Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in western India. Bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. It is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Goa is India’s richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country.
Day 1 : South Goa
Arrive at Goa and transfer to The Leela Kempinski Goa. Remaining day at leisure.
Day 2 : Betul Beach – Cape Rama Fort – Palolem Beach
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Palolem beach along the scenic coastal drive. Visit the Betul Beach and Cape Rama Fort enroute to Palolem Beach. Time permitting, visit the Cotigao Wild Life Sanctuary. Return to The Leela Kempinski Goa via the NH 17 visiting Sri Mallikarjun temple on the way.
Day 3 : Madgao – Rachol Seminary – Dudhsagar Falls
1 : Breakfast at the hotel.
2 : Drive to Madgao. Free time for shopping. Visit the Holy Spirit Church in Madgao. Drive further to visit Rachol Seminary. Cross the Zuari on ferry and continue to Ponda. Visit the Mangeshi temple and Shanta-Durga temple. Drive down to a spice plantation for lunch. Post lunch, drive to the Dudhsagar falls (beautiful in the monsoons).
3 : Return to the hotel.
Day 4 : South Goa – North Goa (Panjim – Fort Tiracol)
Drive down to Panjim – Capital of Goa. Visit the local market and continue to Old Goa and visit the various churches (Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi).
Basilica of Bom Jesus – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The Jesuit church is India’s first Minor Basilica, and is considered as one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India.
Se Cathedral – The Se Cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. Since the day of the victory happened to be on the feast of Saint Catherine, the cathedral was dedicated to her. The cathedral originally had two towers, but one collapsed in 1776 and was never rebuilt.
Church of St. Francis of Assisi – The three tier facade have octagonal towers on each side and in the central niche there is a statue of St. Michael. The main entrance is decorated with circular pilasters and rosette band. The central nave is barrel-vaulted while the crossing is rib-vaulted which supports the choir. The internal buttress walls, separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top, have frescoes showing floral designs. Above the tabernacle in the main altar is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus on the cross, statues of St. Peter and St. Paul are seen below. The adjoining walls of nave retain painted panels depicting scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi.
After your visit to the churches, continue to drive on the national highway till Parnem to the extreme noth of Goa to the Tiracol Fort. Overnight at the Fort Tiracol Heritage.
Day 5 : At Leisure
Option 1 – Hire a boat and drive up the Tiracol river and explore the nearby village.
Option 2 – Explore the famous beaches of North Goa – Harmal (Aramboli), Vagaator, Baga and Calangute. Visit the two famous forts of Shapora and Aguada.
Head back to the hotel. Overnight at the Fort Tiracol Heritage.
Day 6 : Departure
Check out from the hotel. Day at leisure for shopping. Head towards the airport for flight back home.