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Old Goa activities

$50 Tours & Sightseeing

Private, All-Inclusive Tour of Goa

After a 9am pickup at your Goa city hotel, meet your guide and travel in a private air-conditioned vehicle to reach Old Goa, also known as Velha Goa (velha means old in Portuguese). This was the original capital of the state of Goa and the second capital city established by the Portuguese in India. It was established in 1510 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Appreciate this slice of history as your guide shows you the many churches in Old Goa.Next, visit the Mangueshi Temple, one of the largest Hindu temples in the state of Goa. It was completed in 1560 and was originally a very plain building. Over the centuries it has been renovated and expanded. Admire the current lavish temple as your guide points out key elements like the Mangesh Linga.Then continue to the Shanta Durga Temple, a large temple complex near the village of Kavalem, before touring a spice plantation in the town of Ponda. The plantation is spread over a large area where TK SPICES are grown. After receiving a traditional Aarti welcome and a garland of marigolds, tour the plantation then enjoy a buffet lunch on site including traditional Goan dishes served on a banana leaf (vegetarian options available). After lunch, visit the Portuguese Latin Quarters in the city of Panaji, including Fontainhas (or Bairro das Fontainhas, in Portuguese). Here the Portuguese influence is easy to see in the architecture, the narrow streets, and the buildings painted in lively colors. Continue to the village of Dona Paula near Panaji. Formerly called Oddavell, this village was re-named in honor of a beloved and generous benefactor. It is now home to the National Institute of Oceanography. Finally, explore Panjim City, the capital of the state of Goa, on the banks of the Mandovi River, including the Baroque Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church on the main square (known as Praça da Igreja in Portuguese), colorful villas, and cobblestone streets. Then sit back and relax for the return to Goa in your private vehicle, arriving at your hotel around 5pm.

$45 Shore Excursions

Goa Small-Group Shore Excursion Trip with Lunch

Get picked up at the Cruise Port and travel by an air-conditioned minivan in a 6-hour shore excursion in Goa. Visit the Sahakari Spice Farm, lush garden specializing in the cultivation of spices and herbs.Continue to the Basilica of Bom Jesus which was built in the 16th century. This magnificent building is the most popular and famous of all the churches in Goa. The mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier are kept enshrined in a silver casket, which was wrought by Goan silversmiths in 1636-37. Dedicated to Infant Jesus, this church is now a World Heritage Monument.Head to the Se Cathedral, the most imposing of all the churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior overwhelms visitors with its sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells, among them the famous Golden Bell, the biggest in Goa. This church is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria.You can choose to visit the Church of St.Francis of Assis. The entrance and the choir were built in the Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. First built in 1517, it was later rebuilt twice, in 1521 and in 1661. The interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings and the floor has a large number of tombstones with coats-of-arms. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.Your tour concludes with a drop-off at Goa port or another location of your choice.

$96 Shore Excursions

Shri Manguesh Temple, Bom Jesus, Lunch with Goa Port Pickup

9am - You will be picked up from the sea port or your desired location in Goa to begin your full day tour with a professional guide.9:45am - Shri Manguesh TempleA beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on a Hillock. The 400-year-old temple is known for its elegant structure and the pillars which are considered to be the most beautiful among the temples is Goa. A beautiful seven-story Deepa Stambha (decorative lamp tower), stands at the gates in the temple complex. 10:45am - Shree Shantadurga TempleSet amidst lush emerald hills, this temple is dedicated to Shree Shantadurga Devi. The Temple has an impressive idol of Goddess Shree Durga who mediated between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva and stopped the fierce-full war going on between the two.12:30pm - Tropical Spice Plantation (Lunch Included)Spread over large tract of verdant land, which offers the perfect setting for you to soak in a pure unadulterated nature. Guest are welcomed in a traditional way. Healthy and nutritious food is served in a traditional manner on a banana leaf. Indulge in a riot of colors in the butterfly garden. Delight in the sight of over 75 spices of birds within the plantation. Catch sight of some vary rare and endangered species of birds.3pm - Basilica of Bom Jesus (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)Located at Old Goa, The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The foundation stone was laid on 24th November 1594, and completed on 15th May 1605. Home to the Saint Francis Xavier, the priest responsible to bring Christianity to the region. It is said that the great Saint Francis Xavier had immense powers of healing which is still reflected in the remains of his mortal self. The remains of Saint Francis are kept in a well clad casket.4pm - Se CathedralThis magnificent 16th century monument is the biggest church in Goa, displaying the majestic grandeur of Portuguese rule. The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria hence it is also known as St. Catherine's' Cathedral. The Sé Cathedral has five bells. The existing tower houses a famous bell, one of the largest in Goa and often referred to as 'Golden Bell' on account of its rich tone which has been immortalized in a Portuguese poem. 5pm - Church of St. Francis of AssisiTo the west of the Se Cathedral is the former palace of the Archbishop that connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. This church was built in the 17th century. Attached to the church is a convent, which has been converted into a museum by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1964.6pm - You will be dropped back off to the sea port or your desired location in Goa.

