Destination...... Goa, India
We recently visited Goa, INDIA where in fact, we really had no expectations.
With the understanding that Goa was once a Portuguese province, we anticipated some remaining
cultural Portuguese influence, perhaps some beautiful Indo-Portuguese style architecture and possibly
some Portuguese street food to try if we were a little brave. We had heard that there were some lovely
beaches, churches and temples to see, and we believed that the hospitality was really good.
We chose to stay at the Marriott Resort & Spa - located in (Western) Panjim. Not being familiar with
the location, we decided to run with a well-known brand name Hotel / Resort.
Our visit was in the middle of monsoon season.. which actually was quite nice.. there is nothing better
than having a reason to relax, being sporadic monsoon season afternoon showers with occasional
blasts of beautiful sunshine. If you can fit a swim in there somewhere, the day will be well enjoyed
So where is Goa, INDIA
Goa is a state of India, located in India's Western region reaching the Arabian Sea. Most of Goa is
part of the coastal county of Konkan, where the coastline reaches 101km’s (63mi) in length.
We found out that Goa was very popular amongst not only international tourists but a lot of domestic
tourists - Indian locals (from other provinces). Its main attraction is its beachside towns and Resort
Hotels, plus the true mix of world heritage architecture.
There are plenty of things to see in Goa, and of course depending on what you are interested in, or
at least what you wish to see on this particular journey (depending on the ages of your children).
There are plenty of activities to keep you amused for at least 4 days, even more should you have
So, what to see in Goa with the kids?
Goa is well known for its Churches and temples, Museums, spice plantations and Beaches.
Tourism plays a critical role in Goa, as it is considered the beachside town to visit for not only local
Indians but also international travelers. Speak with your hotel and arrange the sights plus remember
to ask them to suggest the most suitable beach for you, as there are numerous beaches and it all
depends on what you typically like to do at the beach.
Goa is most definitely the place for the beach. There are a few beaches in Goa that will delight
the kids. Goan beaches are fashionably broad and have long coastlines. The South beaches are
typically more secluded, with white and softer sands. The Northern beaches of Goa are more
popular with tourists, quite lively and most abundant with entertainment, activities and food options.
Here are a few that will interest you and your little ones:
Baga Beach - A beautifully picturesque Beach with lots of amenities (cafes and beach beds all along
the beach). Baga is a seaside town in the region of Bardez (Goa). Baga is famous known for its
fabulous seafood, atmosphere and nightlife. It is a great beach for the daytime, however, perhaps
give it a miss during the evenings. DO watch the occasional powerful waves with your ones. Baga
is located near Panaji (15kms away) and the same for Maps.
Miramar Beach - A long coast of soft sand, a stunning coast lined with palms with a vast blue Sea.
Miramar Beach is a lovely choice of beach to watch the beautiful sunset. This beach is located 3kms from Panjim.
Majorda Beach - located South of Goa, Majorda beach is a serene and soft-sanded picturesque beach that offers clear waters, ideal for swimming. Majorda beach has great food options with a peaceful surrounding.
Mandrem Beach - a Northern Goa beach, Mandrem beach is a relaxed and uncrowded beach that also offers a lovely, soft-sanded picturesque beach. Water Sports and Activities are not typically offered at Mandrem beach, there are, however, many hotels and resorts around this location.
Speak with your hotel and arrange the sights plus remember to ask them to suggest the most suitable beach for you, as there are numerous beaches and it all depends on what you typically like to do at the beach.
Our top 5 sights to see in Goa without a doubt are the following:
A Spice Plantation
A local beach for a day - don’t forget the sunscreen
Bom Jesus Basilica and Se Cathedral
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
At least 1 hindu temple
Things to see in Goa include:
World Heritage Sites
Bom Jesus Basilica
The Basilica holds the remains of St Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa.
Churches and convents of Old Goa
The monuments of Goa held great influence in the 16th-18th centuries on the development of architectures
et al. One of the most beautiful churches is the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. First built
in 1541 as a chapel by the Portuguese, it was replaced by a larger church. The facade is white and is in the
style of Baroque architecture.(see picture)
The Se Cathedral (aka. Se Catedram de Santa Catarina) is the cathedral of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Goa. Located in Old Goa, it is a very grand and beautiful Church that definitely should be
on the places you should visit.
There are so many temples in Goa to see.
We visited a very significant temple, named Shri Manguesh Temple. (pictured below)
It was in nearby the Tropical Spice Plantation, so it will easy to reach and also lovely to visit.
You will also pass by a market with loads of traditional and novel souvenirs, to reach this temple.
So you can do a spot of market shopping at the same time.
Old Forts in Goa
There are many forts in Goa, namely Aguada, Chapora etc.
Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a well-preserved 17th Century Portuguese Fort still standing
on Sinquerim Beach (overlooking the Arabian Sea). It is about 40 minutes (by car) from Panjim, Goa.
Fort Chapora is located in Bardez (almost 1 hour by car from Panjim).
