Thursday, 24 April 2014

Goa Travel Guide - Agonda Beach

If Goa Vacation is simply about relaxing on the beach, Agonda Beach, located 37 kilometers away from the town of Margao, is a 3 kilometer long stretch of shimmering white sands along the South Goa coastline. Since hawkers are prohibited from this beach, one can expect an unperturbed and refreshing holiday vacation. 

Location of Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach in South Goa is located 43 kilometers away from Margao and 76 kilometers away from Panaji. It is just a 10 minute walk from the nearby and quite busier Palolem Beach, one of the most popular beaches in South Goa. If solitude has embraced you too much and your heart craves for entertainment, you just need to walk for a few minutes. 

How to Reach Agonda
Margao and Canacona are the closest railway stations to Agonda. Canacona is just 20 minutes away from the Agonda Beach and an auto rickshaw charges INR 200. On the other hand, Margao is a 30 minute drive from Agonda and the taxi charges around Rs.600. The Dabolim airport in Goa is around 1 hour distance from the beach. 

Weather in Agonda
Throughout the year, Agonda experiences a warm weather. During the day, the temperature can go above 33 degree Celsius and drop below 20 degree Celsius at night. During winters ( around December to February), the nights can get chillier. June to August is marked by the rainy season. 

Attractions in Agonda 

Some major activities which you can indulge in while staying at Agonda Beach include relaxing, swimming, walking, eating and strolling on the beach. Other than these activities, you can also partake in boat trips. 

Accommodation in Agonda
Goa beach huts are a popular alternative to Goa hotels and Agonda Beach is the best example for this. Some popular names of Goa beach huts at Agonda include coco huts, romance huts, Cupid’s Heaven, Shanti Agoda huts and Agonda White Sands huts & villas.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Handy 101 Guide for Tourist Attractions in Goa

Geographically Goa is a smallest state on the western coast of India but has a spectacular appeal to it. Tourists from all over the world flock in this tiny Indian state owing to the languid environment and scenic beauty of its beaches.  But besides sun-kissed beaches, Goa also caters to the interest of tourists with different outlook. For art and culture lovers, the medieval forts and churches are the best place to head to. On the other hand, Anjuna and Vagator beach offer perfect ambience for party animals. Listed below are some of the popular tourist attractions in Goa that cater to the different needs and breeds of travelers for your kind perusal.

For Beach Lovers

The 125 kilometer long stretch of Goa’s coastline is covered with numerous pristine beaches. Dotted with palm fringed beaches and silvery sands, each beach in this tiny Indian state has its own unique charm & feature. While south Goa beaches are famous for its serenity and seclusion, the beaches in north are quite bustling and offer perfect setting for indulging in adventure water sports. While staying at beaches, tourists can also relish scrumptious sea food and go on a shopping spree to the local markets. Some of the popular beaches in Goa include Colva, Anjuna, Vagator and Calangute among others.

For Art and Heritage Lovers

Old Goa is notable for its churches and cathedrals recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Epitomizing Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in their décor, these imposing edifices were constructed during 15th and 16th century by Portuguese missionaries. A tour of old Goa will acquaint you with the culture and lifestyle that once existed here.

For Wildlife Enthusiasts

A major chunk of land in Goa is occupied by wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Due to the fast extinction of certain animal species and deforestation, these wildlife sanctuaries have been formed to preserve the flora and fauna. The four wildlife sanctuaries in this state together occupy a space of 755 square kilometers and provide wonderful opportunity to explore flora and fauna. Some popular destinations for wildlife tourism in Goa are Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.

