Known for its beaches and susegado, Goa is also great if you want to get a bit of activity in. And the best part? There’s something for every level of fitness.
For an adventurous break
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
Adrenaline junkies can kayak through mangrove-fringed backwaters or dive off cliffs in Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. If taking a leap isn’t your thing, explore North Goa on a cycling tour or try your hand (sorry, body) at stand-up paddle boarding.
A moderate-risk activity, canyoning involves trekking, abseiling, and making your way through open waters on the 3km-long Upper Sauri Canyoning trail at Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary with Goa Jungle Adventure. Just let go of your abseil and dive in at the end!
STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is simpler than traditional surfing, especially on gentle waters. And Otter’s Creek in Ashwem is perfect for this. In addition to SUP,
Vaayu Ocean Adventures (open Nov— May) also organises kite-surfing and lagoon excursions.
Take a cycling tour of North Goa with Goa Nature Trails. The 15km trail will take you over gravelly tracks and jungle paths, tough-to-navigate slopes, as well as smooth city roads. There’s a pit-stop at the Aguada Fort to let you take in great views, and the tour ends at a restaurant.
Combining elements of surfing, paragliding and wake-boarding, kite-surfing sure is no piece of cake. But once you’ve perfected the art with Yogi Kiting at Morjim Beach, this extreme sport is bound to enthrall you.
Gentler than sea kayaking, a kayaking trip on the Sal River backwaters with Goa Kayaking covers a 5km distance. You may spot egrets, kingfishers and cormorants on the way.
Take a boat trip with John’s Boat Tours on the Cumbarjua Canal to try and meet a few of the large croc population that hides in the mangrove-laden banks. There are a few avian species to be spotted too.
Goa’s Dabolim International Airport is very well connected to Indian cities. Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Vistara fly to Goa from Mumbai and New Delhi.
WHEN TO GO
Tourist season begins in October and runs till April. This is the best time to visit if you want to truly make the most of the adventure activities Goa has to offer; a lot of them aren’t available through the monsoon.
SANTOSH BEACH RESTAURANT
Located on Turtle Beach, this simple establishment reportedly comes recommended by none other than celebrity chef Jamie Oliver! What you must try here is the seafood – ask for the catch of the day.
Natti’s Naturals is a retail store that also boasts an organic café. The food is all prepared fresh. If you’re a health food fiend, you’ll love the Veggie Salad Rice Bowl, a brown rice preparation that comes with a pumpkin hummus or a burnt aubergine dip.
This eatery, located at Vaayu Village, serves healthy organic fare. Right from salads and crepes to sandwiches and curries, the menu features wholesome choices. The Jamaican Mango and Rum Curry comes recommended, as does the Raw Chocolate Mousse, which uses raw cacao, making the dish a healthy dessert option.
Located in North Goa, Vaayu Waterman’s Village in Ashwem has air-conditioned cottages on offer, ideal for unwinding in after a day filled with activity.
If you’re looking for atmospheric accommodation in the capital, Panjim Inn in Fontainhas is a choice pick. A heritage mansion dating back to the 19th century, the property offers a total of 24 rooms. The staff is friendly and the service efficient.
La Mangrove is the perfect base from which to go canyoning in Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. Just a few minutes away from Galgibag Beach (also known as Turtle Beach) towards the deep south of Goa, this eco-friendly property offers rooms in the form of classy teepees done up with minimalist wooden furniture. What’s better, it’s situated right by the river and offers absolute privacy.