Tourism in Margao
Margao known popularly as Goa’s commercial capital is the official capital of Salcette southern taluk and of the district of South Goa too. Due to its convenient location, it is a transport and service hub for the south Goa regions. This is crowded as any other typical Goa town, with noisy, chaotic traffic and some architectural souvenirs of the Portuguese past.
This is the second biggest town in Goa containing many famous tourist spots, especially those with the rich Portuguese style of architecture. The renowned Colva beach located at a distance of 6km from the Margao town, and is a big attraction for tourists visiting the area. There are also other interesting places in and around Margao such as the Church of the Holy Spirit, Rachol Seminary, Zalor Beach, and so on.
Tourist Places in and around Margao
The small town of Margao is a lovely place with plenty of tourist spots. Many wonderful examples of Portuguese rich architecture can be seen here, such as churches and other buildings.
The following are some famous tourist spots in and around Margao.
Church of the Holy SpiritThis church is a must visit in Goa as it is a highlight of the whole Margao area with its white-washed, towering and beautiful walls. The interior is purely Portuguese in style with a lot of carving, gilt and statues of saints. This is a very ancient church as it has been around for about nearly three and a half centuries till now.
Rachol SeminaryRachol Seminary is situated on a little hillock called Rachol in Raia village at a distance of around 7 kilometers from Margao. Surrounding this church are the remains of an old moat belonging to a Muslim architecture fort, lush foliage and fertile rice fields. This complex was built by the Jesuits many centuries back between the years 1606 to 1610.
The Seminary consists of a training college for priests-to-be, school for poor children and a hospital. Excavations made in the middle courtyard revealed fragments of idols belonging to Hinduism sculpture that may indicate that this structure has been built on top of a temple. An important fact about this seminary is that has the thirdly built printing press in India, formed by Father Thomas Stevens.
Margao Municipal ParkMargao Municipal Park is a real treat for those who want to escape from the hurried and busy Margao town and entry to this park is absolutely free. There are many beautifully coloured bushes and bougainvilleas, under the shade of which you can relax yourself.
You can also walk around the park and admire the various plants and flowers that are those usually grown in the indoors in the United Kingdom. There is also a big water element at the centre which is red and has the shape of a flower, which is amazing to look at. Much to the delight of children, there is a nice children’s park also near the Margao Municipal Park.
Zalor BeachZalor Beach, with its clean and peaceful atmosphere is a much wanted relaxation spot in a congested town like Margao. There are many lawns and benches on this beach to sit down and get refreshed. This park is right in the heart of Margao - a commercial capital of Goa. Compared to Varca and Cavelossim, the two famous Goa beaches between which it is located, the Zalor beach is quite unknown.
Even though many people do not know about Zalor beach, it lies on the equal stretch of those two popular beaches. This beach is extremely clean with only a few shacks around it and is a true paradise on earth. You can grab some drinks in the shacks and just relax watching the gorgeous sunset and empty shoreline uninterrupted! The beach is huge and the sands are relatively whiter in comparison with those beaches.
Restaurants in Margao
Ruta’s World CaféRuta’s World Café is famous for its quality food and it is one of the few good restaurants in Margao. It is located close to the beach and so an excellent way to get away to the beach.
Longhuino’sOld and traditional Longhuino’s is a local restaurant serving delicious Chinese, Goa and Indian dishes since 1950. This restaurant is immensely popular with tourists and locals alike especially for its Goa dishes like Ambot Tik as well as retro desserts such as tiramisu and rum balls.
GaylinGaylin is a wonderful Chinese restaurant hidden behind solid glass doors and decorated with designs of dragons. The Darjeeling-based owners are friendly and they provide you with garlicky and generous versions of Chinese specialties, suitably spiced over to satisfy resilient Indian appetites.
Hotels in MargaoMargao has many comfortable luxury hotels with excellent facilities at reasonable and affordable costs, for almost everyone. Nanutel is a renowned hotel having about 65 rooms which are always well- maintained with great amenities.
Hotel Kamat, another good option for vegetarian folks, has spacious AC and non-AC rooms which are decently equipped with a wardrobe, coffee table, dressing table, TV, two chairs, and so on. Sapphire Comfort Hotel is also a good place to stay with superb amenities and friendly staff. The Hotel is especially very apt for business purposes as it has plush conference rooms.
How to Reach Margao
By RailMargao's recently built train station is the single stop in the whole of Goa for long distance running express trains of Konkan Railway which lies about 3 km to the south of central town. The Railway Reservation office (Open hours: Monday to Saturday: 8am to 4-30 pm, Sunday 8 am to 2 pm) in the railway station is in the ground floor as well as first floor and you also have a 24/7 Information Centre.
By RoadThere are private local buses operating to Colva plus its surrounding villages and they stop at many places in the town. There are also buses running a long distance to reach Vasco, Panaji as well as destinations outside of Goa. These stop and start from the chief bus stand of Kadamba, which is about 3 km from the main town on its outskirts.
Shopping in Margao
Tuk TukTuk Tuk is an exciting shopping mall in Majorda in Goa and it is quite hard to locate the place. When you do succeed in finding the mall, you would be able to see that it is very much worth your visit. Every item here has its own unique story and so it is the perfect spot to get original gifts for your children.
Margao MarketMargao Market is a well-known market area in Margao selling nice spices, prawns, fruits and fresh fish. You can also buy superior quality silk cloth that is reasonably priced from about five shops selling such cloth outside the market.
To get more information regarding tourism in Margao, you may contact the below mentioned Tourist office:
South Zone Office
Block No 43
Mathany Saldanha Administrative Complex