A little to the south of Palolem in Cancona region of Goa lies the Butterfly beach. This beach, also known as Honeymoon Beach, is in the form of small cove surrounded by dense trees. It is at slightly remote and is difficult to access on foot, making it one of the most secluded and peaceful beaches in Goa. It can be reached via a ferry from the neighboring Palolem Beach. Interestingly, the beach is so named as the surrounding trees attract a wide variety of butterflies occasionally.
Braganza house, a mansion in South Goa was built in the 17th century that stretches along an entire side of the village square in Chandor. Although located slightly inland, the mansion is well worth the travel. This land was granted to the Braganza family by a Portuguese king, who built a glorious mansion that later was inherited by the sisters of the family. Braganza House is a 450-year-old mansion with decor to complement its beauty. It houses stunning antique handcrafted teak and rosewood furniture, draperies and paintings placed beautifully all around.
Located on the beautiful coastline of Goa overlooking the gorgeous Arabian Sea, Cabo De Rama Fort is frequently associated with the legend of Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshmana lived in the fort during their 14 year exile. It was built by the Hindu Rulers, however, in the 1760s; it was captured by the Portuguese and used as a military base and later as a prison. It, therefore, is also a historically significant monument in the country.
The captivating Colva Beach, located in south Goa, 6 Km away from the city of Margao, is the most visited beach of Goa. Its 25 Km long coast, extending from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south, has the powdery white sand and is flanked by swaying coconut trees that add to its beauty. It looks more stunning with shacks, nightclubs and souvenir stalls all around. The beach area also suggests the luxurious lifestyle of the elite class who owns striking houses or villas that speck the village.
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The southernmost beach of Goa, Polem beach marks the beginning of the famous shoreline of Goa, being a stone's throw away from the Goa-Karnataka border. It is one of the least visited beaches by tourists, giving travellers the impression of a private beach with its pure white sands and azure waters. Tall palm trees form the border of the shore, which is shaped like a sickle, and one can see many landmasses amidst the blue waters of the Arabian Sea.
Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is noted for housing endangered species. The Netravali falls make it a spot to visit. The sanctuary is a semi-evergreen forest region, pregnant with Flora and fauna. It is nestled in the Kali river basin forest. It is located in close proximity to Budbudyanchi Tali where you can take a holy dip. The natural surrounding and the unending beauty of the region is indescribable. Spot the giant squirrels, Slender Loris, and the Great Pied Hornbills at the Sanctuary.
Originally known as Iha Grande, Grande Island in Goa is one of the most sought after destinations, owing to its serene and tranquil environment and the availability of a plethora of thrilling activities like snorkelling, dolphin spotting and scuba diving. The island can be reached through a short boat ride which is organized by several centres and small companies in the city of Panaji itself. The one day trips start with a jetty ride where you can witness the famous Aguada Fort, lighthouse, Central Jail etc. from the middle of the sea.
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is a protected natural habitat that expands over an area of about 40 square miles in the Western Ghats of India. The green zone consists of west-coast semi-evergreen, tropical-evergreen and moist deciduous forests that create a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals and birds. It is home to the Dhangar community and has temples built by the Kadamba Dynasty. The famous Dudhsagar Falls are also located inside the sanctuary making it an grea attraction for nature lovers.
Just 2 km away from the tourist hub Colva of South Goa lies the serene Benaulim beach. With its long stretch of empty sands dotted with inviting beach chairs, this scenic beach is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation in the tourist trap of Goa. One can marvel at the divine architecture of the temples and ancient churches, as well as the Portuguese style of architecture seen in the houses of Benaulim. Along with soaking up the sun while lazing on a beach chair at the beach, tourists can also engage in watersports such as jet skiing, snorkelling, parasailing, and windsurfing.
Shri Shantadurga Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Goa. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is one of the patron deities of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The temple was built around 1715 AD. It was relocated from Keloshi after the Portuguese gained control over the state. The beautiful Indo-Portuguese style of temple architecture and the magnificent idol of the deity are a treat to the eyes and make it a famous tourist attraction.
