“My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown or favourite place of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience. Today’s guest post is by Lezaan Roos who writes about her favourite Velvet Escapes in Goa, India: the markets and the beaches!
Goa is known for its sandy beaches, flea markets, architecture and abundant natural beauty, all wrapped in a unique and colourful blend of local Konkani and Portuguese culture.
Located in the South-Western part of India and flanked by the Arabian Sea, Goa is one of the smallest states in India with immense coastal splendour.
The former Portuguese colony provides a variety of interesting experiences. The vast majority of visitors on holidays to Goa will get a feel for Goa’s ‘laid back’ lifestyle and versions of its flavoursome food (especially seafood!). There’s something magical about Goa. Not only for travellers, but for locals too and it is definitely one of India’s velvet escapes.
On Wednesdays there is the famous Anjuna Flea Market, also known as the ‘hippie market’. The market was started by the hippies in the early 1980s. They used to gather at the same place in Anjuna where many needy foreigners used to sell or barter items to the locals. The market is still going and thousands of people come from all over Goa, every Wednesday, to buy and sell at this market. Prepare for some serious shopping and bargaining.
Another market not to be missed, is Ingo’s Saturday Night Market. It has a great variety on offer and foodies in particular, would have a wonderful time at this festive and friendly gathering. The market offers everything from interesting drinks to dance, fortune tellers to tattoo artists. The vendors are a mix of local and foreign and items such as junk jewellery, handicrafts, antiques and clothes are on sale. The food is an interesting fusion of East and West and caters for every pallet. The market starts at 6 PM and goes on well into the night until 1-2AM, so plenty of time to sample the Night Market delicacies.
Beaches and parties
After a day of shopping and sampling, you can go relax on one of Goa’s many beaches. The great thing about Goa is that, there’s a beach to suit every mood. The best way to find your pefect escape, is to hop onto a scooter and explore for yourself! Arambol in the North is hippie heaven. It offers interesting courses and activities, from yoga and massaging to cooking classes and meditation. If you head down to Anjuna and Baga, you’re guaranteed to find that beach party that Goa does so well. From there, you can head South, to Palolem, where you will find a bit of everything… Palolem is a blend of of picturesque beach, relaxed atmosphere as well as a few fun parties.
If a touch of luxury is what you’re after, there are plenty of choice in Goa. You don’t have to look too far for five star luxurious, Indian hospitality. The Leela Kempinski and Taj Exotica amongst other five star resorts are located close to the airport and on the beaches between Colva and Benaulim.
Search hotels in Old Goa.
About this week’s guest writer
Lezaan Roos. Former Mumbai expat, current UK expat, originally from sunny Cape Town. Lived, travelled and worked in India for over a year. People, cultural diversity, architecture, photography, and history are all things that are close to my heart. The best way to experience all of these elements at the same time, is through traveling. This is my passion. I’ve travelled extensively throughout India, Africa, New Zealand and Europe and this is what I write about mostly on my blog Axpet Travels.
Read other “My Velvet Escape travel tips“.
Goa is really an amazing place and there are a lot more things than just beaches and late-night parties. Thinking of revisiting Goa again with my friends ?
I completely agree with Lezaan – there’s something magical about Goa that has made me go back many, many times.
Hehe, thank you for your comment Maria. Hope you make it to Goa soon.
I would love to visit Goa and you almost make me want to book my trip 🙂
Thanks for your comment Nico! I would love to visit Goa one day. A big thank you to Lezaan for writing this fab post! 🙂
I adore Goa. A fantastic place to decompress after bumping and shoving your way through the north of the country. And the beaches are just as good as they are anywhere in the world. Rent a simple cocohut for the same amount per night as a grande caramel latte at Starbucks.
I think the hippie population is a direct result of the laid back lifestyle there – it’s really really difficult to leave after spending even a short time there. Time just slips away, I’m sure even if you’ve been there half a decade. Some of those guys have!
Sounds like a very interesting place 🙂 Would love to go to Goa one day.
@Lezaan Roose: How are the people there in India? Are they warm and inviting? I haven’t been hearing good things about India but I do know that the place is interesting 🙂