Eat, drink & be merry

The holiday season is over but the season of freaking out is not. There are many places, which allure the tourists with their many charms. However, if there’s one destination that firmly ticks every travel box and keeps holidaymakers happily returning year after year, it’s Goa. And it’s not hard to see why. On the mainland you’ve got the full works – landscapes, beaches, and chic city life – while the nearby places offer a more condensed version of Goa with some of the best holiday experiences you could ever wish for. From city breaks in Panjim and beach getaways in North & South Goa to jungle safaris in the wildlife reserves, there’s simply no end to the variety of Goan holidays on offer.

It’s the perfect escape and a chance to catch up with family & friends, chill out with your gang of girls by the pool, soak up some much-needed sunshine and enjoy night outs in its bubbly bars. Even senior citizens can have a great time with folks their age. Others take to the jungles for nature trails & walks in Goa’s lush forests, while some jet off for sights and shopping.

Whatever you fancy and wherever you choose to go, there’s a Goan hotspot with your name on it. This sun-drenched beauty serves up just about every holiday experience imaginable. You’ve got pristine beaches with golden sands and serene waters, soul-stirring townships with ancient churches, glorious scenery, rolling countryside, and acre upon acre of coconut plantations… Does it get much better than this?

Versatility is certainly high on the list of plus points for Goa, but it doesn’t stop at the mainland. Goa is a land of amazing contrasts. Of tangible and intangible heritage; of human endeavour and natural wonders; of music and stillness. No other place in the world lets you discover so many worlds in the space of a few hours: outside you and inside you! Flanked by the Arabian Sea on the West and the imposing Sahyadri mountains on the East, the Goan landscape rises from sea-level to a towering 1022 metres. Several rivers crisscross the state and add to its natural beauty.

Of course there are numerous great ways of relaxing in Goa. A sure way is to have a can of beer with a fish platter. The fried fish tantalize your taste buds. Couple it with rice and fish-curry, and you have got the best combo to talk the night away with your loved ones. If you can drag yourself away from the beaches, and Goan food, you deserve kudos. It’s not just the food, it’s the way the Goans eat, making each meal an occasion to relax with family, watch the world go by and take time to enjoy a break. The cuisine of Goa is a delicious reflection of its history and heritage. It is influenced by its Hindu origins, four hundred years of Portuguese colonialism, and modern techniques. No other cuisine in India can claim such contrasting influences. Seafood, coconut milk, rice, and local spices are main ingredients of Goan cuisine. Being a state with a tropical climate, the spices and flavours are intense. Use of kokum is another distinct feature. Goan food is considered incomplete without fish. Rice and fish-curry is the staple of most Goans. Taste it once and you will know why! Kingfish is the most common delicacy. Others include Pomfret, Shark, Tuna and Mackerel. Among the shellfish are Crabs, Prawns, Tiger Prawns, Lobster, Squid and Mussels. The Portuguese have had a pronounced influence on Goan cuisine. They introduced Potatoes, Tomatoes, Pineapples, Guavas and Cashews. But the most significant contribution is the introduction of the spicy Peri-Peri Chilli, which is the most important part of Goan spices. And we are still only scratching the surface of what makes Goa such a great place to visit. Its interesting history and culture, with an abundance of temples & churches, offer plenty for the culture lovers. And then we have the events & the fests –Goa Food & Cultural Festival, Goa Carnival, Shigmo Festival or the Gulalotsav, Goa International Travel Mart, Sao Joao… are all incredible to experience. And how can we forget the water sports! Adventure enthusiasts may like to participate in numerous water sports at the popular Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and Vagator beaches. Scuba diving, jet skiing, para-sailing, motorboat and water-scooter ride or a cruise – take your pick and explore the waters of Goa.

If you are not too keen on adventure then worry not, as there are numerous options for you to enjoy the beauty of Goa! Take leisurely strolls on the beach, or just sit and relax as you enjoy spectacular views of sun set. Shop till you drop at the Wednesday market on the Anjuna beach that is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Shop for souvenirs like handicraft items, decorative candles, wood carvings, gems and jewellery among other things or buy colourful sarongs with nature inspired designs. So whether you’re into a holiday of adventure, cultural activities or you’re just after some relaxing fun in the sun, Goa is certainly a knock-out contender. So, get planning your Goan holiday right away.

Team Veena World