There are some things in life which just go so well together, it’s hard to think of it in any other way. For example, Goa and bikes. Exploring South Goa on a Bike is a combination which lets you discover much beyond what you planned or might have even imagined.
At times, while vacationing in Goa, travelers don’t see beyond the party hub which is the northern region. People often limit themselves to exploring just the lanes and areas near their accommodation, which is often North Goa. But having a motorbike can invite a whole new experience and makes it easier to get to places.
South Goa as a destination has plenty of smooth narrow roads that run through beautiful fields of golden grass and abundant greenery. Let’s go over some areas that you can visit in South Goa on a bike, so that it becomes easier for you to map it out when you’re heading out for the road.
Planning The Trip
Best time for the road trip
The entire region of Goa receives rainfall from June to September, and the rains can get really heavy, since it’s a tropical region. Heavy rainfall can obstruct your visibility and overall it’s just too risky. And not being able to ride a two wheeler will make your trip an underwhelming one. So, the best time to visit would be between October and May.
Summers on the other hand can get really hot, so it’d be better if you head out when the sun’s taking a break. Ideally, starting off early morning or early evenings, cause trust us, the summer heat in Goa can really dehydrate you. There are many trees along the roads, so you can make pit stops under a shady tree, or stop at small stalls for some refreshing coconut water or lemon soda and continue your journey.
About the Bike Trip to South Goa
The south side of Goa has less of all the crowd, the traffic and chaos. It has a different character and isn’t as developed as the North. You won’t find the busy buzz here, unless you visit the main city, Margao. You’re in for peace and quiet among the greenery, secluded beaches, white sand and good restaurants with amazing Goan food. This makes the south side have an authentic culture and is worth the trip. Through the smooth paved road and the lush forests on both sides, you will enjoy your ride, that’s guaranteed.
But at certain points, you would come across twisted mountain roads with blind corners. This is something to be extremely careful about while you’re on the road. If you’re on a highway, trucks might not let you overtake or warn you against it, so keep an eye for such signs. We’d advise not to draw attention by overtaking or speeding. Locals themselves wouldn’t appreciate it and you don’t need to be the devil on wheels, as it’s much better to be safer on wheels.
We all are aware that Goa can be an extremely touristy place, and people like to scam and make money off tourists. So, it’s better to have your bike checked at reputed places to avoid being scammed. It’s good to take a recommendation from the place you’re accommodating for this, as they know they are responsible for the information they give out. We would highly suggest investing some time in picking out the right motorbike.
You’ll see lots of tourists using scooters on the road, but if you’re more comfortable using a motorbike, don’t hesitate to rent one.
Interesting Sites You Can Visit in South Goa
When it’s just you exploring on two wheels, you become the sole decision maker of the stops you’ll make, so take your time on the road. It’s also going to be way easier to make your way to the finer lanes with a motorcycle. So let’s get you familiar with places that the Southern side has to offer.
The Base – Margao
Once you’re in Margao (also known as Madgaon), it’s safe to say that you’ve made it to the South side. Margaon can be seen as the focal point for the South as it’s the capital. Margao is a busy energetic town you don’t necessarily need to stop to explore.
But from Margao, you have a couple of options of local roads and villages to explore. So consider this as the base. Another interesting base you can keep as an option to explore South Goa is Agonda.
Chandor is a pleasant ride through green paddy fields from Margao. It’s 15km east from Margao. Here you can visit or take a glimpse of the biggest Portuguese mansion of its time – The Braganza House. The Portuguese mansion is a beautiful heritage mansion and you could get a tour of the East and West wing if you take a prior appointment with the family.
Portuguese houses were built in the 16th century soon after Goa was captured by the Portuguese. This went on till 1961, years after they left. In this area, you would pass by lots of old houses from the colonial times. It’s a very different journey than just seeing tall buildings one after the other as it happens in the city.
Assolna Village and Bridge
Assolna is just 11 kms from Margao, so you could head here directly if you feel like. The Assolna bridge has become a popular spot for tourists looking to get a picture perfect view of the river Sal. This river is the third largest river in Goa and it starts in Cavelossim. The Sal river meets the Arabian sea only at Betul, which you can map as your next destination. You can take a round of the marketplace and Assolna village to find beautiful Goan houses.
Betul is a small village 20 kms from Margao. If you wish to directly head here from Margao, it would take you a good 45 minutes by road. The place has a busy fishing community as it’s where river Sal meets the Arabian sea. There is an active fishing port so you would see fishing trawlers. Do note, there is no road connection from Betul to the port but there is a ferry service to visit the port.
If you wish to get a terrace view of the entire beach of Betul and its surrounding villages, you could make a visit to Betul Lighthouse. It closes at 06:00 pm, so keep it as part of your plan if you will be able to make it in time. Betul Fort also offers similar views but the fort is slightly in ruins now.
The Sadolxem bridge is interesting to get a wide range view of the Talpona river. It’s great to view the backwaters and maybe have a meal in the village. The bridge has aged which gives it a rustic old charm but its constant corroding is a worry. If you’re already in the South area, it’s still worth a visit. We’d recommend looking up aerial views of Sadolxem bridge, as it has a reputation of never disappointing.
South Goa has plenty to offer but having your motorbike as a companion encourages you to explore more than you do by foot. Moreover, riding past charming villages and a land which flaunts its Portuguese heritage is exciting in its own unique way. You can pick and choose from the interesting places we’ve mentioned depending on the time you have. All in all, it’s always fun to see the sun set from a new beach!
And remember, take your time to return to Goa again and discover more. There is always more to explore.
See also: Road Safety Rules in Goa