Goa is one of the few destinations in India which are open throughout the year. The best time to visit Goa is Christmas and New Year Eve when the entire state in drenched in the mood of celebration.  But if you are heading for Goa around this time, make sure to book your accommodation in advance as most of the hotels are packed with guests.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

5 Most Popular Restaurants in Goa

Goa is a foodies paradise with a number of beach shacks, small eating joints and other specialty restaurants serving some great food, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The highlights are seafood and local Goan delicacies.
Goa is a well-known beach holiday as well as a honeymoon destination which is extremely popular for its food too. It is no exaggeration to call Goa, a foodie’s paradise as it offers an assortment of delicacies. The cuisine of Goa has a wide variety of seafood, prepared from freshly caught sea-delights. Goa is visited by a large number of local as well as foreign tourists all round the year and thus, there is no dearth of restaurants in this beach city. This article enlists top 5 restaurants in Goa:
Sher-E-Punjab-Panaji (Panjim)
Soft Paneer and Chicken Tikka - Sher-E-Punjab-Panaji (Panjim)
Sher-E-Punjab is not going to give you a chance that you will miss spicy Indian curries, during your vacation in Goa. It is something more than just an eating joint. The restaurant has a pleasant garden terrace in the back of the property and an air-conditioned room, in case you do not feel like eating in the open. Some popular dishes of this joint are paneer tikka, starters, snacks, chicken and fish fingers.
German Bakery- Anjuna Beach
If you love organic bakery food, then German bakery is the place for you that also serves a variety of non-vegetarian food. While having your food, enjoy the great ambiance too, that has a lush green garden with interesting lights, prayer flags and some light background music. The specialty of this bakery is that they prepare every meal with home made spices and fresh ingredients. Tofu balls cooked in mustard sauce with parsley potatoes and a variety of salad palette are the highlights.
A Reverie, Casa Portuguesa -Calangute
A Reverie, Casa Portuguesa
In case you are looking for a fine dining restaurant, then A Reverie, Casa Portuguesa is just the right kind of place for you. This restaurant located in Calangute, has a great ambiance. Although a small eating joint but it serves some lip-smacking continental dishes, prepared in an innovative manner by the in-house chef and his team. It is a perfect place to enjoy a special occasion in a great setting.
Brittos -Baga Beach
Brittos - Baga Beach
If you are looking for a place that serves authentic Goan cuisine, then Brittos, near Baga beach is where you should head to. It is like a typical cozy shack serving some excellent fresh seafood preparations. The ambiance too is great with some live music, barbecues and karaoke tunes being played on select days. Sunday is a day that when dishes from a special menu are served. Owner and chef chef Cajetan Britto has been attracting crowds towards his lip-smacking dishes such as prawn curry, pork vindaloo, crab curry, chicken xacuti and fish caldeen. However, you must also not miss the Continental dishes. It is just the place for having a relaxed and enjoyable meal at any hour of the day.
Souza Lobo – Calangute Beach
Souza Lobo – Calangute Beach - Restaurants in Goa
Souza Lobo, located on the Calangute beach is one of the oldest eateries in the city, serving some most lip-smacking preparations to its patrons in an interesting setting, while playing some great music in the background. The staff of the hotel is extremely warm, friendly and dedicated. Enjoy sumptuous seafood and other Goan dishes like masala fried fish, prawn curry rice, baked crab, pork vindaloo, etc. this restaurant has a well-stocked bar too.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Calangute Beach Resorts: For That Perfect View of the Arabian Sea

