Category : India
The month of July’18 was booked to explore Goa differently. For it meant to see Goa like I’ve never seen before. Touristy places are touristy for a reason. But what happens when it’s off-season in Goa? What do travelers do in Goa in monsoon? What to expect from a place popular for its party and beaches in the month of July when it rains every single day, every single minute?
Goa in monsoon unfolds itself into a story of multiple genres. Every part of Goa has a different tale that speaks for itself! I visited South, North and Panjim (basically mid-Goa) during the month of July. My aim was to cover as much as possible, explore as much as possible, see as much as possible, irrespective of it not being ‘popular’. I wandered as per my heart and not google this time. This means I didn’t read reviews of any place. Instead, I just went there and checked them out myself. Now, for all my next trips, this is going to be my approach! Accommodation being an exception, though.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN GOA IN MONSOON?
- Two things that you should expect from Goa in monsoon – no party and no blue water. Areas like Titos Lane and Baga beach are happening but that’s really not my kind of scene. If you’re visiting Goa this time of the year, get ready to see a different side of Goa – a less happening and a more peaceful side.
- Dirty beaches. June, July and August are months when you’ll find majority of Indians in Goa. We Indians are known for the lack of civic sense. It’s quite evident at Baga beach! 😀
- You can’t swim due to high tide. On smaller beaches like butterfly beach in South, the sand isn’t visible as the water touches the shore. I’ve never seen water touching the boundaries of the cafes in Anjuna. The sea gets rough af.
- Don’t expect a budget trip. Comparing it with on-season rates, flights and hotels are definitely cheaper but rest everything remains the same. I always end up spending the most on travel. Taxis in Goa are always a rip-off! The cost of renting a car or scooty is also the same around the year.
- The lushness. I’ve never seen Goa so green! I don’t know if it’s just me or the colors appear more saturated when the sky is grey.
- In July, it rains every day. You can’t escape rains, instead welcome it with open arms. 😀
- Shacks are mostly shut. I’ve listed down below the ones that would be open and are worth going. Beaches in South Goa like Palolem has 2-3 shacks open. (the ones constructed on a platform) Agonda is all shut! If you go way south i.e. Talpona where I stayed for 4 days, everything is shut. It is when locals come to the rescue! 😀 Although, same is the case with beaches like Morjim and Arambol in the North.
CAFES AND RESTAURANTS OPEN IN GOA IN MONSOON
Here is a list of restaurants and cafes that are my personal favorite and are open all around the year.
- Café Lilliput – Anjuna – go there for a pint of beer and pizza by the beach
- Artjuna – Anjuna – artsy décor, vegan food, and shopping
- Curlies – Anjuna – beach, beer and fish!!!
- Baba Au Rhum – Anjuna – a breezy and open décor, the best French food in Goa
- Thalassa – Little Vagator – a greek taverna with a lovely ambiance
- Antares – Little Vagator – excellent ambiance and vibe
- Pink Chilli – Arpora – bollywood themed funky setup, local Indian and Goan food
- Martin’s Corner – Salcette – known for the best Goan food
- Silver Sth – Palolem – I’ve completely forgotten the name but that’s the only shack open in the middle of Palolem beach, serves the best pizza, classic cocktails at INR 200.
- Bombay Coffee Roasters – Palolem, Panjim, Vagator – coffee at its best.
- Desbue – Panjim – European fine dining in the Portuguese quarter
- The Verandah – Panjim – Goan food at a quaint heritage property
- Café Bodega – Panjim – for pancakes and relaxing atmosphere in a typical Goan setting
THINGS TO DO IN GOA IN MONSOON (DON’T MISS THEM)
You should not miss the not so majestic forts in Goa in monsoon. Forts in Goa are merely ruins from the past and should be visited only for the views it provide and not the architecture! The rains make the landscape even more magnificent, I swear!
CHAPORA FORT – NORTH GOA
AGUADA FORT – NORTH GOA
CABO DE RAMA FORT – SOUTH GOA
Another facet of Goa worth exploring is the Fontainhas in Panjim. The history of Goa goes way back and can be experienced in this old Latin Quarter of Goa. The colorful Portugese colony transports you to a part of Goa that is totally different from the rest. A walk through the narrow winding lanes flanked by lambently colored houses is not only a treat to the eyes but a whimsical experience one should not miss.
I loved this area so much that I stayed in this quaint quarter for a couple of days. Since Fontainhas has been recognized as Unesco World Heritage site, a lot of old homes have been converted into beautiful guest houses. I stayed at the Old Quarter Hostel, which is the best option for budget travelers in Fontainhas.
Don’t forget to try beer at Joseph Bar. It looks really shady but is quite popular among both tourists and locals as it serves beer till late at night. Also, the famous Immaculate Conception Church of Goa is walking distance from this colony.
I cease to understand why but locals and agencies will always say that Dudhsagar is closed during monsoon, but it’s not true. Even the official Goa Tourism website promotes Dudhsagar in monsoon. However, the only way to see the falls is by trek. Jeep safaris or motorbikes are closed during the monsoon season. The only access is via the railway track and I can assure you that will be one of the most scenic routes you’ve ever walked on.
The good part is that it’s not steep and you can complete it in 3 hours. I’ve answered all the questions about the Dudhsagar trek in monsoon here.
Needless to say and very obvious, you have to rent a bike and enjoy the rains. Buy a plastic body cover from any local shop, hop on to your bike and simply wander. Not that you won’t get wet, but you gotta save yourself as much as you can. Use transparent plastic zip pouches which you already have at home or get while shopping online to put your phone and navigate alongside.
One of the most beautiful roads in Goa is Parra. Flanked by palm trees, it’s like a road taken straight out of a movie!
If you go more towards the South, you’ll witness the rice fields in their finest form. It is a breath-taking sight!
WHERE TO STAY IN GOA IN MONSOON
South Goa has lots of options ranging from backpacker’s hostel, luxury resorts and uber cool Airbnbs. I’d never suggest you to stay at a hostel in South during monsoons. Monsoons are more for staycations, and South Goa is known for it! I stayed in Canacona and I absolutely loved my Airbnb. It was next to a river, completely isolated from the bustle of the city and markets, and devoid of tourists. I guess I saw just one tourist around that area now that I try recalling. Everything is anyway far in Goa and you can rent a car simply any where. So, why not opt for a more secluded, offbeat and a beautiful property instead? Take a look at the property here. You can avail INR 2200 of travel credit if you sign up using this link on Airbnb.
North Goa again has lots of options to choose from. Independent villas, Airbnbs, hostels, etc. Consider staying around Baga and Calangute area if you want to stay near the happening zone. 😛 Else, I always consider Anjuna and Vagator. My favorite remains Pappi Chulo in Vagator – one of the coolest hostels in Goa.
Panjim has a bucket of options but stay only in the Fontainhas area if you wish to experience the Portuguese vibes. A budget friendly option is the hostel I stayed at, the Old Quarter by thehostelcrowd. You can choose between Welcome Heritage Panjim Inn and La Maison Fontainhas for a more comfortable stay. Both of them are well-located and have elegant buildings.
BOTTOMLINE – SHOULD I VISIT GOA IN MONSOON?
If you have the ability and the will to explore Goa from a different eye, yes, go for it. But if you are hunting for parties and water sports, I’m sorry it will disappoint you. Happy travels!!!
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