Discover Goa's colorful history and learn about the heavy influence Portuguese rule had on this region's religion and architecture. See the UNESCO World Heritage site Basilica of Bom Jesus, dedicated to St Francis Xavier; Panaji's Latin Quarter, and views of the Arabian Sea from the Dona Paula Jetty on this Portuguese Heritage tour of Goa.
Starting at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will visit this church which holds the remains of the Catholic missionary St Francis Xavier. Walk along the marble floor inlaid with precious stones and admire the exquisite paintings adorning the walls that depict scenes from St Francis Xavier's life, then see the mausoleum containing his silver casket. Follow the guide upstairs to the art gallery to see beautiful surrealist paintings from Goan painter Dom Martin.
Next, walk to the nearby Se Cathedral, also known as the St Cathedral of Santa Catarina, dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria. This Christian saint was martyred in the early 4th century by a Roman emperor for her devout dedication to Christianity. Marvel at the facade's Portuguese Gothic-style architecture before entering the church with your guide to see the Golden Bell, one of the largest bells in Goa.
Re-board the vehicle and travel to the city of Panaji to visit the historic neighborhood of Fontainhas, known as the Latin Quarter. Discover the area's Portuguese influences as you walk with your guide down narrow streets and past old, colorful villas. Pause in the small St Sebastian Chapel to view several statues of historical figures including the Roman Catholic monk Abade Faria.
Then, drive to the Dona Paula Jetty, a secluded bay where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Mormugao Harbour and the point where the Mandovi River and Zuari River meet the Arabian Sea. Feel the gentle sea breeze and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of this hidden treasure before exploring a small local market along the waterway. In the afternoon, you can elect to stop at a popular restaurant for lunch (at your own expense) and enjoy traditional Portuguese and Goan dishes like their famous pomfret recheiado (fish stuffed with red masala). Free time is provided in the afternoon to explore the area and beaches on your own before returning back to the ship reflecting on the area's Portuguese heritage during this journey.
Please Note: A tourist visa is required to debark in India. Since tourist visas are not provided by cruise lines to visit India, you will need to obtain one prior to your cruise. The e-Tourist Visa is NOT available for cruise line passengers.
For United States citizens, please CLICK HERE to visit the "Embassy of India - Washington, D.C." website for the latest information and CLICK HERE for the "Cox & Kings Global Services" website to start your visa application.
For citizens of other nations, please CLICK HERE to visit "Indian Visa Online."
Reviewer: Robert S.
This excursion was the perfect way to see the highlights of the State of Goa. We had a guide for what amounted to a group of three. We saw the architectural and religious legacy of this State that unlike the rest of India, was not under British rule. The tour also included the spice legacy of the region and a delicious meal.