One of the most sought-after holiday destinations in India is Goa - full of green hills, spice gardens, rolling beaches, traditional villages, beachside markets, lakes and the list goes on. Zooming on a motorbike or a car is different, but cycling in Goa has its own thrill to offer.
Cycling lets you enjoy the surroundings at your own pace while soaking in the rich culture and heritage of this small patch located by the Arabian Sea. Goa is not only about beaches and vibrant parties, a cycle tour will show you a softer and tranquil side of this former Portuguese colonial state.
Here, we will take you to a virtual tour at those places, which are otherwise left unexplored at a faster pace.
- Cycling in Goa: Rent
- Why cycling in Goa? We ask, Why not?
- Bicycle tours around Goa
- Small cycle tours around Old Goa: 3 Routes to Explore
- Cycling in Goa: Goa to Cavelossim (12 days)
- Cycling in Goa: Susegad trip (7 days)
- Additional tips for Every Cycling Enthusiast in Goa
- Summing Up
Cycling in Goa: Rent
To rent a bike in Goa you need to pay around INR 350 per day with INR 100 delivery charge. Electric cycles cost around INR 400 and that of MTB is around INR 250.
Rates decrease if rented for more than 3-4 days.
Why cycling in Goa? We ask, Why not?
As the Goan term “Susegad” means, you need to relax and take a “laid-back” tour to take the essence of the Goan way of life on a Goa road trip. So before getting into the trips, some short-term and some longer ones, let us have a compact look at what you can expect from the cycling trip!
Heritage Buildings overlooking beaches
First, rent a bike in Goa and head for the quaint hamlet Nerul. You will find old Portuguese mansions around the Coco Beach on the banks of Mandovi. Cycle towards Aguada plateau –visit the magnanimous Aguada Fort that overlooks the long sandy stretch of Candolim, Calangute and Baga beach. Now pedal a bit further to visit the Reis Magos Fort, as old as 450 years.
Birding at Carambolim lake
Nestled amid the green foliage, the Carambolim Lake acts as a bird habitat for both native birds and migrants
One of the favourite cycling routes in Goa¸ the seasoned cyclists will love the trail from Querim to the north to Polem to the south. Charpora, Zuari and Mandovi Rivers will greet en route offering an enthralling beachside ride while enjoying the Arabian Sea breeze.
Try out cycling along the tricky sandy beaches in low tide along the southern side of Vasco Da Gama.
Quaint Villages along the rivers
Start your Goa road trip from Panjim and reach Bastora Village by Mandovi River. From St Cajetan Church to the picturesque village huts – experience the rawest form of Goa. Another cycling route is from the Mandovi River to the Aldona village of the artists by the Mapusa River. Pass the Pomburpa hot water spring en route. Check out the Corjuem Fort on your way to Olaulim village.
Chorao and Divar Island
Ride 12kms east from Panjim to Divar Island to relish in the rustic landscape. Take a break from cycling and enjoy a ferry ride. Catch a glimpse of the fancy-dress parades of the Bonderam festival on every fourth Saturday in August. Take a ferry to Chorao Island. Cycle around the tranquil Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary to encounter the migratory birds.
Greenery of the spice gardens
On your cycling trip in Goa, check out the organic spice gardens that offer the quaint Indian-style cottages where only the sound of nature persists. Some of the spice plantations include Tanshikar Spice farm (Netravali), Sahakari Spice farm (Ponda) and the Tropical Spice Plantation (Ponda) which offers tours of the farms as well as the agro-processing units of Cashew nuts and vanilla.
Forest Cycling in Goa through the tranquil woods is unique in its own way. Wildlife enthusiasts will love hearing the buzzing sound of the crickets, the trumpets of the elephants and the roars of the Big Cats as well as the virgin nature that beckons along the road. The majestic Dudhsagar Falls in the Mahaveer Sanctuary will stun you enough to stop pedalling and sit back for a few moments to drink the beauty.
The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bonda Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary are perfect for knowing the native fauna of Goa.
Now, let us start with small tours around Goa, which does not require much time and energy and you can easily cover them on a weekend or even working days if you devise a little time from your daily schedule.
Bicycle tours around Goa
If the hush-hush trips mentioned above is not being convenient, not to worry. Here are a few smaller tours conducted by various cycling groups. You can also check for bikes for rent in Goa and enjoy the tour as you wish, without the intervention of any Goa cycling association.
