Goa. The name alone sets our pulses racing. Sun, beach, culture, scenery – and the best bit – thousands of kilometers separating us from reality. How could such a destination ever disappoint? Exactly, it couldn’t. So whether you’re umming and ahhing over whether to make the trip, or have just never thought about going before, here’s The Beach Company's feature to demonstrate why when it comes to Goa, going is the only real option.
We guess it’s pretty obvious that a staple of the Goa diet is fish & rice, since it’s a collection of coastal fishing villages and all that, and oh do we love seafood. Dining out around the beautiful hamlets of Goa is an event like no other, filled with flavours and freshness. To ensure we don’t keep this too vague, we’ve even picked out a few of our favourite places to eat on a few of our favourite beaches. Aren’t you lucky.
Number one has to be Martin's Corner in Betalbatim in South Goa. Completely unpretentious and a favourite amongst the locals, you can easily rock up here in your beach gear and sample the best prawn curry you’ve ever tasted.
Then, for the nights you do want to dress up and revel in a little pretension, there’s nowhere better than Cohiba in Candolim. You’ll enjoy beautifully cooked food in an unbeatable setting with a fabulous live-band.
Our favourite places to sleep around the Goa range from hammocks on the beach to luxury lodgings on white sand beaches. The iconic Park Hyatt in Cansaulim we couldn’t go without mentioning, but there are some other lesser known resorts that are just as spectacular. Take The Sol for example. Sure it’s a little expensive, but oh wow is it worth it. And the Marbella Beach Resort in Morjim is another truly spectacular place to while away a few nights in paradise.
There are so many things to do for fun on these islands, and in this instance, we couldn’t turn the spotlight on just one thing. So here’s a list of just a couple (or 22…):
Diving (although not some of the world’s best), snorkelling, surfing, paddle boarding, hiking, climbing, swimming, spa-ing, horse riding, biking, driving, eating, drinking, cooking, sailing, wildlife watching, kayaking, jet skiing, shopping, skydiving, quad biking, star gazing…
Ok so we ran out of breath, but the list could be way longer. Just go already.
Whenever the chaos around me gets too intense to deal with, whenever I feel the need to push back and step away, I close my eyes and instantly, my mind begins to wander. It takes me to exotic destinations, and from here in Mumbai, where else is better than Aamchi Goa.
Beach Vacation Packing List
By the sea is where I find my haven. Goa is paradise on Earth for absolutely anyone and everyone, it has this ability to transform itself to please each person that sets foot on this gorgeous land. There is something for the shopper, the foodie, the historian, the nature lover, the party goer, the parents, the kids, the gamblers, the adventure lovers, the thrill seekers…for those on a budget or for those addicted to luxury..
So although this is not an exhaustive list of things to pack for your beach vacation, it is a fun look at some beach vacation essentials.
1. Swimwear : The thing to remember while picking swimwear is that comfort and confidence are most important factors. All of us would like to rock bikini’s, supermodel style, but all of us might not be able to. So pick what you feel most confident in, these days there are plenty of patterns and styles of swimwear to choose from.
2. Maxi Dresses : These are super hard working and super versatile. Slip it on over your swimsuit and it will take you from beach to brunch, pair it with a little shimmer for a party, switch those flip flops with some heels and you will be ready for a dinner date.
3. Sunscreen: Whether you want the oil to expedite your tan, or the cream to block it, carry something to protect from the UV rays.
4. Sun Hats : They don’t just protect the skin from the sun, the look stylish and elegant too.
5. Footwear : A cute pair of flip flops and a trendy pair of sandals (fringe or gladiators or fringed gladiators :) are absolute musts.
6. Sunglasses : An essential that I have forgotten many-a-time, which is why it needs a special mention!
The Beach Company is India's largest retailer of SWIMWEAR I BEACHWEAR I HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS in India. We cater to holiday-goers and swimmers at all levels. We hope you enjoy your experience and urge you to be careful by the water.
Grab a quick bite on your way in or out of town.
With the onslaught of the tourist season, India's sunny state is all set to get busy and crowded. For those of you flying in and out of Goa, expect delayed flights- don’t say we didn’t warn you! In any case, what do you do when you’re supposed to land in the morning but reach around lunch? Or you have a few hours to kill at the airport before you board your flight? Head over to one of these restaurants for a delicious meal or just to chill out for a bit.
Located in the heart of the city, this tiny restaurant has recently undergone a makeover and is back in a swanky new avatar. While the menu includes Chinese and Continental as well, we would recommend trying their Indian fare, particularly the Goan food. They make a mean Chicken Dum Biryani (Rs 700) and Tandoori Pomfret (priced as per size). Try out their Golden Goan Fish Thali (Rs 600) that has five Goan delicacies or the Prawn Curry Rice (Rs 100) if you’d like to keep it simple.
