Those longing to get away from it all often find India is the destination they've been searching for. Exotic cuisine, cultural diversity and bustling cities make for an exciting adventure, with beaches providing ample opportunity for downtime. For a good balance, holidays to Goa offer an unbeatable experience, combining a mixture of historic and coastal charm.
Southern Goa is a haven for sun worshippers with Cavelossim holidays offering a heavenly sandy beach, lofty palms and a lively village centre packed with market stalls, eateries and cafés. With the city of Margao just 17 kilometres away, there's plenty of scope for day-trips and sightseeing, too.
If you're after a battery recharge, the expansive stretch of sand in Cavelossim won't disappoint. It's a quiet spot with a handful of loungers and umbrellas for hire and the odd beach shack serving snacks and refreshments. For a change of scenery, head to nearby Varca Beach, with its colourful fishing boats and laid back atmosphere providing an ideal venue for relaxation. Those looking for a livelier scene can take a 25-minute taxi ride to reach bustling Benaulim. Its beach is popular with locals and visitors and offers plenty of water sports including jet-skiing, windsurfing and parasailing.
Hindu and English
Explore the ruins of Cabo de Rama
History buffs can drive 40 minutes south to visit Cabo de Rama. Its name is derived from a Hindu epic poem and is now a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Goa. This ruined fort is a good place to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea and it covers an impressive 180,000 square metres. With only one wall intact, this historically significant monument has a reconstructed entrance for visitors. You can still spot a couple of ancient canons, echoes of times past.
There are plenty of dining options in Cavelossim from rustic beach shacks to elegant eateries. You can expect plenty of seafood, as well as Goan and North Indian cuisine. Treat your taste buds to authentic dishes such as fish curry. It's usually made from mackerel or pomfret and served in a rich sauce with steamed rice. Prawn balchão is another delectable dish made with feni, a spirit only produced in Goa. If you're not a fish fan, try chicken cafreal, a wonderfully aromatic dish fusing Goan and Portuguese gastronomy.
Take to the water
Cavelossim holidays aren't complete without a river boat tour. Take a sunset cruise along the Sal River for a romantic and memorable experience. During the trip, keep your eyes peeled for local birdlife and fruit bats. Cavelossim is a perfect spot for bird-watchers and the wetlands attract numerous rare types such as the purple sunbird, white-throated kingfisher and black-rumped flameback. Some river cruises include a meal and refreshments so it's worth asking about what you can expect when you book.
Day-trips to historic Margao
For an intriguing day out, the 30-minute drive to Marago is highly recommended. The town is an eclectic mix of Indian and Portuguese architecture interspersed with market stalls and shops selling brightly coloured spices and souvenirs. The Church of the Holy Spirit, located in the Old Market Square, is a popular attraction. Built in 1564, its ornate interiors feature a pipe organ and an intricate altar. The Sat Burzam Ghor mansion, or House of the Seven Gables, is another must-see and a prime example of grand Portuguese architecture.
Less than a two-hour drive from Cavelossim Beach is the spectacular Dudhsagar Waterfalls, located on the Mandovi River. This four-tiered wonder is India's fifth tallest waterfall and should not be missed. It's within the boundaries of the beautiful Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. Water cascades from a staggering height of 300m in some places. Organised day-trips often combine time here with a visit to the aromatic spice plantations and nearby Hindu temples.
Cavelossim Beach is the ideal base from which to explore the delights of Goa. Spend a day or two relaxing on the beach before using it as a springboard from which to explore. With historic sights, outstanding natural beauty and a varied and flavoursome cuisine to enjoy, Cavelossim holidays offer much more than just a beach retreat. If you want your holiday to be an event, then a Goa holiday should be at the top of your list.