After exploring the chaos of Mumbai and the beauty of the Golden Triangle, it’s time to head to the chilled beaches of Goa! Planning a Goa itinerary for 3-days, can be a bit tricky and some would argue that 3-days in Goa isn’t much time! With some solid advanced planning, using our Goa itinerary below you can cover plenty of the Goa highlights.
You see, many think that all Goa has to offer is beaches. And although over 60 gorgeous beaches adorn the 100km coastline, that is not all that defines Goa. Nor is it the ‘hippy culture’ that has dominated the eccentric state since the 1960s. No, there is a lot more to Goa than that. Including bustling markets, spice plantations, nature parks, great food, and an unrivalled party scene. All things considered, Goa is an essential addition to any India itinerary.
With this in mind, I bring to you not one, but two 3-day Goa Itineraries. The first will cover the South of Goa, where the highlights include a lot of beach-worshipping, watersports, and yoga. Whereas the second will cover the North of Goa, where conversely, you will find a wild party scene, hippie markets, and historical points of interest.
- 1 How to get around during your Goa Itinerary
- 2 The Best Time to Visit Goa
- 3 South Goa Itinerary for 3 Days
- 4 Where to Stay in South Goa
- 5 3 Days in South Goa – Day 1
- 6 3 Days in South Goa – Day 2
- 7 3 Days in South Goa – Day 3
- 8 North Goa Itinerary for 3 Days
- 9 Where to Stay in North Goa
- 10 3 Days in North Goa – Day 1
- 11 3 Days in North Goa – Day 2
- 12 3 Days in North Goa – Day 3
- 13 Author Bio
How to get around during your Goa Itinerary
To rent a scooter in Goa is around Rs. 300-400 per day. The roads in Goa are, for the most part, in good condition. And if you are confident on a bike, this is the easiest way to get around. However, you MUST have your international driving license with you at all times. Otherwise, be prepared for a hefty fine from the local police.
The cheapest way to get around in Goa is via local buses; however, they aren’t very comfortable and often take an insane amount of time to reach your destination.
Alternatively, you can use a local driver or Ola Taxi. The latter tends to be the cheaper option if you plan on going from A to B. However, if you want a driver for the entire day, you can arrange with a local transport company.
The Best Time to Visit Goa
If you only plan on spending 3-days in Goa, you will want to coincide your trip with the good weather conditions.
The best time to visit Goa is considered to be the Indian Winter (November-March) when temperatures are more refreshing, accompanied by a pleasant sea breeze. These are perfect conditions if you want to go sight-seeing; however, it is also the busiest time. Particularly the months of January and December, the beaches of Goa see an influx of tourists. And you’ll need to book accommodation way in advance to visit during these months.
With this in mind, it pays to visit at the beginning or end of peak season, when crowds are fewer and prices are lower.
South Goa Itinerary for 3 Days
From beach-hopping and dolphin spotting, to meditation and yoga retreats, here is an ideal South Goa Itinerary for 3-Days.
Where to Stay in South Goa
If you plan on spending 3-Days in the South of Goa, we recommend basing yourself around Palolem Beach. Palolem is one of the most atmospheric areas in the South, boasting a stunning palm-fringed beach, watersports, and a choice of great restaurants. At the same time, it’s incredibly laidback, and the perfect spot to Goa-Head and Chill, if you like.
Our Top Picks:
3 Days in South Goa – Day 1
For your first day in South Goa, let’s concentrate on beach hopping. After all, travel in India can be exhausting, so you are well-deserving of some downtime. Here are some of our favourite beaches in the South of Goa.
Editors Tip: Start your day the right way with breakfast at Karma Cafe in Palolem. Delicious vegetarian/vegan-friendly menu, including delectable bakery goods.
Located around 20-minutes drive North of Palolem, Agonda and Cola Beach are some of the most picturesque beaches in Goa. Boasting calm, clear waters and striking golden sand, it was one of our favourite beaches to sunbathe and take a swim. With a selection of beach bars, viewpoints, and lagoons along the bay, you could spend the entire day there and not get bored.
