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Best of Goa, India

On India's west coast, travelers can find rugged beaches, Portuguese-inspired architecture, and impeccable hideaways.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  Inland is where Goa relaxes best and most alluringly. When Vasco da Gama first arrived just to the south of the state in 1498 "... more »

Tips:  The optimal time to visit Goa is in early October, just as monsoon season ends and before the crowds arrive. December and January are ... more »

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Points of Interest

The market is a riot of jewelry, spices, wandering cows, Gujarati tribeswomen, and, yes, tourists—because the shopping was so good. Open Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to sundown, from October to April.

Address:
Anjuna
India

2. Barefoot

Sophisticated housewares and clothing.

Address:
1/26 31 January Rd.
Panjim
India

Phone:
91-832-243-6815

3. Beach House at Taj Holiday Village

The open-air, waterside setting at chef Urbano de Rego’s traditional Goan restaurant is not to be missed. Chef Rego was the first to bring Goan food to the world’s attention, having cooked for the elder President Bush and at the World Economic Forum.

Address:
The Taj Holiday
Sinquerim
India

Phone:
91-832-664-5555

4. Bombay Bazar

A swap-meet-style market for spices and people-watching.

Address:
18 June Rd.
Panjim
India

Phone:
91-832-223-2044

5. Calizz

A heritage-house museum with a lovely restaurant.

Address:
Bammon Vaddo
Candolim
India

Phone:
91-832-325-0000

6. Casa Britona

The property is an old riverside warehouse in the inland village of Britona that in 2003 turned into a 10-room property with brightly painted walls and lovely antiques.

Address:
Britona
India

Phone:
91-832-241-6737

Casa Palacio Siolim House, which Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, and their entourage took over for two weeks a few years ago, is on an outlet of the Chapora about 10 minutes inland. One of the original indie establishments that have set a microtrend for heritage hotels, it’s a study in lazy manor living. The hotel was recognized by unesco in 2001 for... More

8. Elsewhere

In 2003, Mumbai-based fashion photographer Denzil Sequeira opened up his ancestral compound to paying guests. Four colonial beach houses and three candy-colored tents sit at the water’s edge; for the most affordable option, book one of the latter, outfitted with a muslin-draped four-poster bed, a fully modern bathroom, private lanai, and your own ... More

9. Fabindia

Traditional clothing and linens in block-printed cottons.

Address:
Seashell Arcade, Opp. Canara Bank, Shop No. 8 to 13, Murrod Vaddo, Candolim Bardez
Candolim
India

Phone:
91-832-248-9143

10. La Plage

This beach-shack restaurant is perfect for sunset drinks.

Address:
Ashwem
India

Phone:
91-982-212-1712

The place for brunch or coffee.

Address:
Near the Baga River
Arpora-Baga
India

Phone:
91-832-227-9843

12. Mums Kitchen

As much an archive of home recipes as a popular lunch spot serving up crab fritters and prawns caldin (a green-chile-and-coconut stew), Mums is another proud preserver of Goan tradition that takes a stand against the encroachment of fusionism that is seen at so many other restaurants in the state. The dramatic tagline at Mums Kitchen is “A Move to... More

13. Nine Bar

If you want to check out the Goa music scene, this dusty, open-air disco is a reliable spot.

Address:
Sunset Point
Little Vagator Beach
India

14. O’Papagaio

Sample four varieties of piri-piri at this restaurant, which serves regional, though technically illegal, wild game. (Locating the restaurant is a monumental challenge even for able concierges and Goan drivers. Be sure to have your hotel call ahead, give thorough directions to a driver, and bring along the restaurant’s phone number, just in case.)... More

15. Panchavatti

The common areas include a soaring open kitchen; a broad living room filled with teakwood Indian antiques, groupings of club chairs, and stacks of art books; an infinity pool ringed with shaggy greenery; and a wide veranda.

Address:
Corjuem Island
Goa
India

Phone:
91-982-258-0632

16. Sainath Jewellers

Filigreed Indian gold and gemstones at great prices. No haggling required.

Address:
Albuquerque Rd., Shop 2, Rizvi Chamber, Panjim Market
Panjim
India

Phone:
91-832-242-2293

17. Shiro Beach

The posh dance club of the moment for Indian urbanites.

Address:
Marquis Beach Resort
Candolim
India

Phone:
91-832-665-3366

A white-sand beach with clear, warm water that hasn’t been overrun.

Address:
Goa
India

19. Vivenda dos Palhaços

An oasis of eccentric refinement in the charm-starved south.

Address:
Costa Vaddo
Majorda
India

Phone:
91-832-322-1119