Goa is amongst the best travel destinations that India has to offer. And therefore when people travel to this lovely former Portuguese colony, their expectations are forever sky high – thanks to the tales of revelry that passes on every time a friend or an acquaintance visits the sunshine state.
But Goa is also a like a coin with two facades – North & South. And while the North gets all the attention with its parties, music festivals and Curlies and Titos and Britos – it becomes much easier to ignore the South altogether. And that’s exactly what separates the traveller from the tourist.
If you were to look at Goa from a point of view of an evolved traveller or maybe of a purist (this writer thinks he is one), then in South Goa actually lies the real soul of Goa. And if you were to skim through that, here are a few options that are a must when you visit this land of abundant sunshine and beach shacks that sometimes really mess up your food in the name of international cuisine.
Palolem & Colva Beaches
What Baga, Calangute and Candolim are to North Goa, Palolem and Colva are to the South. Except for the fact that they’re much calmer abodes and the clientele here is usually much quieter for whom Goa is not just about drunk carousing but also about worthwhile musings against the backdrop of a setting sun in a place where nobody disturbs the flow of your thoughts and nobody judges you if you stay still staring into nothingness for hours at a time.
Parasailing at Colva Beach
Both Palolem and Colva are pristine and beautiful beaches with a fair amount of water sports (Colva) and some great places to eat (Palolem). Palolem is located in Canacona in South Goa and is about 40 minutes from Margao whereas the 2.4 kilometers long Colva beach is just about 6-7 kilometers from Margao.
Agonda, Cola & Butterfly
These are beaches too. As beautiful as any other but with just one rider – they’re really really quiet. And for any peace loving soul, these beaches can totally be compared to what we call in the ‘touristy parlance’ – paradise. Yes, paradise that is still not lost. Amongst them, Cola is quite off the track and reaching there is a bit of a task but once you step foot on Cola, you can live there forever!
Similarly, Agonda with its lovely souvenir market and some of the most amazing restaurants, is a beach where the day stays still while you are set free to do your own thing. And if you wish to party in the nights, there are quite a few options here.
The Butterfly beach is almost a secret amongst the regular South Goa addicts here. That’s because it needs a boat ride to be accessed give the impression that its one of those long lost islands where you might bump into the might Kong one day. The sunsets here are to die for and the beach can be accessed by taking a boat from Palolem.
Vasco De Gama
Popularly called just Vasco, this is a historic city whose existence dates back to almost 400 years and is a prime example of the fact that Goa is not just about beaches. Visit the old St. Andrews church and Se Cathedral – the largest in Asia. There is also a Naval-Aviation museum in Vasco that has on display rare photographs that gives us a peek into the development of naval aviation in India.
While traversing through the quaint villages of South Goa, you’ll be able to examine the local way of life more closely. It’s a unique state and many tourists even tell you that it doesn’t feel like India too. Well, that’s what India is, diverse, multicultural and beautiful!