South Goa

The unique charms of India's coastline state are arguably best showcased in South Goa. It's bigger, less developed, boasts more colonial architecture and by far the best beaches. It's 15 miles of unspoilt, uninterrupted stretches of white sand and the perfect hideaway for a short break.

Silent raves
Goa'ss iconic headphone party known as Silent Noise is held at Neptune's Point in South Goa; a stunning peninsula where happy clubbers navigate the winding path across a bridge, up a jagged rock face before arriving at this noise-less dance party. Everyone is connected to the music with wireless headphones, and DJs play simultaneously, competing to get the crowd to tune into their set. Add in lasers, visuals and thousands of revellers, and you've got a mini-rave every week.

Dolphin tours
Hire a local boatman at the north end of Palolem Beach to ferry you up to Butterfly Beach and back, relishing the views of untouched coastline along the way. If you sail off in the mornings, you're also likely to spot a pod of dolphins following your trail.

Deep-sea fishing
Bring home a fresh catch on a deep-sea fishing trip. With your expert local guide, board a large, covered canoe on a beach in Goa and spend three hours fishing and relaxing. Anything you catch, you can take back to shore and cook. 

Salcete Wildlife Sanctuary
If you've got a hankering to seek out wild animals, this wildlife sanctuary is for you. Close to the Karnataka border in Salcete, it's home to deer, sloth bears, leopard cats, and many other animals in their natural habitat.

Dudhsagar Waterfall
As India's fifth largest waterfall, Dudhsagar is a fantastic place to visit, especially during monsoon season. The name comes from the milky appearance of the waterfall; Dudhsagar meaning "ocean of milk". The tiered waterfalls are surrounded by the thriving green forests of the Western Ghats and fall from an astounding height of 2,000 feet. Swimming is allowed here too.

Martin's Corner
Word has it that any visit to Goa is not complete until you go to Martin's Corner and, after sampling the tiger prawns coated in creamy garlic butter, it's not hard to see why. The seafood is particularly outstanding and the restaurant prides itself on serving authentic Goan dishes. The atmosphere inside this modest wooden restaurant is consistently lively with Indian revellers taking to the stage for a spot of karaoke while diners gorge on crab xacuti. 

Curry mornings
If you want to know more about the secrets of Indian cooking, On The Menu, a cooking school overlooking the river holds weekly sessions where visitors learn about the wonderful, hidden flavours of India. 

Seafood by candlelight
At night, the popular stretches of beach in the south are lit up by candlelight with each of the shoreline venues setting up tables and chairs in preparation for nightly seafood barbecues. While the choice is plentiful, try to pick one where the seafood is chilling on ice, just for peace of mind. The proud chef at Camp San Francisco is more than happy to explain what's on offer and how best to serve each hearty dish. You won't be disappointed with the giant, meaty kingfish coated in authentic Goan spices; it;s phenomenal. 

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