Meals Include: Breakfast+(Lunch or Dinner)
It isn’t all about Beaches and parties in Goa. Unlike other major tourist destinations in India, Goa is less urban than rural. Goa’s heart lies in its villages and Aldona is one such village that you will explore in this offbeat Goa tour. For those who choose offbeat over the basics, exploring this enthralling village on mountain bikes is something really offbeat and cool. Besides, you won’t be staying over at any hotel or a resort but a home stay which is going to be another amazing experience. Living with a family, knowing them and interacting with locals are some of the best ways of knowing what exactly the place is about.
Aldona Village’s major attractions are Aldona Fort, Aravalem waterfalls, rock-cut caves, Mayem Lake and Mapusa Market. The rock cut caves in Aravalem in Goa are believed to be the oldest ones in Asia and yet are not discovered much by the tourists. The Aravalem waterfalls are the spectacular site in Aravalem and one of the major tourist spot in Goa. Mayam Lake on the other hand is a beautiful pristine Lake situated amidst the sleepy Goan village Aldona and offers opportunities like paddle boating and kayaking.
It is however, can be said that the heart of Goa lies in its villages. The character and charm of Goa state lies in its villages and thus the city is slow and difficult to live in. The villages are comparatively cleaner and greener and provide much better holidaying destination in Goa. Evenings here are most pleasant and enjoyable when taken long walks alongside the beaches or even in the streets that boasts the old world charm. The air of Goa is cleaner than most of the other vacation spots in India except for the hills where you get the cleanest air. The city is also cleaner and vibrant with people coming from all spheres of life.
Day 1: Meet the home stay hosts. Explore Aldona on mountain bikes
As you land in Panjim Airport or at the Thivim Station, you will be guided towards the picturesque Aldona Village in North Goa, 35 km from Panaji. Here you will check in to your home stay which is around 500 years old home stay in Goa and is owned by famous Amaral Family of Aldona. You will stay in a colonial era home stays that offers a Portugal feel to its visitors.
Unwind at this beautiful and peaceful lodge and get ready to explore the village of Aldona. The village can best be explored on foot or on mountain bikes. The gentle terrain of the village offers some interesting trails. Mingle with neighbors lazing outside their homes and locals working in their rice paddies. Learn about their lives and hear their stories. Enjoy the treasures far from the general notions of Goa.
Return to the home stay for the night.
Day 2: Day trip: Aravalem waterfalls, rock-cut caves, Mayem Lake OR to Mapusa Market
On day 2 of your trip, visit rock-cut caves and the waterfalls in Aravalem. Enjoy a visit to one of the oldest rock cut caves in Asia and admire the sculptures and architect here. Later visit to the waterfalls of Aravalem, take splash in azure waters of the fall and swim in the cool waters.
Later visit the picturesque Mapusa Lake and enjoy paddling boat on this beautiful Lake. Well, if you know how to do it, the Lake also offers the provision for Kayaking. After a thrilling day, proceed for Lunch in the street market of Mapusa.
Later in the day visit the vilage church and cemetery, where you come across interesting experiences. The picturesque Aldona fort, the abandoned Portuguese homes, ancient bridges transport you back in the colonial era. Savor some baked food at the famous bakery in the village in the evening.
Return to the home stay for a restful night.
Day 3: Kayak in the backwaters. Guided village trip
Another adventure awaits you this day of your offbeat tour. Backwaters are not just famous in Kerala, to your surprise, today you will be taken to explore the backwaters of Goa.
However, unlike the backwaters of Kerala, the popular counterpart there are no houseboats and nor commercialization, only an endless stretch of serenity. Here, you can board a kayak and get on the waters to experience the serene environs around the Lake. Virgin backwaters of Goa are a masterpiece and what’s beautiful about it is that it is untouched by the crowd of people.
Watch the sunset and be back to your homestay in Aldona Village.
Day 4: Optional trips
Day 4 if left free for you, you can customize your own day out plans and we can certainly assist you in that. You can choose for a speedboat trip through the unexplored backwaters of Goa. This 1.5-hour trip, offers to revel in the natural beauty. Pass through secluded villages and intricate mangroves.
Between October and March, you can choose to speedboat into the Arabian Sea. In these months, it is possible to scout for dolphins. Unlike the Dolphin charters, it is a personalized experience of visiting the gentle beasts.
For an alternate tour, go island hopping on a ferry. Rent a bike or car. Take the drive through the less travelled river route via Pomburpa. Spend the night in parties, lost in music and dancing. Celebrate life in Goan style.
Or you can choose to spend the day at leisure at your home stay sharing and learning stories from the modest locals.
Day 5: Departure from Goa Airport - Railway station
On day 5, bid adieu to your hosts and to the village and drive to the Panjim Airport for catching a flght or train back home.
The offbeat tour is over, but you take a little bit of Goa along in your hearts.