How to Enjoy a Long Weekend in Goa

A former colonial stronghold and a coastal vacation hub for European masses, Goa has been a popular holiday haunt since time immemorial. Blessed with white, sandy beaches and iconic heritage sites the area best known for its seafood and cheap liquor is a holidaymaker’s dream. From engaging in water sports activities to touring historic hotspots, here are some of the must-have experiences in Goa for those who are heading to the beach capital during a long weekend.

1. Secure a Strategic Base

As a crucial aspect in enjoying any holiday in the beach capital of Goa, securing a well-situated rest is imperative for those who wish to spend a memorable long weekend in the coastal hamlet. Whether one selects the Alila Diwa Goa or any of the many similar hotels and Goa resort bases in the former colonial stronghold, it is important to consider the location of the rest. Not only should the hotel provide easy access to cultural and recreational highlights in the area but also make transfers to the same equally efficient as time is of the essence on a short, three-day getaway.

Image Credit: Alila Diwa Goa

2. Discover Old Goa

One of the must-experience tours in Goa is its world heritage tour. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn of Goa’s illustrious past and the years in which the coastal town was under the reign of the Portuguese colonizers. Touring vintage and ancient structures in Old Goa, tourists can get a first- hand look at the iconic museums, bungalows and churches that are part of the area’s rich cultural heritage. Some key stopover points in the tour include the Naval Aviation Museum, the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the engaging Archaeological Museum of Old Goa.

Tanya Dedyukhina, Old Goa — panoramio (1), CC BY 3.0

3. Go Cave Touring

No vacation in Goa would be complete without a tour of its intriguing cave complexes. Occupying pride of place on the banks of some of the town’s finest beaches, the caves not only look-over the sea but are also connected to local folklore and legendary tales in their own right. Some of the most visited caves in Goa include the Lamgau Cave, Rivona Cave and the Arvalem Cave.

Kavya Rastogi, Arvalem Caves Goa, CC BY-SA 4.0

4. Catch a Show

Don’t forget to make the time to catch a truly unique piece of entertainment and Goa culture by attending a “Tiatr” performance in town. Usually conducted in the dialect of Konkani, the theatrical pieces are both hilarious and informative and reflect the social and political issues of the day in Goa as well as subjects the likes of love and infidelity.

Fredericknoronha, Scene from a tiatr (a popular form of Konkani theatre) in Goa, CC BY-SA 3.0

5. Dive Beneath the Blue

Diving enthusiasts should not miss the chance to witness the underwater landscapes off the coast of Goa. Wreck divers will also appreciate the large number of downed ships littering the Goan sea floor. The area around Mormugao Harbour is among the best wreck diving spots in Goa while the lagoon is also infested with fish of a myriad hues.

6. Shop at the Night Markets

One of the most exciting adventures one can enjoy in Goa during a long weekend getaway is shopping in the sprawling night markets in the area. There are several of these nocturnal retail hubs that prop up all around Goa where performances involving jugglers, fire eaters and musicians are also on show. Drop by the Ingo Saturday Night Market which is found in Arpora for the best of both worlds.

Ashwin Kumar from Bangalore, India, The Saturday Night Market (17310074908), CC BY-SA 2.0

7. Sign Up for a Cruise

Casino cruises are not only one of the more fashionable activities one can encounter when in Goa but one of the best ways to enjoy a night of gaming during a long weekend holiday. Although the cruises are not quite what one experiences in Monaco and other gambling hubs such as Las Vegas, Goa’s casino cruises are engaging options for an elegant night out.

8. Enjoy a Beachfront Massage

As one of the most relaxing activities one can enjoy in Goa, signing up for a beachfront massage in Goa is a veritable rite of passage for first time visitors. With countless masseurs offering their services around popular beach hubs in Goa, enjoying a foot rub or a back massage is as easy as hailing a masseuse that fits your budget.