Search the Site

Written by Savi, 19 Comments

There was a time when Goa had a peak season and a low season. There was a time when it had quiet pockets. With the influx of tourism to the coastal state, this is no longer the case. Even the previously quiet by-lanes of North Goa see their fair share of travellers now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t escape the crowds and savour some truly unique experiences on your holiday to Goa. Here are 8 of our favourite offbeat things to do in Goa:


  • 1) Explore the little known churches of Old Goa

Everyone goes to Old Goa to explore The Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most tour buses make a pit-stop here as well. Naturally you will find it crammed with visitors irrespective of when you visit. But cross the main road and drive for 2 minutes and you’ll come across several dilapidated and gorgeous churches. The best part is that you will probably have them all to yourself.


Spend your time exploring them and eventually drive to the Chapel of our Lady of the Mount and wait for the sun to set. This chapel boasts of a glorious view of sunset over Goa and its secluded location ensures there won’t be too many people around!

Beautiful churches away from the crowds ๐Ÿ™‚


The gorgeous cathedrals of Old Goa


  • 2) Take a trip to Divar Island

As Goa becomes more and more popular with international and domestic tourists, supermarkets and restaurants can be seen cropping up almost everywhere. But take a day trip to Divar Island to step back in time and experience the slow rhythm of Goan life. It is easy to get to the island via a short ferry ride. Once you get there you are bound to be transported to another world altogether – spend your time exploring sleepy villages and absorbing the island’s distinctly Portugese architecture.


Biking in Divar island


  • Explore Fontainhas,ย the Latin Quarter of Panjim

Fontainhas, the colourful Latin Quarter of Panjim is bursting with character. Take a walk down its winding and gorgeous lanes. The area is a UNESCO Heritage Site and it is easy to see why. Colourful Portugese-style houses dilly dally with quaint bakeries, restaurants, and art galleries. When you’re exhausted of taking photos, stop by Confiteria 31 De Janeiro Bakery, one of the oldest bakeries in Goa for a snack. This tiny bakery, nestled in a little lane in Fontainhas is an offbeat gem like no other. If you’re after a meal, head over to the trendy Cafe Bodega, situated in a quaint traditional building.

Fontainhas, The charming Latin Quarter of Panjim


  • Join the drum circle at Arambol at sunset

If you cannot envisage a holiday without a side of bohemia, then Arambol is the place for you. Arambol Beach is a great place to meet slow travellers from around the world and unwind. It is especially fun at sunset as travellers, yogis, singers, magicians, and dancers from around the world congregate for the drum circle. The rhythmic beating of the drums and the spirit of celebration in the air is bound to get you excited. You can stand by and watch or join the revelry.


  • Explore the little known beaches of North and South Goa

This is Goa. You can’t go back without a bit of beach bumming right? But that’s easier said than done. That’s because a lot of beaches in Goa can get really crowded and dirty as well. Try to steer off-the-beaten path and look for little-known beaches. Ashwem Beach in North Goa doesn’t have expansive sandy stretches but it is ideal if you don’t like crowds. Mandrem Beach in North Goa is another great pick. It is said you can spot dolphins here but we aren’t convinced about that!

There are some gorgeous quiet beaches in North and South Goa!


Cola Beach tucked away in South Goa is another quiet and unspoilt beach. We also like Velsao Beach in South Goa although it is getting increasingly popular as the years progress. You should also try to visit The Butterfly Beach, a short ferry ride away from Palolem if you like some peace and quiet.


  • Stay in South Goa on your next trip

South Goa is one of the most underrated parts of Goa. It has several gems, making it ideal for your next getaway. Here’s a few things we would recommend in the area

  • Driving to Dudhsagar Waterfalls, especially if you’re in South Goa during monsoon season. The waterfalls are at their best between July and September
  • Explore some of the lesser-known beaches of Goa including Cola Beach, Varca Beach, and Galgibaga Beach. You could also indulge in a variety of watersports such as waterskiing and parasailing here.
  • Attend a full moon party at Colva Beach, one of the craziest parties in town
  • Head to Cabo De Rama for a short hike that promises incredible views (our most favourite view point in Goa)
  • Chicolna South Goa also boasts of a heart-shaped lake. It gets quite windy at this view point, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes
Cabo De Rama view point
Beautiful viewpoint – Cabo De Rama


7. Visit a typical Goan poder (Goan bakery)

if you really enjoy getting to know the nooks & crannies of places, then drop by an old-school bakery to see the poder (baker) dishing up Goan breads on your way back. There are very few traditional bakeries left in Goa and breads get sold out almost as soon as they come out of the oven. The smell of freshly-baked bread ensures this simple exercise is quite an experience in itself.

