Brightly coloured beach in Goa, India

Hidden gems of Goa

 

Situated on the southwest coast of India, Goa has a culture which blends Portuguese and Indian influence offering a unique paradise. Stretching along the Arabian Sea the state is a plethora of sun, sand, sea, and seafood with some of its beaches being voted the very best in the world, so what’s not to love?

 

With Southall Travel you can book tickets to India and explore this outstanding destination for yourself. In this article, we speak to travel enthusiasts and let you know some of the best-hidden gems you need to visit when travelling to Goa.

 

Why you should visit Goa

 

Before diving into some of the greatest hidden gems in Goa, we wanted to explain why we think you should visit Goa in a little more detail. If you’re a lover of warmer climates, you thrive around new and exciting cultures and want to explore ancient dynasties and monuments, then there really is no better place. We spoke to Anna Phipps is a travel writer originally from Suffolk who now lives in Goa and reports on her experiences on her blog, Global Gallivanting. She explained why she loves Goa so much:

 

“I love Goa because it’s unique and unlike anywhere else in India or the rest of the world! There are beautiful beaches, sunshine-filled days and crazy parties but I what really captivates me is Goa’s intoxicating blend of East and West – the influence of almost 500 years of Portuguese rule can still be seen all over Goa. Get off the beaches and explore historic churches and temples, lush tropical jungles, colourful markets, and serene yoga retreats. The fact that it’s super affordable is another plus!”

 

Hidden gems of Goa:

 

  • Ponda
  • Panjim
  • Anjuna Flea Market
  • Kakolem Beach

 

Ponda

 

Sunset over Ponda, Goa

A city situated in North Goa, although this may not be considered a hidden gem, the experiences, ancient temples, and amazing nature make Ponda a location that just cannot be ignored.

 

We asked Anna from Global Gallivanting where she recommends anyone visiting Goa should visit and she highly recommended Ponda, commenting:“There’s so much to explore away from Goa’s famous beaches and parties and that’s how you get to experience the real beauty and essence of Goa’s unique heritage and landscape. Head inland around Ponda to discover historic temples, churches, spice plantations, waterfalls, and wildlife sanctuaries. Whereas in South Goa you can explore or even stay in historic Portuguese mansions or relax at the hidden gem of Cola Beach.”

 

If you’re planning to add Ponda to your must-visit list, then some of the best locations to visit include Shri Mahalasa Temple, Sahakari Spice Farm and Tropical Spice Plantation.

 

Panjim

Traditional temple in Panjim, the capital of Goa

 

 

Much like Ponda, Panjim isn’t necessarily classed as a hidden gem (it is the capital of the state, after all), but you can’t visit Goa without wandering around this magnificent metropolis which blends Indian and Portuguese influence. With colourful buildings, ancient communities, and mesmerising churches, there is so much to see and do.

 

“Goa’s capital, Panjim, is often overlooked but is worth a trip to see the colourful buildings of the old Latin quarter of Fontainhas and the wedding cake-like Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,” Anna commented when we asked her about her favourite Goa locations.

 

She continued: “The UNESCO-listed Portuguese churches of abandoned Old Goa, although not exactly a hidden gem, are an easy day trip from Panjim and are a sight you don’t want to miss when visiting Goa.”

 

Anjuna Flea Market

 

Lanterns at Anjuna Flea Market, Goa

 

A weekly event that is usually hosted on a Wednesday, Anjuna Flea Market is a part of everyday life for locals but is the perfect way to immerse yourself into the vibrancy and uniqueness of the location. Jam-packed with everything from jewellery to sculptures and souvenirs, there really is something for all the senses.

 

Cory and G Varga from the blog You Could Travel fell in love with the free feeling of Goa and recommended Anjuna Flea Market to us and those planning to visit the Indian state:

 

“Goa is amazing because you get to truly feel free. One of the most remarkable things to see is the Anjuna Flea Market. This weekly market started in the 60s, as a way for hippie travellers to barter their goods. I think that says a lot about why Goa is so inviting to all the foreign travellers. The bazaar is now a place to get souvenirs but also a place to get a tattoo, body piercing or dreadlocks. Grab the camera and photograph this colourful place set amongst the recognisable Goa palm trees. There are food stalls here too so dig right in and explore the local cuisine. The bazaar is open every Wednesday from October to May.”

 

Kakolem Beach

 

Kakolem Beach, Goa, India

 

Kakolem Beach is a secluded nook off the traditional tourist track. Known for being one of the most isolated but outstandingly beautiful beaches in Goa, although it may not be as easy to find, this beach is well worth the effort.

 

The blog Travel Entice spoke about the hidden beach on their website, reporting: “Hidden behind the wild hills and enormous rocks, Kakolem is an absolutely virgin beach in south Goa, presenting a mind-blowing atmosphere for passionate backpackers and nature lovers. The mutual convergence of undefined natural beauty and ultimate serenity creates an enchanting ambience around this heavenly place. If you love tapping into the wild or are passionate to witness the unexplored beauty, Kakolem beach in Goa is a must-visit place for you.”

 

If you’re looking for a unique but breath-taking location to travel next? Then, hopefully, this article has given you some inspiration and Goa is at the top of your list.

 

For more articles featuring tips and travel advice, visit our blog.

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