Just back from a longish trip to Munnar with the family, and with another planned to Hyderabad immediately after, I couldn’t help but feel this Goa trip planned with my partner was going to completely exhaust me. And with the monsoons, I was reasonably sure we’d just be stuck in wet, gloomy weather.
I’m going to share with you here all the reasons you need to plan your next monsoon getaway to Goa. These are over and above the possible off-season deals on travel and accommodation, so make sure you tap into those as well!
Yup, it rained. It is the monsoon after all!😁 But in the 3 days we were there, we didn’t actually get caught in a shower. During a burst of rain, people would disappear mysteriously for the 10 or 15 mins it would take to abate, and then again appear just as seamlessly.
But the cloudy skies and cool temperatures that followed for hrs later were just incredible all thru! I’m reasonably sure one of the main reasons I haven’t been too touristy in the past has been Goa’s humidity and heat. So the 3 days of wonderful weather just made everything work somehow.
A light rain coat or small umbrella is good enough to keep you going. If you’ve forgotten one, fret not, you’ll find 1 at stores at every turn.
As most of the beach shacks (south Goa) don’t open till the 1st week of Sept, you’re less likely to be a complete beach bum and a lot more likely to go exploring and land yourself some really good local fare.
On the first day we hung out at the Palolem beach shacks, coz well Goa. Dinner however was at this lil place called Sumaya, who served up real great rava fried fish and prawn!
Thanks to our lil road trip, we visited Viva Panjim in the Fontainhas neighborhood. Tucked away in the narrow lanes, it was highly recommended by a friend. While good, it wasn’t the best pork vindaloo or prawn balchao we’ve had. But there’s a lot of old world charm to the place, along with reasonably priced Goan fare, that makes it quite popular with tourists. Expect a crowd tho.
We rented a hatchback at 1500/day (without fuel) with the intention of a day trip to Panjim and back. One thing led to another and we ended up also heading to Velha Goa (old Goa) to take in some sights and then to the party scene on Baga beach. Yup, I said party scene. For most part I feel too old for that, but I manage to surprise myself every now and then. 😁
Since the 80km drive back to Palolem was impossible post that, we drove around at 2am looking for a place to crash! The next morning we grabbed some good breakfast at Infantaria in Calangute, before starting the drive back.
I think the best part about a road trip are the pitstops. So many stops! We loved the goan sausages we had for breakfast, so post a lil googling, we decided to detour a bit looking for the best ones to take back home.
We didn’t need to head off the route at all tho, as a recommendation took us to the KTC market in Margoa, pretty much en-route.
I can’t recommend the sausages themselves till I get home and try them 😬, but the market was a fun stop – spread over a large area with different sections for live fish, dried fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers and finally meats. We ended up also getting some beef sausages and cashews. If you’re planning a longer stay in the area, then it’s worth the drive to stock up on some supplies.
The drive was lovely both ways. With the weather being as it was, good roads with every shade of green on both sides, and excellent company ☺️
Being a detourist
I must confess, other than transit, I hadn’t really spent time in Panjim for close to 2 decades! 😬 Also true for Old Goa (Velha). I had a vague memory of the place and was running on that for the longest time. We decided to break that this time, and what a delight it was!
Walking around Panaji’s gorgeous alleys and hidden lanes was definitely a highlight of the trip. The weather was simply amazing and the crowds minimal. We just wandered around without an agenda for hours, stumbling into 1 beautiful spot after the other!
The mix of old world vibe, vintage architecture and colours will appeal to your senses as well as social media feeds 😊
If shopping is high on your agenda, then be warned, Goans take their weekend pretty seriously, so not much was open. For us tho, that just added to the charm. I would recommend spending at least 2 hrs just walking around the Fontainhas & Sao Tomé, Althino hill, Ourem Creek neighbourhoods.
Se Cathedral (1562), Old Goa
Do make time to also visit Goa Velha, about a half hours drive away. Our plan to head there was a spontaneous one, so we ended up reaching there closer to 6pm, and could only spend about an hour around the Bom Basilica (UNESCO world heritage site) and Sé Cathedral, before the sunset on us. But do plan at least 3 hrs for your Old Goa visit. The architecture, the peaceful monuments, well manicured gardens – they all make for a lovely walking tour in the monsoons.
This map has a few self guided suggestions you could follow, along with some history of the main sites. You’re welcome 😊
Let’s be honest, this is probably way high up on most lists anyway right? Not usually my go-to for Goa tho, I love the quite and peaceful calm of Palolem. There were all of 3 shacks open and we had the beach practically to ourselves, save for a few day trippers in the afternoon.
The second evening however, we decided to stay on in North Goa and found ourselves at Baga, hit with a bit of a culture shock after Palolem.
Not only was every shack and shop open, it was all quite crowded too! Added were the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi (a very popular Indian festival), which saw processions and fireworks right on the beach! All in all, quite a treat!
We spent the rest of the night at this beach side karaoke shack called St. Anthony (I know right?!). I unfortunately didn’t receive much encouragement to take up the karaoke mike, 😞 but the attentive waiters made sure you were well watered and fed!
So that’s my round-up on why Goa in the monsoons was the prefect time to venture out and do so much more! I hope you get to plan this for yourself soon!
Have you been to Goa in the monsoons? Tell us what you loved or hated about your trip!
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