Getting Around In Goa
How To Get There
Before independence, the many
rivers that drain across Goa made getting around a problem. Nowadays,
however, thanks to a network of road bridges, life is a lot easier.
For tourists, white Maruti Van Taxis serve as the main means of travelling
between resorts. One will find them lined up outside most charter hotels,
where a board invariably to destinations in and around the region. The fixed
rate fares only apply to peak season, however, and at other times one should
be able to negotiate a hefty reduction.
If auto-rickshaws are the quaint
essentially Indian mode of transport, flat-bottomed ferries are their Goan
equivalent. Crammed with cars, buses, commuters on scoters, fisherwomen and
clumps of bewildered tourists, these rusting blue-painted hulks provide an
essential service, crossing the coastal backwaters where bridges have not
yet been built. They're also incredibly reasonable, and run from the crack
of dawn until late in the evening.
The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across the
Mandovi; Old Goa to Divar Island; Siolim to Chopdem, across the Terakol
River; and Cavelossim in the far south of Salcete Taluka, to Assolna.
By Motorcycle Taxi: Goa's
unique pillion-passenger motorcycle taxis, known locally as "pilots",
are ideal for nipping between beaches or into town from the resorts. Bona
fide operators ride black bikes with yellow mudguards and white number
plates. Fares, which should be settled in advance, are comparable with
By Rented Motorcycle: Renting motorcycle in goa gives a lot of freedom.
Officially, one needs an international driver's licence to rent, and ride,
anything more powerful than a 25cc moped. Rates vary according to the
season, the vehicle, and how long one wants to rent it for most owners also
insist on a deposit and passport as security. The range is pretty standard
and the reasonable choice is a 50 cc moped. These are fine for buzzing to
the beach and back, but to travel further try the stalwart Enfield Bullet
350cc, popular mainly for its pose value; the smaller but more reliable
Honda Kinetic 100 cc, which has automatic gears and is a good first-time
choice or the best all rounder, the Yamaha RD 100 cc; light, fast enough,
reliable, economical and with annual gears.
The Konkan Railway makes Goa easily
accessible by rail from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot,
Mangalore , Ernakulam and Thiruvanantapuram . The daily New Delhi
(Nizamuddin) to Vasco-da-Gama Goa Express has been resumed. Goa is also
linked to Bangalore, Chennai , Hyderabad and Pune via Londa.
Dabolim Airport, 30-km from the state
capital Panaji, has coach services operating to and from the airport. All
the major hotels also arrange transport for the guests. A prepaid taxi
service is also available over here. All the major airline services have
daily flights to Goa from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and twice a week
from Chennai and Kochi. The International Service of airlines also connects
Goa with Kuwait and Sharjah twice a week.
The Goan Transport Corporation,
Kadamba, runs long-distance services throughout the state from their main
stand at Panjim, Mapusa, Margao and destinations in the adjoining states of
Maharashtra and Karnataka. Private buses, serving everywhere else including
the coastal resorts, are affordable, frequent, and more relaxed than many in
Ship / Cruises
THE MANDOVI RIVER CRUISE:
A popular alternative to watching the sunset from a beach bar - at least
for most Indian tourists - is an evening River Cruise along the Mandovi from
Panjim. GTDC runs two return trips every day from Santa Monica jetty the
first at 6.00 pm, and the second at 7.15 pm. Snacks and drinks are
available, and the price includes a display of Konkani and Portuguese dance
accompanied by folk singers in traditional Goan costume, and sometimes a
live Hindi cover band.
FULL MOON CRUISES:
Two hour "Full moon" cruises leave daily at 8.30 pm, regardless
of the lunar phase.
EMERALD WATER CRUISES:
Operating in direct competition to GTDC are Emerald Waters Cruises from the
quay outside the Hotel Mandovi. They also offer longer sightseeing trips
during the day.
Bookings: For the GTDC Cruise can be made through their travel agents.
Emerald waters' ticket counter is opposite the hotel mandovi.
Accommodation in Goa ranges from charming old family homes turned into
guest houses at budget prices and aesthetic mid range resorts with Goan
cottages by the sea, to splendid five star deluxe hotels. In addition Goa
Tourism Development Corporation (Trionora Apartments, Panjim) runs
moderately priced accommodation throughout Goa.
Banks / Money Changers
Most banks in Goa offer
currency exchange. Some major banks are:
State Bank Of India,
Bank of Baroda
With branches at Panjim, Mapusa, Anjuna, Calangute, Vasco, Margao,
Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim, Colva and Betalbatim.
Central Bank Of India
Near Cine Blue, Margao,
Accepts American Express Cards Issued In India.
18th June Road, Panjim
& Municipality Building, Margao
Accepts Centurion Bank Cash Cards.
Accepts Centurion Bank Cash Cards.
Accepts master card, JCD and VISA
18th june road Panjim
Accepts American Express, Master,
VISA , VISA Electro, CIRCUSS
Opposite Passport Office, Panjim
Opp Molipot House Near Loyala
Accepts ICICI Bank Cards.
Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) offers several daily tours
aroundGoa starting from Panjim, Margao, Mapusa, Calangute, and Vasco.
Ordinary and A/C coaches are also available.
North Goa: Includes Mapusa town, Sri Saptakoteshwar Temple at Narva, Mayem
Lake, Beaches at Vagator, Anjuna and Calangute, Fort Aguada and the
handicrafts Emporium at Panjim. The tour can also be combined with a river
South Goa: Includes Old Goa Churches - Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral,
Sri Mangueshi and Shantadurga temples, ancestral Goa at Loutolim, Colva
Beach, Margao, Bogmala Beach, Dona Paula Bay and Miramar.
Tours to Dudhsagar Falls and Tiracol Fort are operated by GTDC subject to a
minimum of 20 persons.
Package Tours: These tours are available from Mumbai and Pune to Goa
including travel, stay and visits around Goa.
CROCODILE AND DOLPHIN SPOTTING TOURS
A number of tour agents along the Baga, Candolim and Calangute beach strip
nowadays offer backwater Crocodile or Dolphin spotting down the Mandovi
River to the Zuari River whose banks are thickly forested with mangrove
trees. Crocodiles inhabit the swamps in this area. In the open sea at the
mouth of the Mandovi River, one can also spot some Dolphins.
Tourist Information Centres
Government Of India Tourist Office
Church Square, Panjim
Government Of Goa,
Department Of Tourism Offices
Tourist Home, Patto, Panjim
North Goa - Tourist Shopping Complex,
South Goa - Tourist Hostel,
Tourist Information Counter
Interstate Bus Terminus, Panjim
Tourist Information Counter, Tourist
Click here for Tours in Goa
Tourist Information Counter,
Government Of Tamil Nadu
Tourist office, Rayu Chambers
Dr. A.B. Road, Panjim
Kerala Tourist Office, Bhanav Apartments,
Dr. Shirgaonkar Road,
Tourist Hostel, Panjim
Velho Filhos Building,
Municipal Garden Square,
Government Of Andhra Pradesh
Tourist Information Centre
Rua de Ourem, Panjim
Government of Goa,
Tourist Information Counter,
Goa Sadan, Amrita Shergil Marg,
Government Of Goa, Tourist
Central Railway Station,
Suggested Tour Packages