Head away from the beach for a day or two during your Goa holiday and explore the fascinating and diverse regions of central Goa and the state's interior.
North and South Goa are often the main focus of holiday-makers' desires when it comes to escaping to this exotic Indian state. Each region's long coastlines are dotted with beautiful sandy beaches and lined by a fantastic range of accommodation, presenting an inevitable allure that is eagerly pursued by those in search of a holiday to Goa.
At the Goa Experience, we're passionate about showcasing each and every corner of the state, and for us, there's no Goan region more diverse and unique than central Goa and the interior. We highly recommend spending a day or two of your Goa holiday exploring the beautiful nature, historical landmarks and intriguing wildlife of this region, and if you're looking for inspiration, here are 10 of our favourite places to visit in central Goa and the interior.
Places to visit in central Goa and the interior
1. Explore the colonial architecture of Fontainhas
Providing a window into Goa's Portuguese heritage, there's no better way to soak up this colonial flavour than through a wander around the colourful streets of Fontainhas. Why not book a stay at Panjim Inn and reside on these very streets yourself?
2. Marvel at the Hindu temples in Ponda
For a bit of religious culture, the city of Ponda in central Goa is considered the cultural heart of Goa, and is dotted with several colourful and extravagant Hindu temples. Shantadurga Temple, pictured below, is one of the most popular to visit.
3. Visit Dudhsagar Falls
India's second highest falls are a majestic site amid the wild and rugged interior of central Goa, cascading down the mountainside into pools that holidaymakers are free to take a dip in if they so desire.
Image credit: Thirteen | Shutterstock
4. Admire the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Panjim
Up there with the most impressive landmarks in central Goa, Panjim's imposing Church of the Immaculate Conception, which towers over the centre of the capital, was built in the early 1600s.
5. Excite your senses at a spice plantation in Ponda
In addition to the several temples found in and around Ponda, this area in central Goa is also famous for its abundance of spices. You'll have a few places to choose from when it comes to a visit to a spice plantation, though the majority offer much of the same experience, including a fascinating walk into the wilderness to spot spices and fruits growing in their natural habitat.
6. Book a stay at Wildernest
Enjoy a memorable overnight stay in the most scenic of Goan wilderness by booking our Wildernest excursion. There are some stunning features to enjoy here, such as the resort's beautiful infinity pool, as well as the opportunity to embark on various treks to spot the area's diverse wildlife.
7. Go back in time in Old Goa
Old Goa was once the most affluent city in the whole of Asia, and while these days may be firmly in the past, the area's architectural wonders still stand and are included under a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing. Don't miss the Basilica of Bom Jesus in central Goa, pictured below, and the extravagant Se Cathedral.
8. Spot incredible birdlife in the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Home to an incredibly diverse range of birdlife, which includes kingfisher, kite and cormorant, bird lovers will revel in the offerings of the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. One of the best ways to explore the sanctuary is by taking a boat ride through the mangroves - keep your eyes peeled, you may also spot a crocodile or two.
9. Check out Panjim Market
Head to Panjim's main market in central Goa and rub shoulders with the locals in a colourful, aromatic and atmospheric experience. Pick up some local produce or grab a souvenir or two to take home with you as a reminder of your Goa holiday.
10. Gorge on Goan food
This goes without saying across the entire region, but in Panjim and other settlements in central Goa, you'll find a number of eateries serving up some delicious local fare. If you find yourself in Fontainhas, look no further than Viva Panjim and its Goan prawn curry, or the tasty masala crab, pictured below.
Fancy adding some extra adventure to your Goa holiday? Take a look at our great range of tours and excursions for some suggestions of excellent ways you can explore the highlights of the state.
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