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Nature trails and cycle tours of Goa

Away from its bustling beaches and seafront bars, the state of Goa offers holidaymakers an abundance of peaceful nature trails and scenic cycleways to explore.

If you're looking to adventure at a leisurely pace during your holiday to Goa, here are a few of our favourite ways to do so on two wheels or on the water.

Kayaking from Candolim and Bogmalo

Wherever you stay in Goa, you're never far from a few natural wonders.

If bird spotting in thick mangrove forests and paddling through riverside hamlets and fishing communities sounds like your idea of a good day out, you might like to take a kayaking trip with Goa Nature Trails during your time away.

Join their two-hour tour from the meeting place at Amigos in Candolim, and soon you'll be admiring exotic wildlife and sampling delicious local cuisine as you paddle down picturesque creeks and rivers. The tour is suitable for all levels of experience – it starts with an introduction to basic safety and manoeuvres, and the route can be adapted to accommodate the fitness levels of participants.

If you're staying further south in Bogmalo, take a look at Goa Kayaking's day trips and multi-day kayak tours. Like Goa Nature Trails, these days out on the water promise to put you up close and personal with beautiful wildlife as you paddle peacefully around Goa's hidden waterways.

Goa Cycling Tours

If you prefer wheels to water, some great cycle tours are available around the Goan coast too. Companies like Goa Cycling Tours offer easy-paced countryside explorations that take in panoramic viewpoints and quaint buildings en route.

Starting off around the busy areas of Candolim and Sinquerium, the Goa Cycling Tours route leads you through lush forests and rolling hills towards the endless beaches of Calangute and Baga Beach. This tour is suited to people of reasonable fitness levels and cycling experience, as it does involve a short hike with the bikes and a decent amount of confidence cycling in traffic before you get out into the countryside.

If that all sounds manageable, you'll be rewarded with an authentically Goan experience – visiting sleepy villages and fishing communities before you finish up back at the sand.

DIY days out

If you prefer to be your own guide, keep an eye out for bicycle rental options at beachside shops and hotels. The average cost of hiring a push bike for the day is around £1, and provided you set off with plenty of water, a puncture repair kit and a map, an excellent DIY adventure awaits.

If you're staying in Baga, a coastal journey north past the markets at Anjuna Beach and up to Chapora Fort ticks all the right boxes. Namely, sun, sand and ancient ruins, as well as plenty of opportunities to stop for snacks and souvenirs as you venture out of town. Chapora Fort is one of Goa's most popular attractions, offering panoramic views over Vagator beach, but you can easily escape the crowds as you whizz downhill on one of the dusty tracks leading into the countryside.

From Calangute and Candolim, head south and you'll be able to cycle to Aguada Fort, a 17th-century ruin overlooking the Arabian Sea. If you haven't made yourself too comfy on Sinquerim Beach when you stop here to capture a few scenic photos, push those pedals a little further. Crossing over the Nerul River you can pick a spot to recuperate with a cold drink on Coco Beach instead.

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