Goa for the luxury traveler- North Goa

Day 1

Once you have spent a day doing this, it is unlikely that you would want to go anywhere else. Located in North Goa, this is a pristine beach with white sands, plenty of sunshine and clear waters, great for swimming. Lined along the beach are several small shacks serving local food, along with a few hip beach clubs, bars and boutiques. Jade Jagger and Dust are two must-visit boutiques in this area. The bohemian designs and organic fabrics are not something you will come across often.

While you are here, walk into La Plage, a chic French beach shack, known for attracting the famous and the beautiful. There is a pretty little boutique one can wander into while waiting for your order. The food here is exquisite, the perfect way to let your taste buds know that they are on vacation.

As evening falls, you can witness one of the most stunningly clear sunsets nature has to offer. And as the tangerine sun dips its head into the water, the popular sundowner parties kick off. Head to beach clubs like The Soma Project and Bardo to get a glimpse of the swish party lot living it up. Hear some great sounds as the DJs spin out some kickass music and the party continues well after the sunset.

A great place to stop for dinner while in this belt of Goa, is Sublime, where the flavours, like the name suggests, are indeed sublime. Run by celebrity chef Chris Agha, Sublime is one of Goa’s most innovative dining experiences. Offering Italian, Goan and whatever else catches Chris’s fancy, this is one unique dining experience that must not be missed out on.

Day 2

Spend the day exploring the quaint village of Assagao, which is slowly becoming one the most popular halts for the traveler who is now familiar with Goa.

Start your day breathing in the fresh air and taking in the sights and sounds of nature at Purple Valley Yoga Retreat. Set in landscaped tropical gardens there are communal areas for eating and private spaces for contemplation and meditation. It is quiet and safe – the ideal place for a morning yoga session. The morning walk to the ‘shala’ (Sanskrit for yoga school) is through the tropical gardens of the yoga retreat with the scent of frangipani in the air, the sun rising over the field of palm trees and the birds and cicadas singing. The ‘shala’ itself is an amazing space with peaceful energy and the perfect place to explore your yoga practice.

Follow this up with a hearty breakfast at Villa Blanche, a cozy bubble of good food and good music right in the middle of a dreamy Goan village. The open kitchen entices your senses with smells of freshly baked breads, waffles and cookies and you can actually peep in to see how your food is being prepared. Eating in Villa Blanche is like a gastronomical time travel through old fashioned Europe with their offerings ranging from cappuccino and ice cream like in the piazza in Rome, pretzels and smoked black forest ham in the Bavarian beer garden, muesli on top of the Swiss alps, clean fresh salad with feta cheese from Greece, bagel with salmon and cream cheese like in New York… and of course cakes that melt in your mouth like in a Vienna coffee house. Villa Blanche is a celebration of tastes and flavours assembled freshly with ingredients from the local markets and specialties that are brought directly from Europe overland in Marco’s magic blue bus.

Spend the day shopping in the little village, which houses some exquisite fashion and lifestyle boutiques. Housed in an old Portuguese mansion in Assagao, Cheshire Cat is quickly gaining recognition for its constantly evolving eclectic collection of jewellery, fashion and art hand-picked by designers Karen Peace and Kees van Andel. The store itself is beautifully laid out and draws you into its welcoming hearth glittering with jewellery. Explore the store further to discover Pink India, a fashion brand that offers the boho chic woman a great range of interesting clothing, yoga mat bags and even iPad cases. There are Italian silk kaftans from Holy Cow, fun clothing from Aurobelle and colourful whirling skirts from Komal’s enneagram Flows.

Another halt on your Assagao jaunt must be Gigu’s, a sweet little tea room tucked inside a stunning lifestyle store, The Indian Story. Gigu’s boasts over 75 varieties of tea! Do drop by this colourful café for an excellent brew, whether tea or coffee. Take your time browsing through the store, Indian Story with its rich variety of antiques, shawls, jewelry, designer wear and more. The tea shop is airy and bright and has a nice cozy feel. Pause when you enter to take in the sumptuous window display featuring colourful knick-knacks and rows of teapots, cups and general bric-a-bracs to buy. There is an attached beer garden as well so if you’re not careful, a day of shopping with the girls can begin with a relaxed cup and turn into a heady afternoon in the sleepy village of Assagao in no time at all!

Hop across next door to the pretty little village of Siolim. Stop for some breathtaking views as you cross the Siolim bridge and head towards the Siolim church. Stop for an authentic Goan fish thali meal at Anand Bar, a place recommended by the leading chefs in Goa who often stop here for excellent local seafood. Order a cold beer and feast on kingfish and rawa fried prawns.

After such gastronomical pleasure, one cannot do much except slip into the famous Goan Sussegado. Head to the nearby Vagator or Anjuna beach, hire a beach bed and take a nice long nap. For those looking for some excitement, jump into the sea for an afternoon dip. Try out some of the water sports like parasailing and windsurfing, or just toss a frisbee around. Look out for the Anjuna Flea Market, which is up every Wednesday, or shop along the numerous stalls lining the roads leading to the beach – there’s something for everyone here.

Enjoy the sunset at Curlies, one of the oldest and well-known beach shacks around. If you’re looking for a party you’re sure to find it here. Head to Club Cabana in Arpora for an all-night party. Located on a hilltop and sprawled across many floors with villas and pools thrown in between, this club offers some of the best parties in Goa. The famous Club Cabana light will guide you from any part of Goa, and once you get up here, you’ll want to stay and see the sunrise as well.

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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