How to spend 3 days in South Goa

Travel Itinerary
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Rucha Deshpande
Itinerary by: Rucha Deshpande
10 months ago
Travel Writer
Duration: 3 days

Itinerary Introduction

Goa happens to be one of India’s favorite holiday destinations. And why not- who wouldn’t want an abundance of Vitamin D on beaches, beer for breakfast and dancing under the stars, to the sound of the waves, without a worry? You would, however, be surprised to know that Goa has a lot more to offer than amazing parties and inexpensive beer. If you would want to explore the side of Goa that very few know about, keep reading. Let me take you to South Goa- a paradise for travelers who enjoy laidback beaches, soft music, and breakfasts that could go on for 4 hours! Tips from locals: Look out for clothes exchanges/ pop-up thrift stores/ movie nights/ bonfire & music nights at Bhakti Kutir. Even if you choose to not stay here, you could attend these events for free.

Useful information about South Goa

Best times to visit South Goa

Though the tourist season starts from October until March, visiting Goa off-season could be a great idea – especially post-monsoons! Why you ask? No tourists, cheaper rents, lush greenery! If you are traveling to South Goa, one of the highlights would be the dense forests that surround the beaches. And what better time to experience green other than post-monsoons? My recommendation: August- September (Post-monsoon), November- January (Winter)

Getting to South Goa

As Goa is a tourist destination, getting there is easy. You could choose to travel by air, by rail and also by road from Mumbai. If you have time on hand, I recommend train travel as the journey is very scenic and the picturesque sights would be etched in your happy memories for a long time. Train: Garib Rath Express (Running time: 20 hours) Price: 300 INR to 1500 INR Running days: Monday and Friday Buses: Many private buses available (Running time: 13-16 hours) Price: 900 INR to 2000 INR Running days: All days To note: Government buses are more reliable and have almost no time delays. Please check for a government bus option from whichever city you choose to travel from. Flight: Many operational flights (Running time: 1.5 hours) Price: 2000 INR upwards Running days: All days

Getting around in South Goa

The easiest way for a tourist to get around in Goa is by renting out a Scooty or if you are a fitness freak, a bicycle! South Goa is quite spread out and it is, therefore, very convenient to have a Scooty. You would find Scooty rental services at every bend and corner in Goa.

Where to stay in South Goa

A good area to stay in South Goa would be Canacona. Although it is a little distance away from the airport, it is very close to some beautiful beaches in South Goa. The beauty of staying in South Goa is that you get the best of both worlds- like a quiet walk on the beach or a dance-all-night full moon party. Whatever you wish for! If you are on a budget trip, you could choose to stay at hostels such as Gostel, The Lost Hostel (on the beach), or Whoopers Hostel. Here, you are sure to meet like-minded fellow travelers who would be able to show you around or recommend hidden places/activities to you! If you are someone that prefers privacy and would not mind shelling out a few extra bucks for accommodation, take a look at ‘Bhakti Kutir’. It is an eco-friendly resort which would give you the feel of living in the middle of a rainforest. It also has a vegetarian café with a menu that changes every day, a space where you can read/play music, a small kitchenette, and a community space for events/parties. A few other options for accommodation you could look at are Ciarans, the White and Art Resort in Palolem.

South Goa - Travel Itinerary

Day 1

Day 1: Welcome to the land of chill!

After a beautiful drive from the airport/ station, you will reach Canacona refreshed (but hungry), thanks to the soothing green that would welcome you on both sides of the road. You are in Goa for a holiday so make sure to take it slow and relaxed, as South Goa’s vibe suggests.
09:00 - 11:00

The Mill by Palm Forest

Dr Pundlik Gaitonde Rd, Palolem, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
A nice place for a heavy, scrumptious but healthy breakfast in Goa would be The Mill, in Cancona. The place urges you to get into the relaxed Goa mood with it's more-than-comfortable seating, calming jazz music, books, and lots of sunlight (on sunny days, of course!). Don’t miss out on their in-house baked cakes, which would have you drooling from the first bite. To note: This place serves vegan options as well! Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self) Henry Be (Unsplash) Johan Mouchet (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Snack
Prices for The Mill by Palm Forest
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 300.00 - 399.99 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
11:00 - 13:00

