To see Goa through a new lens and new perspective, try renting a bike and cycle around as much as you can. This is the perfect season for it; with the monsoons quietly ebbing, giving way to the most pleasant time of the year. While it is a slow and immersive way of travel; it also gives you ample scope for unique experiences that you may miss out on otherwise. Here are some of the best cycling routes to take in Goa.
If you choose to cycle through the small fishing village of Nerul, you will pass quaint Portuguese-style mansions and will be able to spot the iconic Fort Aguada overlooking the long beach belt of Candolim, Calangute and Baga. From there, head to the historic 450-year-old Reis Magos Fort, about three kilometres away.
For the long-distance cyclists, following the route from Querim on Goa’s northern border to Polem on the southern border, is the best way to enjoy Goa’s beach culture. You can stop for overnight stays at the beach resorts and home-stays along the way and sample local delicacies that catch your fancy.
Divar and Chorao Islands
About twelve kilometres from Panjim, the picturesque island of Divar can be reached after a free ferry ride. It’s one of the most rural settings in Goa for a blissful cycling experience. Chorao Island, near Divar, is also accessible by ferry, and is home to the famous Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. These islands are known to be mostly isolated, and are great for photography as well.
Pedal through Goa’s quiet countryside to arrive at organic spice plantations, some of which offer hot meals and rustic overnight accommodation. You can choose from Tanshikar Spice Farm in Netravali, Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda or Tropical Spice Plantation in Ponda.
For the wildlife lover, cycling to one of several wildlife parks in Goa is an ideal thing to do. The best ones to consider are Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary (home to the gorgeous Dudhsagar Falls), Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary.