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One of my first long haul travel adventures was to Goa with my best friend. We spent 1 week in Goa and we had an amazing time. It was a great (and somewhat tame compared to the rest of India) introduction to the country for two 21 year old girls who had never before been to Asia!
In this post I will give you a brief overview of our Goa travel itinerary.
Goa travel itinerary
The journey to Goa
We booked a package holiday on Travel Supermarket to Goa via Bahrain.
Bahrain was an interesting experience. We had to disembark the aircraft, walk through the airport and then board again. I guess this was something to do with customs, but I won’t pretend to know why we did this. The airport was filled with men wearing red and white robes. I had never seen men dressed this way before.
This was my very first introduction to The Middle East. Little did I know at the time how extensively I would travel the area in years to come.
Beach time in Goa
Many people who travel to Goa, particularly those who book a package holiday, will choose to spend the majority of their time at the beach.
The beaches of Goa are beautiful. We were staying in Calangute, one of the main tourist areas. Our hotel was very close to the beach so we did spend a couple of days relaxing.
The sand is really soft. It was softer than any sand I had ever stepped on in Europe!
There are lots of beach bars along the beach. As long as you buy a drink, you are entitled to use the sun loungers in front of the beach bar all day long. The staff were great and would bring you food and drinks when ever you want, right to your sun lounger. At the time, this was a luxury that I had never experienced- I was loving life in Goa!
Shopping in Goa
My travels to Goa brought with it my first ever haggling experience!
We visited the famous Anjuna market and I bought a couple of dresses and a pashmina (which I still have now-over ten years later!). Whilst I’m sure that my husband would think my haggling skills pitiful (because he always does), I was very happy with my bargain purchases this day.
I also loved the atmosphere at the market. Having done most of my travels until this point in Europe, I had never seen a market quite like it. The hustle and bustle, the smells of incense, the men shouting ‘it’s as cheap as Asda!’ were all new, wonderful experiences!
Nightlife in Goa
At age 21 I was big into the nightlife scene and my week of travels in Goa was no exception.
Every night we would go out for dinner followed by a few bars. On one night we made it to a club, but personally, I preferred the beach bars where I could sip a cocktail whilst listening to the sounds of the waves.
We were in Goa for New Years Eve, which was fantastic. We partied on the beach until the early hours of the morning, dancing around a fire and watching fireworks.
Waterfall in Goa
We didn’t want to lay on the beach doing nothing every day. So we took a taxi to a nearby waterfall for some exploring.
Here we swam with HUGE fish in a FREEZING cold waterfall (Dudhsagar Falls). We fed monkeys, although you probably aren’t allowed to do this now as the country is now more sustainable tourism conscious. We were almost bitten by a snake. It was a fun and eventful day!
Culture in Goa
During our 1 week in Goa we wanted to experience some of the local culture.
I had never been to India and I wanted to get a taste for the country. Whilst I will admit that Goa is rather tame in comparison to the rest of India, it was a nice introduction to the developing world for my 21 year old naive self.
We wandered around the streets, took a ride in a tub tub and spoke with some of the local people. I was very interested to see how people lived and what their houses were like. The area seemed very different when you walked ten minutes away from the beach front.
Jungle Book tour
For one night and two days we booked on a tour that was being sold at our hotel. The tour was called the Jungle Book Tour, which seems to be a pretty popular excursion for package holiday tourists. I have written about the tour in detail in this post- The Jungle Book tour, Goa. You can also read the reviews of the tour on Trip Advisor.
As part of the jungle book tour we visited a spice plantation called the Tropical Spice Plantation.
Here we learnt all about how Indian spices are grown and we also got to try to local cuisine. It was very tasty!
The Jungle Book tour includes a range of elephant activities. These elephants appear to be well cared for and are free to roam most of the day, which is great. You are given the opportunity to ride and bathe the elephants, which is lovely. I wasn’t so keen, however, on the games that they made the elephants play (like basketball, for example) in the evening to entertain the tourists. I thought this was a bit cruel.
I enjoyed the tour, but I had learnt about animal tourism as part of my Masters Degree, so I was a bit dubious at the time.
The things that we did was yoga. India is famous for its yoga so what better place to perfect my practice?
My Goa travel itinerary
So that was my 1 week Goa travel itinerary. I think we did quite a lot in a week and it certainly was a great introduction to travel in Asia! Whilst I would probably do it quite differently nowadays (think playgrounds instead of nightclubs), it was a great experience at the time.
Hubby hasn’t been to Goa yet so we plan to visit again with the children some day soon!