Often referred to as the Pearl of the Orient, Goa is a dream destination for many. Owing to its scenic beauty and architectural brilliance, the small Indian state hosts millions of domestic and international tourists every year. Shree Shantadurga Temple, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church and Church of St. Cajetan are some attractions here. Apart from these, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which was constructed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, is also one of the most frequented attractions in the state.
The coastline of approximately 130 km against the gleaming waters of the Arabian Sea blesses Goa with many picture-perfect beaches. From Maharashtra to Karnataka, these serene shores are lined one after the other. While Candolim, Calangute, Vagator, Baga and Anjuna are some popular beaches in the northern district, Agonda, Colva, Benaulim, Betul and Mobor are some well-known ones in the southern. Besides relaxing and soaking in the sun on these seafronts, you can also enjoy a plethora of water sports here. Windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, angling and scuba diving are just a few of the numerous activities you can take part in while here.
Out of the around 3701 sq km of its total area, about 600 sq km is covered by the Western Ghats. The average altitude of this mountain range in the state is about 800 metres, which presents ideal conditions for trekking. You also have the opportunity to accompany this activity with wildlife exploration. You can go on a trekking adventure in the famous Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. Sprawling over 240 sq km, it is the largest protected territory in the state. While trekking here, you can capture sights of leopards, deer, jungle cats, elephants, pythons and cobras.
One of the best ways to explore the landscape of Goa is by going on a cycling tour. Bicycles, which developed as a means of transportation in the 19th century, have now become a hobby of many. Bicycling as a prominent sport is being taken up on a competitive level all over the world, and you too must have tried it in your childhood. With these thrilling day tours, you have the chance to embark on a memorable trip and explore the state while reliving your childhood days. If you are a fitness enthusiast and still cycle from time to time, then this is perfect for you to explore this fascinating state. These cycling group excursions will allow you to stay fit and have loads of fun.
This day activity is an enthralling journey, which will unravel different aspects of Goa for you; be it islands, wildlife or waterbodies. The best thing about going on cycling group excursions is that you can also enjoy the company of other people, sharing experiences. You can also take your friends or family and do something new this time. They will surely love it as this is a unique way of exploring the beauty that nature has bestowed upon the region.
What makes such trips more fun than usual is the use of 21-gear hybrid mountain bicycles, with which you will be able to climb uphill without putting much effort. A group leader and guide will always be by your side, telling you interesting facts about the landmarks you pass by. Your safety is our priority; therefore, we will give you a helmet and lights before you begin the road trip. Besides these, we will also arrange for a snack pack, soft drinks and bottled water for you. All you have to do is arrange for transportation to and from the starting and ending points of the excursions. After you have signed the waiver, which is a minor formality, you are good to embark on this experience.
Islands of Goa
This cycling tour begins after you board a ferry from the town of Ribandar to cross the gushing Mandovi River. Your destination is the riverine island of Divar. The island, situated about 11 km from Panaji, is still majorly uninfluenced by the modern world. On reaching here, take your 21-gear hybrid mountain bicycle and ride through a local village. Enjoy breakfast at a traditional bakery or eatery, enjoying the refreshing sea breeze. After the meal, reach the other end of the island, and board a ferry to Narve. Then move on to the scenic backwaters of this state.
Here, you will be able to see vivid birds of all shapes and sizes. As they mesmerise you with their vibrant hues, remember to capture them in your cameras. Thereafter, ride to the island of Chorao before taking the ferry to the village of Pomburpa. While riding the ferry, see the shores of this state like you have never seen before. The adventurous 3-hour tour ends at the famous church of Salvador do Mundo.
The Royal Road
In the 11th century, King Jayakesi I of the Kadamba dynasty constructed a road, which is believed to have been 65 metres wide. That is where you are going cycling during this journey. The ride begins from a beach in Velha, from where you travel to the peaceful Batim village. Batim Lake located here supports many species of birds, and you have the opportunity to capture them in your cameras. The chirping of these birds will refresh you for the journey ahead. Later, ride past a freshwater spring before heading up a hill. You also paddle on the 3-km stretch of the royal road, which has survived centuries of deterioration. End this ride at the Oratory of Blessed Joseph Vaz, situated atop a hillock.
Chorao by Cycle
Board the ferry from Pomburpa village. This traditional ferry will take you across the Mapusa River to an island, called Chorao. On reaching the island, paddle past a small village and soak yourself in its quaintness and tranquillity. Then, ride up a hill to reach the statue of Jesus Christ atop it. You can capture enticing views of the nearby islands and river from here. Later, travel downhill through a placid backwater area, where you will board the ferry to Pomburpa in order to end this 3-hour journey.
Bridges of Bardez
Starting from O’Coqueiro Circle, Porvorim, located about 7.5 km from the centre of Panaji, ride through narrow roads, past many Goan villages. Then, reach Mapusa, a small town in the North district. During this 3-hour trip, you also pass through the villages of Moira, Nachinola and Aldona. After a while, traverse the cable-stayed Aldona Bridge to arrive in Corjuem. Admiring the facade of Corjuem Fort, paddle your cycle towards the awe-inspiring Mayem Lake. A small ride down slightly steep slopes will take you to the village of Narve. Next, the tour will lead you to the gigantic Calvim Bridge. After crossing the bridge, retreat to Porvorim via Pomburpa, Salvador do Mundo and Mayem Lake. If you want to end this ride early, then you can choose to skip Mayem Lake.