A visit to Goa is incomplete without trying some of the delicious local cuisine where the east meet west in a delectable array of dishes. Goa cuisine includes tantalizing spicy seafood dishes, traditional Goan snacks, a variety of sweet and savory items and much much more! The Indo-Portuguese influence is evident in the food of Goa that can be seen in the bhali-pau, classic fish curry rice, the vindaloo and a spicy xacuti sauce.
Some of the other Goan specialities include the multi-layered cake Bebinca, the delicious spicy gravy dish Ambot Tik, the thick coconut gravy dish Crab Xec Xec, the spicy coriander dish Chicken Cafreal, the rich pork stew Sorpotel, mushroom xacuti and the white and fluffy cake Sanna.
Most of the Goan restaurants also offer chourisso (pickled pig's liver cooked in vinegar with tamarind) with their dishes. You will get to taste a lot of chillies and cashew nuts as well as coconut sauces in traditional Goan dishes. Make sure you also sip on some delicious local and imported beers and wines like feni etc.
Goa is one destination that can be visited at any time of the year as there is always some lively celebration taking place. The weather of Goa is mostly tropical throughout the year due to its proximity to the Arabian Sea. Goan summers are humid and hot during April till June where the temperatures reach around 35 degrees Celsius. This is ideal for a short weekend break wherein you can also get good discounts and deals on hotels and homestays.
Monsoon in Goa provides relief from the scorching hot as it rains quite frequently and the weather stays cool and refreshing. These rains last from June till the end of September and the whole Goan state comes alive in vivid hues of green and blue during this time. There are also fun festivals and carnivals that take place during this time which you can partake in. Visiting the Dudhsagar falls in this weather is also ideal as the falls look even more beautiful during this time.
As for winter in Goa, the weather stays pleasant and cool with the temperature staying around 22-25 degrees Celsius. This weather lasts from December till February and this is considered the best time to visit Goa. Most of the festivals take place during this time and there is a vibrant party scene during this period. You can enjoy the Sunburn festival where there is a melange of music, arts and culture on the beautiful beaches of Goa.
Experience the pomp and show during the enchanting festivals and fairs in Goa and have a magical holiday. Tourists from all over the world flock to this destination as there is always a vibrant party scene and festivals are celebrated with much gusto and enthusiasm. From Goa festivals in monsoon to the winter season, you will never face a dull moment here.
Christmas and New Years are celebrated to a major extent here and the festivities carry on till dawn. Another festival you shouldn’t miss out on is the local seafood festival during November. This five day event takes place on the beaches of Goa and there are various local stalls selling delicious Goan cuisine. Get a taste of Goa at the fish stalls and the the Kokam Kadhi is a must try.
If you are looking for more grand celebrations, visit Goa in February as this is when the Carnival takes place. This three-day festival was started by the Portuguese during the 18th century and involves colorful feasts. You will get to witness a dynamic mix of colour, dance, enthusiasm and music. There are also mega parades where various bands perform and people dawn numerous costumes. It is full of fun and frolic and showcases the essence of the Goan spirit.
Other festivals that are also celebrated in a big manner include the Feast of the Three Kings, Bonderam festival, the Feast Of St. Francis Xavier, the Sao Joao Festival and the Shigmotsav.
Goa is a shopaholic’s delight as there are plenty of flea markets and night bazaars here where you can pick a variety of items. From hippie clothing to shell and bamboo work, junk jewellery, terracotta and brassware, and feni and bebinca, you can find it all. Most of the flea markets take place at the beaches like the Wednesday market at Anjuna, the Saturday Night Bazaar at Arpora, the Panjim Market and the Mapusa Market.
At the Mapusa market, you can pick up antiques, traditional handicrafts, textiles, spices, Goan pottery, fruits, sausages and more. At the other flea markets, you can purchase local handicrafts, clothes, trinkets, footwear, beach wear and more. Spend an entire day at these markets picking up souvenirs for your loved ones and indulge the shopaholic in you!