Be it a family outing, or a super-romantic honeymoon with your soulmate or a fun-filled gateway with your buddies –the Emerald spot on the map of India, Goa is a combination of fun in the sun, colorful sands, a number of beaches, parties, quirky markets, historic forts, churches and oh-so-awesome seafood. Did we miss some? It is your job now to find out the hidden treasures of Goa. In this context, let us ignite the surge of Adrenaline more while providing you that the best option to explore the nook and corners, the culture and the nature of Goa –that is an alluring Goa bike ride.
We don’t want to sound naive, but Motorcycling tours are the best. Unlike the conventional trips in cars or bus, a motorbike tour offers you check out the whole journey under the sky with your own eyes. Your Bike is your best buddy in the various terrains that you cover. Biking gives you a sense of freedom.
Well, enough of the ranting about motorcycling that you already know. Let us revise the essentials that you will carry and the precautions you should take before your long drive in Goa.
Table of Contents:
- What to Carry
- Safety Measures for the Goa Bike Ride
- Additional precautions
- Reach Panjim and Stay Overnight
- Explore North Goa Coasts
- Other Places in North Goa
- Explore South Goa Coasts
- Other Places in South Goa
- All-in-One Experience
- Best Time to Visit
- Summing Up
What to Carry
- Mobile phones (including chargers, power banks)
- Camera (including extra battery, memory cards and charger)
- Laptops (to check some information and to transfer the pictures you take throughout the bike ride in Goa)
- ID Proofs (original and photocopies) and Passport
- Sufficient cash and ATM Card(s)
- Scarves, Sunglasses, Biking Gloves, Knee-guards, Elbow-guards, Balaclava (in winter), proper Helmet with covers, Biking Boots with proper sole-grip and cushion, plastic or rubber slippers (while staying indoor or walking along the beach).
- All-weather clothing having water and air resistance; riding jacket (in winter), thermal inners and jackets (in winter), breathable t-shirt and khakis/jeans (for summer).
- Multi-utility backpack with padded straps and a waist pouch-bag. Carry the emergency items in the pouch.
- Sun screen, Insulated Containers, dry food (biscuit, cake, cashews, raisins, energy-bars etc), sufficient water, emergency medicines, insect repellent, moisturizer, face wash, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
- Plastic bags and tissues/wipes. (Don’t leave plastic bags here and there)
Safety Measures for the Goa Bike Ride
Exploring goa is fun on a bike, and getting a bike is quite easy if you are not riding on your own already. For both rented and your own Motorcycle a test-drive is a must before you start the tour. Check the brakes, fuel, suspensions, gear, foot rests, throttle response, horn, air pressure, seats, lights thoroughly. In case you find any defect, make sure to get it repaired by a professional mechanic. If you encounter these issues in a rental bike, just ask for a different bike or go see a different provider. Also, take the weather conditions and health issues into account when planning a tour in goa.
Keep the contact numbers of the nearby police stations handy in case you are in trouble. Don’t rely blindly on GPS, as the roads are sometimes closed for repair work, there can be detours, ask a local person in case of confusion. Avoid biking in thick mist or heavy rain. Check the insurance policy thoroughly in case you are renting a bike. Another cool thing about goa is the petrol/gas prices, they are lowest in the country here. So, don't hold back and explore more!
Also Read: 6 Things to be checked before a Ride!
While you are staying somewhere or exploring the beaches or getting engaged in water sports, there are some points to be remembered. There are various news of violent crimes, drug-related issues, touts, accidents and so on taking place in Goa. Check for the correct prices at bars, restaurants, water activities and hotels.
Take necessary precautions while going in the water. Don’t leave your doors of rooms ajar and leave your valuables in the room. Don’t go for a bike ride in Goa in any uncharted route or some quaint lanes or restaurants. Check the reviews of the hotels you are planning to stay. A few precautions and you are all set for Goa bike trip.
Reach Panjim and Stay Overnight
Reach Panaji or Panjim according to your convenience. We prefer the route from Goa International Airport to Panaji as it is only a distance of 26km.
NH66 is a fine two-lane well-paved highway, although you will get a moderate traffic if not started early in morning.
Experience the maximum Portuguese essence in the ochre-colored villas with terracotta tiled roofs, wrought-iron balconies, arched oyster-shelled windows and purple doors. Solitude and Culture – Panaji is all about these.
Various luxury to moderate hotels are there to spend one night. Take good night’s sleep to start early the next day. Your Goa bike ride starts from here.
