India is one huge country and to find a peaceful place is easier said than done. Also in Goa, the smallest state in India, you have parts with the typical, busy Indian feeling, so you need to buckle up to find Zen-mode. But when you first get there, aah, you forget about the hazzle all together.
Places to go in Goa
It’s so much to do and so many places to go in Goa. State of Goa is the smallest in all of India, located in the middle of the west coast, by the Indian Ocean. Even though it’s the smallest state in India, Goa is expansive and offers so much to do and see. Here are three of my favorites from my trips to Goa:
Cola Beach is located in the southern part of Goa. This is a hidden treasure and an absolute must when you visit Goa. It’s located just before you arrive in Palolem, about 3 hours from Anjuna. You will need to park the car at the top of the hill, and hike down for about 15 minutes. It’s a pretty steep pathway, so don’t bring to much luggage. Prepare to be blown away!
Daytrip to Duhdsagar Falls, India’s second largest waterfall, about one hour drive from Anjuna. After a 45 minute bumpy Jeep ride up the hill and another 10 minute hike, you will finally arrive at the waterfall. On your hike down to the waterfall, you will probably have the pleasure of encountering some small monkeys. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake under the waterfall.
I also recommend visiting Sahyadri Spice Farm, located in Collem in the southern part of Goa, about one hour from Anjuna. Here you can enjoy a tour around the Spice Farm where the guide teach you the original stories about the spices we use every day.
Anjuna Beach is a huge, elongated and pretty crowded beach. To get a sunbed and umbrella, you need to be an early bird. At this beach you can find everything; beach parties, families, beach sellers, small shops, cows (of course you are in India) and a lot of restaurants and cafés.
Morijim Beach is a similar sized beach as Anjuna, but with much less tourists. It’s located at the outlet of the Chapora River in the northern part of Goa, about 30 minutes drive from Anjuna. Look for turtle tracks in the sand!
Where to eat and drink in Anjuna, Goa
I always find one café or restaurant I never get tired of, and it becomes my favorite place right away. In Goa, Om Made Café was this kind of place for me. They serve refreshing juices and smoothies (the freshest fruit of the season) and healthy, tasteful breakfast and lunch. It’s located on Anjuna Beach, but pretty secluded on the right side of the beach. Relaxing music and atmosphere with a stunning view overlooking the Indian ocean.
- Breakfast at Marthas Breakfast Home– cute, little family who serves breakfast in their garden
- Spanish tapas at La Tomatina, Anjuna
- Delicious Italian food at Restaurant Basilicio, Anjuna – book a table in advance they’re very popular
- Spectacular three course dinner at Le Poission Rouge, Calagute Beach – French/Indian restaurant about 15 minutes drive from Anjuna (same owners as Om Made Café)
- Cocktails at sunset from the balcony at Sunset Bar, Anjuna Beach
Where to stay when you visit Goa
Even though Goa is the smallest state in India, you have parts with the typical, busy Indian feeling, so you need to buckle up to find Zen-mode. Anjuna is a good base in the Goa region, if you plan to travel to the areas in the northern and southern part. I recommend devoting your money on a nice hotel (at least 4 stars, preferably 5), because the standards can be pretty low in India in general.
If there is something that I want to emphasize, it is the need to stay for a couple of days in a bungalow facing the Indian Ocean on Cola Beach. Waking up to the sound of the ocean and watching dolphins at sunrise is a memory for a life time.