Some places you can plan to explore are -
1. Chapora –
Ride 21 km from Panaji to reach Chapora that is still untouched and boasts of the enchanting Portuguese Fort of Charpora. Ride to Chapora fort, stand your bike and now it is time to enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the Arabian Sea and the natural valley.
You can also visit the Shiva temple and the jetty or enjoy riding in the nooks and corners.
2. Chorao Island –
Ride 8.4 km from Panaji to Chorao Island that is rich in its Portuguese culture. You can also check for electric bicycle rent in Goa to make this tour more enjoyable. Ride through the countryside roads watching the colonial buildings or pay a visit to Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary to enjoy sighting native and migratory birds like Pied Avocet, Black Bittern, Western Reef Heron and Striated Heron along with various types of crabs and mudskippers.
Corjuen Fort, Ravalnath Temple, and Corjeum Church are some of the other attractions of Chorao.
3. Mandrem –
Ride 28 kms to Mandrem from Panaji, passing (not covering) Anjuna, Baga, Calangute and Candolim beaches. It will take about 4 hours to explore the villages, temples, and churches en route.
A giant Banyan Tree and the organic spice garden are the highlights of cycling in Goa.
4. Nerul Creek –
The cycle tour starts from Nerul Bridge and you will ride through the dirt tracks to the Sinquerim fishing village. Explore the Coco beach before heading to Aguada Fort overlooking the stretch of Candolim, Baga and Calangute style from the lower ramparts. It will take around 2 hours.
5. Royal Road –
The easy route along the Royal Road will let you explore the quaint villages of Velha and Batim. The essence of Old Goa is present in nature. The tour will end at Oratorian Convent. It will take around three hours.
6. Bridges of Bardez –
One of the most unexplored routes for cycling in Goa. The trip starts at Porvorim from O Coqueiro circle (4km from Panaji) through the quaint Goan villages of Moira, Aldona, and Nachinola. Pedal along the cable-stayed bridge of Aldona to reach Corjuem and then pay a visit to Corjuem Fort before heading to Mayem Lake.
Ride downhill to Narvem and then reach the Calvim Bridge with steel arch. Cross Calvim Bridge and return to Porvorim from Pomburpa.
7. Miramar –
Ride through the narrow streets of Panaji to Miramar while marvelling at the historical and colonial lifestyle of Goa. This cycle tour will take you to some of the best attractions such as the Miramar Circle, St Cruz Church, Panjim Church, Taleigao Church, Adil Shah Palace, Fontainhas Bylanes and Ferry Point.
Small cycle tours around Old Goa: 3 Routes to Explore
You can join any Goa cycling club who go out around Old Goa regularly and know about the corners thoroughly. The total cost will be around INR 1900.
There are three cycling routes you can take, we will discuss them below-
Route 1: Panaji – Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Monte
One of the most popular Old Goa cycling tours, the tour starts with cobbled roads from Panaji. Some of the attractions en route will be the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa State Museum, Se Cathedral and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. 17th century Fort Aguada being the largest and most well-preserved Portuguese bastion will be the highlight of this Old Goa tour comprising of around 3 hours.
From Panaji, reach Ponte Conde de Linhares; then covering the Mandovi River, you will reach Old Goa. The trip ends at the hill near the complex of Capela de Nossa Senhora do Monte.
Apart from these, the vibrant Portuguese villas are there to enchant you while cycling in Goa. Cycling across the Linhares Bridge and Causeway, you can encounter various native and migratory birds at the surrounding wetlands.
From Anjuna, Calangute, Baga, Morjim, and Sinquerim to the north to Agonda, Palolem, Colva, Mobor, Majorda and Varca to the south – there are lots to explore on cycle.
Route 2: Islands of Old Goa
Start the cycle tour from Divja Circle, then pedal along the 380 years old Causeway of Ponte De Linhares to reach Ribandar. Take your cycle on the ferry on Mandovi River to reach Divar Island.
Take rest and then take another ferry to Narvem to explore the backwaters rich in birds. Ride to Chorao Island and after exploring, return back to Ribandar and ride back to Panaji.
Route 3: Divja to Chorao Island to Panaji
This is relatively a longer (five hours) cycle tour of Old Goa. From Divja (near the bus stand of Panaji), you will follow the same route as mentioned above to reach Divar Island. After exploring a bit, getting refreshed and eating traditional Goan food, you will take your cycle on the ferry to Naroa.
