“We chased sunsets every single day in Goa”
I was chilling in Goa in one of the most famous (also infamous) beaches of Goa – Baga Beach! Of course, I was being a tourist then and since we found a cheap accommodation near Baga beach we decided to stay there to witness the best of both the worlds – partying and relaxing on the beach.
I mostly keep my whereabouts up to date on my Instagram account and lucky for me, I then received a DM from Zenin. She is a Goan and offered to take me around Goa (near Panjim specifically). The traveller in me got very much intrigued. She, along with her friend Nawaz took me to a few offbeat places in Goa, making me fall in love with it even further.
Below, I am jotting down thirteen places that I was taken to with a map towards the end of this blog to help you in planning your trip a little better!
I am very excited while writing down the names below of the places I can’t even tell you. My brain is on fire!
Church of Our Lady Mount
Winding roads and wooden pathways led me to a sorrowful place to make me watch the most beautiful sunset of my life!
The place is very quiet with absolutely no tourists. The church goes unnoticed because it lies on a wooden hilltop having a sealed road around it. In fact, while walking towards the Old church, you will still not feel the thrill of the place and will only be surrounded with beautiful pine trees. But once you step on the top of the steps, that leads towards the church you will be able to see the beautiful town of Old Goa along with Mandovi river right in front of you. The view is so excellent and the sunset is mesmerizing.
The church was first built in 1519 by Afonso de Albuquerque. It has been destroyed twice due to the earthquake and hence rebuilt in 1818.
This beach is one of the most colourful ones with European vibes that I got to witness in Goa! It is near Panjim from where you take a detour and drive down the highway for 10 minutes. The Google Maps will guide you to a resort, however, there is a winding road right next to the resort that will lead you to this beautiful and secluded beach. Locals love the vibes here and you will mostly find foreign tourists and locals here.
In fact more than the beach, I liked the pathway that leads to the beach. It is one narrow lane where you have to walk for a minute to a tranquil beach which will take your mind to a quaint Portuguese village.
To enter into the land of forgotten, to walk on a small island of the beach capital of India, to be secluded, to drive your car on a single lane road which is surrounded by marshy water, to live!
To reach Divar Island, you have to take a ferry. There is no other way to reach here (of course, it is an island). We took our car inside the ferry itself (so cool!). The place is so sleepy yet so picturesque. It is completely different from the rest of the Goa. In here, you will be able to find temples that were built before the Portuguese invaded the island.
The famous site that can also be seen from the “Church of Our Lady of Mount” is called the Church of Our Lady of Compassion. There is also a small cemetery right next to the church.
Lying in the capital city of Goa – Panjim, this place is colourful and lively with Portuguese touch due to the Portuguese influence in its architecture. The winding roads have painted balconies with yellow, green, red, blue roofs. The walk here is famously known as the “Heritage Walk.”
Fontainhas dates back to the late eighteenth century and was established by Antonio Joao de Sequeira. In fact, it is the only area in Goa where Portuguese is still the main spoken language.
I grabbed the cute wooden table and sat down on the stool to flip the pages of my old book, observing the bylanes of Fontainhas and also the Portugal vibe still lives quietly in the broken ceilings of its colourful walls.
Joseph Bar is a super cute bar in Fontainhas itself. I am highlighting it especially because this place deserves all the glory. It is one of those bars which is away from tourists and really quaint with vintage vibes. Goans go here for a fresh beer and this tiny joint is so lively that Goans usually occupy the entire street to themselves.
While going to Panjim from Baga beach, you will cross the usually unnoticed village called – Reis Magos. This place is famous for its fort and church. The fort offers spectacular views of the sea during sunsets.
The fort has been used to accommodate viceroys in the earlier times and later as a fortress. Post this, it has also been used as a prison. From here, you can also see the “Chopati” of Goa.
Okay, before you roll your eyes that how can I include Aguada Fort in this list of offbeat places in Goa, I would first like you to see the below image.
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This place stopped me in my tracks. I am the person who loves to take pictures as much as she loves to travel. But here, I just sat to stare at infinity for a good amount of time before I realized I really want to remember the moment and took this picture. Thank you to @asmo_deus (Nissan) for showing something so serene in Goa. My molecules were insanely happy.