Price: Rs 800 for two
Timings: 11.30 am to 3 pm; 7 pm to 11 pm
Enjoy the sea breeze and soak in the spectacular view of the peaceful Bogmalo beach here. The shack has an outdoor and indoor section, with a pool table open to guests at a charge. Dig into the Paneer Steak Sizzler (Rs 300) or the Chicken Steak Sizzler (Rs 320) that can be customised as per your taste. What came as a real surprise to us was their perfectly spiced Prawn Biryani(Rs 280). If you’re around in the evening, they’ll light up their tandoor and serve you some creamy Chicekn Reshmi Kebab (Rs 260) and stuffed Cheese Garlic Naan (Rs 95).
Price: Rs 800 for two
Timings: 11 am to midnight
Opposite the tiny island of St. Jacinto, on the way out of Vasco city, this little restaurant has grown steadily over the years to become a definite stop for the airport bound. The kitchen is run by the owner’s family and the women of the house continue to grind fresh masalas every day. The Rawa Fried Prawns (Rs 350) are coated with a green paste and semolina that give them a fresh, unique flavour. Try the Beef Chilly Fry (Rs 170) or take your pick from an array of fresh seafood for the day. If you’d like to try something authentic, ask for the Sorpotel (Rs 170) and Sannas (Rs 15 each).
Price: Rs 900 for two
Timings: Noon to 3 pm; 7 pm to 11 pm
Barely a year old, this restaurant in the city is a popular choice with the masses. The refurbished old Goan house is spacious with a glass kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work. From all that’s on the menu, we’d recommend trying their tandoori fare – the Chicken Tikka (Rs 180), Fish Tikka (Rs 350) and Paneer Tikka (Rs 150). If you’re in the mood for something different, try their Peri Peri Prawns (Rs 225) or the Chilly Chicken (Rs 150). If you’re in time for lunch, do not miss out on the Seafood Thali (Rs 150) or Vegetarian Thali (Rs 130).
Price: Rs 800 for two
Timings: 11.30 am to 3.30 pm; 7 pm to 11 pm
The white and blue colour scheme of this restaurant gives it an almost Grecian feel. Sit outside under the shade of a coconut tree or at one of their many tables facing the sea. If you’re here in the morning, they have a breakfast menu as well that serves Cheese or Tomato Sandwiches (Rs 140) and Omelets (Rs 160). They’ve got a wide selection of Indian curries, including Chicken Handi (Rs 280) and Veg Kofta (Rs 220). If you’re looking for something to munch on, the Batter Fried Mushroom (Rs 140) and the Calamari Rings (Rs 180) are a great bet. Don't miss out on their lipsmacking Crab Xec Xec (priced as per size).
Price: Rs 1,000 for two
Timings: 11.30 am to 12.30 am
Experimental chef. Perpetually thinking about food, and sampling new types of food. Obsessed with supermarkets and having things in order. Half teacher, half writer, fully Goan. Would happily live on a beach or in a book.
Swim caps make you more hydrodynamic in the water and are a great way to keep long hair out of your face while you swim. Choosing a swim cap is fairly straight-forward and usually is influenced by what type of swimming you do, but there are a few considerations you should keep in mind when making a purchase.
Lap Swimming vs. Water Exercise
Lap swimming means head-down, face-in-the-water swimming, while water exercise can be anything from aqua jogging, to water therapy, to aqua aerobics. Water exercisers usually use caps to keep their hair out of their face and dry. Athletes doing water aerobics, aqua jogging, or other forms of gentle water exercise may want to wear a LYCRA™ swim cap. These are soft mesh material and will help keep hair out of their eyes without the tight, heat-retaining fit of traditional swim caps. Lap swimmers more commonly use caps to help them move through the water more efficiently and will prefer the hydrodynamic qualities of latex or silicone swim caps.
Practice vs. Racing vs. Open Water
Swim practice caps are made of latex or silicone. They're simple, inexpensive and quite similar from brand-to-brand, and are also commonly used during meets and competition. Modern racing caps are made of molded silicone, which provides a smoother surface and reduces drag during races. They are a bit more expensive than traditional swim caps. Open water racers or swimmers may want to opt for a silicone or even a neoprene cap which provide a bit more insulation and floatation than latex caps (although latex caps are equally acceptable and widely used on open water swims). Open water swimmers should also consider buying a cap in a bright color to make it easier for officials and rescuers to spot them in the water.
