Places to visit in North Goa and South Goa like Monuments, Forts, Churches, Beaches, Waterfall this holiday season in 2019
Goa is one the best places to visit in India both for domestic as well as international tourist. Once in Goa, wonder what are the must visit places to visit in Goa? Don’t worry, here is the list of Top 20 must visit places in Goa divided into four section of Top 5 Places to Visit in North Goa & 5 in South Goa and Top 5 Beaches to visit in North Goa & South Goa.
Top 20 Must Visit Places to Visit in Goa in 2019
So here we go, hope you will find this post useful.
Top 5 Places in North Goa
- Basilica of Bom Jesus is located in Goa is a reminisce of the 16th Century Portuguese Era and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, “Goencho Saib” (Lord of Goa) and is one of the places to visit in Panjim. In Close proximity you will also find the SE Cathedral and the ruins of the St. Augustine tower. The Church is revered by millions of Christians and people from India and all over the world, who come here to offer their thanksgiving and prayers alike! On 3rd of December, the Feast of St. Francis, his corpse in its silver casket if open for exposition. It is also a time to be a part of a religious festival and a Goan Carnival.
- Mapusa Market is one of the best places to visit in Goa. It has been one of main tourist attractions for trading and shopping since olden times. The market is so extensive that one might easily get lost in it! Although the market is open every day the main attraction is the, “Mapusa Friday Market” which showcases people coming from all over goa to sell their produce. You will get fruits from all over the world and organic vegetables. Folks come from all over Goa to sell brooms traditionally woven from coconuts leaves, handicrafts, earthen pots, grinding stones, Goan bazaar bags made from Jute and Bamboo baskets. Before leaving Goa it is a must to shop here and take with you all varieties of Pickles, Jams, dry fish and traditional sweets like, Dodol, Bebinca, Pinnaca, meat and veg croquettes and local Goan Sweet bread!
- The Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church is one of the must see places to visit in Panjim
This church is am architectural masterpiece and lies in the heart of the Panjim city near the Municipal Gardens, was seen in many famous movies and the ambience of the church increases during night time!The church was first a Chapel build to serve the religious needs of the Portuguese sailors who visited goa before leaving for Portugal. In 1609, the chapel was converted into a church to cater to the needs of the residents and missionaries. One of the most striking features are the, “Zig Zag” stairways that were later added to the church entrance. It also houses one of the second largest bells in Goa!The feast of Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary is celebrate with Grandeur and the church itself is decorated with colorful light which are a sight to behold during the night. There are also Fair stalls which line up with sweets, goodies, furniture and other handicrafts to celebrate the event!
- Chapora Fort is located near in North Goa, near the mouth of the Chapora River. If you were in Goa and ever Searched for, “Place to visit near me”, with your friends, this fort will surely get your group set into a, “Dil Chahta Hai” magic moment! This is a favorite hotspot for tourists to chill out as they catch a glimpse of the sunset in the Chapora River. The fort itself was built in 1717, and endured the test of time and constant battles as it was conquered and re-captured between the Marathas and the Portuguese. With a prominent defensive position, the fort has higher slopes and a natural form to add to its wonders! St. Anthony’s Church lies in ruins inside the fort along with some military barracks and houses that were once occupied. The valley protected by rocks make it easily accessible to the sea. The fort is located 10 kms from Mapusa and can be seen clearly from Anjuna and Vagator beach as well.
- The 500 year old Harvalem Waterfall also known as “Arvalem” is located in Bicholim in North Goa. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva stands nearby and people from far and wide visit this heavenly abode as it has religious significance in Hindu Mythology. If you and your spouse want to travel during the monsoons, Harvalem waterfall is one of the best places to visit in Goa! If you are travelling with your friends and family this is one of the best picnic spots to hang out in! Beside the waterfall you get a spectacular view of the valley and the lush green forests that surround the waterfall. The Harvalem village near the, “Pandava Caves” is also located 9 km from the waterfall. These caves date back to the 6th and 7th century B.C. and are called, “Pandava Caves” because during the time of exile, the five Pandavas in Mahabharata’s epic took refuge in them. The waterfall is located 32 kms from Panjim and 43 kms from Dabolim airport.
Top 5 Places in South Goa
- Dudhsagar Waterfall literally translates to, “Sea of Milk” and is located between the borders of Karnataka and Goa. One of the most Break taking places to visit in South Goa, Dudhsagar stands at a grand height of 1017 feet and is 100 feet wide which also makes it one of the most powerful forces in nature to reckon with. The Falls are located between Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National park and the roads leading to it are maintained by the Government of Goa. The Falls are spectacular, glimmer and are in their natural glory during the monsoons! No wonder Dudhsagar is a famous spot for Indians and tourist alike who hail it as a popular picnic spot! The Famous movie, “Chennai express” was also shot here! The falls are 60 km from Panaji and 46 kms east of Madgaon. After reaching the base of the waterfall you have to take a jeep safari which costs Rs: 1200 and take you to the waterfall. Dudhsagar Waterfalls are closed to the public during the monsoon.