This fort was built in 1717 (replacing previous fort fortifications).
Fort St. James Banastarium (aka. Benastari Castle) is located on the banks of Cumbarjua
Canal (on the eastern tip of Old Goa). This fort was conquered by the Viceroy of Portuguese
India Alfonso de Albuquerque (in 1515).
Possibly one of the most enjoyable things we did in Goa was visit the Spice Plantation in Ponda, Goa.
Expect to be treated to a fascinating hands-on tour of the plantation where you will see, smell and
taste a huge range of spices, all natural and local to the region. From coffee beans to vanilla pods
on trees, you will be treated to a very relaxing tour through the plantation finishing with a delicious
meal of traditional Indian curries and delights.
Don’t forget to try the pure mango juice!…. mm delicious !
We visited the Tropical Spice Plantation…. see here
for their website…..
or ask your hotel to recommend a trip to a Spice Plantation.
Local Goa bits and pieces:
Getting around Goa
There are a few ways to see Goa which are all reasonably priced, efficient and safe.
There are many Taxi’s in Goa. Apart from hiring a private (tour) car, it is possibly the next best way to get around. It is not expensive, and distances in Goa are not so expansive. Expect a trip - let’s of say 10km’s - to cost you at least 250rupees (approx. $5 US)
We tended to travel around in a private car arranged by the hotel where the cost worked out to be approximately 2,000Rupees for a 3 hours+ time period. It was worth every Rupee, as we were able to plan our things to do and see within this time without researching how to reach the places. The driver also explained at every point what the tariffs and entry costs were, as well as what to expect with cultural expectations etc.
HINT: You can arrange a private car with your hotel.
have at least 5 activities pre-considered and arrange the tour that way.
A trip in a taxi from ‘Panjim’ central to the Airport will cost you approximately 730Rupees.
This can differ slightly with additional traffic.
The official language in Goa is Konkani (with 61% of Goan’s speaking it), other languages include Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, and Urdu. You will find that most if not all tour guides and tourist places speak English quite well. Within the more well-known and larger hotels, you will not find any problems with staff speaking English.
Religion in Goa
Hinduism and Christianity is the most practiced religions in Goa,
with Islam being another moderately practiced religion.
mmm, yummy Indian curries, parathas, papadums. Spices, spices, spices!!!
We ate curries and parathas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The food is out of this world. A very traditional dish is the Goan Fish Curry.
Fish is one of the most common ingredients used in traditional Goan curries.
Prawn curry is also a favorite. The area is located in a tropical climate means
the spices and flavors are typically intense.
At the Marriott Goa Resort, they would treat us to a new style or flavor of
curry, and a new delicacy local to the region. It gave us a fantastic first-hand
experience of what the region celebrated and enjoyed in terms of their local
ingredients and cuisines.
Goan’s currency is the Indian Rupee.
The conversion against the US Dollar is 66.34. For instance, for every 1 US$ =66 Rupees.
For a tip scenario, with consideration to a $2 - 5 tip, this would be the equivalent to 130 - 330 Indian Rupee.
Accordingly for common currency conversions, $20 is 1,326 Rp’s and $100 is equivalent to 6,633Rp’s.
Goa has a topical monsoon climate and being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The hottest month in Goa is May, with an average temperature of 30°C (86°F) and the coldest is January at 25°C (77°F). Most of the annual rainfall is seen through the monsoons which lasts until September.
Goa is at UTC +5
To convert this relevant to your home country, refer to Time and Date's World Map.
Emergency Numbers when in Goa..
Click here for some useful numbers in Goa.
Most International flights will have you reach Goa via Mumbai.
But there are of course
many flights into Goa itself, as well as through other major cities throughout India.
Click here to search for Flights to Goa, India.
Do not forget to…
Check with the Indian Consulate in your nearest City should you require a tourist visa.
For many countries, one is in fact required.
About the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
If you are familiar with Marriott Resorts and Hotels, you will have an idea of what to expect when
you arrive at Goa's Marriott Resort and Spa. The shuttle bus is always a great welcome to a new
city and then the arrival and further hosptitality of the Marriott was of a very good standard.
Our main requirements of a high standard hotel are clean, spacious and well equipped rooms,
a great menu for Room Service and very good facilities. The Goa Marriott did not disappoint.
Because we had checked in with the online check-in process, upon arrival we were greeted
with very happy, well-informed staff welcoming us with utmost professionalism and eagerness
to make our stay a great one.
I am not sure if it was the anticipated 3 Indian meals a day that I was definitely looking forward
to that had me beaming with cheerfulness, or if it was in fact a highly-zealous team of Resort
staff so keen to accommodate our family for a few days combined with a few almost-guaranteed
days of relaxing and sightseeing.
The hotel is facility-rich with facilities for children, Spa and gym for adults and plenty of dining
options to choose from. The food is stunningly delicious, extremely authentic and the restaurants
would vary the dishes each day.
Click here to learn more about the Marriott Resort & Spa Goa.