Offbeat North Goa in 4 days – The Ultimate Guide

Would you believe it if I told you that I have visited Goa more than 20 times but it was only on the recent trip that I discovered the hidden gems of Goa? That’s why I thought it will be a good idea to share my itinerary of Offbeat North Goa in 4 days which had offbeat places, uncrowded beaches and the best cafes to eat at.

I am sure you would agree if I will tell you that Goa is best visited with friends. Thus, I went on an 8 day-long trip to Goa with friends wherein we explored Offbeat North Goa in 4 days and Offbeat South Goa for the next 4.

This blog will tell you all about how I planned my perfect perfect itinerary for Offbeat North Goa in 4 days which isn’t only about secluded places but also a bit about gorgeous beaches and must-try cafes.

Day1 – Trip to Chorao Island

On Day 1, we drove to Ribandar Ferry point to board a local ferry to Chorao Island at 7 am. Several ferries keep plying throughout the day to the island on which one can hop with the vehicle (2 wheeler or 4 wheeler). We boarded the ferry and in the next 5 minutes, we were at Chorao Island.

We started with a good breakfast at the Yoga Institute, Viva Chorão wherein we also chilled by their infinity swimming pool which had super gorgeous views. I contemplated doing my Yoga Teacher’s Training course from there as it was an extremely serene and calm place to learn Yoga.

 

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

We hopped onto a boat to explore this one of a kind bird sanctuary that hosts several common and uncommon species of marsh dwelling birds and animals. We could spot a white egret, purple heron, brahmin kites, colourful kingfishers, mynahs and so many more varieties of birds. Of course, I didn’t know the names of so many birds, but our boatman who’s also popularly known as Bird Man of Chorao explained to us all about the birds we spotted. Our boat also cruised through the mangrove marshes which looked incredibly beautiful.

 

Chapel of St.Jerome

After almost an hour of a boat ride through the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, it was time for a small hike amidst the forest to reach the Chapel of St.Jerome which is situated on top of a hill. It was more of a moderate walk of 15 minutes through the dense forest which led to the chapel. The chapel was constructed around 250 years back with some renovations done around 50 years ago. A century back, spiritual teachings used to take place at the seminary in which the chapel was built. Standing there inside the chapel of course felt like being transported to those ancient times.

St Bartholomew’s Church

Next, we drove to St Bartholomew’s Church which is a Roman Catholic church in Chorao Island. Though we couldn’t visit the church from inside as we ofcourse are living in Covid times, but we spent a great deal of time in the premises of the church and got to learn about some amazing facts related to the church (I guess that deserves an entire blog post, so will write about that soon).

Try Feni and Urak at a local drinking place

Now was the time to taste fenny and break in a place where only locals would go-to drink. So, we went to a very small bar kind of place (I actually wouldn’t even call it a bar, it was sort of someone’s home I guess) and we tried our hands on different varieties of feni and break. It was quite an experience, I must say!

All these experiences at Chorao island and many other offbeat places can be experienced with the help of a local company in Goa called Soul Travelling.

Lunch at Black Sheep Bistro

It was almost late afternoon when we got back from the day trip to Chorao Island, so we decided to eat at a really good cafe which I had no idea about, till the time our Airbnb host introduced that place to us. The place is called Black sheep Bistro and their cocktails are beyond words. The food was brilliant too but the cocktails took my heart away.

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We got back to Airbnb, freshened up and then headed to a pub to have a fun evening.

Also readVagamon – An offbeat hill station in Kerala

Watch the video here – Vagamon – Kerala’s Offbeat Hill Station || Part – 1 || My Travel Recitals – Saakshi Rajat

Day 2 – Watch one of the most spectacular sunsets at Sinquerim Beach

Brunch at Artjuna Cafe

We started our day with the most amazing spread of breakfast at one of my favourite cafes in North Goa, Anjuna. It is located very close to Anjuna beach. The cafe offers an exhaustive menu of smoothies, sandwiches, hummus pita, yum salads and mind-blowing desserts. When I am in Goa, I like to take my sweet time to soak the vibe of every place or cafe I visit. and that’s why, I somehow end up spending a lot of time in Artjuna, because this cafe is an experience in itself.

