North Goa or South Goa?
Goa- this is the smallest state of India yet it is on top of the list of most popular tourist attractions of the country. Beautiful beaches, adventures, nightlife, shopping, food, luxury accommodations whatever you want, you will get it here. Still there is one everlasting question- which one is to choose first- north Goa or south Goa? Both are beautiful, both are unique and have own merits. So, sometimes it is a bit difficult task to pick one among these two. North Goa is famous for liveliness, nightlife, shopping, and crowded beaches whereas south Goa is popular for tranquillity, untapped beaches, adventures and scenic beauty. No matter what you select as your 1st destination you will always have fun in Goa.
You can enjoy tropical weather both in North and south Goa. However, South Goa is less humid than north Goa.
Best time to visit Goa is from November to April. The beaches are very hot during summer days. And during monsoon, you can enjoy north Goa, but visiting south Goa during Monsoon is a bit difficult.
How to reach Goa
You can reach Goa by air, train or bus from every part of India.
By air reach Dabolim airport which is only 26 km away from the capital of the state Panaji.
By train reach Vasco da Gama railway station.
Goa is well connected by interstate and intercity bus services by many popular bus service operators.
Here is a complete day by day Goa tour guide.
Things to Do
If you want to start your trip from North Goa then 1st go to Calangute Beach. Calangute is 37.3 Km away from Dabolim airport and it will take 1 hour to reach Calangute from Dabolim by car.
From Vasco Da Gama station, Calangute is 40.5 km away and can be reached within 1 hour 7 mins by car.
Here we are starting our tour from North Goa.
If you want to start your trip from South Goa, then 1st go to Colva and then you can follow our tour plan. In that case our day 4 trip will be your day 1 and the rest will follow in reverse order.
From Dabolim airport or Vasco Da Gama railway station the distance of Colva is 20 Km and it will take around 35 mins to reach Colva from Dabolim or Vasco Da Gama.
So, let’s start the trip.
On day 1 of your trip, go for sightseeing around Calangute beach. Main places of interest are:
North Goa is famous for electrifying beaches. If you love parties then North Goa will be your 1st choice. The beaches of North Goa are famous for jazz parties. You may also enjoy some adventure water sports here like parasailing, paragliding, banana rides, kayaking etc. There are numerous beach shacks and hotel resorts available in front of north Goa beaches. Some famous beaches near Calangute are:
This is the most popular and most crowded beach in Goa. Also, it is one of top 10 bathing beaches of the world. The beach is filled with souvenir stalls, beach shacks, and street food restaurants.
Calangute is a perfect place for adventure and water sports like kayaking, sailing, wind-surfing, water snorkeling, water-skiing, fishing, etc. You can also enjoy parasailing here.
Enjoy shopping at the beach adjoining souvenir stalls.
Ashvem Beach is a hidden treasure offering beautiful scenery and a range of nice beach hotels and resorts. Most people come to this beach during the daytime for sunbathing and swimming. Enjoy a Walk around the little inland, through the forest, to see some authentic Goan villages and temples.
When it comes to heritage places, north Goa is dotted with some destinations that date back to the Portuguese era. Some of the most popular heritage places of North Goa are:
Basilica of Bom Jesus
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
This is another beautiful church in North Goa. The Cathedral’s tower has a large bell known as the “Golden Bell” for its rich tone. It is said to be the largest in Goa, and one of the best in the world.
Mae de dues church
This is another beautiful as well as famous church of Goa.
Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a seventeenth-century Portuguese fort located on Sinquerim Beach, overlooking the Arabian Sea. The site is well maintained till date.
On day 2 go to Vagator Beach and Anjuna Beach
The Vagator beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa and is enclosed with soft white sand and speckled by huge black rocks, coconut & palm trees.
You can enjoy plenty of adventure activities like parasailing, jets ski’s motored rides and dolphin sighting tours here.
There are several stalls where you can buy items like books, apparels, handicrafts, trinkets, and food items like soft drinks, snacks, sea food, etc.
Anjuna Beach is not as popular as the other beaches of Goa but it is a destination where you can see Hippie culture and whose flea market stands at the number one position! It is the most famous beach amongst forgieners; this sea–side is well-known amongst back-packers, hippies, long-stayers and the ones who are looking for cheap stays or guesthouses. In a nutshell, this is a beach ideal for nature lovers, fun lovers and adventure seekers.
Stay the night at Calangute.
However, due to over popularity all north Goa beaches are a bit crowded now.
On 3rd day, go to Palolem from Calangute. The distance is 81.4 Km and it will take nearly 2 and half hours to reach Palolem from Calangute.
If you love serenity and natural beauty then South Goa is the ideal place for you. Most of the south Goa beaches are yet untapped. Palolem is a beach where you can enjoy nature and serenity. Yet there are some lovely resorts near the beach where you can stay at night.
Located in Canacona Southern Goa Palolem is another famous beach of Goa. It’s famous for its beautiful crescent – shape beach which makes it possible to see both the ends from the centre of the beach.
Trinkets, costume jewellery, anklets, handicraft products, souvenirs, street design colourful dresses, shoes and much more are sold in the Tibetan market shops on the beach.
Enjoy the best Goan cuisine here.
On day 4 go to Colva from Palolem. The distance is around 41 km and it will take 1 hour to reach Colva from Palolem. Upon reaching Colva, check in to your hotel and go for local sightseeing. Main places are:
Colva is a beautiful beach known for its scenic beauty, delicious food and pubs.
Miramar is the beach area of Panaji, the capital city of Goa. It is one of the most visited beaches of Goa.
Another beautiful beach of South Goa.
The Heritage places of South Goa
Our lady of Hope church
One of the most beautiful Churches of Goa.
It is the largest and one of the most visited temples of Goa.
In the afternoon, go for a river cruise on Mandovi river.
In north Goa you will get numerous beach shacks, hotels and resorts at an affordable budget range. These resorts offer good food and beautiful view from your room. All these resorts are located near the most visited beaches of Goa.
In south Goa, you will get more luxury hotels and can enjoy tranquillity. However, here you have to spend more money than north Goa.
A 3 Nights and 4 days stay in north Goa will cost around Rs10,000 per head and in south Goa the cost will be Rs 20,000 per head.