Goa has a reputation to be the place to relax, rest, chill, and have a good time at the beach, surrounded by nature and close to Dubai.
Where to Stay
We stayed in a cottage; 2 minute's walk from the beach. Being in the North of Goa, in the region of Morjim, next to Ashwem beach. Leela Cottages is a great destination that I highly recommend for lovers of nature, and adventurous people that are not looking for the fancy looks of hotels but rather a friendly ambiance, proximity to the beach, and excellent service. After an hour and a half of driving from the airport, we were greeted and checked into our “home” for the few days to come.
All pre-fabricated houses are part of nature; beautifully surrounded by greenery, trees, etc. The rooms are standard, simple decorations with furniture that is typical and particular to India. The room is equipped with both AC and fan, a small refrigerator, a table with two chairs and some wardrobe apart from the double bed itself and of course Wi-Fi. A WC that also had the character of the place was linked with a few steps down from the room, and a tree in the middle of the bathroom (took me a day to get used to it!). In front of every house was a hammock, a small table with a bench where we used to chill in the afternoons.
One of the best parts apart from the dreamy scenery of the Cottage was the breakfast every morning at the restaurant called Elevar which is also known for its amazing food and view of the beach.
Where to eat and things to do in Goa
Anand Seafood Bar & Restaurant – An authentic Goan local restaurant as a first experience great and super spicy experience!
Eat in Gunpowder – Great atmosphere too
Famous Wednesday market in Anjuna Stayed there for several hours shopping (you should bargain at every piece you buy!), we had some beers at a live band bar in the market; and later got surprised at the end of the market when we reached the sea where we chilled and had some time off from the crowd at the market.
Visit Curlies beach – Close to the Flea market to watch the sunset in this rustic beach shack that had great music and a super cool atmosphere.
Gunpowder Restaurant – Dine with some delicious squids and some different dishes of prawns.
Take a trip to the South of Goa – The drive was long (3 hours each way) but worth every second; again the views and sceneries were so beautiful and interesting; you could get to see all aspects of Goa. We first went to Agonda Beach chilled for a few hours, and then went to Palolem beach; where we stayed for a few hours; enjoying owning the beach to ourselves! Palolem beach was my favorite of them all. On our way back we stopped at Donna Paula, a place known for Indian tourists where we stayed to watch the sunset and then went to Go with the flow (my favorite restaurant there) to have a romantic dinner; filled with calamari, shrimp, prawns, salmon, and some really good meat as main dishes.
Have breakfast at Elevar- In front of the beach where we chilled for hours.
Visit Arambol beach – You will love the atmosphere
Go for an adventure – Go with Konkan Explorers in a boat; to do some activities in the river of Chapora.
I highly recommend this to anyone visiting Goa. A couple; Poonam and Pascal own Konkan Explorers with the help of Vinesh on the boat! The team is really welcoming, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and professional.
We had three hours of adventures on their boat where we swam in the super nice temperature of the river; enjoyed the amazing nature surrounding and did some kayaking activities. I cannot describe the feeling of being in the middle of the river; just soaking in everything nature has to offer.
Dine at La Plage – A restaurant owned by French people that are in Goa for more than 20 years; which is located just next to Leela Cottage and had some more delicious seafood!
Visit Arpora Night Market – The experience is totally different from the Wednesday market. Many foreign artisans as well as locals sell gorgeous clothing, trinkets, purses, and other items in the Arpora Market. Music live bands and restaurants are part of this market but also some reserved spaces all around for parties with some different DJs playing different styles of music around the Market itself.
We decided to go explore the location, which was breathtaking at sunrise. Our driver, Neymar stayed with us the whole trip; taxis in Goa are cheap and it is best to have your driver wait for you all day and book them as your private driver; rather than going through the hassle of not finding a taxi or having to call and wait for hours.
Best time to go
Depending on what is the purpose of your trip (party or relaxation) the best time is to go between November and April. If you are aiming to relax, chill and have some time on your own in a calm environment then the best time would be from mid-February to the end of March. During the months of December and January, it is usually packed with people, and parties, and the prices go higher automatically. Though it is also a great destination but surely a different experience!