Goa! The name itself evokes images of beach sunsets, lush green tropical landscapes, delicious seafood and of course, laidback days and buzzing nights! And with the new year having kicked in already, why don't you make a resolution to strike Goa off your travel list this year? We at Ashiyana Yoga, love Goa for a whole bunch of reasons. This tiny slice of paradise tucked away in a cosy corner of India's gorgeous Konkan coastline has something for everyone, right from tourists and backpackers to those who are in the mood for soul-searching. Here's our list of Top things to do in Goa in 2015! So, whether you are travelling to Goa for a holiday or are looking for things to do when you have time off your yoga retreat, read on!
1. Be a beach bum:
With 105 kilometres of the picturesque Konkan coast offering you the promise of over 40 beaches, the sun, sand and the sea make Goa the perfect place to holiday in 2015! You will be spoilt for choice with everything from buzzing beaches like Baga for the party animals, serene beaches like Palolem for the quiet ones, hippy beaches like Anjuna and Mandrem for the free souls and isolated beaches like Agonda for the ones who love solitude. And with most of these beaches having shacks and eateries offering yummy multi-cuisine fare, chilled beverages and an unbeatable view of the sea, what's not to love!
2. Go on a water adventure:
If just good ol' lazing doesn't cut it for the adventure-lover in you, you can try a whole lot of water sports that are on offer on most of the prominent beaches in Goa. Parasailing, jet skiing, banana boat rides and speed boat rides are some of the popular activities offered at tourist spots like Calangute, Candolim, Baga beach, Bogmallo Beach, Cavelossim beach and the Colva Beach. If you are looking for something more unique, try kayaking along rivers in Siolim and Nerul or calmer beaches like Morjim and Palolem. Kite-surfing and wind-surfing is another popular activity in places like Morjim.
3. Hunt for heritage:
Looking for typical Indo-Portuguese architecture with quaint streets and colourful homes? Then, head to the Fountainhas area in Panjim, known as the Latin Quarter of Goa. Love ancient churches? Then the centuries-old churches, basilica, art galleries, convents and museums in Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will take your breath away. Want to experience a blast from the past? Then, drive down to Ponda pay a visit to Goa's ancient temples and mosques. There's no end to the surprises that will greet you as you dig into Goa's colourful history and heritage.
4. Nature Calling:
The land of Goa, nestled in the lap of tropical goodness, is a sight for the sore eyes! But if you are looking for an experience that will make you feel one with nature, you can try everything from trekking up the Western Ghat hills in Goa, relaxing at riverside villages like Siolim and Revora and wildlife-spotting at Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Molem or the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on the island of Chorao. Trekking up to the famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls is a good choice too. Want more options? Head to the spice farms located in and around Ponda where you can learn about different spices, enjoy a yummy Goan lunch or maybe even bathe and ride elephants!
5. Bargain at flea markets:
A little retail therapy can work wonders on anyone! When in Goa, do check out popular flea markets in Anjuna and Arpora. While the Saturday Night Bazaar in Arpora will enchant you with an array of mind boggling choices for the bohemian in you, ranging from hippie clothing, jewellery, musical instruments, knickknacks from around the world and many more unexpected treasures, the yummy food, live music, fire-eaters and other entertainers will keep you captivated. The flea market on the Anjuna beach which is open only on Wednesdays is also a bohemian paradise and if you get lucky, you might score yourself some gorgeous souvenirs for a steal. The trick is in bargaining hard!
6. Party hard:
If you haven't partied in Goa, you don't know what a party is! Be a part of the revelry at beach shacks, karaoke bars, chill-out clubs, retro pubs, swanky nightclubs and luxurious lounge-bars. While the Baga-Calangute-Candolim stretch has all the makings of a commercial hit, the quieter beaches of Mandrem, Arambol and Ashwem have a more chilled-out vibe to their nightlife. Down South too, the varied party scene is worth checking out. There's something for each one of you! Keep an eye out for party posters and handouts as you walk around the beach and then before you know it, you are all set to dance the night away!
7. Lend a helping hand:
If you have come to Goa to help discover your inner self, volunteering at various non-profit organisations in the state is a great way to unearth new facets of yourself. Rather than your monetary support, a whole lot of non-profit organisations in Goa would love the gift of your time. Be it by teaching English or specific skills like computer training to kids at various schools and orphanages, helping rehabilitate the needy at various shelters and establishments or lending an extra hand at a local Animal Rescue Shelter, you can make a great impact with your free time! You just need to do enough research online or by interacting with locals to find out about worthy small-time organisations that could use your help.
8. Explore the villages:
Away from the madness of the beaches is the laidback Goan life in its villages that is worth experiencing. Hire a scooter or a bike and ride through paddy fields and tiny streets and soak in the many beautiful sights, smells and sounds of Goa. It's worth getting lost in any of these Goan villages. You never know what you will end up finding! Admire the beautiful old and majestic Indo-Portuguese homes, breathe in the smell of fresh grass as you walk through small paths through the fields and enjoy the beauty of a relaxed life as you befriend friendly locals who will be willing to share a story or two.
9. Pamper yourself:
From spa treatments and foot massages to Ayurvedic sessions and healing therapy, Goa is the best place to be at if you are looking to indulge yourself and treat your body, mind and soul with the love and pampering it deserves. Book yourself for any of these relaxing activities and before you know it, you will feel the laidback vibe of Goa enter your system! If you don't where to start, Ashiyana Yoga is a great choice! We can work out just the activity you need that will soothe your senses and melt your worries away.
10. Adopt a yoga way of life:
Yoga is a state of mind. And at Ashiyana Yoga, we help you reach that happy space with our whole list of activities, retreats, classes and workshops! From yoga holidays that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and yoga classes that will help you master the ancient practice to fun activities like SUP yoga and an array of healing and Ayurvedic treatments, there's so much on offer in one place when you sign up for the Ashiyana Yoga experience. Once you step into our beautiful resort located on the stunning Mandrem Beach, you will never want to say goodbye to your perfect Goan holiday!
Ashiyana Yoga wishes you a 2015 filled with more travels, more yoga, more fun and a whole lot of soul-searching! See you in Goa!