Sunset at Sinquerim Beach

It was our second day in Goa but how much ever we tried to visit offbeat places, all of us were tempted to feel the water under our feet. So, we decided to visit a rather offbeat beach, Sinquerim beach. We reached there in the late afternoon and were beyond excited to walk on the clean sand of the beach. We settled ourselves in a shack there and headed to take a dip in the ocean. The deep conversations and watching the sun go down so beautifully made me forget to pick up my camera and shoot. And if you know me, I have this fascination with capturing every gorgeous sunset I witness. But that evening, I decided to live in the moment ( Rajat clicked these pictures for me).

 

Day 3 – Hike in the forest near Arambol beach and Arambol Sweetwater lake

On Day 3, we cooked our breakfast at our lovely and very well stocked Airbnb, Riya’s Homestay, Porvorim. I can’t recommend this Airbnb enough because the bnb is not only gorgeous but the hosts went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and at home.

Arambol Beach & Sweet Water Lake

After breakfast, we drove to Arambol beach, parked our car and walked around a km to reach Arambol sweetwater lake. I had heard so much about this lake from travel influencers, but I think I could give it a miss because it was overcrowded and the I didn’t find the lake clean as much. Instead, I highly recommend spending time at the beach which is facing opposite to the lake, but still so serene and beautiful.  We got sunbeds for ourselves and read to our heart’s content at the beach. Also, had our fresh-cut pineapples, Pina Coladas and beers at one of the shacks at the beach.

Jungle Hike to Bing Banyan tree

But the highlight of Arambol for me was the hike in the jungle to find the popular Banyan tree. It was an easy hike where we found a lot of small water streams, ponds and a lot of tall trees but couldn’t find the famous Banyan tree. We had heard stories about the Big Banyan tree baba whom we couldn’t find on the hike, but the hike was worth it. If you are willing to do it, ask locals around and they will be happy to go with you on the hike.

Barbeque hosted by Airbnb Host

It was almost evening when we started on our way back to our Airbnb. Our gracious hosts had arranged for a barbecue night for us. There was charcoal-grilled chicken, panner, veggies and prawns on the menu. And there was one of a kind starter which all of us loved so much. I also shouldn’t miss mentioning that I was invited to their home to learn how to cook Prawn Tava fry and it was such a fun time interacting with their entire family.

 

Day 4 – Explore Panjim 

Fish Market, Porvorim

Our day started with a hot cup of coffee on the terrace of our Airbnb and trust me it was no less than a viewpoint. Then our host Ravi took us to a fish shop from where he buys fish. I had never seen so many varieties of fish in a single shop. It was fun observing the fishes and knowing about them from a local. On our way back, we also visited a lake in Porvorim where we were the only tourists. You know, that’s the charm of travelling with a local!

Lunch at Kokni Canteen

It was already time for lunch and we headed to eat at Kokni Canteen in Panjim where mostly locals go out to eat. It’s a small canteen with an authentic Goan vibe. We ordered ourselves a fish as well as a veg thali. Of course, there were a lot of things on the plate and I couldn’t figure out what was my favourite, but Rava fish fry was the highlight.

I wouldn’t say that their Veg thali was out of the world, but I think I am going to go again to Kokani Canteen for their fish thali.

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Coffee at Cafe Bodega

Next, we strolled around Fontainhas, but it was too crowded, so made our quick exit from there. We had planned to visit Joseph bar which is a really old drinking place in Panjim and you can still find a lot of locals there. But we gave it a miss because none of us was in the mood for drinking. All the roaming around in Panjim got us hungry again and we decided to explore a very quaint cafe called Cafe Bodega. It’s a cafe in the courtyard of a beautiful art gallery. Food and beverages are delicious but I found the cafe to be slightly overpriced. Nevertheless, a must-visit cafe for its art gallery and courtyard dining experience.

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We also picked drum roasted Kaju (cashews) from Gomantak, Panjim on the recommendation of our Airbnb hosts and that’s my best Kaju purchase ever from Goa (remember I have been to Goa around 20 times before and have also bought Kaju an uncountable number of times).

It was almost time for us to pick our packed bags from our Airbnb and head to South Goa after our time in Offbeat North Goa in 4 days. It was a great experience at Airbnb that I found it so hard to bid goodbye to the lovely people who own that Airbnb.

Hope you enjoyed reading my perfect itinerary for Offbeat North Goa in 4 days. If you did, let me know in the comments which of these places you would visit. And if you have already visited these, let me know which one is your favourite of these.

 

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