What prompts tourists to book accommodation in Calangute beach resorts. There are several factors such as guests are welcomed with warm hospitality, excellent services offered at a low price, small trips are offered to nearby monuments and villages and scintillating view of the Arabian Sea shore. Now before I move forward with my article about Calangute beach resorts , let me give you a brief information about this beach.
Nestled on the pristine shores of Arabian Sea, Calangute Beach is fondly referred to as ‘Queen of Beaches’. The beautiful palms and coconut trees add to the beauty of this place. It was discovered by the hippies and thus became tourist’s cliché in the early 60’s. Hippies brought a large number of European travelers to the shores of Goa to admire and enjoy the picturesque charm and peaceful surroundings. It provides great opportunities of savoring a wide variety of lip-smacking Goan seafood delicacies. Various stalls and shacks located under the palm groves are a haven for foodies. Here you can feast on fried fish, prawns and other seafood items along with chilled beer.
In this article, I will talk about three resorts that caters to the growing numbers of domestic and overseas travelers on the Calangute beach.
Beira Mar Alfran Resort
Located 300 meters away from the Calangute-Baga stretch, Beira Mar Alfran Resort is a complex of 15 luxury duplex villas located on Baga Road in the Bardez area of Goa. This scenic resort is set amidst coconut groves, paddy fields, taverns and quaint houses. Each of the 100 guest rooms in this resort is tastefully furnished with a range of modern amenities such as air conditioning, refrigerator, intercom, CCTV and attached bathroom with running hot & cold water. Apart from common in-room amenities, each room has a private garden and backyard to maintain privacy. There is also a multi cuisine restaurant & bar and two swimming pools in this hotel.
Cavala Seaside Resort
Opened in 1979, Cavala Seaside Resort is one of the most popular hotels on the Calangute-Baga stretch. The hotel offers accommodation in terms of 30 spacious and spotless guest rooms classified as Single, Double and Twin Rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and opens to a balcony, terrace and private sit-out. There is an in-house multi cuisine restaurant ‘Cavala’ where guests can savor Indian, Continental, Chinese and Goan delicacies. Every Friday and Saturday, live entertainment programs such as Retro & Retro Rock and Retro Jive Salsa are organized after 8 PM.
Goan Holiday Resort
An excellent property located in the middle of the Calangute Beach, the Goan Holiday Resort is a perfect option for leisure travelers as well as honeymooners. The hotel offers accommodation in terms of 20 well-appointed rooms that are classified as Deluxe Rooms , Super Deluxe Rooms and Family Rooms (6 people at max). There is a vegetarian restaurant in this hotel-Shree Sagar- which serves a delicious variety of North Indian and South Indian delicacies.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Here’s How to Select One from 5000+ Goa Hotels

Choosing a good hotel is an important decision from the perspective of traveling. The blog gives a few pointers that will help you in choosing the right hotel in Goa.  

Goa Hotels
And just so you know, the number 5000 was according to a commercial census conducted a couple of years ago, in 2011. Selecting a decent hotel is half the battle won for any tour. So, whether you are planning a business trip, looking for an event venue or just want to steal a few days from your hectic schedule, it is imperative that you conduct an intensive research for hotel accommodation before zeroing down on a particular name. It is a decision that you must take before making any final reservations as they serve as ‘home away from home’. For example, most overseas travelers book hotels in Goa beforehand to avoid hassles during festive occasions. Lodging in any kind of hotel will not solve your purpose of ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay. Here are a few pointers that you must consider while making a choice regarding a good hotel in Goa.  

Pricing is the key
It is very important to book a hotel that fits your budget. Gone are the days of calling each and every tour operator for the price factor. In order to attract more and more clientele, various hotels in Goa provide special packages at discounted rates during both festive and off seasons. Hence, one should always inquire about the promotional offers.

Check the hotel location
Besides price, location too plays an important role in choosing a good hotel. Selecting the right location will solve the purpose of your travel. For examples, business travelers on the go prefer to stay nearby airports. Those who are into city exploration will certainly prefer to stay in hotels nearby monuments and city attractions. But you need to watch out on the cost factor because location specific hotels can increase your travel budget phenomenally.

Read the user reviews

No matter how comprehensive research you’ve conducted, nothing can be better than feedback from past guests of the hotel. Always keep in mind to check the reviews and feedback of the people who have earlier stayed in the hotel. You must check sites like trip advisor, ibibo and Expedia for valuable reviews from the travelers. Always remember that the internet is full of fake reviews and it's your judgment and past experiences that will lead you on the right path.

Check out the facilities
Many hotels feature in-house facilities such as a multi cuisine restaurant, gymnasium and conference hall etc. The facilities play a major role in determining the star rating of the hotels. Before zeroing down on a particular hotel, check and compare the amenities and select the one that fulfills your requirements. It is always a great idea to go with the brand name as reputed hotel chains always adheres to the set standards and offer world class facilities.

Holiday Theme
The theme of your holiday also determines the kind of hotel you should choose. If you are on an adventure trip, then you don’t need to spend too much money on the hotel as you won’t spend too much time there. For a family holiday, choosing a good and comfortable hotel is compulsory.