Goa’s Prettiest Rural Holiday Destinations - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Goa’s Prettiest Rural Holiday Destinations

Goa's Prettiest Rural Holiday Destinations

I am sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘There is more to Goa than its beaches’ in your travel circles. I completely agree with it. There are many amazing experiences to be had in Goa apart from its gorgeous coastline and pristine beaches. Like, for example, Goa is one of India’s best monsoon destinations. I had recently written an article on ‘5 best monsoon experiences to be had in offbeat Goa’. Now, that the monsoon season is over and the peak winter season is fast approaching, I want to talk about another side of Goa that is as beautiful and charming as its beaches. They showcase true Goa. They are Goan villages. And the best part is that they won’t be as crowded as the beaches.

Here is the list of Goa’s prettiest villages that make for fabulous rural holiday destinations.

1) Aldona

Bread making the local way at Aldona, Goa

Aldona is like a gem in the crown of Goa tourism. With a mix of hills, dense tree cover, rivers and backwaters, this peaceful village is as beautiful as it gets. Along with its scenic setting, it is known for its white church with white cemetery, creatively built houses, cable bridges, stone bridge, its old world charm and laidback lifestyle. All you need here is a bicycle, a camera and a place to stay and you will end up having one of the best rural holidays of your life.

Top Attractions: Corjeum fort, 16th century St. Thomas church

2) Assagao

Rural holiday destinations in Goa

Known as the flower village of Goa due to its rich Marigold production, Assagao also happens to be one of Goa’s most trendy villages with up and coming neighbourhoods. Located in the hills of North Goa, it is a tiny little village that is known for its beautiful streets, cashew groves, elegant colonial villas with pretty gardens and Portuguese era churches. It is the perfect base for those who love the beaches of North Goa, but wish to stay in a quiet setting away from flea markets and parties.

Top Attractions:
Birdwatching, Cashew groves, Some of Goa’s best cafes and restaurants, 18th century St. Cajetan church

3) Saligao

Farming in Saligao, Goa

This tiny green village of Saligao in North Goa is known for its maze like tiny pathways that connect the houses with paddy fields and coconut plantations. It is the perfect place to go to if reading or writing is on your agenda or if you just want to stay away from all the urban noise and modern day life.

Top Attractions: The Florentine restaurant, Mae de Deus church

4) Chorao

A paradise for photographers and birdwatchers, Chorao is an island on the Mandovi river. It is most famous for Dr Salim Ali bird sanctuary that is home to mangrove forests and a rich array of flora and fauna. Apart from this lush habitat, it is made up of 3 sleepy villages, a fort in ruins, churches and temples. A highly recommended place for all nature lovers.

Top Attractions: Birdwatching and mangrove forests, 16th century St Bartholomew church

5) Chandor

Church at Loutolim, Goa

This sleepy village of South Goa was once Goa’s ancient capital between the 6th and the 11th centuries when the Kadamba dynasty ruled Goa. Located by the confluence of the Kushavati and Zuari rivers, Chandor tells you great stories about Goa’s pre-portuguese era and how it was a wealthy and important trade hub. Examples of its rich past can be seen in the remnants of a 11th century temple, a Nandi statue and a fort. Even older inscriptions have been found here. In simple words, it is loaded with history and a perfect rural destination for all those history lovers.

Top Attractions: 350 year old Menezes Braganza Pereira house

6) Nerul

Fishing communities are big in Nerul

This coastal village, tucked right in the middle of the estuaries of the Mandovi and the Nerul rivers and the densely forested hills, is a sight for sore eyes. It’s rich alluvial soil makes it the vegetable basket of Goa. Groundnuts, sweet potatoes, watermelons and coconuts can be found in abundance here. With the ocean, rivers, backwaters and hills all in close proximity, one is spoilt for choice in terms of activities to do here. Fishing and kayaking are the most popular things to do here, apart from indulging in fresh seafood and living the laidback rustic Goan life.

Top Attractions: Coco beach, 16th century Our Lady of Remedies Church, Fishing, Kayaking, Seafood

7) Loutolim

Big Foot Museum, Loutolim, Goa

This South Goan village is a perfect blend of beautiful Goan architecture and lush green nature. Bordering the Zuari river, Loutolim is made up of gorgeous looking contemporary Portuguese houses with baroque windows and large verandahs and green paddy fields. The highlight of this village has to be its palatial homes with exquisite interiors and wooden furniture. It becomes even more special when you stay at one of these places and watch the world go by from its wraparound verandahs.

Top Attractions: Figueredo Mansion, Casa Araujo Alvares, Jila Bakery, 16th century Saviour of the world church, Ancestral Goa and the Bigfoot museum

Now that you have seen this list of Goa’s best villages, all you now have to worry is how to reach Goa. Are you taking a flight to Panjim, opting for the scenic Konkan railway route or are you keen on doing a full-on Goan road trip. The choice is purely yours. Irrespective of the mode of transportation, these pretty little villages of Goa will bowl you over with their architecture, culture, natural beauty and rustic life. It is a unique way to spend your next holiday in Goa.

Photo Courtesy: Some of the photographs in this article are courtesy of wikipedia.org and have been borrowed under the Creative Commons license. Each photograph has been linked to its host page on wikipedia.org.

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