If you're looking for a place away from the hustle bustle of the crowd with more space and solitude, Agonda beach is the right place for you. With the clear blue water and coconut trees, this beach is a delight for nature lovers. The beach is not very popular among tourists and hence relatively quiet and less crowded. Located in the picturesque village of Agonda in the state of Goa, this palm-fringed beach is also extremely popular as a nesting ground for olive ridley sea turtles. Unlike the famous Baga Beach and Calangute Beach, Agonda is one of those beaches where you can venture out for a leisurely walk along the beautiful coast.
Situated 15 km from Panjim, Calangute Beach is the longest beach in North Goa, stretching from Candolim to Baga. Due to its sheer size and popularity, it is a hub for tourists and backpackers from all over the world. Built in 1612 as a protection from Dutch and Marathas, it was the most prized and crucial fort for the Portuguese and covers the entire peninsula at the southwestern tip of Bardez. The view from the fort is breathtaking as it overlooks the confluence of Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea. Popular as the "Queen of Beaches", the Calangute Beach of Goa is among the top ten bathing beaches in the world.
Fort Aguada is an epitome of Portuguese architecture built in the 17th century. Its lighthouse and the fort itself have braved the ravages of time and stand like silent sentinels on the Sinquerim Beach, approximately 18 km from Panjim. Built in 1612 as a protection from Dutch and Marathas, it was the most prized and crucial fort for the Portuguese and covers the entire peninsula at the southwestern tip of Bardez. The view from the fort is breathtaking as it overlooks the confluence of Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea.
The air is filled with romance, stories, and legends of eternal love. You are in Dona Paula, which is, arguably, Goa's most enduring monument. If that was not enough, Dona Paula is also one of the most happening beaches in North Goa just seven kilometres away from Panaji. The Dona Paula beach also provides a magnificent view of the Mormugao harbour. This beautiful getaway is so called because of the statue of a man and woman perched on top of a rock.
A bastion of history and beauty - Chapora Fort is in North Goa and is located 10 km away from Mapusa. The Fort is undeniably one of the most famous forts in Goa. Built by the Portuguese in 1717, Chapora Fort has a long and fascinating history attached to it. History tells us that the fortifications around the current location of the fort had existed long before the Portuguese even landed in Goa. However, the fort was known by a different name then and was reconstructed by the Portuguese. The fort gets its name from Chapora River that flows right alongside it.
Morjim Beach is undoubtedly one of the most tranquil beaches of North Goa and is located around 12 km away from Morjim through the Duler-Marna-Siolim Road. Located a little south of Aswem beach, it serves as a nesting habitat for Olive Ridley Turtles. This earns Morjim Beach another moniker, namely Turtle Beach. The nesting season for the Olive Ridley Turtles usually begins in September, although sometimes it can be as late as January, and lasts until March.
Beautiful and serene, Arambol Beach is among the best beaches of North Goa and is relatively unexploited by tourist activities. Considered to be one of the most spectacular beaches in Goa, Arambol beach has a distinct Bohemian feel to it, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Be it wellness pursuits at a Yoga class on the beach, a drum circle and a weekend beachside market at sunset, a mystical baba on top of a hillock, jumping off a cliff to paraglide or simply strolling about the kitschy market lanes; there is something for every soul in Arambol.
One of the most popular beaches in North Goa, Baga Beach is located close to Calangute beach, around 30 Km North of Panaji. It is so named after the 'Baga creek' which flows into the Arabian Sea. Baga is the perfect destination for you if you wish to witness the excellent nightlife of Goa as signature places such as Britto's, Tito's and Mambos have made their mark in their hearts of party-goers. The shacks come to life in the late evening with some pumping music and mouthwatering food.
The verdant and serene village of Loutolim from South Goa is blessed with lush paddy fields and the meandering Zuari River. Known as the ancestral village of Mario de Miranda, a noted cartoonist, Loutolim has a number of architectural digests like the Figueiredo Mansion, which is more than 400 years old, the Ancestral Goa and the Bigfoot Museum, Miranda Mansion, Casa Araujo Alvares, House No 2 and so on. Check out Jila Bakery for homemade cakes and patties.