Palolem Beach

Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India
Unlike a lot of other beaches in Goa, Palolem is comparatively unexplored. You would find few locals and fewer tourists on this beach. After a quiet walk on the beach with your loved one/by yourself, you could spread out a towel, relax and read with a beer to accompany you. Alternatively, you could also hop in and out of shacks lined up on the beach to try out different seafood dishes, cocktails, and beer. Till the beach baby in you is satiated; stare at the sea, walk along the beach, take a swim in the water and laugh out loud! Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Palolem Beach
Category Price Restrictions
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
14:30 - 15:30

Rama's Homemade Fish Thali

Canacona, Goa, India
When in Goa, you must eat as the locals do! A must-visit place for home-cooked fish thali is Rama's in Canacona. Not only is the food delicious, but the owner of the place is also very warm and friendly and makes sure your meal is memorable. Here you will get to devour the fresh sea fish cooked the local style made with generous amounts of coconut. You will also find vegetarian options here, which are as finger-lickin' good! Image Credits: Yogesh More (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for Rama's Homemade Fish Thali
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 299.99 - 350.00 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
15:30 - 17:30

Street Shopping

Palolem Beach, Goa, India
Go for a stroll off the beach to the little shops that sell colorful trinkets, comfortable cotton clothes, and Indian souvenirs at dirt cheap prices! Even if you do not wish to buy anything, just looking through the colorful huts and shops is bound to refresh you. While shopping, if you feel like a coffee/beer, there are many cafés lined up right next to the shopping area. And of course, if you just feel like an afternoon siesta, the whole beach is yours to laze on! Tips from locals: Do catch the sunset from the beach after your successful and fun shopping sprint! Image Credits: Lord Ghost (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Street Shopping
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 100.00 - 499.99 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
18:30 - 21:30

Ciarans Restaurant

H:no. 233/A, Palolem Beach, Palolem, behind Old Syndicate Bank, Palolem, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Post sunset, head to this cute boutique beach restaurant for an early dinner and cocktails. If you happen to be there on a Friday or Saturday, you are in for a treat of soothing live music! While grooving and humming to the tunes of the brilliant local musicians, make sure to indulge in their Daiquiri with a side of butter garlic prawns/ masala prawns. Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for Ciarans Restaurant
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 800.00 - 1000.00 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes

Day 2

Day 2: Let’s get Adventurous!

After a relaxed and easy first day, you may want to explore the hidden gems of Goa today. Let us start with something very few tourists know about!
07:00 - 09:00

Kayaking and Dolphin Spotting

Palolem Beach, Goa, India
I know you are on holiday and you may not want to wake up early but here is an activity I (and the locals) HIGHLY recommend. Kayaking at 7:00 am is a magical time to spot dolphins at the Palolem Sea. If you are lucky, you may see dolphins by the dozen, at this hour. I am sure you will not regret the hour of lost sleep! Do check out Samson's Kiosk for a fun Kayaking experience. The cost is inclusive of a life jacket and a waterproof pouch to keep essentials. To note: You also have an option of going Kayaking at other times of the day though it won’t be as surreal as the morning time. Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Boat
Prices for Kayaking and Dolphin Spotting
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 350.00 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
09:00 - 11:00

Kanvas Café

Palolem - Patnem Beach Road Patnem, Palolem, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Just as you step out the water at Palolem Beach, dry up and walk a few steps away from the beach, you would find an open and inviting Kanvas Café to fulfill your hunger needs. Try their Mocha Pot coffee to go with the Banana Nutella Pancakes to fill not just your stomach but also your soul! If you wish to, you could play a game of Scrabble or read a book, alongside your breakfast! Friendly tip: Say hello to the bartenders - they are smart, sweet, and funny! Image Credit: Arx0nt (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for Kanvas Café
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 300.00 INR

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
11:00 - 17:00

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary

Netravali, Neturlim, Goa 403704, India
The Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden gem in the southeastern part of Goa. If you are in the mood for a long bike ride through the interiors of Goa with ample greenery and wind-swept hair, this is a must-visit for you! Netravali has the beautiful Savri waterfall, in which you can bathe and make merry. A small hike through the evergreen wilderness will lead you to this waterfall, which is a mesmerizing sight. On the way back, you would see many small stalls selling Onion and Chilli Bhajjis (local snack) and tea. Make sure to stop and hog on these local favorite delicacies! Image Credits: Daniel Öberg
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 19.98 INR

