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Goa in the Spotlight

June 15th, 2012 | by Travel Bliss

Goa is one of India’s top travel destinations, and it’s easy to see why: with white, sandy beaches, fun watersport activities, and well-preserved architectural sites, there’s plenty to see and do in Goa. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when you plan a trip to Goa:

The Beaches of Goa

For most travellers, Goa’s biggest draw is its beautiful beaches. Baga and Calangute beaches are the most commercial in Goa, while the isolated shores of Agonda are a great place to relax and get away from it all. The hippie influence can be experienced at the beaches of Arambol and Anjuna, the latter of which is home to a sizeable flea market on Wednesdays. If you’re looking for luxury resorts, the beaches of Varca, Cavelossim, and Morbor are your best bets. Regardless of where you go, check out the opportunities for watersports—water skiing, paragliding, and scuba diving—to give your holiday a bit of added adventure.

Historical Sites

History buffs will be interested in getting a glimpse into Goa’s storied past. Visit the Ancestral Goa at Laoulim and the Archives Museum Goa in Panaji to gain a better understanding of the city’s rich history. Next, pay a visit to Goa’s most important forts – Aguada Fort, Chapora Fort, Terekhol Fort, and Tiracol Fort, all of which were either acquired or built by the Portuguese to protect the city against invaders. Finally, don’t forget to pay a visit to Goa’s most important churches and cathedrals. Bom Jesus Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the immortal remains of the patron saint of Goa, St. Francis Xavier, while Se Cathedral pays homage to St. Catherine of Alexandria. The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is also worth a visit, as it is the oldest church in Panaji.

Natural Wonders

Goa boasts some great nature trails which give tourists the opportunity to get acquainted with the regional flora and fauna. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary near Mollem is of particular interest, as it houses a long list of exotic animals which includes black panthers, Bengal tigers, bonnet macaques, wild boars, king cobras, hump-nosed pit vipers, and a wide collection of butterfly and bird species. Other natural attractions that are worth a visit include The Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda and The Arvalem, Lamgau, and Rivona Caves.

Cuisine

Goa holidays are not complete without sampling the region’s delicious cuisine. As you might expect, the seafood forms a major part of the local diet, however, vegetarians don’t need to go hungry. Finish off your meal with one of Goa’s most famous desserts, bibinca, a multi-layered cake made from pancakes.

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