Editors Tip: Enjoy a delicious lunch/dinner & refreshments at the swish White Resort positioned on the beach.
Galgibaga (AKA Turtle) Beach
If you are the type who likes their beaches untouched and remote, Galgibaga Beach is the choice for you. Located just 20-minutes south of Palolem, this pristine beach has been spared from any tourist infrastructure, resulting in a tranquil beach, free from tourists and trash! It’s also one of four turtle nesting sites in Goa. And if you’re lucky, you can witness them hatch between November-February.
Editors Tip: You will not find any beach bars or restaurants here. Take anything you might need with you.
If you don’t mind the adventurous route to get there, Butterfly Beach is one of the most captivating beaches in Goa. The only way to reach the beach is by taking a boat from Palolem, or by a challenging jungle hike. However, the stunning coved beach is well worth the tricky journey. Expect to see butterflies in abundance, along with flourishing marine life and glorious sunset views.
3 Days in South Goa – Day 2
After a chilled out day on the beach, you’ll be revitalised and ready for some sight-seeing. Let’s give you some inspiration for your second day in South Goa.
What better way to start your day, than morning yoga with a traditional and wise yoga teacher. While you will find many classes held around the Palolem area during peak season, Aranya Yoga Ashram is one of the best. And their daily drop in classes welcome both beginner and experienced students alike. Furthermore, if you are interested in yoga teacher training, the courses here come highly recommended.
Vasco Da Gama
If you are remotely interested in the colonial history of Goa, Vasco Da Gama is a great place to visit. This town itself is one of the oldest in Goa, and offers insight into Portuguese culture in the form of colonial buildings and churches. Shri Ramnath Temple and St. Andrews Church are both worth checking out, along with the eerie Three Kings Church which locals believe to be haunted. And if you find yourself craving some more beach time, there are plenty of spots to be enjoyed nearby.
Visit a Spice Plantation
If you ever find yourself wondering what all those delicious flavours in Indian cuisine are, this is a great way to educate yourself. A guide leads you through the verdant plantation, where you will encounter several spice plants and trees. And afterwards, you can enjoy a traditional Goan meal prepared with fresh produce and spices.
*Tip – Some of the plantations in Goa offer elephant rides as an addition. Please do not participate in such activity and educate yourself on the horrors of elephant tourism.
Cabo De Rama Fort
To conclude your day, Cabo De Rama Fort is the perfect spot to catch the sunset. The historic fort, now in ruins, has seen numerous battles in the past. And today still boasts rusty cannons and turrets as a reminder. While the fort itself is impressive, it is the surrounding views which really steal the show.
*Tip – Enjoy a tasty, healthy, and relaxing dinner at Little World in Palolem.
3 Days in South Goa – Day 3
For your last day in South Goa, let’s combine adventure with relaxation. Here are some ideas on how to spend your final day.
Palolem Beach is one of the most popular spots in Goa for dolphin watching. And you will find numerous tour organisers in town who can arrange this activity for you. Tours run throughout the day; however, the best time to spot the dolphins is early morning or at sunset. You can also combine your trip with some island-hopping.
The beaches in the South of Goa are famed for their myriad of water sport activities. Along the coastline, you can find anything from scuba diving to jet skis, and windsurfing to parasailing.
After spending 3-days enjoying the delicious local cuisine, why not take a cooking class and bring the recipes home to your loved ones. Aranya Yoga Ashram host an incredible class where, under the guidance of a senior delicacy chef, you will learn to prepare several local dishes from scratch.
*Tip – If you find yourself in South Goa on a Saturday night, head to Silent Noise Club for Palolems famous silent disco.
North Goa Itinerary for 3 Days
From shopping and sight-seeing, to partying the night away, here is an ideal North Goa Itinerary for 3-Days.
Where to Stay in North Goa
If you plan on spending 3-days in North Goa, we recommend staying close to Arambol or Mandrem Beach. This area is arguably the coolest spot to be in Goa. And while just a stone’s throw away from the wild parties of Anjuna, here you can enjoy a relaxing and luxurious beach getaway.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Luxury Villa in Goa
- Dreams Hostel
- JUNGLE by thehostelcrowd
- Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa
3 Days in North Goa – Day 1
For your first day in North Goa, we recommend taking it easy and appreciating the pristine natural landscapes. Here are some of the top things to do in the area.
