South Goa is one among the two districts of Goa state. Bounded by Karnataka, North Goa and Arabian Sea, this region has many entrancing beaches, churches, museums, temples and of course adventure sports.
Budget: Rs.2700 per head including food, sightseeing, night stay, transport
Points of Interest
Located at about 9 kms west of Margao towards Arabian Sea, this place is usually crowded with party loving people. At the beach, Full Moon parties are famous and are organized at every Full Moon night. Here, you can also enjoy Dolphin sightings early in the morning.
- It will cost you around Rs.200 to Rs.250 per person in the cruise.
- You can reach Colva through Auto, Bus or bikes that are available on rent at reasonable prices.
Just 5 kms south of Colva is the Benaulim town. Beautiful beach with Palms and coconut trees along with sea-food attract every Goa visitor to see this beach town. Here also, Dolphin sighting can be enjoyed in the morning. The prices may vary depending upon the beaches for dolphin sighting.
- Prices start from Rs.200 and onwards.
- You can reach here through bus, auto or your rent bike.
Vasco Da Gama
Located 20 kms north of Colva along the coastal line, this place is named after Portuguese explorer. Baina Beach is the main attraction here.
- You can enjoy snorkelling here having a price of about Rs.1200 per person.
- You can hire bus or cab to reach here.
This place is famous for those who are about to attend their flights or just have landed in Goa. This place is a refreshing point for such people as it is just 4 kms away from the Goa Airport of Dabolim. Scuba diving is the famous sports here.
Shanta Durga Temple
Shri Shantadurga Temple located in Kavalem village is actually a private temple. It is 30 kms north of Vasco Da Gama. This temple is considered among the richest temples of Goa and during Navaratri, festival is organized here.
Famous restaurants to take bite:
Goan, Konkani, Portuguese, Continental Vegetarian, Non-vegetarian and sea-food meals are easily available in restaurants here.
- Joecons Garden Restaurant, Benaulim – multi-cuisine restaurant
- Zeebop By The Sea, Utorda – a romantic restaurant for couples
- Fisherman’s Wharf Cavelossim, Cavelossim – especially for seafood lovers.
- Mitasha’s Restaurant, Navelim – multi-cuisine restaurant
- Martin’s Corner Restaurant, Betalbatim – wide variety of cuisines
Where to stay:
South Goa has a large variety of budget as well as luxury hotels because of its national and international tourists. The price range of budget rooms starts from 500 INR here.
- Hotel Raviraj
- Hotel Kamat Milan & Lodge
- Hotel Shree Damodar
- Hotel Saaj
- Hotel Grand Liz
- Hotel Green View
- Hotel Odet’s
- Hotel Panchsheel
- Hotel La Flor
- Hotel Poonam
Best time to visit: The best time to visit South Goa is between November to March. During this time, the weather will be dry with cool breeze blowing calmly. All the facilities like trekking, adventure sports, restaurants are open for business during this time.
How to reach here:
Margao (or Madgaon) is the administrative headquarters of South Goa district. Located at about 35 kms south of Panaji, Madgaon is commercial capital of Goa having one of the busiest railway station of South India.
- By Train: Railway connectivity to major distant cities is available from Madgaon junction. Also, free wifi service is available at this station.
- By Road: Kadamba State Transport Corporation works in North Goa and South Goa for managing inter-state buses. KTC Bus stand at Margao which is 1 km from Madgaon Railway station have regular buses to cities of North Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Shuttle bus service runs between Panjim to Margao at Rs.40 only. And, Margao to Vasco at Rs.37 only.
- By Air: Dabolim Airport is the only airport of Goa that manages all National and International flights. Located at about 25 kms north-west of Margao, this airport has direct flights for major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Moscow, Sharjah, Kuwait, Dubai, Muscat, etc.
Additional Interesting Facts:
- Konkani is the mother tongue for the native people of South Goa. However, other languages like Marathi, English and Hindi are also spoken among people. A small segment of people here speaks Portuguese too.
- If you wish to explore pilgrimage sites through bus, then KTC offers a pilgrimage package called ‘Ashtavinayak Tours’. You can book this package at KTC Bus stand. The cost of this package is Rs.2500 per person. Total distance of this trip will be 1600 km and about 8 temples of Maharashtra will be covered in this package.
- Two-wheeler vehicles like Honda Activa, Royal Enfield, Bajaj Pulsar, etc. are available on rent for the convenience of tourists at prices starting from Rs.250/day during off-season. During peak season, the prices start from nearly Rs.400/day. So, better you keep your Driving License along with you to enjoy rides here.
- Vasco-da-Gama is infamous for its crimes. Even a red-light area of Goa is also existing here. So, beware and remain alert whenever you are exploring this town.
- Goa is not only full of beaches, churches but also a shopping destination. You can find here colourful markets in Palolem beach and Colva beach where clothes, jhola bags, accessories, flip-flops are available at cheap prices.
- Feni is a kind of liquor that is produced especially in Goa. Cashew Feni (kaju feni) and Coconut Feni are prepared mostly among which ‘Kaju Feni’ is most popular. So, whenever you visit Goa, then you must try ‘Kaju Feni’.
PS: This trip was taken in December 2014.