Goa may be famous for its sun, sea and sand, but if you look beyond the beach resorts in Goa, you’d be surprised to find that there’s much more to do in this Indian paradise.
Whether you’re coming to Goa to rest and relax, soak in the unique Indo-Portuguese culture, or revel in its vibrant nightlife, here are some of the best things you can do beyond the beaches.
Rejuvenate with an ayurvedic massage
Ayurvedic massage is an ancient Indian relaxation method with aromatic oils and herbs. It is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing methods. These days, it’s offered at most spas, including Serena Spa at DoubleTree by Hilton Goa – Panaji. Even within ayurvedic massage, there are many types: at Serene Spa, you can try ‘Marma’; a 90-minute ayurvedic massage that stimulates your vital pressure points with long sweeping strokes. The cool herbal body mask before the concluding warm shower will melt your stress away.
Discover hidden treasures at a Flea Market
Every Wednesday, an old hippie tradition comes back to life at the Anjuna Flea Market as people from North Goa converge to sell their handmade jewellery, footwear, clothes, and knick-knacks. Find your way to the stall run by Darshana, who refashions the colourful, bold designs of Indian sarees into dresses, shrugs, stoles, and beach cover-ups at prices ranging from INR 250 to 1,000. If you need a break from shopping, try some traditional homemade snacks such as prawn rissoles, beef croquettes, and mushroom patties, paired with a cold beer or fruit juice. This lively market is just a 10-minute drive away from the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Goa – Arpora – Baga.
Kayak your way down a scenic river
Go kayaking down the backwaters of the Nerul River and explore the mangroves with Terra Conscious, a non-profit organisation. The seasoned instructors will give you amazing insights into the mangrove ecosystem and show you the vast variety of bird and fish species that thrive in the area. If you wish to explore beyond kayaking, check out these unique water sports in Goa for more adventures.
Tuck into Goan and international cuisine
Goan food is the meeting of Indian ingredients and Portuguese culinary techniques. If that whets your appetite then treat yourself to a meal at the Venite in Panjim, a restaurant built using the timbers of a wrecked Portuguese ship. Their ‘Prawn Balchao’ and ‘Chicken Cafreal’ – dishes created half a century ago by Goan chefs in Portuguese colonies in Africa – are mouth-watering delights. The Rio Salao lounge at Doubletree by Hilton Goa – Panaji is another great place to check out. Catch the colors of the setting sun forming a backdrop to the Mandovi River as you indulge in exquisite hand-crafted ginger pralines and coffee caramel chocolates.
Dance the night away
The love for music flows through the veins of Goan society. Many restaurants in Goa offer live music, while periodic music festivals bring in a range of genres from around the world. The younger crowd may want to explore Goa’s nightlife at the LPK Waterfront Club or Club Cubana as these dance floors are always packed and full of energy.
There’s much more to explore beyond the beaches and beach resorts in Goa, please ask your Concierge at the DoubleTree by Hilton Goa – Panaji to guide you to these experiences. You may even learn a thing or two from the locals while out exploring!