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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 23, 2018
Headline for 5 Best Attractions in Goa – Dive into the Kaleidoscopic Coastal Town
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Attractions in Goa – Dive into the Kaleidoscopic Coastal Town

Goa, the hippie beachside town in India is well famed for its beaches and party life. However, the vibrant town has so much more to show to its curious visitors.

1

Calangute Beach

Yes, I know I said Goa has so much more than its beaches but being the biggest beach in North Goa, it does earn a mention. Frequented by both locals and tourists, the beach is regularly overrun by people and is considered one of the busiest beaches in the town. Its popularity is due to the endless coastline, the many restaurants, and shops that line the beach and the countless water sports activities available at the beach. The Calangute beach is crowned the "Queen of beaches" and a visit there will show you that it justifies its title.

2

Explore the region's rich history at Fort Aguada

Incredibly well preserved, this seventeenth-century Portuguese Fort is a fine way to explore the era when the Portuguese occupied the area. One of the most important forts to the Portuguese naval force, it was their main form of defence against the Dutch as well as the Marathas. Complete with a dry moat and insanely thick battlements, it also has a lighthouse built back in the nineteenth century among many other historically important structures. Being a popular destination for tourists, any Goa resort should be able to show you how to get there or organise a tour of the fort.

3

Chapora Fort

Used to shoot a large number of Bollywood movies, the Chapora Fort is now mostly in ruins but will still appeal to a niche crowd. The moss-covered and dilapidated fort offers the chance of dramatic pictures for photographers as does the eye-catching views over the surrounding coastline. If you want to adorn your Instagram with a couple of unique pictures, I suggest you make a beeline here.

4

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Since the area was once under Portuguese control, churches carrying the iconic Portuguese colonial architecture are littered all over. One particular highlight is the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Aside from the historical value, the church is also highly revered among Roman Catholics. This is because the imposing church contains the remains of St Francis Xavier. Built in the sixteenth century, the architecture of the church shows the influence of the Renaissance era as well as hints of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian architecture. The inside is as grand as the outside. A visit will cost you a small fee but its worth it as you get to take a peek at the town's vibrant history.

5

Mollem National Park

Home to several species of wild cats, a larger number of birds, uncountable snakes and other species, the Mollem National Park has it all. Other than the wildlife, the Mollem National Park is also where the "Dhangar", nomadic herders reside. For hikers, the park has a number of breathtaking hiking trials that will not disappoint. You will also come across a twelfth-century Tambdi Surla Mahadev temple. Although a bit far from hotels like Alila Diwa Goa, the park is well worth checking out.