If you are planning a trip to Goa, chances are you would have exhausted all the important attractions around the place in real quick time and would be wondering as of what to do next. Speaking of which, why not plan a short trip from Goa and add different layers to your vacation
? From hill stations to historical sites to beach escapades to waterfalls, you have a variety of experiences waiting to be explored just at your reach. After you have exhausted our list of things to do in Goa
, read on to get to know more about the top 12 places around Goa that you need to visit on your trip.
1. Chorla Ghat - Tropical Forest Closer to Goa
Image Credits: Ptwo/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 68 Kilometers (approximately)
Located at the intersection of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, Chorla is a tropical forest centered in the laps of nature. Though the place is very close to Goa, it is not known to many making it one of the best places to visit near Goa to escape into nature and de-stress. Dotted with many waterfalls, Chorla Ghat is an ideal location for couples who seek privacy and nature enthusiasts. For an overnight stay, we recommend Wildernest and Swapnagandha resort. They add to the amazing experience.
How to reach: Rent a car from Goa and drive along Hathkhamba-Goa Road and SH 4. You will reach Chorla Ghat in one and a half hour approximately. There are no public transportation services available.
2. Nersa - Hidden Gem Near Goa
Image Credits: Rohit Chhiber/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 76 Kilometers (approximately)
Nestled in the forest range of Londa in the western ghats range in the district of Belgaum, Nersa is a hidden gem near Goa. Covered in thick tall trees and a varying landscape that changes from the countryside to steep rocky terrains, Nersa is ideal for trekking and bird watching. Owing to the different species of birds in this region, the place has become significant to researchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. When you're here, do explore the Mahadai valley, it is a wonderful picnic spot. Stay in the Hermitage Guesthouse to elevate your experience and the best time to visit Nersa is from September to March.
How to reach: Rent a car or arrange for a taxi and drive through NH748. It takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes approximately.
3. Karwar - A quick weekend trip from Goa
Image Credits: Balamurugan Natarajan/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 86 Kilometers (approximately)
Situated at the confluence of River Kali and Arabian sea is the relatively lesser known beach destination of Karwar. Highlighted by pristine beaches of Devbagh, Rabindranath Tagore, Karwar, Majali, Tilmati and Koodi Bagh, the place is an ideal destination for photographers with a desire to capture the best sunset. There are plenty of adventure activities from snorkeling to kayaking to dolphin spotting to banana rides, that will keep you occupied. Once you're done with your adventures, be sure to have a taste of the seafood delicacies that include Kurle Ambat, Masli Kadi, and Chilly Squid.
How to reach: Private and public buses from Goa to Karwar are available all the time. The journey takes around 3 hours approximately. Alternately, you can also look drive via NH66 on a rented car, which will take around 2 hours.
4. Dandeli - Full of adventure
Image Credits: Ankur P/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 99 Kilometers (approximately)
Surrounded by a rich deciduous forest and a thriving wildlife, the town of Dandeli in the western ghats is well-connected with national and international travelers who love to be in the company of nature and enjoy indulging in adventures. If you're an adventure junkie, wishing to have the river rafting experience
of your life then you should take a trip immediately from Goa to Dandeli. That is how amazing and memorable the experience is. On your trip to Dandeli, enjoy the presence of unspoiled nature, catch a sight of the natural habitats in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, stay in one of the jungle resorts, and be a part of all adventure activities in Dandeli
How to reach: There are no direct flights or trains or buses from Goa to Dandeli. You have to hire a taxi or rent a car and drive along NH748 and Mirjan - Ramnagar Road. It takes an approximate of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
5. Vengurla - Small beach town closer to Goa
Image Credits: Ankur P/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 110 Kilometers (approximately)
Vengurla is a picturesque town located in the southern part of Maharashtra that is visited mainly for its beaches and shore temples. Surrounded partially by a range of hills, Vengurla is lined with trees of mainly cashew, mango, coconut, and berry that add to the green foliage. Some of the must visit attractions in Vengurla are Nivati beach, Sagareshwar beach, Shiroda beach, Sargeshwar Shiva Temple, Khazandevi Temple, and Vayangani beach. And when you are planning your travel to Vengurla, make sure you have cash in hand, you can hardly find ATMs in Vengurla. The best time to visit Vengurla is from October to April.
How to reach: The best way to reach Vengurla from Goa is to drive along Hathkhamba-Goa Road. The approximate time taken is 2 hours and 50 minutes. Alternately you can also reach Vengurla by taking a train from Goa to Sawantwadi road. And from there, you can either travel by bus or hire a taxi. The total time taken is around 3 hours.
6. Amboli - Beautiful hill station around Goa
Image Credits: UrbanWanderer/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 118 Kilometers (approximately)
Set at a height of 690 meters, Amboli is a scenic hill station in Maharashtra
that is enriched with an abundant flora and fauna including various species of Mango, Fern, Shikekai, Anjan, Hirda, Hornbill, Yellow-Browed Bulbul, Red-Whiskered Bulbul, Paradise Flycatcher, and Crimson-Backed Sunbird. Relinquish in the beautiful waterfalls of Amboli and Nangarta, enjoy the amazingly panoramic views from the Shirgaonkar and Sunset point, and visit the historical Madhavgad Fort and Hiranya Keshi Temple. To have the best experience of the place, visit during the monsoons
and get blown away by the magical setting.
