India’s favorite beach holiday destination, Goa is no more just a party hub to celebrate the Sunburn Music Fest or New Year Galas. With its fine beaches, scenic landscape, and mouthwatering cuisine, this Konkan state offers everything under the sun for every traveler, all year round. Busting all myths about not being a place for summer holidays’, we bring you the best things you can do in Goa, even when the mercury continues to rise.
First of all, fix your stay and travel options
Summers on the coast are hot and sultry, but you can expect relatively cooler evenings and nights, supported by the sea breeze. If you are booking a hotel or a homestay, make sure you are on the beach, so you can make the most of the fresh air in the morning and evenings. Also, if you have plans to travel during the day, hire a cheap car from a trusted vendor in Goa so you can skip the walking in the mid-day sun.
Explore the natural environments
When the sun is overhead but you don’t want to stay indoors, silently watching the sea from your hotel room, head to the greener and cooler alcoves that are spread across different pockets of Goa.
A tiny enclave of golden sands, thick coconut groves, and clusters of bamboo and casuarina, this is an uninhabited beach off the Palolem Beach in South Goa and one of Goa’s best-kept secrets. You can hire a motor boat or rent a kayak and row down to this cove-like area. In cooler weathers, there are chances of spotting dolphins, but summers are equally inviting with the most magnificent sunset that you will ever see. And the best part? Since this is far away from the touristy places, it remains mostly empty, cleaner, and cooler than the populated beaches.
Sitting in one corner of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is the mysteriously silent zone of Devil’s Canyon. This is a gorge formed on the rocky plateaus by the Mandovi River. The canyon area is surrounded by lush greenery, and the water here remains cool all year round. You can take an early morning trek through the sanctuary and end up here. Have a swim, ride a kayak, or simply have a small picnic in the soulful solitude.
Book a dependable cab with a good driver from Panjim and head to the Chorao Island, 5 Km northward of the city. This is an ancient Portuguese settlement on the Mandovi River. You can take your car on the ferry ride from Ribander to the island. The town is replete with old churches and temples, dating back to the 16th century. The most prominent one is the revered church of St. Bartholomew. This Catholic Church was built in 1569 and still reflects its Neo-Roman architectural style with carved spires and pillars.
Drive down the country roads
If you are not inclined towards history, then be in the present day of Chorao, because even today, in the peak of the 21st century, the villages on this island look like a picture postcard. Once you get down from the ferry, take a walk down the earthen paths or take a long drive down the palm-lined roads. The colorful brick and mud houses with tiled roofs, interspersed with white-washed churches, look perfect against the background of sun-kissed greenery.
Hangout at unique joints
While beach-side shacks and popular cocktail bars are the most attractive things here, they mostly remain crowded. If you want a comfortable evening out, then here are a few unique places to head to. With soulful food and a warm ambiance, these places make for a perfect respite on a hot summer day or night.
Joe’s River Cove, Salcette
A traditional family-run eatery in the heart of South Goa, this cozy place serves home-style meals in a garden seating. Enjoy the best village experience in a rustic setting and traditional recipes like stuffed mushrooms, prawn curries and vegetable rolls, chicken chilli fry, and more.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Cavalossim
If you are in the mood for a luxurious meal with the finest seafood fare, then there isn’t a better place than this restaurant on the Mandovi River. A highly rated, popular restaurant, Fisherman’s Wharf offers a taste of Goa’s multi-cultural cuisine along with river views, candlelight, and live music accompanied by the most authentic recipes.
Want to know how Goa was in its erstwhile days? Head to Nostalgia in Raia village. With its dated décor of gingham upholstery, the wood-beamed ceilings, and a bar counter as high as the wall, this place is sure to take you decades back into Goa’s history. You will find a lot of patrons among fresh travelers who all come here to sample the bygone recipes of the land. Enjoy the live music all through the weekend (weekend starts on Thursdays) while you dig into Rissois and Apa-de-Camarao, Ambadeanchem, or the home-made Alle-Belle.
And at the end of all of it, when the night is still young and cool, grab your favorite drink, book, music, or a special someone and spend a few hours on the beach.