GOA.TRAVEL.BLOGby Julia Weis
NORTH GOA (ARAMBOL / MANDREM) - DISCOVER THE YOUR WILD SIDE
Goa can be everything, from the darkest dark to the brightest light. You can loose yourself or find yourself and everything in between. It strongly depends on your intention and decisions you make: Where to stay, where to go, what to do. From enlightenment to hashish smoking darkness, from raw food to fast food, from the detox of your life to the hang over of your life. You choose.
If you’re like me on a quest to the bright and more quiet side, here are my recommendations:
General advice for accommodation:
Stay in Mandrem, rather than in Arambol. Mandrem is a bit more settled, less crazy and has more quiet spaces to pull back to.
The whole stretch of beach up here is gorgeous and it’s a must to enjoy sunrise and / or sunset. The sun rises in land and sets into the ocean and it’s a very special time!!! Either sit quietly at the beach like many goans and enjoy the transformation into night/day, go for a walk along the shore or enjoy the drumming circle embedded in a circus like setting in front of Love Temple on Arambol beach. There is a market set up by mostly foreigners with fairly nice things such as jewellery, art and fashion. You’ll get roasted corn, fresh coconut and fruit offered by locals. The sound of the drum, fire shows and AcroYoga if some practitioners are around make this a really special setting. Certainly enjoyable if you like some live around you.
Go for long walks at the beach, you can walk all along the coast from Ashvem, through Mandrem to Arambol without leaving the beach.
All in total is about 1h 30 depending on your speed and if you stop for a swim. When the sun rises in the morning the fisher boats come in and it’s a quite romantic thing to share the silence and watch the birds waiting for their share :)
MANDREM FAVORITE PLACES
My favourite place to set up my “office by the beach”. Slow, but reliable internet. A large selection of safe and fresh food ranging from international to indian selection for a fair price. Friendly staff and spacious feeling as it’s all open overlooking Mandrem beach.
A more fancy restaurant with a more creative selection of salads and drinks. For me a more special choice to treat myself on a special occasion. I usually only go there if I stay in Goa for a longer time as it is a little retreated in the back streets of Mandrem. If I only have a a couple of days here I usually don’t go very far away from the beach.
Lamuella Café and Boutique
A boutique just opposite Dunes with european prices for beautiful and fancy Goa style fashion. You find items from Hanamer, White Raven, Chintamani and more. Definitely special and I always, sadly for my pocket, find something. The Café has an awesomely friendly staff who remembers you quickly if you come a couple of times.
It’s the only Café offering homemade rice milk which is a great alternative to the weird tasting indian soy milk and the highly overpriced almond milk. They offer a tasty and creative selection for vegetarians and vegans, they know how to make milk froth and the coffee tastes really good in comparison to many other places. It’s a really nice hang out place, with a nice jungle view in which you can see monkeys at a regular basis and where you should certainly where mosquito repellant during sunset.
They run a branch in Arambol with an even larger selection as well as one on the road to Ashvem with a gorgeous roof top Café.
An authentic Indian breakfast and snack place with the best Samosa, Wada, Chilli, Bhaji and Masala Chai in town. Cheap Indian prices, always busy, always fresh. The best place for an authentic Indian experience within the “India-Light-Movie” of Goa.
Authentic, yet traveller friendly is Anu Mama in a side streets off from Madrem main street next to Junas. Sit in a chilled manner on the floor and choose from a small, but complete menu including a delicious ayurvedic Thali (great to settle an upset stomach), regular Thali, some indian dishes, pancakes, omelettes, and a good selection of tasty momos. You can watch the pigs with their pigling on the other side of street which is quite fun.
Beautiful, jungle like and pricy retreat center with a large offer of Yoga (trainings and drop ins), treatments, workshops, talks, concerts and more. Their accommodation ranges from beach huts to really beautiful and luxurious rooms. A good place to properly treat yourself when you’re fed up with the dirt and rush of the Indian streets.
Similar to Ashiyana, although a wider range of people offerings and seemingly more open to your choice how you want to spend your time. While Ashiyana certainly promotes a more retreat style vacation, Mandala is bit more open to include other qualities into your very individual retreat. Great Yoga Classes and treatments also.
ARAMBOL FAVORITE PLACES
My favourite raw food place. Since I always have a hard time to choose, I take the raw Thali as it gives me the widest range of their offer on one plate. Salads, Zucchini Pasta, Avocado-Moringa Shake, great juices, raw breads, great dessert and no wifi. It’s on the third floor with a super cozy set up. Certainly a place to retreat and rejuvenate.
Raw Vegan Ice Cream (Hippies Gusto)
Yum, Yum, Yum… Ice cream at it’s best. Since this year they’re even more awesome as they make your scoop fresh following your taste. You choose one of six “cream-bases” (mine is always chocolate), add your favourite fruit, superfood if you like, as well as spices of your choice, they mix it all together on a cold plate and scrape it into half of a coconut. No sugar, no preservatives, no dairy, no bullshit, no trash. Now that they’re together with Coffee heaven you can even get a shot of espresso into your ice cream shake…
Gish, I love this place!!!
Watch out, you might spend the whole day there. Close to the beach, yet a jungle like set up. Super green and super cozy to sit (if it’s not mosquito time). They have a large selection for vegans and vegetarians, great breakfast, lunch and dinner. A meeting place for super interesting people making you go from meal, into great conversation into the next meal. Certainly addictive.
They also have a roof top with a great variety of yoga classes, life concerts in the restaurant, workshops and more.
India is genuinely a place for masala chai, not for coffee in a western understanding. Outside of special coffee places I learned to stay away from ordering one. Dylan’s is a place where you can happily choose from any type of coffee you’re used to. They import their coffee and train their staff well. I love the mocca there and super special: Look out for Sissi Perlinger's (German comedian who had her carrier high around 2004) Comedy Satsang. It’s fun!!!
Another great breakfast and coffee place. Muesli, Soy milk, Coffee selection, cakes and other good things.
Former “Banyan tree”, now called The Source. Great food, such as soft Tacco, Momos, Thali, Millet Salad, as well as a nice breakfast selection, smoothies, cold coffee and more. Café and Restaurant during the day time. An amazing location offering concerts and ecstatic dance at night. A place full of tree spirit, close to the beach. Quite special!
They have a really nice restaurant overlooking the beach and a shala in their back “ecstatic field Goa”, ecstatic dance and other offerings at night. Cool to hang out in the shade when you got enough from the sun at the beach.
A super special treat if you like to fancy one night. For 2000INR you can enjoy a 5 set menu served under the stars of the wide open sky in Goa. A super talented cook, a beautiful roof top on Temple road, organic vegetables from the Samatha Farm making this an unforgettable and delicious event in a beautiful ambiance. Pre-booking required!