Shopping expeditions to Goa’s capital city of Panjim (about 45 minutes away) are really recommended. Handmade paper, gorgeous cottons and silks, high (Indian) fashion, bespoke tailoring (minimum of one week needed), home wares and internationally renowned leather bags – Panjim is a veritable Aladdin’s cave if you know where to go. Recommendations for extremely well priced (and shippable) bespoke furniture and objets d’art are freely given on request. We can also advise you on places to eat and drink, and if you book a driver then there is always somebody to take your bags ready for the next foray!
On the way to Panjim, why not visit the famous Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, where the body of St Francis Xavier resides in its glass coffin, and the more austere Se Cathedral and its associated chapels just opposite. This is one of the few areas where only green lawns separate the mighty edifices and is justly a World Heritage Site.
Further inland from Loutolim, the jungle clad Western Ghats continue to rise and the landscape changes accordingly. Picturesque Selaulim Dam is responsible for much of Goa’s water and is an extraordinarily beautiful place. A day tour taking in the dam, temples in Rivona, Cotigao wildlife sanctuary with its beautiful villages, waterfalls and landscape, then lunch on the beach in Palolem followed by a doze and a gentle drive home via back roads, is a long but wonderful day out.
If you love bird life, there are wetlands where migratory birds can often be seen, depending upon the time of year. A tour of some of the least visited areas, a ferry over the river and lunch in a little local dhaba can be a magical day, whether the Cyrus Cranes show up or not. Serious birders may wish to take a look at the Casa’s dedicated birding page where far more detail is available.
Within half an hour of the Casa, you will find the market town of Ponda with its temples, spice plantations (where you can also wash and ride the majestic elephant, Ganga), butterfly conservatory and more. In the same timeframe, but in the other direction, lies the major town of Margao, South Goa’s commercial hub with its markets and quirky shops and cafes.
Near Cavelosim on the River Sal, Betty’s Boats launch their acclaimed mini-cruises out to sea and along the river. Casa Susegad guests always come back enthusing about seeing dolphins, fruit bats and abundant birdlife. Food and drink is included as well, so this is a great day out. These cruises are in great demand so it is advisable to book early – if your trip is short then feel free to ask the Casa to book prior to your arrival in Goa.
There are many other sights to see, places to go, near to Loutolim. Everybody at Casa Susegad will be happy to advise and help you plan once they know your interests and timescales.
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