Enjoy sighting birds at the backwaters. Now pedal to Chorao Island. Get some food, swim in the river and then take the ferry back to Ribandar and ride back to Panaji. This trip will cost you around INR 2400.
Now let us have a look at the cycling trip in Goa that takes days to cover and obviously, offers many more aspects of enjoying the enchanting places in and around Goa.
Cycling in Goa: Goa to Cavelossim (12 days)
Day 1: Arrive and rent a bike in Goa. Check your bike properly, pack your things and rest properly
Day 2: If you are travelling with any Goa cycling club, then you will meet the other riders, discuss the route and take it east while cycling in Goa to acclimatize your body with the upcoming trip.
Day 3: After breakfast, you will ride to Cavelossim following the route Fartrade > Varca > Benaulim > Colva > Betul Batim > Majorda > Utorda > Canasaulim > Velsao > Cavelossim. Apart from stopping in for refreshments, the major pit stoppage will be at Velsao. Stay overnight.
Day 4: Explore the local beach, relish on seafood. Take a ride to Margao and explore the village. Stay overnight.
Day 5: Check out the Portuguese colonies of Old Goa and ride to Panaji. Stay overnight.
Day 6: Start early, take the ferry across Mandovi River and head for Aguada to visit the fort. Explore the beach and beachside markets of Anjuna. From Anjuna, head to Mandarem to cross Chapora River and reach Junas Beach. Stay overnight,
Day 7: Explore Mandrem beach. Taste the “Feni” and check out the fishing villages. Ride to Tiracol Fort crossing Tiracol River. Back to Mandrem and stay overnight.
Day 8: Take the hilly and long cycle tour to Cavelossim.
Day 9: Take the strenuous and challenging 5km hill slope to reach Shree Chandreshwar Butnath Temple and enjoy the ethereal view from above. Ride to Chandor and visit the historical Portuguese house of the Braganza family. Guided tours are available.
Day 10: Take a ferry across the Sal River and ride through the fishing villages. The road turns hilly and bumpy towards Cabo de Rama. Visit the Cabo de Rama fort and then pedal to Palolem Beach.
Day 11: Visit the Cortigao Wildlife sanctuary. If interested then take the hill walk. Ride along the rolling route to Palolem after exploring.
Day 12: Start for Cavelossim and return to Palolem before lunch.
Cycling in Goa: Susegad trip (7 days)
Day 1: Arrive at Panaji, check for bikes for rent in Goa and have a trial ride around the city. Explore Fountainhas and local art galleries as well as Portuguese colonies. Enjoy Goan cuisine.
Day 2: Explore Velha or old Goa. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mandovi River, and Reis Magao fort and marvel at Mario Miranda’s artworks.
Day 3: Ride to Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the Tambdi Falls and the Mahadev Tambdi Surla Temple that boasts of the architectural wonders of the Kadamba dynasty. Hornbills, Golden Orioles as well as pangolins and porcupines will give you company. Stay overnight.
Day 4: Reach at Divar Island and enjoy riding through the villages and pastures. Stay overnight.
Day 5: Explore Chorao and Ribander while cycling through the pristine countryside. Return to Divar Island and stay overnight.
Day 6: After breakfast, ride to the jetty to reach Ashwem on a ferry. Enjoy beach hopping, swimming, watching the sunset or playing volleyball. Explore the flea markets after sunset. Stay overnight.
Day 7: Explore the Ashwem beach leisurely. Enjoy riding around the village or spend time at the beach. You can also enjoy water sports. After the action, grab some local seafood like prawns and crabs with vindaloo. Ride to Panaji after lunch.
Additional tips for Every Cycling Enthusiast in Goa
- Carry sufficient water and some dry food
- Stop at regular intervals to avoid over-exertion
- Carry ID proofs and permits
- Follow traffic rules
- Don’t engage in swimming or cycling where not permitted
- Check the bikes properly before setting out
From Portuguese history to the pristine countryside, from rolling beaches to lush green plantations – Goa is blessed with both nature and history. While cycling along the verdant countryside seems fun, the trails around Goa is not always flat; there are bumpy, muddy and hilly roads too. You need to take necessary safety measures before taking up a cycling expedition.
Check the bike rental rates properly before buying. If you are planning to go with any cycling association, then check for their review over the internet.
It is a mesmerizing trip yet you need to be careful as the routes can be tricky. Stop in the middle of the long trails to enjoy the virgin nature and taste the authentic Goan food.
Explore Goa like never before.