Explore North Goa Coasts
There are various places to visit in north Goa that you will be exploring from Panjim. The first is to the Ponta De Linhares that connects the Old Goa to Panjim. The main highlight is zooming along the Ribandar causeway while checking out the 15th-century old architectural edifices that are just 10Kms away. While here also checkout the largest cathedral "Se Cathedral" in Asia with 5 bells. The golden bell is the largest in the world. Experience the ethereal sunset on a cruise on Mandovi River. Enjoy the Goan Folk performances on-board. Hovercraft, Pedal Boat, and Aqua Bikes – Mandovi will engage you in these thrilling activities.
The Sinquerium Beach is pristine, soothing and a favorite among many in Goa, reaching here on a bike is easy. Engage yourself into water-activities, enjoy the sunset or get a massage, explore the local cafes or the beachside markets. Aguada Fort, right along the beach is open from 10 am to 5.30pm is a mesmerizing Portuguese structure facing the sea. Check out the Lighthouse too.
This stretch of beach connects the Calangute and Baga beaches. Calangute, “queen of beaches” is an adventurous retreat with water sports like parasailing, wind-surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, skiing, fishing etc and dolphin and crocodile sightings. Rajasthani, Karnataki and Gujarati fabrics, as well as funky handicrafts from Indonesia, Tibet, and Kashmir, are sold on the beach side street-shops, showrooms, and boutiques.
Various Beach resorts with outstanding ocean view and exotic food as well as colorful tropical cocktails are perfect to stay here. This is also the most common place where people goto when in goa, so expect a lot of crowd here.
Baga Beach is more famous for its exotic carnivals and nightlife. The Carnival Of Goa is held here every year on February, so if you want to get a night full of feasting and celebrations, then plan your scenic drive in Goa accordingly. Cruising, Scuba Diving, Jet Skiing, Catamaran sailing are some of the additional activities here that you won’t find in Calangute. Luxury hotels, Inns, Resorts are here to enjoy your stay.
Explore the Anjuna Beach nestled within the Aravalli Hills and its colorful Flea Market set up on every Wednesday. From trendy clothes to fabulous souvenirs, you can get anything from here. Check out the Curlies Shack for some amazing Goan Food.
Check out the Vagator Beach in December for the magnificent Sunburn festival as well as the midnight parties all over the year. The carved rocks and the red cliffs are wonderful.
Sinquerim Beach, Candolim Beach, Arambol Beach, Mandrem Beach are some of the other secluded beaches you would love to explore on your Goa bike ride.
Other Places in North Goa
Beaches are not the only attractive places to visit in north Goa. Lakes, Temples, Waterfalls, Rivers, Casinos, and markets around the North Goa district are recommended too along the scenic drive in Goa.
Remote villages and virgin countryside, Mayem lake and some exquisite pottery items to find in Bicholim market located 30kms from Panjim.
Diwar & Chorao
Enjoy Ferry from Ribandar to Diwar and then take the road from Bicholim to Chorao. These two islands located 15kms from panjim are rich in Portuguese culture. Take a detour to Dr. Salim Ali Bird sanctuary in Chorao Island to encounter the native and migratory birds in the mangrove swamps and get engrossed in the quietness of nature.
Friday Markets equipped with seafish, vegetables, meat, cheap wine, colorful clothes and fabulous slippers. Shree Dev Bodgeshwar Sansthan, Church of Our Lady of Miracles, Maruti Temple etc are some other attractions at mapusa (15Kms from Panjim).
Charpora River, Backwaters and Fort
Awesome view of Vagator and Anjuna Beaches from the Portuguese fort of Charpora (approx 20kms from Panjim), enjoy the rustic essence of Goan Backwaters on the houseboat trip to Charpora river, enjoy the fishermen in action and the groves of coconut and palm in Parra.
Lush green Coconut groves, watermelon cultivation, and the unspoiled nature. Church of St. Anne and the local lake of Ganesh Tollem is a must see.
Cabo De Rama
Traverse through the hidden trails of the forest to reach the Cabo De Rama Fort located 60kms in south of Panjim. The ruins of the ancient Portuguese Fort with the backdrop of bluish green ocean and the coconut groves is scenic.
A 50m high cascading fall in Sanquelim is breathtaking in Monsoon. The Arvalem Caves and Rudreshwar Temple is worth a visit.
Recognised as the home of National Institute of Oceanography. Visit the Dona Paula monument and the Grecian-Roman architecture Belevedere to enjoy the view of the Arabian Ocean and the Zuari River.
