Goa’s unsung beauty lies beyond the touristy, conventional and the obvious. So, when we have all the time to discover our own country, why not discover its humble places, savour local food, and consider checking out lesser-known spots while we travel slow? By Ruchi Jain
As tourists, Goa is an untrammelled scenic odyssey to soak in the sun, sand and sea. But if one prefers quiet and offbeat places beyond the popular locations, Goa is yet to be ticked. The state’s enchanting landscape dotted with lush palms is spruced up with spice plantations, tremendous natural beauty, picture-perfect stays, and silent beaches. So, consider going beyond the ordinary and explore Goa like a local.
1. Arambol Sweet Water Lake
Arambol Sweet Water Lake is the only freshwater lake on the beach strip. To visit, head to Arambol beach and take a 15-minute walk to the picturesque spot. When here, you can explore the pristine North Goan beaches—Ashvem, Mandrem and Morjim. Head to Dennis Falafel, which serves decadent falafels and mezze platters. You’ll also find narrow streets lined with clothes, home decor items, dream catchers, etc. Satiate your thirst for adventure with a dip in the lake or a mud bath priced at INR 100. Most of all, the place will remind you that the world is full of incredible things.
2. Vedatmana by the Waves, Morjim
Vedatmana By The Waves at Morjim lies away from the chaos and in the lap of nature. Located on one of the more tranquil beaches of Goa, this villa overlooks the silent beach. Designed for comfort and luxury, Vedatmana lulls you into utmost relaxation. This six-room villa has a swimming pool and a bar where you can make your own drinks. When here, catch the sunset by the pool, hear the sea waves lapping to the shores, and indulge in home-cooked meals at the rooftop dining space.
3. Sahakari Spice Farm, Ponda
The Sahakari Spice Farm is a hearty revelation. Located just two kilometres away from Ponda near Curti village, this place offers elephant rides and houses a spice garden that grows everything from saffron to cardamom. The farm experience begins with a warm welcome by the locals or farm associates and ends with a delicious Indian lunch paired with the state’s famous cashew feni to complete the rural experience. Don’t forget to grab some organic lemongrass sticks for a fragrant cup of green tea while you leave.
4. The Black Sheep Bistro, Panaji
Picture local produce in an urban platter! The restaurant uses season’s best ingredients and fuses it with delicious seafood, vegetables, and meats to support local farms and fisheries. Their farm-to-table philosophy makes the experience planet-friendly.
5. Aunty Maria, Panaji
Head to Aunty Maria for some fresh, homemade bread, cakes, chocolates and cookies. Grab a cuppa to unwind in this cosy café, or indulge in your favourite patisserie, savouries and tiny bites to satiate hunger pangs amid homely environs.