Margao, for instance, is a more 6 km from Goa Colva beach and Benauilm which, legend has it, is the area from which Goa originated. Tourist cottage at Colva today provide facilities for cam style living and do it yourself cooking. The eating places few, small and what one recognizes as typically Goan in food and friendliness.
Even lesser known are the seaside villages further south: at Betul and Cabo do Rama. The latter, on a promontory, is complete with an ancient fort perched atop a cliff and a magnificent sweep of beach.
In Goa, if the sea claims a great deal of attention, so do the forts-particularly further inland. Dotted all over the state they are reminders of the heyday Portuguese dominance, reminders you find echoed in Diu and Daman.
Every fort has its village. The ruins at Nanuz are beyond Valpoi in the North-East. Corjuem fort is opposite Adona village, less than 25 km from Betim ferry point. Chapora fort stands where the river of the same name meets the sea and Alorna is further north.
Terekhol fort is dramatically situated and overlooks the Terekhol River and the sea. At southernmost end is Anjidiv which was virtually the last Portuguese outpost in 1962 during `operation Vijay.’ One of the churches on this delightful picnic spot on an island provided a clever camouflage for their arsenal. Anjidiv is accessible by launch, and regular buses run to and from nearby Sadashivgath-taking about three hours to Margao and going further, right up to Vasco.
Apart from access to the sea and the south, Margao is a convenient hub to get to other interesting spots as well. The temple of Chandreshwar Butnath, 16 km away, dates back to the Mauryas, and are at a height of 1,170 ft. for the devout or the interested, both view and visit are well worth the difficult 500 –ft climb. The accommodation at Margao may be unpretentious but it is adequate-and ranges from modest hotels, mainly Indian type, to the Government Guest House which, again, can be used when not reserved for officers.
The only rail route in Goa passes through Margao and into the hilly wooded country of Samguen taluk, and past the Dudhsagar waterfalls, which are visible from the train. For those who delight in tramping through forests, the view is a positive temptation to break journey at the little railway station.
Going north from Panjim, a slightly circuitous route via Mapusa and Bicholim gives a taste of the charm and variety of travelling in Goa. Across the Betim ferry to Baga, and on to Vagator along the beach, is a delightful drive. Baga has a pleasant motel for a stopover or a longer holiday: for miles, the entire stretch of coast of coast is sheer heaven for swimmers and sunbathers.