Goa, the smallest estate in India, one of the most touristic and well-known destinations worldwide. There are famous trance parties, hippie sunset spots and lots of diverse young people riding bikes, staying on beach huts and having endless fun. This is the typical portrait of North Goa; and still not far from the reality. However, there is a way for visiting the North without just wild parties and having fun at the same, apart from the chill and less explored South Goa.
On a motorbike, it is very easy to explore most of the main beaches and spots. Candolim, Calangute and Baga Beach are the ones hosting the biggest number of Indian tourists, especially young Indian guys enjoying their weekends on the Casinos. Anjuna and Vagator are the most famous beaches related with the trance party scene and the old hippie trail, where you can include as well, Arambol. On Saturday nights look for the Arpora Night Market, artisans from all over India and new designers established in Goa, any street food and live music.
A Kitsch Touch for a Home Feeling Villa
When looking for a little more relaxing atmosphere and quiet flat sand beaches to walk and enjoy, head to Morjim, Ashvem and Mandrem beaches. Ashvem beach has some of the best accommodation offers from the whole area. From instance, Sur La Mer is the ideal place to unpack your suitcase in North Goa and enjoy for a week or two.
The yellow-ish mansion like property it is less than five minutes walk from Ashvem beach. The centre of the house it is the swimming pool surrounded by the rooms and the main building, where you have the entrance, the owners home and the incredible penthouse. It feels like a vintage familiar mansion with a divine pool to enjoy before or after a swim in the Arabian Sea. The decoration of the rooms is simple and lovely. The exterior walls facing the pool have classic Hollywood film posters.
The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris or Breakfast at Tiffany’s give that kitsch touch to tranquil Sur La Mer. The lower rooms on the pool side are small size, but more than enough for a few days.The upper rooms are high ceiling quite big with very comfortable and cool bathrooms with two sinks and large mirror. As the ceiling is tall enough, there is a mezzanine with another bed, ideal for families or travelling with friends.
Sur La Mer Goan Savoir Affair
There is a familiar atmosphere and very open-minded, Sur La Mer is popular also for hosting private parties like 30th or 40th birthdays, it is possible to close the villa just for the celebration. The owner Aneel Verman, his wife and their son will do everything for creating the best ambient that you would like to. Their staff is also five stars, humble people that are always there when needed. They know to listen and have really good manners. Most of the staff have been with Aneel for many years, so it is easy to feel the familiar and easy-going vibe.
Nights are very quiet and before letting go into Morfeo arms, enjoy of a nocturnal swim on the enlightened swimming pool, this is a must! Both types of rooms are equipped with air conditioner and fans, even though at night the rooms are fresh and it is easy to have a long good sleep. And let’s start again with a new day in Goa where you can do yoga, surf, stand up paddle or some massage on the beach for a few rupees. Fashionistas need to be on alert, because around the area there are the best pop-ups and boutique stores. Only during the season, brands like Tia, Fara or Nicobar display their contemporary and cool designs. Nobody could say you are in India, the vibe looks more like Ibiza. Create your personalised Goan paradise curating carefully the places to hang out around.
Taste the Holidays from Ashvem to Vagator Beach
As a good hotel-resort from Goa, at Sur La Mer they also host a restaurant and sometimes it is easy to see Aneel cooking some specialities. He likes to make the guests feel like at home and everyone comes back because of him and his family. As a little curiosity, some old guests they just book their holidays at Sur La Mer when Aneel is around, which means something. In general, the menu is a mixture of French and Indian food, the cheese filo-pastry and the palak-paneer are delicious. For breakfast, the fresh juices like pineapple and the onion, tomato and cheese omelette are the perfect combo for starting the day with energy. Also, for a change on the other side of the road following the straight way to the beach, there is another prestigious restaurant in Ashvem, called La Plage. A high culinary experience considering that you are under Indian sand, this is a good spot for a candlelight dinner.
Following the broad international gastronomic offer and looking for a great Mediterranean meal in Vagator, do not miss Thalassa. The Greek restaurant of Mariketty Grana, a lovely Greek expat living in Goa for more than thirty years and delivering delicious authentic Greek delicatessen for more than a decade. If you ask in the area, everyone knows and loves Mariketty, she is a character of its kind. It is not a coincidence that Mariketty and Aneel are great friends, both venues have been opened practically the same years. In Thalassa, check the weekend shows where Mariketty’s son, Spyro, has a show of Greek dance and there are some broken dishes, “Opah!”. Their tzatziki and all kind of moussakas are unbeatable and the magic views from the little Vagator beach help to the ambient.
North Goa can make everyone happy with its million kinds of choices. It represents very well the iconic beach holidays, that everybody should tick at least once from the bucket list.