Are you in the mood to trot like a fox, ampoule or perhaps party like it’s 1999? What about a couple’s massage, a trek, a yachting excursion, a deep sea dive or some other thrill that will raise your adrenaline to a fever pitch? We’ve put together a list of amazing, unique, exhilarating and edifying activities in this small but incredibly exciting state of ours. Read on, and ENJOY!
Not to be confused with para-sailing, the peaceful sky rides you see at all the major Goan beaches like Baga. No, this is para-gliding, where you sit in a chair hooked up to a parachute-like contraption, stand at the edge of a cliff and soar into the sky. It’s available in Anjuna and perhaps one or two other beaches in the state. If you’re not a trained para-glider, then you’ll go in tandem with a professional. Definitely for the feint of heart!
Contact 9922 959 118 for more info.
Go for a couple massages
Here’s a terrific way to spend time with your better half. You’ll both be pampered in style in a couple’s massage at any of the top spas (including, but not exclusive to, the 5-star hotels). Some of the best places to experience a couple massage include the the Sereno Spa at the Park Hyatt in South Goa, Shamana Spa at the Grand Hyatt, the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, and the Sohum Spa at the Kenilworth Resort, also in South Goa. Throw in a little chocolate and champagne, and nirvana will be close at hand!
Visit a Heritage House
Goa has a plethora of architectural gems such as the delightful Menezes Braganza home at Chandor or the Palacio de Deao at Quepem. The residence of Goa’s famed cartoonist – the late Mario Miranda – also dates back many centuries, as do those of the former feudal lords Rauraje Deshprabhus of Pernem, the Ranes of Sanquelim, the Dessais of Bicholim or the residence of Goa’s mining magnates and prominent industrialists – the Dempos at St Cruz. Other prominent well maintained heritage marvels include the House of Colacos along the Ribandar waterfront and the Mhamai Kamat residence in Panjim as well as several others located throughout the state. A great destination for all those interested in photography!
Sea Eagle Cruises
Through cruises & river tours, Sea Eagle endeavours to create awareness of Goa’s rich maritime history, culture and lifestyle of river-dependent communities. The Sea Eagle fleet has a custom-built 35-ft flagship craft aptly named ‘Sea Eagle’, inspired by the elegance of the White Bellied Sea Eagle that rules the skies and the sea in this region. The Sea Eagle is designed for sea and river cruises and has been operating since 2011. The second craft in the fleet of Sea Navigation is ‘Khandya’, a 30-ft, 30-knot winching bat that has now been modified and camouflage coloured to stealthily glide through narrow mangrove forests. This craft is ideal for serious birding and crocodile watching in Goa’s undisturbed and unique mangrove eco systems. Both the crafts have trained crews who manage the vessel and the hospitality, and conduct guided eco-tours in the backwaters of the Mandovi River in North Goa. Itineraries include:
Full day package offering an authentic gastronomic experience, at a 200-year-old lush plantation.
From Sea to the Mountain
Full day package offering lunch at Swapnagandha, an eco-resort amidst lush green landscape overlooking a waterfall up in the western ghats.
A tryst with the Wild
This package will let you breathe in the essence of wild backwaters of the Karapur – Kumbarjua canals. One can witness the presence of marsh crocodiles & an array of bird diversity in these forests.
Contact — +91 9595553799 | Email — email@example.com
Heera Recreations and Entertainment is situated in a quiet and serene village of Vazari Dhargal – Pedne, just 18 km from Mapusa city and 30 km from Panjim. A visit to this mystic farm will take you back in time where you’ll find yourself surrounded by trees. It is replete with villas for a comfortable stay with food served from the kitchen of the well known Heera Family Restaurant and Bar, Mapusa. There’s also a club house with activities like Badminton, Table Tennis, and Carrom. You can also indulge in outdoor games including Cricket, Baseball, Volleyball and Basketball. Heera farms’ horticulture spice garden yields cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, jaiphal (Nutmeg) along with other crops like mango, coconut, cashew, guava, chickoo, kokum, pineapple, banana, jackfruit, papaya and others. There are other special activities like rain dance with music (on request) and swimming.
Contact: Rupesh +91 9420165414 | Salil +91 9890306119 | Kiran +91 9822102849
Visit a ship wreck, beneath the sea
The waters off Goa are home to a number of ship wrecks, many of them from the 451-year Portuguese rule. Scuba diving outfits in Goa offer dives where you can also explore some of these ship wrecks around the Mormugao harbor, near Grande Island and Bat Island. The area is also a saltwater lagoon and also has corals with multi-coloured fish, which you can also explore. You won’t find any long-lost treasures in these wrecks, as they were all plundered ages ago. If you want to scuba dive in Goa, exploring the wrecks is a good option as the diving itself has poor visibility compared to other global destinations.
