Duration: Full Day
Located half way down the west coast of India, Goa is a place of distinct natural beauty, boasting tropical beaches, lush green countryside, beautiful waterfalls and rich flora and fauna. It is no wonder India’s smallest state is known as the "Pearl of the Orient". Goa was a Portuguese colony until 1961 and the region still retains its laid-back Mediterranean atmosphere, which is more relaxed than the rest of India.
Discovered by travellers in the late 60s, Goa became well known for being a hippie hangout and backpackers’ paradise, but now it is a popular holiday destination for all sorts of people on all sorts of budgets seeking sun, sand, beautiful scenery and cultural diversity. This full day excursion will reveal some of Goa’s highlights, giving you an insight into the rich heritage, diverse landscapes and local industries of this unique Indian oasis.
Your day of discovery will begin by driving along one of Goa’s scenic coastal routes, passing beautiful temples and churches dating back to the 16th century on the way. We will travel through sleepy villages and past old Portuguese-style houses which serve as a reminder of the state’s Portuguese heritage. Goa was under Portuguese rule for over 450 years, and under many different ruling empires before that, dating back to the 3rd century BC. The result is a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences which are evident throughout Goa – in its culture, architecture and cuisine.
One of the first stops of our tour will be a visit to a local rubber plantation, where you can see how sap is extracted from the rubber trees and made into rubber sheets. Watch local men tap the rubber trees to get the latex. We then drive onwards to a Laterite stone quarry, where you can watch local labourers using mechanical cutters to mine this unique surface formation. Known locally as “Vettukallu”, laterite is a red-brown soft stone, formed by the decay of volcanic rocks in tropical heat and heavy rainfall. It is easy to mine and has been used extensively throughout Goa. The majority of churches and convents were built using these large, heavy stone blocks. However, laterite can disintegrate quickly if it is not protected and kept in a good condition, so many buildings have had to be rebuilt or repaired over the years using lime mortar.
This fascinating tour provides an ideal opportunity to explore the beauty and diversity of West India during your holiday in Goa.
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