Warm waters, white sands and waving palms, all painted glistening gold by the gentle sun. Goa is a beach-lovers paradise and the silken sands come in many forms from deserted shores surrounded by soaring cliffs to busy resorts with an array of watersports. The 130km slice of coast where India splashes into the balmy Arabian Ocean was a solitary Portuguese outpost for close to 500 years and the evidence is all around in the elegant churches, sculpted temples and colonial mansions. They border temples, mosques and bustling marketplaces that bring an undeniable flavour of India to Goa.
Beyond the bougainvillea-clad, Indo-European architecture, the fusion of east and west is a part of all aspects of modern Goa. There’s an undercurrent of Lisboan café society in the open-air eateries and coconut- and chilli- lined dishes. The Goans take long Mediterranean-style lunches followed by siestas and have a passionate and exuberant flair for life they call sossegado. The ancient Indian arts of relaxation are also available in the form of Ayurvedic massage and yoga.
The balmy coastline offers a lush tapestry of green rice paddies, swaying coconuts, lilly-laden lakes, cascading waterfalls, cinnamon-scented spice plantations and quaint villages. Famous for beaches and churches, Goa truly has taken making every day a holiday to heart.
A visit to centuries-old churches: St. Francis Xavier, The Rachel Seminary, The Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus | The Anjuna night market with an eclectic mix of delicious food, live entertainment and unusual garments.
− The Portuguese colonialists ruled Goa till 1961
− Viceroy Redondo built St. Catherine’s’ Cathedral (or The Se) to be larger than any church in Portugal
– it took eighty years