Goa beyond the beaches

Goa is beautiful!  It is a perfect blend of Portuguese culture mixed in with Indian culture. The blend is so visible when you travel to each and every place out here.

The beaches and parties are really well known all over the world but there’s much more to explore and to know out here.

If you are still not convinced, here are my few picks to do in Goa



Beyond the beaches, nightlife, and casinos there lies a place called Fontainhas that is less explored in Goa. It’s of my favorite places to visit whenever I’m in Panjim. A walk through here is an absolute must in my opinion if you want a complete Goan experience. The colorful buildings, the architecture, the general feel of the place satisfies the senses. Literally!

So, Fontainhas (or Bairro das Fontainhas, in Portuguese) is an old Latin Quarter. It has the Ourem creek on its east and Altinho hill on its west. The name Fontainhas is derived from ‘Fonte Phoenix’ or the ‘Fountain of Phoenix’, which was essentially a water reservoir constructed during the time of the Portuguese rule. The Fountain of Phoenix can still be seen before proceeding to the Maruti Temple in the Mala area.

Till date it maintains its Portuguese influence, which is visible particularly through its  architecture, which includes narrow and picturesque winding streets, old villas and buildings with beautiful balconies painted in different shades of green, blue or yellow and roofs made of red colored tiles.

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Getting there

Fontainhas is 25km from Goa International Airport and 20km from Tivim Railway Station. The Latin Quarter is best explored on foot. So, I’d recommend you to park your vehicle at a distance and walk through the narrow lanes and explore the place.

Please do carry comfortable footwear if you can, and also rain gear if you are visiting during the monsoon.


  1. Churches in Goa

Goa is known as the ‘Rome of the East’ mostly because of the numerous imposing churches. Here are the top churches in the state you have to visit:

  • Basilica of Bom Jesus


Image credit: Ryan Noronha

One of the most famous churches in Goa is Basilica of Bom Jesus that holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in Old Goa. The Church is really elaborate. Plus, this Church is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. The feeling you visit this place is something else. You definitely need to experience it.

  • Se Cathedral


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This is located in Velha in Old Goa and its one of the largest in Goa, known for its golden bell, which is believed to be one of the best in the world and the largest in Goa.


  • Church of our Lady of Immaculate Conception


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This has got to be the oldest and the most popular churches in Goa. Its been covered in a no of movies. Its situated in the heart of Panaji City near the Municipal Garden. The exterior of the church displays the architectural elements of the baroque style.


  1. River Rafting

If you’re ever in Goa during the monsoon season do try going to river Mhadei  which has a length of 77 kilometres  and 29 kilometres in Karnataka and 52 kilometres in Goa. , which is a great place to experience River Rafting.  This is definitely going to get your adrenaline kicking.

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  1. Spice Tour

Goa’s spice plantation is one beautiful place. It is around 29 kms from Panim to Ponda. It’s a lush green paradise which has spices growing around the area. You don’t just get to see it but actually taste it with the delicious lunch that is served here. The best season to visit this place is between July to March but the monsoon time will truly bring out the beauty of this place.

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  1. Museums in Goa

A museum named Houses of Goa is one sight to behold. It is located just 5 kms from Panjim in Torda. Its built in a unique way and it showcases the various aspects of the Indo-Portuguese homes. This museum explains the various traditions and the unique styles of different Goan Homes.

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Apart from that do check out, Muesuem Of Goa which is Located in the Pilerne Industrial Estate in North Goa, which is an unlikely location for a museum of art but the moment you walk into the museum site, you are transported into a different world altogether.

It’s a three-storey structure with over 16,000 sq ft of space for photographs, paintings and art installations.

If you truly love art in general, this place is right for you.

Image credit: goa.me

by Ryan Noronha