South Goa Itinerary
Hello everyone, wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Hope the month of January is treating you well. Here’s my first post of 2023. South Goa Itinerary is one of the most requested topics and I had also promised to take this up on my blog. So, here we are!
Travel has become a norm and more & more parents are taking the leap of faith by moving out of their comfort zone to travel with their kids. However, there are still many who dread the thought of taking a vacation with their little ones. One thing I will say to them is plan everything to the T but be open to setbacks, follow the same routine that you follow at home but still take cues from your kid, keep the itinerary simple and days lesser to make it work for you. Gradually you will get the hang of it but don’t say no to the opportunity to travel.
The biggest misconception people have about Goa is that it’s all about the beaches and it’s all for the party people. NO! Goa is much more than that.
And, in today’s post, we are going to explore that other side of Goa.
Why South Goa?
The first time we visited Goa with our son was when he was 7 months old. It was our first trip to Goa as parents & we were not well prepared for it. It was a 10-Day trip and we included both North Goa & South Goa in our itinerary. A big mistake!
Obviously, we got exhausted even before we started settling in the vacay mode.
Let me tell you North Goa is too overrated. If your kids are small don’t even bother to think about this part of Goa. You will have to make a lot of adjustments to enjoy it fully with a child.
But if you are someone who like to indulge in adventure water sports and want to explore the flea markets, churches, ancient temples, forts, shacks and bars then North Goa is your go to destination. I am sure you will find a way to enjoy your time in North Goa even if you are traveling with your kids.
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However, if you want to take it easy and slow, then the better option is South Goa. Did I mention that it’s a heaven for nature lovers. You will find the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in this part of Goa. I feel South Goa has everything to keep a family with kids happy. And, parents get ample options to just relax and rejuvenate.
We did a small and exciting trek to a waterfall with our 7-month old in South Goa and we absolutely loved it.
7-Day South Goa Itinerary with Kids
Last year in October was our 3rd trip to Goa with our son (6-year-old). Since he’s a nature lover & explorer just like us, we thought of exploring more of South Goa this time.
So, if you are planning a trip to South Goa with your kids (6 and above) and you want to do more than just beach hopping then this itinerary may help you to plan yours.
How to Reach Goa?
The fastest mode of travel to reach Goa is undoubtedly Air Travel. But traveling by train is also a popular option for those who want to enjoy the beauty of Western Ghats. And, the third option is to reach Goa by Road.
Did you know that Goa has got a new International Airport?
Manohar International Airport (GOX) was inaugurated on 11 December 2022 in Mopa, North Goa. It opened for domestic operations on 5 January 2023, with the first flight operated by IndiGo. International flights will start from February 2023.
In the last 6 years, we have tried all the 3 options. Unfortunately, for us, the train travel was a failure for many reasons. It was a long journey and on top of that the train was running late. Our son got restless and other passengers didn’t like it at all. Once we reached Goa, it was so difficult to get a cab at the train station. I would highly recommend pre-booking your cab to avoid any hassles if you choose to travel by train. Goa is severely impacted by the Taxi mafia so be careful.
Our recent trip to Goa was a Road Trip from Bangalore and it was an absolute hit. Here you can watch the video to get all the details.
Now, let’s move ahead with South Goa Itinerary.
Day 1 – Arrive at Goa & Relax
We started from Bengaluru at 5 am and reached Goa (Palolem Beach) at 5 pm by road. It was a relaxed road trip, we took ample breaks in between. After reaching Goa, we checked in to our hotel (Palolem Beach Resort) and went straight to the beach to watch the sunset.
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So, I would suggest to keep your Day 1 relaxed even if you reach early. You may take a stroll on the beach, watch the sunset or simply relax and rejuvenate.
You may also go for shopping after sunset!
Day 2 – Take a Boat Trip for Dolphin Watching
This boat trip you can plan from Palolem beach and you can include activities as per your liking. You can go for a morning tour or the sunset tour. We did the morning trip which included 3 activities, dolphin watching, butterfly beach and honeymoon beach. I have shared all the details of this boat trip in the video below, so check it out.
This boat ride is completely safe to plan with kids. I am sure your kids would enjoy watching the dolphins and beach hopping.
After coming back from the trip you can relax on the beach, take a dip in the sea, have some delicious food at the shack. And, in the evening, you can go check out the Palolem market and indulge in some shopping.