- Margoa is one of the busiest bustling and the second most populated cities of South Goa. Margoa grew from settlements of the ancient Damodar temple. It is one of the GoaTop10 places to stay in South Goa for tourists from all walks of life. The Holy Spirit Church in Margoa is another famous attraction. It is defined by its baroque architecture, parochial house and affluent palatial mansion of Catholics. You can visit the Margoa Mahatma Gandhi Market which is in the heart of Margoa. You can shop for everything from vegetables, fruits, spices, sausages, Ornaments and handicrafts and your other special Goan shopping. Other architectural buildings places that you can visit in Margoa are the, San Thome Museum , Goa Chitra, Margoa Municipal Park, Sri Damodar temple, Our lady of Grace Church and Burnzam Ghor. Easy availability of buses, trains and public transport make this city the most livable city in Goa.
- Located in South Eastern Goa in the Sanguem Taluka, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is covered with deciduous vegetation and lush evergreen and semi- evergreen forests covering over 200 kms. It is adjacent to it are the Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve and the Cotigoa Wild Life Sanctuary. In addition to its perennial streams it houses wild life like the Malabar giant squirrel, Four horned antelope, Black sloth bear and birds like the Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malayan night heron, great pied hornbill, grey headed bulbul, white-bellied blue flycatcher and the rufous babbler to name a few! This is one of the most amazing hidden places to visit while on your trip to Goa. There are a couple of Waterfalls about 1 km walk away and wonderful scenic roads throughout the Netravali forest. The cool weather and great ambience of this place keep your lively throughout your journey. In the vicinity you will also find Netravali Waterfalls. Netravali Wild life Sanctuary is around 80 km drive from Panjim.
- One of the best places to visit near me in South Goa and one of the largest cities is Vasco da Gama named after the famous Portuguese explorer! Located in the Mormugoa peninsula it is 30 kms from Panjim and 5 kms from Dabolim airport. The Portuguese established this city in 1543 and has been a herald and an iconic shipping route for them since ancient times. You can come to Vasco by the NH 17A & NH 17B by road, Vasco railway station by Rail and the Mormugoa Harbor by Sea. Vasco boosts of two world famous beaches Bogmalo and Baina as well as a 400 Year old St. Andrews church. In Addition to this is also houses the Naval Aviation Museum of India which is great tourist attraction. Tourists can also visit the Zuari River, Japanese Garden and Vasco municipal market. Vasco has Watersports activities so if you want to Sun Bathe or go snorkeling or scuba diving you can visit Monkey beach and Dona Paula which are just a stone’s throw away!
- If you have bucket list of places to visit in Goa, Cancona in South Goa should be on the top! During its tenure, the district of Cancona has seen rulers like Vijaynagara, Hyder Ali of Mysore and the Portuguese. Cancona railway station connects the taluka to the rest of Goa, one can also reach there by passing through the scenic coastal road that connects Navelim, Assolna and Betul. There are 2 major beaches in Cancona Palolem and Agonda along with a few hidden beaches. Palolem beach mainly known for its watersports and Sea food also hosts the, “Palolem Island reserve”. The 2nd beach Agonda, serves as a nesting ground for the world famous Olive Ridley Sea Turtles every September. The Chapoli Dam in Agonda gives a picturesque view of the Sahyadri Mountains. Patnem, Colomb, Galgibaga, Rajbagh and Talpona are lesser known beaches in Cancona.
Sadolxem (God’ own village) and Kuskem are also two hidden waterfalls one must definitely explore by travelling to Cancona.
Top 5 beaches in North Goa
- Calangute and Baga are world famous and some of the best beaches to visit in Goa. This beach is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. The peak season is from November to January and in May. Calangute and Baga are called the queen of beaches in North Goa and are 17 Km from Panjim and 10 km from Mapusa respectively. The shacks, sunbeds and the fishing boats adorn the coastline like a string of pearls! Watersports activities like parasailing, Jetski Ride, Banana Ride, Bumper Ride and Speed Boat Ride also take place here. Tito’s Road in baga is liveliest at night with the nightclub at the bottom! Brittos and Mambos are also located here as well as handicraft shops, restaurants, pubs and other disco-techs light up the beach road which makes it ones of best places to visit in Goa at night!
- Anjuna beach rests on the north coast of Goa. This beach has grown in popularity because of the young generation of India who frequent this beach! Trance and rave parties are held here and it is an awesome sight to behold with the crowd swaying to the physcadelic beats on the beach which makes it one of most sort out places to visit in Goa at night! Being a hippie paradise the young and the restless hog Anjuna almost the whole night in their party mode! The Lord Shiva’s head is also located here and the tourists who come here are mostly looking for enlightenment and meditation!
