There’s no right time to visit Goa. If it is summers, you enjoy its beaches and pools to the max. If it is monsoon time, the quaint South Goa lanes, the charming cafes and the churches greet you with never-witnessed-before views. During winters, we all know the drill. Hang out at the best nightclubs, enjoying the nip in the air and getting that quintessential tan as we gorge on lip-smacking seafood delicacies. But how about taking a road trip to Goa? Moreover, how about enriching your experience along the way and having a wholesome trip with these private villas as pitstops?
We’ve charted out an exciting route for you where you not only reach your favourite Goan town but witness the many charms of Kashid and Konkan along the way. From turtle spotting to taking a walk on some untouched, white sandy beaches and visiting places of historical significance on the way- there’s a lot at hand!
(PS: Save yourself some time and energy as you drive from your home to Mandwa jetty in a RoRo. As you park your car (and yourself), capture the seagulls on your phone and take in the cool breeze and the gehraaiyaan of the deep blue sea. Once you reach Mandwa jetty, here are a few places you and your group can stay at!)
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 50 mins
Group size: 12-18
If you’re travelling in a large group, it’s the perfect place for you. A 6-bedroom pet-friendly pool villa in Alibaug, you have direct and secluded access to Akshi beach. Embracing nature to its fullest, this breezy-through-the-day villa will have you and your group discussing the home for years to come. Be its interiors with Parsi and colonial-style furniture mixed with modern furnishings, the old-world architecture and vintage vibes, the unassuming library with a curated collection of must-reads or the hospitable caretakers who whip up a storm in the kitchen with authentic Maharashtrian-style meals…
Opt for exciting water sport activities and horse cart rides on Akshi beach. If you love interacting with the locals, slide in your flip-flops and walk around Akshi village ‘Koliwada’. Pick up tasty biscuits from the famous Mayur Bakery, and visit the Hanuman, Ganpati or Saibaba Temple, the dargah, all 15 mins from the home. Savour the taste and spice of Alibaug-style meals as you buy the homemade papads and pickles from the Konkan market (8 kms). Like visiting historical sites? Visit the Angre Fort (8 kms), where one of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s admirals once lived.
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 90 mins
Group size: 8-12
If you’re looking for ghar ka pyaar, this home embodies the spirit in the truest sense. This one’s a 4-bedroom pet-friendly villa situated only 5 mins from the Kashid beach. Every piece of decor and antique in the home has a story to tell. A well-manicured lawn, original Tanjore paintings and a temple makes it a typical Kerala-style home. A loft-style library, a balcony from where you can enjoy a masala chai and the lawns where your pet can freely run make this home comforting. Relish authentic home-cooked Konkani meals prepared by our in-house chef.
Explorers and adventure lovers can try out the various water sports activities at the Kashid beach (5 mins) or visit the Korlai beach and fort (20 mins). Drive down to Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary (30 mins), which was created to preserve the coastal woodland ecosystems of the Western Ghats.
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 90 mins
Group size: 8-16
Right opposite Sanskriti is its padosi, SaffronStays La Casa Maestro, a 4-bedroom spacious villa. Featured by Condé Nast Traveller as one of ‘India’s 50 Best Villas’, its structure is inspired by the homeowner’s stay in Argentina and Spain. Located along the sunny coasts of Kashid, this contemporary home is designed in a contemporary Spanish style dominated by arches and breezy terraces. Dive into the terrace plunge pool from where you can also witness the stunning mountain views and during absolute quiet, hear the soft sounds of the waves from Kashid beach. Walk barefoot on the open, lush green lawns surrounded by Coconut, Chikoo and Mango plantations. This private villa with WiFi is also ideal for a workation near Mumbai. Pramila, the in-home cook rustles up lip-smacking Malvani and Alibaug-style dishes, suited to your taste.
Want to step out for a bit? Visit the pristine Kashid Beach 5-minutes from the home and enjoy adventure sports including Parasailing, Banana Rides, Jet Skiing and Horse Riding.
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 135 mins
Group size: 8-12
Get a whiff of the beaches even before you reach Goa at this 4-bedroom private pool villa in the quaint town of Murud. As you drive through the gate, there’s a huge lawn with a gazebo on your left that’s perfect to unwind at the end of a long day. On the right is the main entrance with a patio. The home has a large swimming pool along with a kids’ pool, too. The star attraction of this home, however, is the terrace from where you can catch sunrises AND sunsets. Be it an after-dinner session of nostalgic chitter-chatter or a starry night, this spot is just perfect!
Relish finger-lickin’ good Alibaug-style home-fresh meals (especially seafood) prepared by our in-home chef. If you’re in for an authentic food experience, there is a traditional chulha in the outdoor kitchen.
Try out some adrenaline-rushing water sports at Murud Beach, which is 10 mins from the home. Do all-things-touristy and explore the beautiful town of Agardanda (10 mins), or catch a ferry and visit Dighi Port or Janjira Fort (10 mins). You can opt for an early morning trek to the jungle that surrounds the home (the caretaker or a local trek guide can assist you with the same). Among the local gems of Murud is the Sawatkada Waterfall (5 min), which is a sight to behold.
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 165 mins
Group size: 4
Located on a hilltop with 180-degree views of the valley in the middle of a forest, this is a 2-bedroom homestay in Raigad. With an in-house kitchen garden serving seasonal produce and freshly plucked vegetables, With an in-house kitchen garden serving seasonal produce and freshly plucked vegetables, experience culinary delights and feast on scrumptious cuisines including Goan, South Indian, Middle-Eastern and Southeast Asian prepared by the homeowner! Surrounded by a 5-acre organic mango plantation, sit on the balcony as you sip chai and enjoy the euphonious melodies of nature, lush green views and open skies. You may also spot some interesting wildlife; which are harmless unless disturbed. Truly disconnect in this home ideal for nature lovers, couples and small families. The home owners who live on the site have stories to share – catch up on heartfelt one-on-one with them. The closest place to visit around the corner is the Bhimadevi Temple, which is 100m from the home.
Driving Distance from Mandwa Jetty: 270 mins
Group Size: 2-15
Named after Dapoli’s exotic native flowers, this is a set of 5 sea-facing cottages – Jaswanti, Bakul & Aboli, Shevanti & Sugandhi. Standing on the edge of the cliff, it overlooks an endless expanse of water that stretches in three directions. Dreamy, ideal for couples, small families and families with pets, its rustic feel perfectly blends with its surroundings, amenities and traditional decor. At this home, it is the small things that matter – for instance, a man-made lake constructed by the homeowner, a landscaped garden peppered with native flowers, and a high-speed WiFi, making it ideal for a workation with mesmerising views. Dig into scrumptious Konkani cuisine on the terrace-cum-dining area that offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. We recommend trying out the home-cooked meals prepared using locally sourced fresh ingredients like Kalya Vatanyachi Usal, Baingan bharta, Malvani fish, Mutton and Crab curries and Fish Fry.
While here, you may spot black Pariah Kites that zoom past or hear the distant cries at the Harnai fishing port. You’ll be tempted to visit the Suvarnadurg Sea Fort (15 mins). The home is located near Palande, a white sand beach (4.5 km), Harnai beach (1.9 km) and Anjarle Beach (10.8 km). The 12th century Kadyawarcha Ganpati (cliff temple) in Anjarle is about 14 kms from here. The turtle breeding centre at Velas is 49 km from the home. During the season, one can also take a boat trip to see the dolphins.
(Reached Goa? Here are some best villas in Assagao you can choose from!)