Day 3 – Kayaking at Cola Beach
Even after visiting Goa many times, we had no idea that we can do Kayaking in the backwaters. So, the second time we were in Goa with our son, we saw people taking kayaks in the sea. Since we are not great swimmers we didn’t try that.
But during our last trip we got to know about Kayaking in Cola backwaters. And, we thought of checking it out. We drove to cola beach then walked a bit to reach the backwaters where we saw the kayaks. And, I can tell you it’s a fun experience. Don’t miss it!
Check out the video below to know more about it.
You can spend this day at Cola beach, play in the sand and swim in the sea, enjoy more of kayaking in the backwaters.
Later, in the evening, you can explore the cafes in Palolem. We tried a variety of vegan food and desserts and everything is so droolworthy, so do give it a try.
Day 4 – Bird Watching, Eagle Feeding and Monkey Island
This day you can spend at Palolem beach exploring the various activities there. So, if you walk to the extreme North side of the beach, you will find Palolem backwaters on the right and an island to the left.
You can go for bird watching and eagle feeding activity in the Palolem backwaters. You may check out the video for details.
Or, you can walk to the other side to explore the Monkey island. Or, you can do both, totally up to you and your interest. But I feel these are the activities checking out once at least.
Here’s a video you may watch to know how to reach Monkey island. When we went there, it was high tide so we literally had to cross the sea, walking through the waves. It was a thrilling experience!
Day 5 – Waterfalls in South Goa
As I said earlier, Goa is more than just the beaches. So, if you want to explore the other side of Goa, you should definitely visit at least one of the waterfalls in South Goa.
If you are coming to Goa after monsoons then it’s the best time to explore the waterfalls as they will be in their full glory. But that would also mean you will find rush and it may get a bit difficult to handle that with kids along.
So, may be Oct-Nov would be the ideal time to visit the waterfalls.
You can go to the famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls but this opens up only after monsoon, most probably from October. Even if you visit these falls in the months of Jan-Feb, you will not be disappointed.
There’s a 20 mins trek to the falls from the main gate and you will be provided life jackets to enjoy swimming at the pool. Try to reach there as early as possible because once it gets crowded, you will be struggling to find a good spot.
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There are a few more waterfalls inside Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and reaching to those falls requires a trek down for about 40-45 mins.
Last year in October, we visited Neturlem (Savri) waterfall and it was one of the best experiences during our trip. You may check out this video to know more details about the same.
There is another waterfall just 15 mins from Savri and that is Mainapi Waterfall, the trek to this one is almost same but there’s less water in this one.
If you don’t like to trek or if you feel your kid won’t be able to walk for such long but you still want to enjoy the waterfall then there’s a small but beautiful waterfall on the way to Netravali. You should definitely check it out.
Keep your evening relaxed after coming back from the waterfalls.
Day 6 – Trek to the Butterfly Beach
Yes, this is the same beach that you can visit by boat also as I shared above for Day 2. But if you like to trek then skip the boat ride to this beach and instead go trekking.
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Butterfly beach is known to be one of the most scenic beaches in South Goa, it’s a small beach surrounded by rocks and in my opinion the best one to enjoy time with family.
I have shared complete details of the trek in this video, do check it out.
Day 7 – Beach Hopping
I know many people enjoy beach hopping and why not. Goa is famous for beaches and if you love exploring beaches too then you should definitely include this in your itinerary.
I am not sure how much the kids would enjoy this though. But the good thing about beach hopping is there are no restrictions to this plan. You may check out as many beaches as you like or you may simply stop at the first beach and spend the rest of your day there.
Here are the names of most of the beaches you would find in South Goa starting from Palolem.
So, if you start from Palolem, you can go further South and visit Patnem, Rajbag, Talpona, Galgibaga, and Pollem beach and then the last beach to the South is KA-GO border beach.
Or, you may go further North and check out Agonda, Cola, Kakolem, Cabo de Rama, Nuem, Mobor, Cavelossium, Carmona, Varca, Colva, Majorda, and Bolmallo beach.
So, that’s it from my side for South Goa Itinerary. I have shared activities and places for 7 days in this post. You may choose as per your interest and the number of days you have in your hand.
I hope this post and the videos will help you plan your Goa trip with ease. If you have any queries or doubts you may reach out to me anytime. I would try my best to help you out plan your perfect South Goa Itinerary.
If you like this post, please do share it with your friends and family. Till then bye bye and take care!