How to reach: Amboli can be reached either by road or train from Goa. If you are traveling by train, you have to get down at Sawantwadi road station and get on a bus or hire a taxi. On the other hand, if you are traveling by road, you have to drive along Hathkhamba-Goa Road for 3 hours approximately.
7. Gokarna - Ideal tourist place for beach lovers
Image Credits: Jo Kent/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 144 Kilometers (approximately)
Originally a pilgrimage destination, Gokarna has radically grown into becoming one of the best tourist places near Goa. Decorated with beautiful sandy beaches, and ancient temples that come alive during the festival season, Gokarna is an interesting place to visit and is more frequented by foreign tourists over the years. Immerse yourself in the quaint setting, stroll aimlessly along the beach shores, seek the blessings from the divine, stay in the thatched bamboo huts and most of it all, relax! Sporting a laid-back atmosphere, Gokarna is an ideal spot for a chilled-out beach vacation. Try to catch the festival of Shivarathri in Gokarna, it is very special.
How to reach: Goa is very well connected with Gokarna through train and the journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Alternately buses, taxis, and rented cars are also available.
8. Malvan - Must visit for its sea food
Image Credits: Ankur P/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 151 Kilometers (approximately)
Set in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Malvan is a fishing town that is rich in culture and history. The place is now most sought after for its water sports activities that include snorkeling and scuba diving. The famous attractions to catch in Malvan are Tarkarli beach, Sindhudurg Fort, Tsunami Island, Jai Ganesh Mandir, Malvan Marine Sanctuary, Vengurla Malvan and Tondavali beach. And the most important thing for you to experience when you are in Malvan is to munch on the mouth-watering Malvani cuisine and the absolutely delicious Malvani Khaja sweet.
How to reach: Driving via Hathkhamba-Goa Road and NH66 will get you to Malvan in approximately 3 and a half hours. And alternately, you can also travel through train or a bus but you have to get down at Kudal and from there, you have to travel again.
9. Badami - Plan for a winter getaway
Image Credits: Commons.wikimedia
Distance from Goa: 230 Kilometers (approximately)
Once a regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD, Badami is a town in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka that is known for its rock-cut structural temples. If you are looking for a short trip from Goa that is ideal for a family with kids, then Badami is the place you should plan your trip to. To make your exploration easier here is a list of best places to see in Badami - Badami Cave Temples, Bhutanatha Group of Temples, Mallikarjuna Group of Temples, Badami Fort, and Malegitti Shivalaya. Badami is best visited during the winters, from October to March.
How to reach: The best way to reach Badami from Goa is to drive along SH34 for about 5 hours and 15 minutes approximately. Alternately you can also travel by train but you have to get down either at Hubli station or Dharwad and from there you have to travel again.
10. Jog Falls - A must see waterfall near Goa
Image Credits: Shuba/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 235 Kilometers (approximately)
Jog Falls is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India, situated in the Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka. The spellbinding beauty of the waterfalls with the backdrop of scenic nature has been one of the few reasons for the falls to be visited by a huge population of tourists. As you stand transfixed at the sight of the falls that comes crashing down, you can feel the strong force of the water on your body that is totally incredible. For a truly memorable experience, visit the waterfall just after the monsoon season, for the water will be in full force. Jog Falls is definitely one of the must-visit places in India.
How to reach: Get on a bus or train at Margao and travel till Honavar. From Honavar, take another bus or hail a taxi to Jog Falls. You can alternately drive via NH66, which will take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
11. Ratnagiri - A famous historical place
Image Credits: Vivek Joshi/flickr.com
Distance from Goa: 274 Kilometers (approximately)
Ratnagiri is a district in the state of Maharashtra that is famous for its striking beaches, Konkani culture, and historic temples & forts. The prominent port town is slowly attracting plenty of tourists from all around the nation and it is the perfect place to visit in Maharashtra to get a hold of the culture and the history. Some of the best places to visit in Ratnagiri are Ganapatipule beach, Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, Guhagar beach, Anjarle beach, Ratnadurga Fort, Jay Vinayak Temple, Ganeshghule beach, and Shri Devi Bhagwati Mandir. Before leaving Ratnagiri, be sure to pack a carton of Alphonso Mangoes.
How to reach: Ratnagiri is well connected with Goa through Goa and the best way to reach Ratnagiri is also train. You will reach the destination in about 2 hours and 50 minutes approximately.
12. Hampi - For architecture buffs
Image Credits: Commons.wikimedia
Distance from Goa: 316 Kilometers (approximately)
Looking for a weekend getaway from Goa that will totally blow your mind, Hampi is the place to go. Adorned by a list of magnificent temples, historical monuments, and ruins of the palaces, Hampi is a treat for architectural buffs who love to soak in all the history. Notice the intricate carvings in the monuments and marvel at the astounding nature of the Indian architecture that cannot be captured in the lens of the camera. Sri Virupaksha Temple, Sri Vitthala Temple, Lotus Mahal, Sasivekalu Ganesha and Elephant Stable. The vibe in the place is totally different from any other place and it definitely shouldn't be missed.
How to reach: The best way to reach Hampi from Goa is either by train or by bus. If you are traveling by train, get down at Hospet junction and travel further to Hampi. On the other hand, there are direct buses to Hampi and the journey takes an approximate of 10 hours.
Have you been to any of these places before? If yes, let us know about your experience in the comments below.