Explore Goa’s colorful heritage and learn about the major influence of Portuguese rule in thw religious practices and architecture for the city. Get picked up from your hotel in Goa at 9AM by private, air-conditioned vehicle and meet your expert guide, who’ll take you around the cultural heart of the city.
Proceed to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the remains of the Catholic missionary St Francis Xavier. Participate in a quiet prayer session and admire the exquisite paintings adorning the walls that depict scenes from St Francis Xavier’s life. Learn from your guide about the mausoleum that contains his silver casket and proceed upstairs to see an interesting art gallery showcasing surrealist paintings, from painter Dom Martin.
Walk to the nearby Se Cathedral, also known as the Se Cathedral of Santa Catarina, dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, a Christian saint who was martyred in the early 4th century by a Roman emperor for her devout dedication to Christianity. Marvel at the incredible Gothic-style architecture, that gives a glimpse of Portuguese era.
From here, proceed to the capital city of Goa, Panaji, and witness the historic neighborhood of Fontainhas area. Also known as the Latin Quarter of the city, the whole belt of houses display a strong Portuguese influence in their construction. With narrow lanes and hanging balconies and synchronized color scheme, the area is an absolute beauty to look at. Visit the small St Sebastian Chapel and see several statues of historical figures including the Roman Catholic monk Abade Faria.
Now drive to the Dona Paula Jetty, a secluded bay where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Mormugao Harbour. The area is celebrated amongst the visitors as the point where the Mandovi River and Zuari River meet the Arabian Sea. Feel the gentle breeze rushing from the shores and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of this hidden treasure before exploring a small local market along the waterway.
After your tour, you can choose to stop at the popular O’Coquerio restaurant for lunch (own expense). Enjoy traditional Portuguese and Goan dishes and try their famous pomfret recheiado (fish stuffed with red masala). Then, settle in your comfortable vehicle for the drive back to your hotel.