Here's a guide to Goa in July, which is the best, wettest and greenest month.
Top Reasons for Visiting Goa in the Off-SeasonDon't let the weather rain on your parade - you can still enjoy some fun activities in Goa! Although it is not advisable to visit beaches and go swimming, you can take advantage of the national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and spice plantations instead. Further, activities like trekking, bird-watching and white water rafting are in full swing during these months. You can also enjoy off-peak season fares, and discounts on food, flights and hotel stay. Those who are looking for a relaxed time away from their fast-paced lives will especially enjoy Goa at this time.
1. Lesser Crowd in JulyThe beaches in Goa are packed with tourists all year round, except July. This is a time when you will easily find a peaceful spot (a beach chair) to apply some sunblock, lie down and enjoy the sun. There's only one catch. Due to heavy rains, there will be less sun and more clouds. So keep a check on your weather app before heading out. Don't worry about pre-booking flights and hotels as there will be no hassle in booking them on the spot too.
2. Cheap PricesTravelling with a tight pocket? July is the best month to enjoy Goa without burning a hole in your wallet. As July isn't a peak season, you'll come across fewer crowds. A fewer crowd is equal to cheap hotels, flight tickets, transportation costs (yes, you won't have to rack your brains while bargaining with taxiwalas), renting bikes and car, and even food and drinks.
3. Spectacular GreeneryJuly is the perfect time to trek in the forests in Goa or drive around the hilly areas in a convertible. Either way, the rains make Goa lush green and creates a scenic beauty, a treat for your eyes. This is also the best time to visit the spice plantations and waterfalls.
4. Cleanliness Goa is much cleaner in the monsoons than other seasons as rains wash away the dirt and filth you would generally witness during peak seasons when people carelessly litter on beaches and roadsides.
5. River Rafting If you are always the amongst the ones who ditch their apartment and head out seeking adventure, visiting Goa in July would be the ideal choice. The rains are heavy, the rivers are rough, all signs for an exceptional and thrilling river rafting experience. You can expect from grade 2 up to grade 5 class of rapids. Best time to try your hand in whitewater river rafting and up your rafting game in the pristine waters of Goa.
6. No waiting
Tourist spots, restaurants, pubs, and clubs are all packed during the peak seasons. But not in July. This is a time when you wouldn't have to wait for a table or pre-book it at restaurants. The dance floor would have enough space for you to show off your moves in clubs and there will be no line in ordering a drink at the bar. You could also visit the national parks like Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem National Park, and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as there will be no long queues.
Things to Do in Goa in Monsoon
1. Visit Dudhsagar WaterfallsWhile monsoons might look dull to you, the Dudhsagar waterfalls in Goa is at its mightiest during this time. The falls originate from River Mandovi and are within a tropical forest which means, to get to the waterfalls, you have to trek through the dense forest and railway tracks through the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. But if you can't, don't worry! You can catch a train that passes through the falls, and witness nature's might! While you may not be allowed to get too close to the falls, the trek provides a beautiful scenic view of the falls, and that is a sight to behold!
2. Night Clubs and BarsTourists generally prefer visiting Goa during winters, or during summer vacations. Therefore, visiting Goa during monsoon would mean an off-season visit. So you wouldn't be bothered by crowds of people everywhere, which means you can go partying in bars and club hopping in Goa, without being worried about the said places being full. So party the night away!
3. Go ExploringDo you want to recreate the scene from 'Dear Zindagi' where Alia Bhatt cycles the streets of Goa? Then visiting Goa during monsoons might be a perfect time! The roads are not as busy as they would be during peak seasons and you can ride your rented bikes or two-wheelers and explore the beautiful rural areas in Goa! Do not forget to take your raincoat, unless you want to get drenched and enjoy the rain while you go exploring!
4. Long Walks Along The BeachSometimes, simplicity is the key. Even if you can't go trekking or rafting, you can still enjoy the beauty of Goa during monsoons, by visiting the numerous scenic beaches. Since it's not a favourite time for tourists to visit Goa, the beaches are relatively empty and less chaotic. A walk along the calm waters, ending with serenity and peace - now who wouldn't want that!
5. The Sao Joao FestivalIf you thought monsoons were dull and dreary in Goa, think again! Because this is the time when the famous Sao Joao festival is enjoyed. The entire state, especially North Goa, is decked with colourful decorations, and it all seems like a carnival. The Sao Joao festival is celebrated in memory of St. John the Baptist, where villagers are known to jump into water wells and gift each other fruits and feni (a variety of liquor local to Goa). Boats are colourful, and boat races are held. This colourful carnival acts as a fresh contrast to the otherwise dull looking season. You wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to celebrate this festival!
6. Fresh Cuisines, Fresh FishWhile seafood and local Goan and Konkan cuisine are available throughout the year in Goa, food may taste a bit better during monsoons which is because you get fresher fish and fresher seafood in Goa during rains, when the seas and rivers swell up to their full capacities. So go on and channel your inner food lover, and try new cuisines and delicacies while in Goa!
7. Visit the FortsLive your dream of exploring the forts in Goa, just like in the movie 'Dil Chahta Hai'. The forts look majestic during summers and winters, but with the onset of monsoon, the forts take on a whole new look. It is surrounded by fresh greenery, you are hit with the sweet smell of earth after rains, and the dust on the structures washes off to reveal a clean looking scenic spot. So get your cameras out, and get clicking because this spot is worth a visit!
8. Explore Spice GardensEver fancied aromatherapy? Well, look no further! Visiting the spice gardens is one of the unique things to do in Goa, especially during the monsoons. The aroma of different spices, mixed with the cool breeze and the petrichor after the rains act as nature's aromatherapy for you. That's another reason why you should visit Goa during monsoons.
Cons of Visiting Goa in July
Beach Shacks ClosedCracking open a cold beer at a beach shack coupled with local seafood makes a perfect beach day. However, due to heavy rainfall, many beach shacks are closed in July. Although the major ones at Calangute and Baga beach are open.
No Water SportsJuly is when the sea is rough. Continues rainfall, high tides, and even higher wind speeds are a common sight during this time, and beach sports businesses are usually closed. So if you are looking forward to joining a surfing school or spend a day indulging in beach activities like paragliding, speed boating, and more you might want to change your plans.
Closed Flea Markets
Goa is a place where you could pack your bags full of souvenirs to take back for yourself and your loved ones. And the best place to shop for them (where you also get a good deal by putting your bargaining skills to use) is at the Anjuna Flea Market or the Mackie's Night Bazaar, both of which are closed in July. Bummer! Although, it's not all that bad. There are local shops in every block where you will find some extraordinary goods and at an exceptional price if you are in luck.
- A few things to remember while planning a trip to Goa during monsoons is that the average temperature may be between 28°C to 30°C, while the humidity maybe anywhere around 70% to 80%. So remember to pack light, according to the weather.
- Don't forget to pack raincoats and waterproof covers for your bags and gadgets.
- Since it's offseason, you may get hotels to stay in, for cheap. But you may not get many options due to lack of tourists.
- Remember to carry mosquito repellent and bug sprays.
- While seafood maybe fresh, avoid street food as it may spoil easily and fast because of the weather.
Don't focus much on the cons list as Goa is a place that never disappoints. Surely, Goa is best known for Its beaches but its time to break the myth that travelling to Goa in the monsoon season isn't worth your time and money.
~This article is written by Yash Saboo and Radha Iyer~