Lots of Hair vs. No Hair
If you have medium to long hair, then a silicone cap will suit you best. Silicone caps outlast their latex counterpart, are more tear resistant, and don't tug at your hair. Typically softer to the touch, a silicone cap is gentler on the hair and easier to get on and off after a workout. Those with longer hair will need a snug fit to keep their cap from falling off. Silicone caps can provide a contoured fit for your personal head size while keeping everything in place. If you have little or no hair, a latex cap will provide a better fit. Made of latex rubber, the latex cap tends to stretch more easily so they can be worn by virtually anyone. Regular-sized caps fit most swimmers with average head sizes. If an average-sized swim cap feels loose, try a junior or kids cap for a snugger fit. The cap should be tight enough to remain on your head throughout a race or workout, but not so tight that it leaves a line or begins to hurt your head. If you're worried your cap may not stay on, try a swim cap with a chin strap that comfortably holds your cap into place while you're swimming.
Pick What You Like
Best When it comes down to it, there are no strict rules about swimming headwear. Pick a cap that meets your needs, whether it comes down to comfort, insulation, or just the color. And since swim caps are quite inexpensive, it's a good idea to buy a few. That way you're sure to have one on hand in case one rips. Also consider buying a fun cap! Many companies manufacture holiday-themed caps, caps with funny sayings, or caps with graphics. You can also purchase customized caps that feature names, nicknames, and logos for yourself or a team. A unique swim cap can make hopping in the water a lot more enjoyable, whether for practice or competition.
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Here at The Beach Company, we fully understand the desire of beach-goers to start hitting the sauce early. Hey, you’re on holiday. You’re here to relax and be free. And what says “this is me time” more than some libation before lunch? But despite what some 90’s dance idealists say, there are always limits. So here’s a collection of signs that might help determine whether your spirited enthusiasm may, in fact, just be an enthusiasm for spirits…
The Corn Flake Cocktail
Let’s start with an obvious one: if you’re pouring any kind of alcohol over your cereal, even a milk-based booze, then you’re on the road to ruin. And you can swap in any food stuff here. Tequila with your omelette? That’s a no-no. Mai Tai’s with your melon slices? Come on, now…
Downward Facing Drunk
If you’re spilling gin and tonic on your yoga mat and slurring at the stranger next to you, “hey, you know wha wood make dish more innereshting? Tequila shotsh…”, then you’ve definitely pushed your chips in too early. Do everyone a favour and go practice a few horizontal bed planks before the obligatory shame salutations.
You’ve Been Spiked
It’s midday. Your wife’s enjoying the beautiful view and wondering where you are when she hears those twelve little words that fill her with ultimate dread: “Hey guys, I see you’re playing volleyball, mind if I join in?” With your shorts slipping down, you miss a high five and then spike the ball fifty feet into the sea. Someone asks your wife who the guy is making a fool himself. “No idea,” she says, as you flail around in the net like a punch-drunk tuna.
If, come lunch time, you’re cracking cheap one-liners to the waiters and fist-bumping Felipe the barman, then you’ve gone too far. A friendly nod is fine, but if you’re putting your arm around the pool boy and telling him to email you next time he’s in Watford, then you’re on the fast train to inappropriate town.
A) No-one likes a show off — a few morning mojitos don’t make you Maradona. B) They’re just kids! Does slide-tackling a four-year-old make you a winner? (clue: um…no). C) If you’re going to scream “4-4-2!” and try overhead kicks, at least take your sandals off. D) The goal’s that way…
Full Moon Party (For One)
You’re half way around the world, with a new-found zest for life. You left your worries at Terminal Two, and now you’re releasing your inner Rihanna. You’re a dance floor goddess – belting out those high notes and treating the sand like the factory floor from Flashdance. You wonder if you’ll ever feel this good again. And no, you won’t, because it’s not even three o’clock and the “DJ” you keep telling to drop the beat is your iPod. Oh, for shame…
Happy Hammock Syndrome
It seemed like a good idea, didn’t it, ordering that rum punch instead of going snorkelling. But a boozy treat soon turned into a morning mini-binge, and now you’re tussling with the mortal enemy of all sozzled sand-lovers: the hammock. You’ll fight to get in. You’ll ask strangers if they want a photo of you (they’ll say no). You’ll flop around like a beached mermaid. You’ll yell at a passing fisherman to push you back and forth. You’ll giggle like a schoolgirl. You’ll fall asleep. You’ll lose any sense of time and space. You’ll probably get sunburn. You’ll definitely regret it.
Words by somebody who's done all of the above. Bad. The Beach Company urges you to drink responsibly and STAY AWAY FROM THE WATER IF YOU ARE DRINKING!