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13 Walking Tours in Goa

 
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    13 Walking Tours in Goa

    Goa, the party or beach capital of India is the confluence point of several traditions and cultures. In addition to the groovy beaches, tepid sands and the azure water bodies, the history of this scenic holiday destination entices visitors from different corners of the globe.

    The rustic life and culture of Goa is best explored during any of the walking tours. These tours are the most ideal ways to explore and discover the hidden secrets of the beach capital. Be it the ancient Portuguese era or the liveliness of the modern times, these tours bring out the perfect blend of Goa.

    Mentioned below are some of the best walking tours in Goa that takes the visitors to the heart of Goa and reveal some of its unknown secrets:

     

    1. Walking Tour of Panjim Market

    Image Credit: Sapros Petergiannis - Flickr

    It is widely agreed among avid travellers that in order to know the pulse of Goa, one must visit the local hotspots. And what better way to experience than to walk through an area, which is very popular with the locals – the marketplace.

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    This 2 hours’ guided walking tour in Goa through the Panjim market offers a unique experience. Explore and discover the dew freshness of the early morning market, witness the locals carrying out their daily activities, be the shutterbug and click all the astounding sites. While walking through the market, get introduced to the local community functions and engage yourself into local shopping.

     

    2. Walking Tour of Temples

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    In addition of being one of the most sought after destination for party and celebration, Goa is also the home to some of the important pilgrimage centres in India. Northern Goa, being one of the cultural centres, serves as the origin of most of the temple walking tour in Goa. Usually, these tours starts from Bairro of Boca de Vaca, and moves on to the first Hindu temple in Goa – the Mahalaxmi Temple.

    Built during the 18th century, it is the first temple built during the Portuguese rule in Goa. Constructed by the ‘Havig Brahmin’ tribe, this temple has Goddess Mahalaxmi as the main deity. Navaratri and Chaitra 

    Purnima are the main celebrations of this pious temple. After a spiritual visit to this holy place, the walking tour concludes with a tribute to the valorous freedom fighters of Goa at Azad Maidan.

     

    3. Walking Tour of Old Goa

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Originating from the Viceroy’s Arch, this 2 hours’ walking trail is also one of the most popular walks in Goa. From the entry point of Old Goa that was built in the memory of ‘Vasco da Gama’, this walking tour heads towards the magnificent St. Cajetan Church that was built along the lines of Roman churches. The 46m high St. Augustine Tower on the Holy Hill or Monte Santo is the last tower standing of St Augustine Church.

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    Taking you further through the cultural lanes of Old Goa, this delightful tour concludes with your arrival at the Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary, which is located on the edge of the Holy Hill. Explore the architectural wonders of this sacred church and conclude the trail on a delightful note.

     

    4. The Fontainhas Heritage Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    One of the most popular Heritage walks in Goa, this one hour trip starts from the 400 year old St. Sebastian Chapel in the morning. Fontainhas was the first point for human settlement in the area due to the availability of fresh water for drinking. The ‘little fountain’ bears testimony to the Portuguese era with its architecture, narrow alleyways and colorful buildings. It is the oldest part of Panjim and the heart of the city’s development. On the tour, you will learn the significance of the Chapel, the fountain that started it all – Fonte Phoenix, and the Maruti Temple.

    During this walking trail, it is advisable to carry drinking water, headgears like caps or hats and sunscreen lotions to escape the sun.

     

    5. Colva Coastal Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    If you are longing for one of the Heritage walks in Goa, the Colva Coastal walk is the perfect opportunity to witness the lively Goan heritage and relax on the beach. The walk starts at the crossroad of the Colva church before heading towards the virgin sands of the Colva Beach.

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    The stretch leading to Benaulim is perfect for a solitary stroll, while the north-bound stretch can lead to the village of Betalbatim. This rustic settlement was named after the primeval deity ‘Vetal’ or ‘Betal’; en route, you can also head eastwards to visit Margao. This 40 minute circuit is completed at the Colva Church.

     

    6. Divar Island Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    The beautiful island of Divar gets its name from the word ‘Divaddi’, meaning the island of lamps. Famed for its numerous magnificent heritage houses, Divar Island is a dream come true for the architectural enthusiasts.

    Starting from one of the heritage homes owned by the famous Albuquerque family, this 90 minutes’ walk takes the visitors to the other parts of the island. Usually, November – December is considered as a festive season in this island and ambience get livelier than the normal times. Following the narrow, yet colourful roads, you can also visit the property of the Bridgetine Sisters, once an old age home which has been expanded to incorporate additional rooms. The most stunning destination of the heritage house walk is a hill with a private chapel devoted to St. Anthony.