$50 Tours & Sightseeing

Panaji Heritage walk with cultural evangelist and archaeologist

We begin our walk from the Latin quarters of Fontainhas, the residential quarters designed for the Portuguese Bureaucrats and servants. This was one of the earliest settlements in Panaji city. The quarter has retained its heritage look with the small crowded lanes flanked by the typical bright Portuguese styled houses. Our walk takes u past a wishing well, Chapel of St. Sebastian and the Temple on the hill dedicated to lord Maruti and the Geetanjali Gallery of modern art exhibitions. Tobacco SquareWe visit the square which got its name from Tobacco trading over the river. Later this square served as the police headquarters, a customs and mint area and currently accommodates the General Post Office and the Sao Tome Chappel. We walk past bright coloured buildings set on the backdrop of the river Mandovi. We will also walk to the Mermaid Garden and statue of the world famous hypnotist Abbe Faria.Palace of MaquinezesOur next destination is the headquarters for the International Film Festival of India and the Entertainment Society of Goa. The Palace of Maquinezes or Palacio dos Maquinezes was built in 1702 and originally belonged to two brothers, Diago da Costa de Ataide e Tieve and Cristovam da Costa de Ataide e Tieve, known by the name of Maquinezes. In 1842, the Portuguese used the nearly 150-year old Palace to house the Goa Medical College. This grand palace has been part of many Bollywood films such as Golmaal.Panaji City ChurchThe Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is often used to represent Goa in Bollywood films. The church was constructed on this hill for the sailors in the year 1541 after demolishing a temple. Later in the early 17th century it was renovated and constructed in the Baroque style of architecture. The church houses a large church bell in Goa that was brought here from the fallen monastery of Old Goa.Mahalakshmi TempleWe visit a unique temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Mahalakshmi. It is the only temple constructed in Goa with the permission of Portuguese after years of wanton destruction of temples.  The temple  board also founded one of the most eminent institutions for the spread of education in the regional languages. Noon- End of tour

$104 Tours & Sightseeing

Full-Day Goa Shore Excursion with Lunch at a Spice Plantation

You will be picked up from the pier or from your hotel in the morning and driven to the village of Mangueshi that is 20 miles away from Mormugao. Situated in the village is the largest and the most beautiful temple of Goa. The original temple dates back to the 16th century and the present building has been renovated several times since. The temple is dedicated to God Shiva. The seven story decorative lamp tower that stands at the entrance to the temple is the most striking piece of architecture of this temple complex.  Next visit the 18th century Shanta Durga temple. The temple stands at the foot of lush green mountains and has a unique architectural style. Unlike most Hindu temples, this has a pyramidal shape. The stained glass panes of the roman arched windows are also unique. After the visit to the temple, drive over to a spice plantation and enjoy a Goan lunch (beverage excluded). After lunch spend some time exploring the plantation and the butterfly garden there. There are over 75 species of birds that can also be seen here. Your next stop will be the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was completed in 1605 and is one of the best pieces of baroque architecture in India. The Basilica contains the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to Goa. Also situated in Old Goa is the magnificent 16th century Se Cathedral, the largest church in Asia. The building is Portuguese-Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and a Corinthian interior. The last stop on the itinerary is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Built in 1661, the architecture of the church is a mixture of Tuscan, Baroque and Corinthian styles. The walls are covered with paintings of events in the life of St. Francis. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back at Mormugao Port or your hotel.

$40 Transfers & Ground Transport

Divar island tour including ride on ferry & lunch (near Panaji)

Reach the tour commencement location (Ribandar- Divar Ferry point) on your own  The tour begins by taking the ferry across from Ribander to Divar. The guide and driver will greet you at the ferry point on the Divar side. As you drive around Divar you’ll also notice a rainbow of houses, painted brightly in reminiscence of the Portugese times. Divar is the second largest island of the seven islands which are situated in the Mandovi River (the largest being Charao Island). The island is roughly 6 km long by 3 km wide and it is connected by four ferry services. Though the Konkan railway line actually runs across the island, the trains do not stop! With a modest population of only 5000 residents, its quaint charm will draw you right in!First proceed by car to St Mathias Church built in the late 16th century. Near here is a hidden underground cave. Then see the extraordinary Our Lady of Candelaria chapel built on the site of an old temple and a little ahead the ancient Saptakoteshwar temple tank. From here proceed to the Naroa ferry and see the wall of an old Fort and the holy bathing site of the Hindus called the Porne Tirth, where 3 rivers meet. Thereafter head for lunch in a traditional Portuguese house stopping over at a local bakery to see how the local Pav (bread) is made. Time permitting, you might also get to learn a Goan recipe from a local chef.  After lunch, visit the sluice gates to understand how the traditional Khazan system works. Then proceed to the main hill where the Piedade Church is located In the graveyard of the church is the cemetery chapel which shows remains of the Ganesh temple. Piedade Church is one the finest Baroque Churches in Goa. On the way back to the ferry, stop at the bird tree and have a spectacular view of the churches of Old Goa across the river Later hop on the boat and return to the mainland at the same Ribandar- Divar Ferry point.

Old Goa in detail