🤭 A 2-Day Travel Itinerary for....

a hidden gem in the north of Goa

Hey explorer, 

Goa is one of those Indian states that doesn't give us a way to get tired of it. It doesn't matter how many beaches you explore. You still can find a way to make your trip even more memorable than your previous visit. 

This time, I explored a unique Goan site with various experiences offered in one place. From enjoying no crowded beaches to hiking up the mountains, Vagator in North Goa is just mesmerizing. 

But what makes Vagator more unique? How should you visit it? Let's see.

Why Vagator?

Imagine yourself wanting to escape the ordinary. You crave sunshine but also a place with a pulse. Vagator is like one of your cool friends who tells you to ditch the usual routine and head for an adventure. It's not just another beach town.

Sure! It has golden sands and sparkling water, perfect for a beach vibe. But Vagator throws in a twist – an energy that keeps things interesting.

Want to see foreign influence? You have the ruins of an old Portuguese fort. Want to have an entertaining evening? Then lose yourself in a maze of colorful stalls at the Saturday Night Market.

As night falls, the energy shifts. Live music spills out of cafes, and beach shacks transform into party spots under the starlit sky.

Hey Hey!

How about we learn something each time we discover a new place or break down the history of a place you might have heard once at least?

Kudos if you answered "The Rice Bowl of India" to the last question. Let's see if you can get this also right.

What is the nickname of Goa

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Overview

Vagator's story goes back centuries. Chapora Fort, towering over the beach, is the main attraction here, built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Once used by the fishers as a trading spot, Vagator today has become a beautiful tourist attraction attracting many worldwide.

Vagator is a beach town with various beach sections - North Vagator (Big Vagator) and Ozran Beach (Little Vagator), edging a rocky headland. The lush greenery surroundings and the freshwater springs near the shore make this place even more magnetic. 

Vagator's charm lies in its bohemian vibe. Artists showcase their work here, music fills the air, and the pace of life slows down. The Saturday Night Market in nearby Arpora is a packet of colors, sounds, and delicious street food, perfectly showing the essence of Goan markets.

People of Vagator speak the state language of the state, Konkani, as their primary language. English is also understood and used in tourist areas. However, learning a few Konkani phrases can help you build rapport with locals. 

- Namaskar (नमस्कार) - Hello / Greetings
- Kasa asa? (कसा आसा?) - How are you?
- Mhojem naav aahe. (म्होजें नाव आहे.) - My name is __.
- Khup chan (खूप छान) - Very good
- Dhanyavaad (धन्यवाद) - Thank you
- Uddak kithlech? (उड्डक कित्येक?) - How much does it cost?
- Eka vatti (एका वट्टी) - One time
- Kitle paisay? (कित्ले पैसे?) - How much money?
- Maka kitem khara? (माका कितें खरा?) - What is this?
- Ha (हा) - Yes
- Nako (नको) - No
- Majje (मज्जे) - Fun
- Ek minit (एक मिनिट) - One minute
- Baro (बरो) - Come
- Deu (देऊ) - Give

Vagator has a tropical climate with hot and humid summers. The best part is that the monsoons bring some relief from the heat between June and September. Winters, from November to February, are warm and pleasant, making them a popular time to visit.

Discovery Checklist

Being one of the hidden gems and the coastal parts of Goa, Vagator comes with various experiences. Want to enjoy the beach? We have beaches. Want to enjoy nature? We have lush green surroundings. You can do several things alike, and here are a few must-do things:

- Go for parasailing on Vagator beach.
- Hike to witness the history of Chapora Fort.
- Participate in Vagator's clubs and open-air parties
- Take a walk through Saturday Night Market at Arpora
- Take a boat tour on the Chapora River and spot dolphins.

Here are a few places you must visit while you are here:

- Anjuna Beach (18 km)
- Saturday Night Market (3.5 km)
- Chapora River (around 10 km)
- Morjim Beach (9 km)
- Mandrem Beach (8 km north)
- Ashwem Beach (5.7 km south)

Oh! Do not forget to buy home some Goan goodies like cashews, hippie-inspired clothing, seashell jewelry, and hand-painted scarves. Ensure you bargain at the local stores for a fair price for both the buyer and seller. 

Travel Itinerary

Note: This is a general itinerary, combining cultural experiences and adventure. It provides a well-rounded exploration of this hidden gem. You can make adjustments as per your preferences, local events, and weather conditions.

A Guide to WH Questions

Transportation

The nearest railway station is Thivim Station (13 km), and the nearest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa (GOI) (53 km away). You can then take either a pre-booked taxi or use public buses. 

The thrill of exploring Vagator comes when exploring the surroundings on a bike. So, choose a rented bike (scooter) for flexibility and affordability. Taxis and rickshaws will also be available for shorter trips.

Hotels

Vagator has accommodations and restaurants that meet every individual taste in terms of every travel thing considered. Below are a few top picks, while we suggest you look at the "Our Pick" section. 

  • Accommodation

- Moustache Goa Luxuria - It's a 4.3-star rating hotel. 
- Grande Alpine Hotel - It's a 4.9-star rating hotel. 

Our Pick

Terra Rosa - It's a 5-star rating hotel. 

It has all the amenities you would ask for while staying in a hotel. Above all, the ambiance of the hotel is just AMAZING. Every picture you take over here is Instagram-worthy. 

  • Eateries

- South Delhi Restaurant - Best for pan Indian foods. 
- Olive Bar & Kitchen - Best for international items. 

Our Pick

Alcove Restaurant and Bar - Best for Indian and international foods.

Oh god! Check out their menu. My mouth couldn't resist watering as I went through it while writing this piece. 

- Goan Items: Xacuti curries, vindaloo, fish curry, and chicken cafreal.
- Seafood:  Freshly caught fish, prawns, and calamari cooked in various styles.
- International Options:  Italian, French, and Israeli cuisines.
- Feni: Goa's signature drink, Feni is a cashew nut-based liquor.

Travel Tips 

- Bargain for fair prices at the local stores.
- Always carry body lotions with you. 
- Pack your clothes according to the season. 
- Carry at least some cash for purchases at local stores. 
- Wear semi-traditional clothes when visiting temples or churches. 

Safety Tips

- Keep an eye on rip currents when swimming. 
- Avoid carrying more cash. Instead, use ATMs. 
- Be mindful when you are in a crowded place, especially. 
- Always carry a piece of paper with all the necessary details.

Travel Expenses

Vagator caters to all budgets. Since it is a semi-popular tourist and hidden attraction in Goa, both parties and accommodation do not cost much. Yet, including all other travel inclinations, the budget traveller might need anywhere between ₹2,000 to ₹4,000 a day per head

Conclusion

Vagator shines with stunning beaches, energetic nightlife, and laid-back charm. Whether you crave adventure, relaxation, or a touch of history, Vagator is the place you should prefer going to. Keeping the nature experiences aside, the culinary world of this Goan site will attract you even more.

So, zip your bags and discover if Vagator is true to its word. 

Did this edition meet your expectations?

If not, please let us know what we can improve in the comments.

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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.

Susan Heller