Relax on the Houseboat ‘Laid Back Waters’
Boat trips are quite common in the sunny state but how about taking sailing to another level? How about a boat trip replete with luxury, aesthetics and culinary ecstasy? Sunset Getaways, one of the leading destination management companies in Goa, offer a unique excursion on the backwaters of the scenic Chapora river. They organize overnight stays or day lunch trips on their traditional Kerala houseboat ‘Laid Back Waters’. This trip will take you back to nature with the sounds of birds, the sight of local fishermen, and riverbank farming. The cruise includes an opportunity to soak in the sunset while sipping on bubbly, all the while trying your hand at some river fishing. The houseboat is customized to fulfil you and your sweetheart’s desires for an exquisite date in a lavish blend of style and mesmerising sights. The interiors of the boat are conceptualized by well-known designer Malini Ramani. And if you get lucky, you might very well spot some wild dolphins.
Check out www.sunstetgetawaysgoa.com or call at 0832-2437231 for more info.
Learn ballroom dancing
Forget about techno or shaking your booty in a swanky nightclub. You’re in Goa, for God’s sake, not Ibiza! In this part of the world, ballroom dancing is the real deal! This is a delightful way to bond with your significant other in a particularly classy fashion. So why not try out a fox-trot, a waltz, and along the way pick up a few steps of the rumba or merengue. Then get yourself invited to a few Goan weddings or go for one of those Goan balls they have on village feast nights, and tango away with your partner. There are plenty of dance classes to choose from.
Watch a Tiatr
Tiatr is the local Goan theatre in Konkani – the Marathi ones are called Nataks. You can’t beat them for insight into the subtleties of Goan society. To truly appreciate Tiatr, you should speak Konkani, or at least take a long a purebred Goan who can translate for you. Most of the dramas are humorous take-offs on current socio-economic and political issues in Goa, besides other things like love, sex and infidelity. There are guest singers and item songs (but not the item songs of Hindi movies) which poke fun at politicians. Some Tiatrs are said to be financed by rival politicians to try to slander each other while entertaining the voters. A very unique Goan art form.
Visit a Fort
Cabo de Rama is a beautiful fort located in the Canacona district of South Goa, about 25 kms south of Margao. The fort, one of the biggest and oldest in Goa, is surrounded by lush greenery, with a stunning view of the sea from up top. Named after Lord Rama, the fortress was built before the arrival of the Portuguese. Reis Magos Fort has been restored and has quickly become one of the more popular forts in North Goa. The fort was built in the late 15th century under Adil Shah’s rule. Overlooking the Mandovi River, it has a scenic view of the capital city and now is open to public for visits as well as private events like weddings, film shootings and book launches.
Visit Keri Beach
Keri, also spelled Querim, is the northernmost beach in Goa. It’s not very crowded and quite beautiful. Of late the beach has been gaining a name for itself, though of course you won’t get the amenities you find on other beaches. If you do find yourself craving a little civilisation, hop on over to nearby Arambol, the state’s premier hippie haven.
Visit Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa
Some 70 kilometres from Panjim, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a favourite haunt of nature lovers and trekkers. Kuksem is probably the best known waterfall in the region. Distance-wise, the trek is not easy (a 12-km walk one-way), but the animals and trees make it eminently worthwhile. On your route, you will notice animals like the flying squirrel and reptiles like the Malabar pit viper. The dense forest contains trees of all kinds with some as tall as 90 feet. There are a number of natural trails ranging from about 500 meters to 5 km throughout the sanctuary.
Stay in a floating tent
You’ve heard of water beds and the things they can do to spice up your love life. Now you can go a step further and actually stay in a one-bedroom floating tent, right here in Goa. You’ve got to go to Mayem Lake near Bicholim and check it out at the Champions Yacht club at the GTDC Residency there. After checking into one of the floating tents, you can either laze around or go for a shikara ride or a bumper boat ride. In fact you don’t have to step on the shore for even a second because they even have a floating restaurant and various other boat rides.
Uncovering history at Chikhali Caves
Several years ago, four underground caves were discovered that proved the existence of prehistoric settlement in Goa. Pot shards, found at the caves in Mormugao taluka, prove that it is one of the oldest known sites of human habitation in the state. It is possible that these were once used as burial chambers, and as such can be considered holy in the eyes of history lovers. For a place that cries itself hoarse about eras that began with the arrival of
Vasco da Gama, Goa certainly offers awe-inspiring eye-openers.
Off The Grid
For those yearning to get away from the daily bustle, it’s hard to find a better place than Off the Grid, a micro tourism venture by John Pollard and his artist wife, Sylvia Kerkar. John, originally from England, has a passion for outdoor adventures like climbing and white-water rafting (and his Goa’s leading white-water rafting guide). Off The Grid is a farm in the Western Ghats on the border of Goa and Karnataka. With its stunning and remote location, it’s a rather special little homestay. This place really IS Off The Grid, as it’s not a place to watch TV, surf the net or even turn on an electric light. It’s for all those with a passion for a wild, natural kind of living, mixed with a great spirit of adventure. Unique, cozy, and just a little bit mysterious, it’s surrounded by real wilderness and immerses you in the wild. You are unlikely to find another place like it.
Check out farmoffthegrid.com or call John +91 9623451758 or Sylvia +91 9049081097