A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
25th August 2012
Author Kathleen McCaul lived in Goa for several years researching her novels. Here she reveals the region's hidden gems
Deep in the Hindu heartland of Goa, away from the beaches and bars, is Tamdi Surla temple. Wind through ancient woods and weave past flitting butterflies to arrive at the powerfully peaceful holy site. Linger by the Druid-like stones and wash your feet in the river before taking tea in the nearby elephant sanctuary.
As evening draws in on Goa’s most middle class resort, the beachfront becomes a flickering mass of candle lit tables. Don’t be tempted by the smiling waiters or the fresh daily catch of other restaurants. Head straight to Cheeky Monkey, where their Danish chef whips up mouth-watering, designer noodles, fish and salads to the sound of the incoming tide.
Break off the main road to South Goa and head inland through the paddy fields and big old churches to find Goa Chitra. A living museum and organic farm, it becomes Goa’s best live music venue at night, hosting international acts such as Jazzy Joe and Madeleine Chase. Run by the charismatic and ebullient Victor, if you arrive at the right time, you might even have lunch cooked by his talented wife.
The main port of Goa is studiously avoided by tourists. But for those who brave the communist style buildings there awaits a bawdy, old-fashioned shipping city with tiny bars, crab restaurants and even roof-top swimming pools. Take local advice on where to stay – they know what they're talking about.
If Candolim’s endless adverts for beer, football and fish and chips begin to get you down, seek out this quiet corner of sophistication. BomRas restaurant serves delicate dishes of Burmese food and sweetly strong cocktails under a large shady tree. It can’t block out the blasting sound of the Candolim disco but it does help make it a lot more palatable.
Kathleen McCaul lived and worked in India as a writer and novelist for several years. Her second novel, Grave Secrets in Goa, is out now and can be ordered on Amazon.
For more closely-guarded intell from travel industry professionals read our Insider Secrets blog
Mysore's Slumdog guru
Kathleen McCaul meets the former street kid brings Bollywood glamour to the world of Ashtanga yoga to help others More
Travellers banned from Goan temple over skimpy clothing
Officials in Goa, India, have imposed a ban on foreign tourists entering a Hindu temple following complaints about inappropriate clothing and behaviour More
The complete guide to learning journeys
Always wanted to speak Portuguese, dance salsa or ID animal droppings? These travellers did just that. Sign up for a learning trip, and you can too... More
View all posts from
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Travelling to India? Get travel advice and inspiration from Wanderlust. Want to know what to see or do? How to avoid the crowds? We have the tips for you
The resurrection of Gujarat’s lions is one of the great conservation success stories. We visit the Indian park where locals, visitors and big cats have learned to live in harmony
You'll find spiritualism in even the unlikeliest corners of India – even if you are an utter skeptic...
Only two hours from Toronto, Muskoka is the lakeside wonderland where city slickers come to embrace nature. Here are their favourite things to do.
Aussies have taken to celebrating Christmas again in July, when the cooler temperatures allow more traditional celebrations that the heat of summer discourages. Like the five listed below
With a bit of research and the right attitude, Palestine and the West Bank can be one of the world's most rewarding destinations, says filmmaker Leon McCarron
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
10% OFF at Powertraveller
Save 5% on travel insurance with InsureandGo
Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway: 3 nights from £420pp incl. flights
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too