December is drawing to a close, and the New Year is approaching fast. We are sure many of you have already made plans to visit Goa or are even on your way. So, you probably also know what you are going to do once there. Those, who haven’t planned but are thinking of, must definitely scroll through this blog, because in it, we are going to tell you all the amazing things you can do in Goa to ring in the New Year. Excited? Here you go:
- Beach Hopping
- Global Dining
- Walking through Goa’s History and Heritage
- Seeing Turtle Hatchlings
- Wildlife Tours
- Dolphin Spotting
BOOK HOTELS AND RESORTS IN GOA
Let’s start with the obvious….partying at clubs. There are just so many nightclubs in Goa, where the party actually starts after midnight and goes on till at least dawn. Lights of all colours getting lit in various patterns, EDM and Pop music blazing around, international DJs spinning their consoles, drinks flowing everywhere and people dancing their hearts out is an experience you don’t want to miss.
2. Beach Hopping
How does one visit Goa and not visit the beach? It’s like having lungs and not breathing; it’s that essential. Let us tell you that the list of beaches in Goa is endless, with these ranging from the famous and buzzing ones in North Goa to the quiet and serene ones in South Goa. North Goan beaches are those with the major tourist activity, while those in South Goa are untouched stretches of sand, rather devoid of chaos and noise.
While you will definitely spend your night making merry, we recommend you spend your days by trying watersports in Goa. Winters is the best time for these high-octane activities that will surely spice up your life. For a laid-back experience, you can try kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkelling or banana boat rides. But, if you are really adventurous, then parasailing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, windsurfing, water skiing and SCUBA diving is the way to go. Baga, Calangute, Candolim and Dona Paula are the main watersports hubs in the state.
4. Global Dining
Apart from partying and beach hopping, Goa is also a great place to satiate your appetite for global flavours. Restaurants in Goa range from fine-dining venues at 5 star hotels and casual beach shacks to quirky cafés and romantic places with candle-lit tables. A similar variety you’d find in the cuisines available: native Goan, Portuguese, Italian, American, Continental, French, Mexican, Oriental, North Indian…you name it, and Goa has it! And, almost every restaurant here serves drinks, which means, ‘Yay’!
If you are on a romantic escapade, be it a date or honeymoon, you have to go on a boat cruise on the Mandovi River. There are day excursions available, but we urge you to opt for the sunset cruise for the best experience. Aboard the boat, you get to enjoy vibrant Goan and Konkani folk performances that would give you an insight into the regional culture like nothing else. To top it all, there would be a choice of drinks, light snacks and delicious dinner too. And, the views of the setting sun, Goa’s coastline and major landmarks while the cool breeze gently kisses you would be the icing on the cake.
6. Walking through Goa’s History and Heritage
Goa’s heritage exhibits a rich intermixing of native, Portuguese and British traditions. While the picturesque forts in Goa take you through the rich history, the various churches (many of those UNESCO-listed) speak of the cultural vibrancy. Make sure you visit the forts at dawn or dusk to see an incredible sight of the orange sun rising or setting behind the azure ocean! Coming to the churches, it is best to visit them during the Mass or evening when these are lavishly decorated with lights of all colours and Christmas trees everywhere.
Every year between November and April, Olive Ridley sea turtles come to nest and lay eggs on Gaglibaga Beach. After coming ashore, the turtles lay hundreds of eggs and bury them in the sand to protect them from predators. After 45-50 days, the eggs hatch and the turtle babies make a dash for the ocean! This is one phenomenon you don’t want to miss, especially if you love animals, find babies cute and appreciate Mother Nature.
We know what you are thinking…”wildlife tours in Goa?” Stop thinking because there are loads of protected territories here, inhabited by animals of all shapes and sizes. Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, and Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary are some of these. A morning safari in winters is the best way to see regional animals and birds in their natural surroundings.
Dolphin spotting is a really fun and leisurely thing to do in Goa. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and finless porpoises are the two primary species you can see swimming, racing away and jumping in and out of the water off the coast of Goa. As the period between October and May carries the greatest possibility of sightings, the New Year is the perfect time to see these. The best places to spot these are Palolem, Coco, Cavelossim, Sinquerim and Morjim beaches. Several agencies organise boat tours in the ocean, allowing you to see them from up close.