Goa Tourism

Life In The Slow Lane

Goa is charming in any month of the year. However, it comes alive in September, when the rains are playing hide-n-seek, and the greenery has a life of its own. This is a day well spent in North Goa.

Team Just Urbane

We know what they all say… looking for loud and social places then North Goa is where you should head. If serenity and calm is what you seek then perhaps South Goa is your best bet. While this may be true for eighty per cent of the population, let this write-up be a guide to hidden gems in North Goa that are tranquillity abound and gastronomically delightful. 

Let’s be clear… we’re looking beyond the commercial beehive that is Baga, with all its trinket shops and beer holes. We are also not going anywhere close to Anjuna flea markets. Let’s just say that we know what to expect there and you don’t need another article stating the obvious. 

It’s 8 in the morning and we are staying in private luxury villas in Vagator. Aqua Sol has been designed with a singular thought in mind… calmness. Each villa faces inwards with an enormous pool to soothe the senses. The beautiful villas are equipped with all modern amenities and encourage the residents to take the days easy and enjoy the Goan life. After a quick swim, I was ready for a breakfast for champions. 

Head To Where The Greens Are

About 15 minutes from Vagator is a paradise that is lesser known than other attractions around… and thank God for that! Mojigao is drenched in green serendipity and soothes your soul from inside out. The property has 7 artfully done cottages that one can hire. But the restaurant is what pulled us to it. Colonial wood and thatched roof, lazy outdoor seating ensconced in lush greenery, Mojigao must be experienced to be believed. 

Nutella waffles and pancakes with maple syrup are divine. We even tried their salmon & egg bagel sandwich. For the healthy… give their salads a dekko. They are fresh, innovative and bursting with flavours. Top it up with an Afogato, which is simply superb! I was told to try their famed smoothies as well. But we thought it’d be better to save some of our appetite for the rest of the day.

Work Hard, Party Harder 

After a quick nap back at the villa (you need one after a colossal breakfast), we thought of getting any pending work out of the way before the rest of the plan unfolded. A quick search for a coworking space threw a very interesting suggestion. Felix in Anjuna is has many feathers in its cap; coworking space being one of them, others being a renowned coffee shop, an exquisite bar and a reputable eatery. 

Felix is housed in a contemporary Goan villa, which squarely means that it is sprawling and aesthetically done. Full marks for that. We got our workstations for a couple of hours and we hastily wrapped up our mails and work. And got down to what we had not come to Felix for, which is hitting the bar. The well-stocked bar and the knowledgeable bartender made for an attractive couple. The wheat beer that they were serving was well crafted and came highly recommended. 

The breezy outdoor seating was a delight. I had built up quite an appetite by now and the pork belly and bacon and asparagus looked inviting… and they didn’t disappoint! You will be spoilt for choice with their extensive seafood and veg offerings. Time for nap number 2 as I drove back to my villa, taking in the gorgeous lush route. 

God’s Own Coffee

Come 5pm and I started craving my nicotine fix.  Since I had been out almost the whole day, I didn’t want to go beyond 5–7-minute walking from my villa. Clearly, a Starbucks was out of question. I had crossed Ciao Bella a few times on my way in, and it looked like an easy place with comfortable seating. And I hoped that it served coffee. Ten minutes later I found myself there at a corner table, brooding over the coffee menu. Latte it was. Some time later when the coffee came, the waiter hovered around for no reason. I looked up to see him smiling back at me. He was wanting to make sure that my coffee was as expected. To that, I took a sip. And, believe me when I say this, I tasted heaven. Perhaps this was the reaction that the server was expecting out of me. 

Don’t leave out Ciao Bella’s coffee from your itinerary when you’re in North Goa. It is every bit worth the effort. The smoky flavour, with notes of spices was unlike any coffee that I had had before! It was past the half cup mark when I could find my words to ask the server where they soured their coffee from. To my delight it was a local coffee grower in Mapusa. And I knew it then that I had to take a bag full back with me!
It’s a heavenly experience, North Goa. The drive, the trails, scrumptious food, local brews, all add up to an unforgettable experience. Add to that the ever-smiling faces of the locals and you never want to leave the place.