- Vagator beach is close to Anjuna. It has been in the scenes for the famous, “Sun burn” festival in Goa in recent years and other trance and Techno parties. The beach itself is spilt into two, “Big Vagator”/ Orzan beach and “Little Vagator”. The Sunset point through the rocks at vagator is absolutely stunning! There are also a number of Mediterranean and Indian cafes and hotels setup shop for Western backpackers. Vagator hosts the Wednesday flea market adjacent to Anjuna where tradesmen from all walks of life showcase their handicrafts.
- If you want to find best beaches to visit in Panjim, look no further than “Miramar” beach, which is located in the heart of Panjim! The more business minded crowd goes here as there are lots of Casinos cruises for you to roll the dice and win a jackpot. Apart from this, Miramar also has regular, “Dolphin safaris”, “Adventure boat cruises” and “Sunset River Cruises” that leave from its banks. Some boats have DJ’s on them while some play Goan folks dances like , “Dekhi” and “Fugdi” Many travel agencies are also located here just in case you want to catch an interstate bus to go back home.
- Arambol / Harmal was a traditional fishing village which got popular later on because of its bohemian styled beach. It is located 43 km from Panjim and is the most sort out beach for people looking to spend their holiday in tranquility and peace! The church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is also a tourist hotspot here. Arambol is known for its quaint cafes and serene beach, there is also a sweet water lake just around the corner. Known for its foreign tourist especially Russian, frequent this beach in large numbers as well as make money on the sly by selling handicrafts.
Top 5 beaches in South Goa
- Colva lies in the remote village of Salcete and it stretches for about 2.4 Kms with coconut palms decorating the shore line. Also known as the, “White Sand” beach, it is one of must see beaches to visit in South Goa! Foreigners visit Colva for its beaches, shacks, cafes, resturants and pubs. Once upon a time the Portuguese elite would visit the secluded beach for their, “Mundanca” or change of air. One of Goatop10 churches, our lady of Mercy Church is also located here. If you are a sports enthusiast you can try the Snorkeling, Parasailing, Jet Ski, Bumper and Banana boat ride here as well! Margoa railway station is 7 Kms away, you can also hire a Taxi to reach the Beautiful Pearl Beach!
- Palolem is yet another secluded, “White Sand Beach” that has gained the attention of Indians and tourists in recent years. Situated in Cancona, Goa, this beach is home to local fishermen and tourists alike! It is 30 mins from Madgoan Railway station. You can also catch a glimpse of monkeys swinging from coconut trees that line up the shore. Turtles nest at Galgibaga beach to the south and birds make their home in the Catigao Wildlife Sanctuary inland. After a visit to Palolem beach you can indulge yourself in Yoga classes, Dolphin trip, Ayurvedic massage centers and silent discos where partygoers where headphones!
- Known as only one of the four beaches where turtles have their nesting grounds, Agonda beach is truly a paradise on earth! If you are wondering how to get there, it is a 1 hour’s drive from Madgoan! One the other side of Agonda lies Cola beach which has a beautiful lagoon. In 2016 Agonda was ranked 1st in India under and 4th in Asia, “Best places to visit in Goa” and “Traveler’s Choice” The pristine stretches of sand, uncrowded localities and blue grey waters, make it an ideal place for swimming, Kayaking and fishing! It is perfect beach for those of you who want to get away from it all and relax. The lonely and peaceful atmosphere of this beach is the main reason most tourists want to visit this place again!
- Once you reach butterfly beach you feel as if you are in Wonderland, with millions of butterflies flying over the mountain flowers and the magical dance of the Dolphins! This “Pearl” of a beach has a sense of bliss and magic attached to it once you step foot on the shore. Located at roughly 1 hour’s from Madgoan this place is a Nirvana for all nature lovers and tourist! This beach is untouched by vehicles and pollution and the only way to reach here is by boat. The most amazing part is sitting inside the boat and catching a glimpse of the sunrise and sunset! If you looking for a private beach in Goa, you have to come to this place. Coming here is like going back in time to Goa’s Virgin’s beaches and getting a feeling of Nostalgia while you witness one of God’s most wonderful creation on earth!
- The beach of Varca is renowned all over the world and is just half an hour from Madgoan in South Goa. It is home to the famous Zuri White Sands and Club Mahindra beach resort! The beach itself is between Zumbrai beach in the north and Fatrade beach in the South. Our lady of Gloria Church which is the oldest building in Varca is still operational. Being a White beach with Red and black lava rocks, it also has lush vegetation and Coconut palms that dot the coast line making it a perfect place for visitors who want to experience tranquility. Honey moon couples and beach adventures make their nests here and enjoy Dolphin boat trips in the river Sal. You can also find huts and beach shacks to wine and dine while you lie on a Sun Bed! This makes Varca one of the favorite haunts to visit while in South Goa.
Here we conclude the list of top 20 must visit places in Goa in the year 2019.
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