What a friendly baker ๐Ÿ™‚ Loved the freshly baked breads at a Goan Poder


8. Elevate your stay in Goa by choosing the best possible accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation can make or break your trip. So spend some time researching where you want to stay and book something that will elevate your stay and make it truly special. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Air BnB apartments are ideal if you’re visiting Goa with friends or you’re on a budget! There are some beautiful apartments in the Siolim area.
  • Hilton Double Tree Goa is perfect if you’ve been to Goa before and are bored of Goa’s beaches. It is the ideal place to experience its gorgeous interiors
  • Grand Hyatt Goa is ideal if you want a luxurious stay with a small in-house beach
  • Alila Diwa Goa is for you if you want an intimate Balinese style hotel stay. The hotel is surrounded by paddy fields but is 5 mins from the beaches of South Goa


That’s it – 8 of our favourite offbeat things to do in Goa. What is your favourite thing to do in Goa? Tell us in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

Visiting India? Check out all our articles on India here



19 thoughts on “8 Offbeat Things To Do In Goa, India

  1. Hi Savi/Vid,

    I just came back from Goa trip and your article was very helpful in planning an offbeat Goa trip. You guys are really amazing…

  2. Hey guys, your off beat things to do in Goa is really worth doing. I can say this because I have done four of it already! Have been to Divar Island, spent a day there, itโ€™s better to hire a guide to ferry you around to show the heritage spots like we did. And yes, Old Goa ad the lesser known churches have the charm and quietude that the popular ones donโ€™t have. Aaaaw! Fonteinhas is so very romantic. We took a guided tour of the Latin quarters that lasted for two hours. Thereโ€™s a spring at the end of the Quarters which gives the area its name-Fonteinhas. The colourful heritage houses with mother of pearl windows make this place all the more appealing. Cavelosim is one more beach in South Goa that one can visit. The gin like waters and the azure skies beat many beaches of north Goa. Please do remember to visit one of the heritage houses while you are there. They speak volumes about the culture , traditions and people. I hope my inputs would help travellers to gain more out of Goa.

    1. Hey Vishakhaa – glad you enjoyed reading this and thanks for your suggestions on offbeat things to do in Goa ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Visit the strawberry farms in verlim, natravali it also makes up for an amazing road trip through the lush green forest of natravali wildlife century.

  4. Heyaa, we are bunch of school friends. And planning a girls trip to goa soon. Hope to have some good time there and your articles help them always.

  5. Iโ€™m so happy that youโ€™ve written this. Goa is one of those destinations that Iโ€™d love to visit but a totally unsure about too! Itโ€™s so nice to know that itโ€™s not all as bad as Iโ€™ve heard! Some of your photos show such a different side of this city too. I would never have thought thereโ€™d be so much gorgeous!

  6. Hi Savi,
    Thanks for posting this… I am looking for some suggestions for best area to stay in if you are on a budget? Also, being the first trip to Goa!

    1. Hey Vanika – you can rent an AirBnB in an area such as Siolim or if you enjoy being closer to the beach & the action, then consider something similar overlooking a beach in South Goa

  7. I recently came back from Goa, and you made me nostalgic all over again. Unfortunately, the cliff point that was the photo spot for the heart-shaped lake is now a private property. So, one cannot enter that area. However, I simply loved the panoramic coastline near the lake.

  8. glad to read this article i have also have been there once such a beautiful place for couples and friends goa has its own charm. I would never have thought thereโ€™d be so much gorgeous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *