Bitten by the travel bug or smitten by the Goan charm- whatever be it, it’s time to enjoy the sand, surf and sun. Goa has always been warm and welcoming to travellers, backpackers, families and solo hippies. We are here to suggest you an action packed yet relaxing 1-week holiday in Goa. So let’s take it step by step.
When to visit
The best time to visit Goa would be from November to February when the weather is pleasant and cool. This would be the ideal time to spend on Goan beaches and indulge in watersports. This is the party season too. Goa carnival happens in the month of February every year. You get to feel the real Goan vibe during the carnival with lot of fun, festivities, dance, music and drinking.
Where to stay
Where to stay solely depends on the kind of ambience you are looking for. If you are planning to stay by the beaches, you can still choose the kind of beach ambience you are looking for. Goa has happening beaches like Baga beach, Calangute beach etc and also a little less active secluded calm beaches like Mandrem, Morjim etc.
Getting to Goa
If you are looking for flights to Goa, then check Skyscanner for flexible and cheap flight options. Goa has an international airport. You can also reach Goa by bus or rail. Websites like lovely holiday.com provide value holiday packages for Goa in case you want to find them all at one place.
Planning the itinerary
Day 1: Saturday:Welcome to Goa
Let’s get started. Once you reach your hotel/ guest house, it would be a good idea to check out nearby two-wheeler rentals so you could rent a scooter / motor bike and travel on your own without getting to rely on public transport which might consume a lot of your precious time.
Once you are settled in, you can stroll by and explore the beach, sip your cocktail, relax and gift yourself some “me time”.
Eat: Relax at the South Anjuna beach- which is neither crowded nor secluded. Enjoy sumptuous dinner and drinks at Curlies, famous beach shack at Anjuna beach. The place has rooftop seating and the ambience is just perfect for a relaxing dinner by the sea.
Nightlife: Its saturday. Don’t miss the Saturday night Market at Arpora. If you can master the art of haggling a bit, then you can buy commodities at reasonable price from the stalls. Note that the hawkers might try to sell their commodities at a higher rate than actual price. We would recommend you to buy souvenirs, clothes, bags and other accessories from these stalls as you can find good quality commodities at these markets.
Day 2: Sunday: Relaxing beach day
You deserve a lot more beach time. So choose one of those not-so crowded beaches. We suggest you avoid the busy Baga and Calangute. Ozran beach is a good choice. Rejuvenate your mind and body with a massage at the ayurveda centre or a yoga at one of those retreats. If you want to add some action into your fun-packed holiday, then try some watersports. Another interesting thing to do would be attending cookery class or climbing up the Chapora fort for amazing sunset view.
Eat: Fishtail shack at Ozran beach is an ideal option for lunch. Don’t forget to check out the German Bakery just before the Flea market. This bohemian cafe and bakery is perfect with its organic multi-cuisine menu and live music.
Nightlife: Time to unwind. Checkout Hilltop in Vagator for some trance music and dance the night away.
Day 3: Monday: Explore inland Goa
Time to get a little away from the beaches and explore inland Goa. Trek to the top and enjoy the beautiful Dudhsagar waterfalls. Take a tour of the spice plantation and learn in-depth the process starting from picking spices to serving the spicy Goan curry on your platter. Feel at peace at the stunning Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and
Eat: Most of the spice plantation tour include a buffet lunch. In case you want to try something else, visit Mum’s kitchen or hotel Venite
Nightlife: After a packed day, it might be a good idea to relax at the Blue Tao or The Spirit of Anjuna with a delicious dinner and some live music at the background.
Day 4: Tuesday: Sand, surf and sun
Beaches can never get you bored. More beach time means more fun and frolic, and some extra sun tan too. Moving further up the coast, you have Morjim beach, where you can find Olive Ridley turtle nesting ground. Walk by the empty sands of Mandrem and Ashwem beaches.Almost at the north end of Goa, you have the Querim beach. Rent a bike or bicycle and stop by to see the Sai baba temple and Ravalnath temple along the way.
Eat: Sublime in Morjim, Café NU in Mandrem or La Plage in Ashwem are few options for your day
Nightlife: Shiva valley in Anjuna beach is famous for its psytrance party that happens on Tuesday nights and go until sunrise.
Day 5: Wednesday: Explore the shopaholics Goa
It’s time for some shopping. You can’t afford to miss the flea market that happens on Wednesdays at Anjuna beach. From spices, souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, bags, you find a lot of Goan specific commodities at the stalls here.
Eat: Head to Café Loodas after your shopping and enjoy some relaxing time by the beach side.
Nightlife: You might have already heard of Club Cabana. It is situated in a hilltop between the two famous beaches, Baga and Anjuna. On wednesdays, they have a Ladies Night where girls get to enter and drink all night for free.
Day 6: Thursday: Goan Backwaters
There is more to Goa than beaches. Opt a day houseboat tour or an overnight houseboat and glide across the backwaters of Goa, enjoy the scenic Goa while you slurp sumptuous Goan food.
Eat: Houseboats usually provide you lunch. Also you can hop off and try some authentic Goan food on the way.
Nightlife: Curlies at Anjuna beach is a famous beach shack recommendation for psytrance music and party.
Day 7: Friday: Mapusa local market
Goa might look different from the rest of India because of the influence left back by the Portuguese on the state and also the hippie travellers. But if you visit the local Mapusa market, then you get to know that Goa is very much like the rest of India. The market is open all days except Sundays and crowded all the time.
Eat: Thalassa, one of the most famous restaurants in Goa is not just popular for its food but also the ambience and the cliff view it has to offer.
Nightlife: Before you end your holiday, ease up at Waters, the swish club that hosts techno party.
If you have more days with you, then you can hit south Goa, visit few other churches not mentioned on the itinerary, trek to waterfalls, snap pictures with the beautiful Goan forts at the background. There is no shortage of things to do in Goa.
Disclaimer: This itinerary is set based on the days on which the flea markets are open and parties happen. You can swap few to-dos that are not specific to the days, but unfortunately, you cannot do a flea market on Monday or Club Cabana Ladies Night party on Thursday.