We love South Goa. On a recent trip to the more serene half of the state, we made a little cheat sheet of our top finds. You can thank us later.
Stay at Vivenda dos Palhacos. It’s in the unpopulated south, near a quiet beach, and is run by Anglo-Indian siblings who encourage communal meals. Oh, and it has a gorgeous pool shaded by palms.
Wander over to Zeebop, a veteran beach shack that’s a cut above the rest, for Goan classics and the catch of the day.
Eat at Om Made Café when you head up north – La Plage is an old favourite for dinner, but this casual open-air café is perfect for daytime, with fresh sandwiches and wraps made from local, organic produce.
For a taste of Goan colonial history that’s off the Panaji path, visit the Menezes Braganza Pereira house in Chandor. Much of this sprawling 350-year-old mansion is exquisitely preserved, with interior details, furniture and artifacts dating back to the early days of Portuguese rule in Goa.
We did venture up North, and when you do, go to our favourite bookshop. Literati is located in the Candolim home of its proprietors, bordered by grassy lawns. They sell rare and second-hand books, and there’s a little café that brews a super-sharp espresso too.
There’s a reason why Goa is the favoured getaway for everyone – from weary, hard-to-please Delhiites and Mumbaikers to touring Europeans. The centre of the state, with its grand Portuguese architecture, is impressive, but you know you’ll end up near the water. Here’s what we always bring:
Two swimsuits (a one piece and a two, or two sets of trunks)
Sunscreen – search for the highest SPF you can find, and reapply liberally
Aloe vera, for soothing your skin (we love Ayca, for a version that’s scented with jasmine)
Overlay, to throw over your swimsuit when needed
Soft case ice-box
A wide-brimmed hat
A sundress, for lazy poolside evenings
Sturdy sandals for walking through the sand
Travel-size toiletries: mascara, lippie, moisturizing spray [store in our Nico pouch]
Flashlight, for wandering home from the beach at night.