I know right? Such views from Aguada Fort? A view where one can see the ocean meeting the sky and nothing else? A place where the horizon line becomes blurry and ocean waves seem calm and almost so close to you that it feels like you can touch them?
This place is not exactly in the Aguada fort where tourists mostly go to see the lighthouse. The place is only known to the locals and lucky for us, Nawaz and Zenin showed us the path that leads us to this point near the Aguada Fort. I won’t reveal the exact spot of this place.
Let this be a puzzle to solve. You have the picture (take a screenshot) and you know it is at a walking distance from Aguada fort. If you really want to see this place, talk to a local, show them this picture and ask them where it is. 🙂
P.S. Also not revealing the exact path because I do not want this spot as well to be flooded with tourists.
Bridge on Arambol Beach
Arambol Beach is in itself an offbeat place to go to. While many people avoid going here as this beach is really far and an hour drive from Baga, but the places and vibe here is very special. You will find the place mostly flooded with hippies and foreign tourists! Earlier, foreigners used to visit Baga beach, but due to massive crowd and loss of peace in Baga, foreigners moved to further North – Arambol!
Here, there is a bridge that no one talks about, in fact, even locals don’t know about it. It is on the Dando Road! And once you step on the bridge you won’t even realise that you have actually discovered it. That is how lost we were. It is when we stepped out and moved away from it to see the reflections and the beautiful oval like construction below, is when we jumped to our photography skills.
Tip – Visit the place early in the morning. The sunrise hues make the place look very divine!
Bambolim Beach, another one of those that we discovered after taking a detour from Panjim. The drive through the winding roads was so beautiful. There were greenery and nothing else to see in that tiny road. We once felt like we have reached Meghalaya instead.
In Bambolim Beach, I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life! Plus, there were no tourists here! The beach is secluded and finding the tiny path that leads to the beach was difficult! There is a sharp curve and a path reaches out towards the beach from the road. This small path is right next to the Grand Hyatt hotel!
Church of St. Augustine
The Half Church took me to the time long gone. From ruins to the birds, everyone had some story to tell. How the once beautiful mighty church can fall into pieces again and again.
This church is so rich with history and lies in a secluded corner of Old Goa that tourists often overlook it! The church dates back to 1597 and was built by Augustinian friars. However, the church was later abandoned that led to its improper maintenance. This led to a collapse of one its vaults in 1842. The remains again collapsed in 1931 and later again in 1938.
Earlier this mighty church has four towers, and now only one of them remains! Once it was one of the largest buildings in Goa that have now shredded to just a few remains of the Augustinian Monastery.
This beautiful mosque is located outside the Ponda district and is also rich in history. The water of this Masjid is so blue and serene with fishes in it. The mosque is elegant and has withstood the rages of time long gone.
‘Safa’ means clean and pure. To go back and talk a little about its history, Goa, during 1489-90, was under the control of the Adilshahi kingdom which was then led by Yusuf Adil Khan, a Turkish. Later, in 1510 this kingdom was captured by Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese. It is also one of the 27 mosques that were built by Ibrahim Adil Shah. The structure of this masjid is so vivid and impressive. There is a huge tank right in the middle of the Masjid with 44 hammams (hot air baths) in all its four sides. If you see the Masjid from the opposite side of the road, the tank acts like a mirror of the Masjid.
There are arch-like structures has Mihrab designs in all the four corners. It is also beautifully decorated with yellow and pink flowers.
Next to Fontainhas a Christian area, one can also visit the pre-Portuguese Hindu temple – Mala. The path from Fontainhas to Mala Temple is the conservation zone. The temple bells will be calling you from a distance and once the road turns you will spot a bright saffron coloured temple, shining exclusively under the blue sky. You can either take a flight of stairs or take your car up the winding road from where you will be able to see Panaji.
Do you want to visit a postcard-perfect beach? This beach lies in the South Goa and while I tried driving down from Baga beach to Palolem (a drive of 100 KMs), I could not make it. If you want to see perfect sunsets and attend the silent party (headphone party), this beach is perfect for you.
The silent party happens every Saturday in the Neptune Point that starts at 10 PM and lasts till 4 AM. This beach thus offers best of both the worlds – peaceful and calm waves of the ocean along with party when you wish to, just put your headphones on. The entry fee is about INR 500-600.
Do you know of any other hidden spots in Goa? Comment below and I would love to visit them 🙂