Travel time
1 hour 0 minutes
11:00 - 19:00

Arambol Mud Bath & Flea Market

Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa 403519, India
An alternative to the visit to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary would be to travel a little north of Goa to Arambol. Arambol Beach is one of a kind and it also has a natural FREE spa! A little hike into the jungle would bring you to a natural hot water spring/ sweet water lake. Normally, the place is devoid of tourists, making it serene, secluded and special. The clay found in this lake is a natural skin cleanser known as ‘Multani Mitti’. A mud bath in this lake would leave you feeling not just refreshed, but also glowing from head-to-toe. Head to the local flea market (also known as the Hippie’s Market), post your rejuvenating experience at the hot spring; to enjoy live music, local snacks, the Drum Circle and intriguing goodies from all across the globe. Image Credits: Sean Kuriyan (Unsplash) JamesYetMingAu-Photography (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Arambol Mud Bath & Flea Market
Category Price Restrictions
Standard Free

Travel time
2 hours 30 minutes
19:00 - 22:00

Kopi Desa Restaurant

Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India
After an adventurous day around Goa you will want to just relax and have a drink or two. I have just the right place for you! Make your way to Kopi Desa, Palolem to have their signature Spicy Jalapeno Mango Margaritas. Be sure to try their steak and sliders to go with your cocktails. Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for Kopi Desa Restaurant
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 500.00 - 799.99 INR

Travel time
1 hour 0 minutes

Day 3

Day 3: Relax it out, baby!

Day 2 was hectic so we will take it slow and easy today! Today you will pamper yourself, the way you deserve it.
09:00 - 11:00

Café Inn

Nearby Crystal goa emerald edition, opposite to Patnem garden cottages, Palolem, Patnem, Goa 403702, India
Have a slow start to the day with lots of great coffee at Café Inn. Make sure to have a heavy breakfast, as the food here is scrumptious, to say the least. The egg preparations are delicious and our vegetarian/vegan friends also have a variety to choose from. Image Credits: PeopleImages (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for Café Inn
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 200.00 - 300.00 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
11:00 - 14:00

Varca Beach

Varca Beach, Fatrade, Goa, India
Varca Beach is amongst one of the most stunning beaches in Goa. It would take you a long-ish bike ride to get here but it would all be worth the effort! Here, you would find more colorful shells than sand grains on the beach. Do carry a book, a diary or some paints as you are sure to want to spend some time relaxing on this beautiful beach. Image Credits: Rucha Deshpande (Self)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Varca Beach
Category Price Restrictions
Standard Free

Travel time
1 hour 0 minutes
14:00 - 15:30

The Southern Deck Restaurant

Beach, near Benaulim, Benaulim, Goa 403716, India
About a 10-minute drive from the Varka Beach would bring you to The Southern Deck in Benaulim. This is a beautiful restaurant right on the beach with breathtaking views of the sea, especially in the monsoons! You must try their Fried Seafood Basket and their unique, one-of-a-kind signature cocktails. Spend a lazy lunch here, that you are bound to remember for a long time! Image Credits: Chrsitopher Laurenz (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for The Southern Deck Restaurant
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 399.99 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
16:00 - 18:00

The Karma Spa

Colva - Benaulim Rd, Benaulim, Goa 403576, India
Today is the day to pamper yourself so that’s what we will do! Before you head back to your busy lives in the city, let’s give your body a spa treatment that it will savor and remember! In the vicinity of The Southern Deck, you would find The Karma Spa, which would give you Ayurvedic Massage Therapies and Spa treatments. Image Credits: Dolgachov (Unsplash)
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Table
Prices for The Karma Spa
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 1500.00 - 4000.01 INR

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
19:00 - 23:00

The Sushi Café

263/1, Columb, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
The Sushi café has warm lighting and soft music, just to put you in the right mood. It has beer and cocktails to go with the delicious Sushis served here. It has books and board games to just let your hair down and have a good laugh with your friends. What more? This café is pet-friendly and you may find your furry friends sharing the table with you! You must try their wood-fired pizzas, freshly baked at the café itself. To note: Say hello to Megha, the co-owner. She is a sweet lady who would go out of her way to make your experience more comfortable and enjoyable! Image Credits: Annee Loius
Article By: Rucha Deshpande
Price covers: Entry+Meal
Prices for The Sushi Café
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 300.00 - 400.00 INR

Notes

Enjoy your last night in Goa the complete Goa style- by having a 4-hour long dinner with lots of drinks and amazing food to accompany it! Do go back home and tell tales of the beautiful time you spent in South Goa!

Travel time
1 hour 0 minutes
Privacy: public

About the author

Hi! I'm Rucha from India. I like to travel and write about it (sporadically). Teaching, Music, Languages, Stories, and Coffee are some of my favorite things. :)

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