I didn’t know much about how Goa was going to be like during the rains. I rarely make any travel plans during this season when it’s raining almost everywhere in India but I was reluctantly set to discover the most popular monsoon destination in India- South Goa. After reading up on travel sites and Quora, I understood that this is definitely going be like an offbeat travel experience.
Goa welcomed me with heavy rains on the first day I reached Goa and checked in at my resort. I booked my stay at the Belleza By The Beach which is a perfect beach resort in South Goa near Betalbatim beach. This resort itself was like a treat to the eyes and was a tiny destination in itself.
Beleza…by the beach is a boutique resort situated on the clean, pristine and white sandy beaches of Colva in South Goa. The resort gave an experience of staying in an untouched, private and serene island which is full of lush greenery with the beach and sea on one side and paddy fields on the other.
After a few hours of exploring the resort, I headed out for some good seafood lunch and Martin’s Corner had to be my first choice at South Goa. Needless to say, this place is quite popular and highly recommended in South Goa. The food at this place is absolutely worth the hype.
After a sumptuous lunch and a small drive around Margaon, I came back to my resort to not miss the sunset at the beach. The Bellezaa resort provides a private beach experience which is the Betalbatim beach. This beach was literally like a virgin beach for it seemed undiscovered and serene. The only people on the beach were the guests at Belleza.
Along with exploring beautiful spots and beaches, cafe-hopping was also one of my top agendas in my South Goa tour. My first dinner spot was this quaint Italian cafe at Majorda, Da Tita. Da Tita offers authentic wood fired pizzas with an elaborate Italian menu and is a family run restaurant by an Italian couple. Rate: 3.5/5
After my first day at South Goa, I woke up early morning to this lovely view of paddy fields from my hotel room and I was convinced that Goa is a lot more than the beaches.
So my plan for Day 2 was to drive down further south to explore Palolem Beach and the lesser known beaches like Agonda Beach. While my excitement to get to these beaches was quite high, the drive was no less exciting. I really can’t tell if this drive was more beautiful than the beaches I was heading to.
On reaching Palolem beach, I realised it was one of the more busier beaches in South Goa since it was quite crowded by tourists. After a dip in the sea in the afternoon, I did drive around nearby to find a good place for lunch but most good restaurants were shut during the off-season and I was a little disappointed. So, I chose to come back to the beach shacks at Palolem at the Draupadi Beach Shack for lunch and I was quite happy with the quality of food and service here. Rating: 3.5
Now, comes one of the most exciting experiences of my trip. Discovering the Agonda beach was quite adventurous especially when Google Maps was being lazy. But the long struggling drive to making it to Agonda was quite worth it because Agonda is one of the most breathtaking beaches I have ever been to. On one side of the sea are the mountains which makes it quite a rare sight. Agonda is a quiet fishing village for most of the year and I did experience fishermen hauling in their fish catches.
I am not much into history or art, but this was my only opportunity to experience an ancient magnificently furnished mansion which has housed the Braganza family for 450 years. It’s the biggest Portuguese mansion of its kind in Goa which will give you an experience of how the most grand and glorious mansions were actually like. What is appalling about this mansion is that the 14th generation of the Braganza family is still living here but what is sad is they are not as well off now. This is why the Braganza’s house is open to the public for many decades ago when they realised that they needed much more money for the upkeep of the house than they actually had. Visitors are encouraged to visit this house and leave a small donation which is about Rs 200 for each person visiting the mansion.
This is really a gem, a hidden marvel in the village of Chandor and is worth visiting once in your lifetime because it’s not just another abandoned heritage site but one where the Braganza family are still residing. However it’s sad to see how Braganza’s ancestral people lived then and how difficult it is now for the family to make their ends meet and survive while maintaining this huge property.
After the Braganza mansion tour, I explored some more heritage sites and hidden gems near Majorda city.
For my Day 2 lunch I came to this popular sea-facing restaurant called Mickey’s which was just next to my resort.
Rating: 3/5; 5/5 for their caramel pudding 🙂
When it was time for a sunkissed tan look selfie 🙂
The restaurant had this lovely sea view and a cute birdhouse in the front which is difficult to miss.
If you are travelling to Goa in an offseason like September, you must make the best of spa and yoga services here because they offer really heavy discounts during this time. This was also my first experience at an Ayurveda Spa Boutique. It was an oil message followed by Sauna and it was a revitalising experience. I am glad I invested in a session at the Soul Spa Resort. Most of us Indians assume that spas and massage services are extremely luxurious and unnecessary expenses for our budget, but if you are willing to spend a little over Rs 2000 for a body spa at an authentic ayurveda centre, you will know that this is one of the best treats you could indulge in while you are holidaying. I am thankful to my brother who introduced me the Thai Spa while I was in Thailand which is when I realised that a body spa is never too much too invest in. I am going to fit in a body spa as a must-do activity activity in each of my holiday trips.
After a refreshing and a value-for-money (paisa wasool) spa experience, I took a walk to my most awaited beach shack dinner with a sunset view at the Zeebops By The Bay at Utorda beach. This is the only restaurant I would come back to each time I am visiting Goa and I really mean it.
I would really urge you to not miss this one place, the Zeebop By The Sea at Utorda beach if you love food and sea both. This place serves the most freshly caught seafood and they have something called “the catch of the day” which means they will bring in a display of some fresh tiger prawns, crabs, lobsters and a wide array of fish to your table so that you could choose what to order.
My last day at Goa was planned to piggyback on a bike around Margaon city to do some little shopping and eat at an authentic Goan restaurant.
Tuk tuk is one of the most popular gift stores that are difficult to tear away from. If you are looking to buy delightful little sovenirs, fridge magnets and Goan history paintings with you, you must visit this colorful little store which sells artifacts, clothes and souvenirs.
Some of the things that I bought in Goa are in the flatlay below. Pictures and souvenirs are the only things that revive beautiful memories of our travel experiences. I never feel guilty to spend a little extra in some pleasure shopping whenever I am travelling because this is the only way you bring a little bit of that place with you.
With none of the loud North Goa nightlife as such and a plethora of spa hotels, quaint restaurants and a beautiful village experience, South Goa has developed a reputation for being the quiet offbeat destination in India. South Goa completely surprised me because I loved this trip much more than my North Goa trip that I did with my friends last year and I know it’s hard to believe.
After coming back from my trip, I think to myself my life is often a series of choices, what clothes to wear, which movies to watch, how much money to make and finally whom to spend my time with. In between such series of choices, we often forget to allow ourselves to get lost in this beautiful world where there is so much to travel, see and experience. Get out of your busy schedule and take some time out to venture into another beautiful travel destination because life is much shorter than we can imagine.
Have you ever experienced Goa during monsoon? If yes, do write to me if I missed anything @firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.