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June 21, 2024

Unique experiences for travellers to Goa

By Mini Ribiero
Goa is now a destination on everyone’s list, no matter what time of the year. Beaches, casinos, a meal of Xit -Kodi (translated to rice curry) with chilled beer at a shack, are old cliches. First time tourists and even repeat travellers are now seeking unique
experiences they can connect with, which makes their
trip extraordinary.
Hotels and individual entrepreneurs are leaving no stone unturned to cater to these demands. Varun Hegde, Co-founder, Soul Travelling, Goa explains, “With the unique experiences that Soul
Travelling offers, Goa can now be considered an industry leader in the luxury experiences space as well. These experiences keep the local flavour alive, while ensuring comfort- very rustic and premium, at the same time. These are also diverse in themes – from nature to culture to architecture and food, there is something for everyone.” He adds, “Our tours are meticulously curated, blending cultural immersion, adventure and luxury, ensuring every moment is unforgettable. We also offer private experiences, for which we limit the bookings to a single group to enhance personalization, allowing our guests to truly connect with the destination.”
Goa backwaters
Photo Courtesy: Pexels
The Storii brand by ITC Hotels brings bespoke experiences at immersive locations through atypical hotels and resorts that are unique by character, design or heritage and strive to co-exist with the environment and the community. Mandira Goswami, General Manager Storii by ITC Hotels (Operations) elaborates, “Storii by ITC Hotels is fast becoming a preferred brand in the experiential segment, welcoming travellers seeking local experiences.”
BLive, a Goa-based travel tech platform offers immersive experiential tours powered by smart and savvy electric bikes. The e-bike tours provide an intimate local experience, conducted by the locals, offering a glimpse of the quintessential Goan culture.
Adventure
If adventure is your calling, BLive offers a trail, away from the chaos of downtown Goa. Witness time slowing down in the quaint river island of Divar, a few miles from Panjim. One can ride through fields, mangroves, churches, temple sites and beautiful houses. The trail doesn’t end here. Hop on to a ferry from Divar and visit the neighbouring island of Vanxim. Explore the backwaters and row your boat between the mangroves, spot migratory birds and sea otters, if you are lucky, backwater crocodiles too. Learn the art of fishing by the locals and get hosted for a mouth-watering home-cooked meal.
Cost and Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes Island hopping
tour – ₹3,999/-
Tourists are looking beyond the regular attractions in Goa.
If the breathtaking views of River Mandovi beckon you, get on a luxury yacht in Goa, selecting from a range of well-maintained luxurious fleets. The personalized service and customised cruising itineraries by Fun Cruises Goa, ensure your time on the yacht is the best tailor-made vacation ever. From secluded golden
beaches to panoramic views of the river, they have got you covered.
Cost: Starting at 11,500 per hour depending upon the yacht
Food & beverage experiences
Storii by ITC Hotels Moira Riviera
One need not merely enjoy time at the beautiful Storii by ITC Hotels Moira Riviera, Goa. Opt for the offsite storytelling excursion, which ensures you’re treated to local anecdotes and lesser-known information by a local storyteller, over evening tea with a picnic.
How to book: Excursion is available for hotel guests, on 24 hours prior booking with resort, arranged with a storyteller.
Farm-to-table at C’est La vie
Head to enjoy an exclusive Farm-to-table experience in the hills – C’est La Vie in South Goa by Chef Avinash Martins of Cavatina. Nestled in the hills, away from the city traffic, this is the place to be in, if you are looking for fresh seasonal food, keeping the local ecosystem in mind. Relax amidst nature, ensconced in lush greenery, as you listen to the chirping of the birds. There is no set menu. The 7-course meal is prepared based on the ingredients sourced that day, to ensure you have the freshest produce. This is a private setup where no other guests are present, ensuring privacy and comfort.
Cost:
6,000 per head, including beverages
Reservations to be made 48 hours prior to your preferred dates on 8805258277. Minimum 6 people. Additional information: Be there by 12 pm and ensure all guests arrive at the same time to make the best of the experience.
Floating Feni experience
If apart from food, Goa’s local feni, is your poison, book the Floating feni experience – The Table in The Water at the Fazenda Cazulo distillery and the only Feni cellar in the world. Sit across a table which is in the water, sip feni, accompanied by a curated meal and have Hansel Vaz, the owner of the premium Feni brand Cazulo, conduct a masterclass of feni appreciation- in a 2-hours
session.
Cost: `
₹2,500 + 18% GST per person
Book on Urbanaut App
Nature
There can be no better way to enjoy nature, than a visit to Ilhas Dos Fidalgos – The Island of the Noblemen in Charao, the name given by the Portuguese, who captured this as one of their first conquests of their 451-year-long rule. This trail balances the beautiful ecosystem, the lost heritage, inspiring stories and amazing travellers.
It is one of the most prominent areas for migratory birds in India. This trail, by Soul Travelling, is a journey that uncovers the best of Charao island – a boat ride through the mangroves for bird-spotting, engaging with the local community for a hands-on cooking experience, with an array of Goan flavours at a local home, feni-tasting at a Tavern and a rejuvenating clay bathing
experience.
Cost: `
₹3,750 per head (minimum of 4 adults required for a private experience)
Advance booking minimum 72 hours in advance
Contact : +91 88067 28309: Booking through www.
soultravelling.in website
Heritage and Culture
Fort Aguada maybe a site everyone is familiar with but the experience Aguada Goa, housed in the 400-year old Aguada Port and Jail complex offers, is outstanding. The newest contemporary hub for arts and culture, this place hosts a series of exciting events, ranging from immersive film screenings for cinephiles, to entertaining Sound, Light and Digital experiences, and even a Digital Museum: Freedom Struggle of Goa to Art Shows &
Exhibitions. It also offers, Marine programmes and coastal walking trails, thus ensuring, there is something to pique everyone’s interest.
If the fascinating history of Goa and a slice of real Indo-Portuguese culture, appeals to you, head to the Figueiredo Mansion in Loutolim, South Goa. Figueiredo House, also called the Old House, was built by Manuel João de Figueiredo, in 1590. Two centuries later, Caetano de Figueiredo added 2,500 square metres to the original 2,500, creating what is today, the Figueiredo Mansion.
Fatima Figueiredo de Albuquerque, and her son, Pedro, the living descendants, own and manage it as a museum and homestay (8 rooms named after the ladies of the house, including a suite). With stunning interiors, yet a homely vibe, the place has been given a contemporary touch for comfort. The highlight of course, is the Museum, which transports you back in time.
Cost: Museum Tour 300 per head and Home stay Tariff: ₹6,500 plus taxes from March-October, and `8500 plus
taxes from October-March, Inclusions – Breakfast and a
guided tour of the Museum.
Art
For lovers of art, the Christian Art Trail by Soul Travelling, is a must-do. This trail takes participants through the astounding works of art found on the walls of monumental buildings in Old Goa and helps them discover art forms that have barely survived to tell their tale. One can expect to see an impressive collection of
historic objects, from ornate chalices to sacred relics, each with its own fascinating story. Throughout this experience, a guide provides insights into the cultural and religious significance of these treasures, painting a vivid picture of Goa’s Christian heritage.
Cost: 
₹999 per head (minimum of 2 adults required-
experience is shared with other guests)
Advance booking minimum 72 hours in advance
Contact: +91 88067 28309:
Booking through www.soultravelling.in

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