     

    7. Utorda Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Pristine beach, azure sky and the quaint beach sides make the Utorda Walking trail, a blissful journey for the visitors. Known as one of the exotic holidaying spots in Goa, numerous shacks and resorts on the beach offers a perfect blend of luxury and pleasantness.

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    Swaying coconut palms, scenic views of lush and vibrant paddy fields, authentic Goan foods and the warm ambience of the sandy retreat overwhelms its visitors! Stroll around the beach side and witness the pearly waves playing hide and seek with the silver lining of the sands and curate some of the everlasting memories!

     

    8. Chandor Walk

    Image Credit: parrikar

    For the history buffs, Chandor Walk is the best option to satiate all their yearnings for Goan history. Starting from Quepem Crossroad, this 2 hours’ walking trail takes you to an 11th century Shiva Temple. Dating back to the pre-Portuguese era of Goa, this temple is the abode of the second largest statue of ‘Nandi’, the gatekeeper of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

    By undertaking this walking tour in January, you can have the opportunity to witness the ‘Muslam Khel’. Celebrated with great joy and vigour, this ritual dates back to the ‘Kadamba Dynasty’ and is an important celebration of Goa. Additionally, one can find out many more things to do in Goa during there stay with family and friends.

     

    9. Aldona Walk

    Image Credit: goaheritage

    The Aldona walk starts from the home of Xisto Mascarenhas, a local fisherman who takes a group of 10 members at a time for a 30 minutes’ walk through the village. A quiet, serene and rustic village, one can observe the idyllic lives of the villagers within this tour. The homes of the host and his relatives are relics of the 18th century architectural styles. Within the tour, you can also check out local fares at the bakerybefore heading to the Ghost House. The fishing bridge is the local meeting ground and you can interact with the fishermen before heading back. 

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    10. Assagao Walk

    Image Credit: Flickr

    This 2 hour walk across the small hamlet of Assagoa will give you a first-hand experience of the local lifestyle and architecture. The exciting walk starts off from the DMC College, situated on a crest bordering Assagao, Khorlim and Mapusa.

    After a visit to the St. Antony’s statue, embark on the tour to the village. Continue walking towards Vale Vaddo, a rustic settlement named after a natural stream nurtured by the woods and hills. While walking through the streets of Assagao, interact with the natives of Goa and learn about their lifestyle, culture and traditions. The walk ends at a beautiful chapel which is sure to hypnotize you with its enchanting architecture.

     

     11. Arpora Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    A short but highly enjoyable walk in the Arpora Village is a must for those who want to experience the laid back Goan lifestyle. This 30 minute small walk starts from a small chapel close to the Sodder’s Resort. On the way, you can also visit the first Goan English medium school, St. Joseph’s School. It is also said to be the prettiest Goan school with its stunning backdrop and cute structure.

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    The roads will then lead us to the famous Viegas Vaddo which will surely amaze you with its unique combination of different houses. You can indulge in a ‘Swedish Massage’ at the Vijaya Home for Senior Citizens or move ahead to visit the gallery of a fine local artist, Shireen Mody. The enchanting walk ends at Nilaya Hermitage.

     

    12. Saligao Walk

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Another lively experience is walking through the lanes of Saligao. Embrace yourself with this one hour walking trail and explore the rustic hamlet and its vibrancies.  The reviving walk starts at the Mae de Deus Church, an object of pride and prestige for the locals.Walking through the paddy fields, move towards Cruz Vaddo, which is the home to the popular artists Verodina Ferrao and Francis de Souza. While heading towards the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters, stop over to witness the works of the famous black-and white photographer Dayanita Singh. 

    Stepping out of the rustic lane, head towards the beautiful Casa Madura, built on a higher plinth is a great place to take a few memorable photographs. The perfect way to unwind and enjoy the best of this walking trail is to undertake this tour before sunset.

     

    13. Calangute Walk

    Image Credit: pausadatauma

    The Calangute walk commences from the St. Alex Church, Umta Vaddo. This place is known for its natural beauty, especially the foot of the hillock where natural freshwater accumulates during the monsoons. The side lane near the Church takes you to the local market from where you can visit the Shantadurga Temple.

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    Visit the Pousada Tauma, a Goan architectural marvel built during the Portuguese rule. Uninfluenced by the Portuguese essence, this historic structure depicts many untold stories about the glorious and lively Goan culture. This walking tour concludes with your arrival at Porba Vaddo.

     

    Most of the walks in Goa are all about experiencing its local life, culture and tradition. They take you through majority of the places in Goa while you enjoy the sights of daily local life. Most of these walks are easy and requires short durations to get completed. Though short, these walking trails help the visitors to know more about the pleasant ambience of Goa and its lively people.