As opposed to the North, the South is the more tranquil part of Goa. It may not have the endless number of party joints; however, it offers travellers a scenic insight into the other side of Goa. Get a dose of the Goan countryside with the beautiful hinterlands, fine beaches, fewer crowd, relaxed environment, lush greens and a bucketful of tranquillity.
The best places to visit in South Goa cater to every kind of traveller, especially those looking for a luxurious retreat or quality time to spend with family.
What are the major points of interest in South Goa?
1) Butterfly Conservatory
One of the main tourist attractions in South Goa; set in the hills, preserved in natural surroundings, replete with gushing streams and the beautiful flora and fauna, is the Butterfly Conservatory in Ponda. It is home to approximately 140 different butterfly species.
The best time to spot butterflies is in the morning. Entry fee to this outstanding “garden-on-roof house & rainwater harvesting experiment” is just Rs 100. If not for the butterflies, visit, just to immerse yourself in its unique and beautiful surroundings.
Open from 9 am to 4:3o pm.
Places to visit in South Goa near the Butterfly Conservatory – Sahakari Spice Farm, Tropical Plantations and Savoi Planation, located within a few kilometres of distance.
2) Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary & Bubbling Lake
Bubble Lake, Budbudyanchi Tali or the Badbud Tali, call it what you may, but this tiny step well with crystal clear water offers tourists a surreal experience. The bubbles constantly rise and burst on the surface of the pond, but what is fascinating is that, if you clap, the bubbles become more intense.
It is located close to the exotic Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. The way to get there is through a scenic route. Go ahead and explore.
Open from 8 am to 8 pm.
Tourist places in South Goa near the Netravali Bubble Pond – Savari Waterfall, Maipapi Waterfall and the Selaulim Dam.
3) The Grande Island
One of the more popular South Goa tourist places is the Grande Island, located close to Mormugao. The Grand Island is ideal for snorkelling, fishing and scuba diving lovers. However, the only way to reach the island is by water.
Some important diving points include ‘Suzy’ (sunken British 135-meter vessel) & ‘Davy Jones Locker‘ (a sunken ship). Additionally, it is sprinkled with places of breathtaking beauty. Prepare to be mesmerised with the exotic coral and aquatic life you meet underwater and befriend the dolphins as you snorkel.
Best time to go – October to May.
4) Exotic Beaches
The beaches of South Goa are for the lovers, the soul seekers and the families alike.
Colva – One for the romantics – stop by the Our Lady of Mercy Church.
Benaulim – Get to this unexplored beauty before it hits the commercial eye. Stop by the Church of St John.
Cavelossim & Mobor – A delight for adventure sports lovers. Stroll on the white sands and watch the blue skies as you blissfully relax in the calming spell of the green palms. Need we say more?
Betula Beach – A place for the solitary traveller, comes with a lagoon too!
Agonda – A home to Olive Ridley turtles. Laze around and stay for the sunset.
Palolem – One of the most popular beach in South Goa known for its ‘silent parties’, where you dance to your own beats.
Polem & Butterfly Beach – Two of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, like the name suggests, in the latter, you can spot exotic butterflies by the dozen.
Hollant Beach – For the ultimate peace and quiet.
5) Of Museums, Markets & Forts!
Carbo De Rama Fort – One of the oldest forts, it is believed that this was a home to Lord Ram and Sita at one point; hence the name. Climb to the top of the fortress overlooking the serene blue waters of the Carbo De Rama beach for a magnificent view.
Open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Margao Market – A bazaar for those who like carrying the authentic flavours of their travel, back home. The best part you ask? Get anything and everything at a dirt-cheap price.
Open from 9 am to 8 pm (Monday to Saturday).
Big Foot/Ancestral Goa Museum – Located in Loutolim, the Big Foot museum unfolds the traditional Goan stories of the past through its life-like sculptures.
Open from 9 am to 6 pm.
Naval Aviation Museum – The only one in entire Asia. So even if you’re not into naval stuff, you earn bragging rights for having visited the one and only. Jokes apart, here you get to witness aircraft’s with history, missiles, warheads, torpedoes, rockets, and what not.
Open from 10 am to 5 pm (except Mondays).
South Goa is for the explorer, always on the search for something new, away from the bustle of the commercial crowd. Visit this other side of Goa to experience the never before and make your own unique story.