor that you will pick up the bike from Thivim Station and leave it at Madgoan Station.
For Scuba Diving, always do it from authored centre under a certified instructor, it's worth paying some extra penny.
For butterfly beach, it's best to dress modestly and act conservatively.
Carry an Id proof.