The North side of Goa has a reputation of being a party place. It has the energy levels of an extrovert, when compared to the introverted South Goa. This means that both sides have their own distinct personality and perks.
Sure, there’s no denying that North Goa is the more exuberant side, but there are several nooks and corners which can change your perspective of the North of Goa.
Along with the company of your bike, you would run over some of the most beautiful heritage structures, lots of small cafes, forts and Portuguese churches of the North. So here’s what you should know about exploring North Goa on a bike.
Planning The Trip
Best Time For the Road Trip
Goa receives heavy rains from June to September. It’s best to avoid a trip during the monsoons, as during a downpour, the good roads turn dangerous. It can really affect your visibility of the road and create unsafe moments in the process. So the best time is anytime from October to May.
In December, North Goa particularly gets way more crowded, as it’s the holiday season and there are lots of events in North Goa. So, be sure to expect more bikes on the road. We suggest to rent one out for yourself for a good rate as during season time, prices are hiked because of high demand. We cannot stress enough on renting a well maintained bike, as dealing with the hassles of a broken down bike can make the road journey underwhelming.
Summers can be extremely hot in Goa as it’s a tropical region. Although, you could always avoid taking out your bike in the heat, as you would then need to deal with sunburn and dehydration. We advise you to stick to exploring either in the morning or early evening after the scorching afternoon heat has taken a rest.
See also: Get a Motorbike on Rent in Goa
If you’re planning on consuming alcohol by exploring the pubs and nightlife of the North, we’d highly suggest counting your bike out of the picture. If you can’t avoid drinking then it’s best to avoid riding. Another safety tip is being mindful on the road. Since Goa has lots of green fields, you need to be careful of stray dogs, cows and buffaloes which can also randomly pop up at times. It’s a very common sight to see them, so ensure you’re not speeding and that you’re keeping yourself and others on the road safe.
Renting a motorbike or a scooter is very common. So select a two-wheeler, depending on the type of machine you’re most comfortable with on the road. Ensure the headlights, brakes and horn are functional. Spend some time finding a place that has a good reputation to rent your bike.
About the Bike Trip to North Goa
To explore interesting spots in North Goa, you can consider Panjim as the base. Panjim is also the capital of the state of Goa. The coastal stretch of North Goa is not very long but it can still be confusing to know whether riding up to a certain location is worth the time. But we’ve got that covered for you.
Interesting Sites You Can Visit in North Goa
Parra Coconut Tree Road
This road is lined with palm groves on both sides and overlooks a huge paddy field. This road is pretty famous as it has been featured in small parts of Bollywood films such as, ‘Dear Zindagi’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ You can unleash the photographer in you here, as you can get some pretty good shots. You can continue to head to Chapora Fort from this road as it’s just 20 mins away. Chapora Fort has some of the most splendid views of the Vagator beach.
If you take Panjim as base, it would take you 30 minutes to reach Parra Coconut road.
Fountainhas is an old Latin Quarter in Panjim. The people who live here still maintain the Portuguese influence of the area. You can easily spot this by seeing the architecture of the houses and how colorful the entire street looks. Almost all balconies, windows and doors have great amounts of details on them. Cottages are painted in the shades of light blue, light yellow and light green. Here, we would recommend to stop at a bakery or cafe for something light, like a puff pastry, swiss roll or bebinca, which is a traditional Goan sweet.
North Goa has some of the most beautiful churches and few have also been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Se Cathedral tops this list, as it’s one of the largest churches in Asia. Se Cathedral also has a large bell known as the “Golden Bell”. Across the street, you could also pay a visit to the The Basilica Of Bom Jesus. The church holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The interiors and design of both these churches are extremely beautiful.
Another church that’s seen in alot of Bollywood movies as well is ‘The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception’. It’s a colonial Baroque style church, which was first built in 1541 and it overlooks the city of Panjim. The bell is said to be the second largest bell of its type in Goa.
The Mandovi River and Atal Setu Bridge
The Mandovi river is the second largest river of Goa. The Zuari river is the largest. There is a bridge which passes over this river and taking a bike ride on this bridge is extremely refreshing. The bridge is named Atal Setu and is India’s third largest cable bridge. The bridge is 5.1 km in length, well maintained and wide.
Reis Magos Fort
Located on the North Bank of the river Mandovi is the Reis Magos fort. Reis Magos means 3 Wise Men in Portuguese. This is the oldest fort to be found in Goa. The church here and the views from the fort are breathtaking.
If you have more time after visiting these places, you could also visit Fort Tiracol, Divar Islands
Aguada Fort and the lighthouse here.
Some of the most visited beaches in the North are Arambol, Mandrem, Vagator, Baga, Sinquerim, Dona Paula and Calangute beach. Beaches are very easy to connect, as they just fall one after the other. Beaches are great for catching a beautiful sunset, so we suggest stopping back at any of these beaches after your day of sightseeing.
North Goa has lots to offer and your two wheeler is your wingman on the road, as it keeps your journey hassle-free. The cherry on top of the cake is that it helps you see the North beyond the cover page of beaches and party hubs.
Moreover, riding on lanes with palm trees on both sides, exploring old churches, forts and backlanes with Portuguese heritage helps broaden our perspective of Goa.
See also: Exploring South Goa