Exploring Goa There is so much more to Goa than just fantastic weather and a stunning coastline. We offer a number of interesting trips that enable you to discover the best of the state from its rich culture and Portuguese heritage, its striking temples and dominating churches, to its stunning waterfalls and serene inland waterways. Here are a few of our favourite experiences which can either be booked as part of an organised excursion or, for the more independent, can be explored alone. Dudhsagar Waterfalls On the easternmost edge of the state where Goa meets Karnataka, lies the famous Dudhsagar Falls. The second highest waterfall in India, it measures an impressive 603m. A jeep ride up to the falls is a truly unforgettable experience, taking you deep into the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, then on a short, uneven hike up to the base of the falls. Here you’ll climb over rocks and pass the local monkey troops, before having the chance to swim in a deep green waterfall pool.
Old Goa Known as ‘the Rome of the East’ in the 16th century, Old Goa was the largest, richest and most impressive city in the whole of Asia. Many of the churches and buildings have been beautifully preserved, giving Old Goa some of the best Renaissance architecture in the world. If there is one site that cannot be missed, it is that of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, one of the most stunning churches in India. Famous throughout the Roman Catholic world, the church contains the tomb and remains of St Francis Xavier. Temples of ponda Set inland from Panjim, the artistic temples of Ponda are quite a prospect with many settlements home to a grand and spectacularlydecorated temple. Some of the best to visit include the Shri Manguesh, with its unique mixture of architecture influenced by both Christian and Muslim styles, and the Shri Shantadurga, the largest and one of the most lavish of Ponda’s temples, with the interior dripping in marble and glass chandeliers. Spice Plantations A holiday to Goa is not complete without a visit to the fragrant spice plantations of Ponda. The area is famous for its tours, where you can see peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cumin, saffron, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pods all growing in their natural state. While there you can also enjoy the spices in a traditional Goan meal, served with a glass of Feni, the local spirit made from cashew nuts or palm sap.
Spice plantation © Igor Plotnikov / Shutterstock
Wildlife reserves Goa is home to a diverse range of landscapes – from mangrove trees crowding muddy river banks, to open scrub jungle and sub-tropical hill forests. Amongst this magnificent flora, a plethora of wildlife can be found, including over 400 species of bird. Take a visit to some of the state’s most famous wildlife reserves including Goa’s largest, the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, where you can enjoy a boat trip around the meandering tributaries.
For more information or to book online visit GoaExperience.co.uk