Mangueshi Temple, Goa State Museum, Mangueshi Temple, Divar Beach and Church are some of the other bike ride places in Goa.
Explore South Goa Coasts
After a mind-boggling bike ride in Goa north coasts, it is time to explore the places to visit in South Goa starting from Colva beach and village.
Colva is a paradise located 40kms south of panjim, it's a perfect destination for the love-birds. Walk along the long white sandy beach, collect beautiful shells or check out the handicraft stalls on the beach. The village is a traditional Goan village full of fishermen and shell-collectors. You can check out some local workshops to get to know more about them. Beachside resorts and luxury hotels, both are accessible from here. Enjoy some exotic and Goan cuisine here along with some innovative range of cocktails.
The ride to Palolem Beach along the best roads in Goa will rejuvenate you with its diverse charms. The Green Island is famous for its local shacks offering fabulous drinks and food. The palm groves and the pristine beach is a romantic retreat. The boat rides and Dolphin sightings are a must do while you are here.
Ride 10km to reach Agonda. Be it a lazy morning or a sunset by the sea, the beach has this unique tranquillity to offer. Hill hiking, Dolphin Sighting, swimming are some activities you can indulge yourself into.
Apart from these three main beaches, there are a few other beachside places to visit in south Goa –
Butterfly Beach, Polem Beach, Benaulim Beach, Baina Beach in Vasco Da Gama town, Bogmalo Beach, Varca Beach, Cavelossim town with its beachside shops, Arossim town with its magnificent Goan Vintage Furniture and Beach, Patnem with its quirky beachside stalls and water activities, Majorda Beach, Colomb Beach and Neptune’s Point, Mobor Beach, Assolna Beach by the Sal River etc.
Other Places in South Goa
Goa bike ride is not complete until you have explored the temples, churches, museums and the waterfalls of the Southern Goa.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus
The oldest church in Goa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving the remains of St. Francis Xavier. Experience the history of Christianity in Old Goa.
Long stony trail, rubber and sugarcane plantations, deep forest, Mainapi Waterfall, Bubble Lake at Gopinath Temple are the best of Neravali. Visit in Monsoon to enjoy the green grandeur. Netravali waterfalls is located in karnataka, if you have a lot of time with you while at goa, this 170km ride can turn out to be be a majestic one.
The smooth paved Panjim-Belgaum highway through dense forests of Western Ghats is a pleasure to ride at. Peace and Adrenaline rush at the same time throughout this long drive in Goa. Located roughly 90-100 kms from Goa, this is a perffered choice for people to reach goa when they come by road from north/west. If you feel like riding while at goa, chorla will take you into dense hills directly from the sea levels.
One of the richest temples in Goa dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga located just 20kms away from Panjim. If you visit at festive season, this becomes a must visit place!
Naval Aviation Museum
Open from 9.30am to 5 pm. Showcases INA weapons, aircrafts and safety equipment.
- Enjoy your best time by the sea without being bothered by anyone
- Visit the Spice gardens such as Savoi Spice Plantation to enjoy their grandeur
- Get lost (not literally) in the green forests
- Encounter birds and wildlife
- Enjoy the confluence of the rivers and the sea
- Exotic drinks (King’s Beer, Urrak, Feni, Port Wine, Licor Armada, Voodoo Classic Cream Liquor, Desmonji Tequila etc)
- Goan Food (Casa Sarita, Vindaloo, Mushroom Xacuti, Sarapatel, Balchao, Patoleo, Cucumber Cake etc)
- Carnivals and festivals (Sunburn, Bonderam, Fertility Feast Of Sao Joao etc)
- Cheap scooter rides around at just 175 INR apart from the bike ride in Goa.
Best Time to Visit
Monsoon (May-Sept) –to experience local celebrations, greenery, and rain on the beach. Perfect!
Winter and Spring (Nov-Mar) –to enjoy the full-of-life Goan coasts, water activities, and wonderful weather
Goa is the lifeline of the Western Coasts of India with its ever-so-lively beaches, Heritage buildings speaking of history, and the various activities you can indulge yourself into. The Bike ride to Goa can be rejuvenating as you traverse through the green forests, by the Beach along the road and smell the pure ocean air. Not only the colorful beaches, Goa offers a number of temples, churches, markets, islands and heritage houses to explore.
While enjoying the essence of Goa, be careful of the corruption, violence, touts and the rave parties that can ruin your mesmerizing trip to a place so beautiful.