Tourism in Goa is thriving, thanks to its beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, amazing architecture and beautiful churches. Goa boasts a host of irresistible attractions and it is one of those few places that literally has something for everyone. Top travel sites such as Ice Lolly offer some outstanding deals to the smallest, but most exquisite state of India, with its coastline on the Arabian Sea.
Splendor and diversity
Goa never ceases to amaze visitors with the diversity of it natural beauty where the glorious beaches give way to spice plantations and meandering rivers which become scenic waterfalls. The rich culture and heritage of the country is evident in the ancient buildings which include museums, churches and forts. The top attractions here are as vast and varied as the country itself and you will find yourself returning time and time again to revisit old favorites or discover new ones.
Big Foot Museum
With the official title of the Ancestral Goa Museum, this grand old lady of history is situated near Margao, and is a showcase for a vast array of life sized statues and structures which depict the culture and traditions of old Goa.
Fort Aguada This fort was constructed around 4 centuries ago to protect Goa from enemies (The British). They prevented ships from entering the river Mandovi and this fort was the first line of defence by the then ruling Portuguese. It was fully equipped with ammunition and barracks and remains a major part of the history of Goa.
Basilica de Born Jesus
This is one of the most famous, and visited, attractions in Goa. Built approximately 400 years ago, it is famed for housing the remains of St Francis Xavier, who is generally believed to be one of the patron saints of Goa. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica is located in Old Goa, which was the capital under the aforementioned Portuguese rule.
Salim Ali bird sanctuary This outstanding attraction is situated on Chorao Island and is a veritable paradise whether you have a love of our feathered friends or not. Some of the rarest and most exotic birds in the world can be found here and while you may not know all their names, their beauty is awe inspiring.
There are several of these dotted around Goa and it is well worth taking the time out to pay them a visit. If you thought that all spices came in a jar this is a chance to see them as nature intended. Guided tours are an excellent way to visit these plantations and at the end of the tour you can enjoy a delicious lunch traditionally served on a banana leaf. Some of the best spice plantations to visit are Savoi Plantation, Pascoal Spice Village and the Tropical Spice Plantation.
Originally started by hippies in order to exchange their used goods with those belonging to others, flea markets are now a huge part of the culture of Goa. These flea markets are like no other and are a social event in themselves. Have a meal, enjoy a drink then browse the stalls for junk jewelry, Tibetan crafts, antiques, Kashmiri handicrafts and much more.
The Butterfly Conservatory of Goa
This is a lovely idea that has become one of the major tour attractions of Goa. Set in lush countryside, this conservatory was set up by Dr Jyoti Hebleker and her husband Yashodan, an eco aware couple who wanted to do their bit for the fragile ecosystem of their country. Located in Ponda, nicknamed the town of spice and temples, a walk through the part is a veritable replication of visiting a rainforest. There are literally thousands of butterflies here, including several rare and endangered species, and if you only have time to visit one nature attraction during your time in Goa, make it this one.