It’s almost 2016 and you’ve maxed out with pals after a giant-sized blowout at the ninth edition of India’s biggest EDM party. Don’t book those return tickets yet. A post-Sunburn Goa has much more to offer and may well be the ideal venue for a novel New Year party too. Here’s a checklist of activities for the perfect year-end...
TAKE THE PLUNGE
Goa’s diving season — October to April — coincides perfectly with your post-Sunburn dates. Sign up for an underwater blowout at Goa Aquatics (www.goaaquatics.com), a PADI diving centre in Calangute. We can vouch that the Arabian Sea marine life at Grande Island is a revelation, with clear views of gorgeous corals, interrupted by stunning WWII shipwrecks. While the dive trip to Grande Island is for those who already have a diving certificate, options are also on offer for enthusiastic beginners. And if some water-surface action is more to your liking, you can go kneeboarding and wakeboarding on Candolim Beach too.
EXPLORE GOA’S WILD SIDE
If the word ‘wild’ brings to mind dubious and dingy clubs, perish the thought. We’re talking about flora, fauna and nature at its best. Post-Sunburn is a great time to discover that Goa does have a morning life — and it’s fabulous! Contact the good folks at www.goakayaking.com to rent a kayak, paddles and lifejackets and sail down the slender and shimmering Zuari River (there’s also the option of Nerul at Candolim and the Mandovi), passing fishing villages and dense vegetation. Look out for the native Brahminy Kite, Steppe Eagle and Goa’s adorable otters. If you’re not a morning person, do this activity in the moonlight. Just watch out for some very deadly local crocodiles!
HIT THE ‘POST-PARTY’ PARTY
All the cool folk are heading to Vagator and you should get there before you miss this blast! On the shores of Small Vagator, Chronicle — a five-level restaurant and bar with an open-air dance floor — is ideal to unwind at and boogey to the beats of international DJs. Around the block, MasterChef Australia Season 6 contestant Sarah Todd’s 250-seater alfresco restaurant Antares is luring gourmands with juicy chipotle pork ribs, crunchy rawas tacos, silky seafood capellini and coconut margaritas. Drop in for a taste of heaven.
Ignore those Texas Hold ’Em poker invites on Facebook and tog out for the real deal. Goa is one of India’s only two states (believe it or not, the other is Sikkim) where casinos are allowed to operate. You absolutely must head out for a night aboard India’s largest offshore casino Deltin Royale (www.deltin.com/deltin-royale), to lean back into leather sofas and socialise with passionate punters over several rounds of blackjack, baccarat, roulette and mini flush.
TRAWL VELHA GOA
Who takes heritage walks in Goa? If you do, you’ll be all the better for it. Explore the architecture, churches and chapels at the World Heritage site of Velha Goa or Old Goa of Velha. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Archaeological Museum, Naval Aviation Museum and Institute Menezes Braganza are all worth checking out, as is Panjim’s Latin district, Fontainhas. Escape the touristy crowds for a leisurely lunch on Goan chorizo and ‘poee’ bread at Chef Chris Saleem Agha’s O Fogo and sneak in Chardonnay and Merlot tastings at Black Sheep Bistro, with owner-chef-sommelier Prahlad Sukhtankar.
Image Credits : scoopwhoop, blogspot, cntraveller.in, wikimedia.org
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