Editors Tip: Start the day with a revitalising yoga class at the Universal Yoga Center in Arambol.
With the North of Goa favoured by most tourists, it can be a challenge to find a serene and tidy beach. Thankfully, Mandrem tends to be the exception, boasting a palm-fringed bay, golden sands, and calm waters. We found this to be the perfect spot to relax, read a book, and immerse in the tranquillity such conditions provide.
If you don’t mind the short hike, Arambol mountain serves as the perfect retreat for nature lovers. Overlooking the crashing shoreline below and lush surrounding landscapes, you will often find visitors meditating or enjoying a picnic. To reach the trail, walk far North of Arambol Beach, and a short 15-minute climb will lead you to the summit.
Sweet Water Lake
Another pleasant spot to immerse in nature is the extraordinary sweet water lake found North of Arambol Beach. Here you can enjoy a relaxing swim in freshwater, encompassed by lush mountain landscapes. It’s also a favoured spot among groups of blazed backpackers, soaking in the ‘Shanti’ vibe.
Editors Tip: For a modest but delicious dinner, check out Shimon’s Falafel in Arambol.
3 Days in North Goa – Day 2
Today is going to be all about sight-seeing. Prepare to be thrown back in time as you explore some of Goa’s most significant historical areas. Here is some inspiration for your 2nd day in North Goa.
Fountainhas, otherwise known as Goa’s Latin Quarter, is often disregarded by tourists; however, the charming town is well worth a visit. While Muslims, Hindus, and Portuguese once colonised Goa, it is the latter that is especially prevalent here. The cobbled streets, supported by vibrant and colourful houses, and quaint cafes, almost have you forgetting you are in India at all.
Explore Old Goa
If you are at all interested in Indian history or architecture, the fascinating area of Old Goa is an essential addition to your itinerary. Once considered the ‘Rome of the East’, here you will find a selection of grandeur buildings. These include the UNESCO classified Basilica of Bom Jesus – famed as holding the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. And the impressive Se Cathedral – the largest church in all of Asia.
Sunset at Chapora Fort
To round your educational day off nicely, we recommend heading to Chapora Fort for a memorable sunset. The fort, steeped in history and laid in ruins, overlooks a spectacular view of Vagator Beach and surrounding areas.
Editors Tip: For a traditional dinner, head to Shiva Place on Vagator Beach. And don’t forget to check out this list of Indian foods you must try!
3 Days in North Goa – Day 3
To conclude your beach getaway, we are going to round things off with a bang. Here is our recommended itinerary for your 3rd and final day in North Goa.
Shopping in Anjuna
While shopping in Goa is more expensive than elsewhere in India, it’s hard to resist the beautiful goods available to buy here. Anjuna is a favoured spot for shopping, with several boutiques, markets, and stores, looking to part you with your hard-earned cash. If you find yourself in the area on a Wednesday, don’t forget to check out the infamous hippie market.
For the afternoon, head to Vagator beach and allow yourself to be pampered by the local ladies. Here you can get your eyebrows threaded, have a manicure/pedicure, or indulge in a relaxing massage. Then for sunset, head to Thalassa on Vagator cliff. Here you can enjoy delectable Greek food, incredible views, and a vibey atmosphere.
Party the Night Away
I can’t think of a better way to conclude your time in North Goa, than a night exploring the infamous party scene. Whether you seek an all-night trance party, a classy rooftop bar, or dancing under the stars on a beach, you’ll have no shortage of options here. Just be sure to party responsibly!
Editors Tip: Popular clubs in North Goa include Paradiso, Club Cabana, Café Mambos or Club Titos.
Charlotte and Natalie are the explorers and adventurers behind Our Taste For Life. You will often find them wandering off the beaten path, immersed in nature, or enjoying authentic cultural experiences. The rest of the time, you will find them eating. Follow their journey on their blog or Instagram!
That was our Goa Itinerary! Are you ready for your India adventure?
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