Goa is often portrayed as one big party, but that’s far from the real truth of this gorgeous coastal region of India. Only about 400 km away from Mumbai, full of endless beaches, great seaside cafes, outdoor active pursuits and palm trees. As one of the best located coastlines of India, the hotels in Goa tend to be beachside, offering fantastic seaside resorts and luxurious beach huts.
The Majesty of the South Goa Coast
The warm Arabian Sea welcomes you to relax and unwind. Goa is mostly divided into two separate districts: North Goa and South Goa. In both areas, you can feel historic significance that the Portuguese left before they surrendered this part of India in 1961. North Goa is usually busier and offers more nightlife options. However, when looking for easy-breezy holidays in India, the best place to travel to is South Goa.
Romantic and Scenic Beaches
Palolem is one of the most famous beaches in South Goa, where it’s easy to find more action than in Patnem and Agonda. But Patnem Beach is number one for walking, swimming and practising yoga by the waves. Locals work on preserving the cosiness and intimate atmosphere of the beach so it feels like a hidden gem. Once you get there, you’re immersed in a chill and pleasant atmosphere.
This particular area puts everything together for embracing an active, mindful holiday. The three beaches are spread with many different beach huts and various hotels along the sand. In Patnem, try Turtle Hill to indulge yourself in a very romantic setting with the only sound of the waves day and night. Another top place to experience is the eco-hotel La Mangrove, that offers chic teepee huts facing the river. The Boho resort is on the road that leads to Galgibag Beach, the one known as “Turtle Beach”, from where it is actually easier to spot dolphins than turtles!
Namaste the Day Away
Whether you are a yoga pro or want to try it out for the first time, there are diverse options for all levels. For yoga Ashtanga lovers, this definitely is the place, as many Ashtanga retreats and diverse teachers offer classes. From the few yoga retreats available by the sand, Lotus Oasis Yoga is one of best options. There are affordable drop-in classes every day, as well as free activities some evenings, like cinema or live music. The afternoon Hatha yoga sessions are delightful, and the best thing is that afterwards, you can take a swim in the Arabian Sea while enjoying red-hued sunset. Lotus is also a good place to know friendly people from everywhere in the world and share some interesting conversations.
South Goa’s Delicious Culinary Specialties
Another key point in this wellness journey is the diet. Enjoy a range of delicious and healthy Indian food. Here you can have raw, vegan or vegetarian meals. The Space Goa is known as a Holistic Sanctuary, complete with an organic café, a deli with products like quinoa, chia seeds or spirulina, a shop and a wellness spa. Food is delicious and wholesome, highlighting the sugar-free juices. During the season they host meditation, yoga or sound healing sessions. The Zest Health Food Cafe just focuses on food and drinks, featuring more raw options and their home-made ice-cream. Their bowls are very balanced and nutritious. Do not stick just to the Palolem branch, it might be the closest one, but give a try to the Agonda one, which is a special open space plenty of plants.
Indulge in the Ultimate Relaxation
The final touch is making sure you pamper yourself while in South Goa. Do not leave without enjoying a relaxing Ayurvedic massage at Daddu’s Healing Centre located inside Jaali Boutique and Café between Palolem and Patnem. This is one of the real experiences to live in India, but feels even better at the beach. Also, as it is not just about massages! It can be fun to treat yourself to the salon while on a vacation where you spend most of the time in flip-flops, bikinis and shorts. This is why Amore Beauty opened its doors this season in Palolem, offering excellent pedicure, manicure, waxing and threading treatments. The place has nothing to envy from the very trendy western nail spas.
South Goa it is that place to chill on the beach, read a book, eat well and treat your body and mind at the same time. Local people will help to make your journey even more pleasant, as the general ambiance is one of the most peaceful in all of India.
Author Bio: Elena Echave is a travel and lifestyle writer originally from Spain that lived for a year in Portugal and now is based in London. She prefers to travel like a local rather than get to know all of the touristy monuments in every place she visits. Her independent approach makes her aware of all the trends and upcoming cultural events wherever she is.