5 Offbeat Things To Do in Goa During Monsoons

This post is on 5 offbeat things to do in Goa during monsoons. Next time let not the monsoons dampen your holiday spirits, because Goa has spruced itself up to welcome tourists in monsoons.

Rain clouds come floating in Goa during monsoons ushering a new adventure spirit! I discovered just that during my recent tour of Goa experiencing its peak monsoons. Rains no longer dampen the party spirit, nor there is any dearth of places to visit in Goa. I am excluding the customary places to go in Goa and mentioning unique offbeat things to do in Goa during monsoons.

5 Offbeat Things to do in Goa during monsoons.

1. Festivals of Goa

There are several unique traditional festivals that dot the months June to September. These colorful festivals are accompanied by feasting, singing and dancing. I am mentioning not the regular festivals celebrated throughout India, but those unique ones that can be included in off beat things to do in Goa during monsoons only. I recently witnessed the Cucumber Festival of Goa held on last Sunday of July. The celebrations, decorations, sale of cucumbers, and offerings at St Anne’s feet are grand scenes to witness. Even Hindu families lined up to offer cucumbers at deity’s feet. It was so evident that people of Goa love their festivals and participate wholeheartedly in celebrations.

Offbeat Things To Do in Goa During Monsoons - Cucumber festival Goa

At Cucumber Festival of Goa.

Here is the monsoon festival calendar in brief:

  • In June you can celebrate Sao Joao festival on 24th and Ponsachem Fest, which is a jackfruit festival. Sao Jaoa Festival is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. You will be tempted to jump into wells and ponds there just as the locals do during the festival. Witness their colorful boat races in Siolim North Goa during this festival. The third festival Sangodd festival is a feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. Feast of Sangodd Festival will thrill you to core.
  • July has two fun festivals; Chikhal Kalo on 2nd, a  fun and amusing mud bath monsoon festival. And Cucumber Festival on last Sunday of July.
  • Come next August to witness Nag Panchami Festival (venerating Snake God.) and Vasco Saptah on 8th. Along with Independence Day celebrations on 15th August, people of Goa celebrate Patolleanchem Feast. It is the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady organized in various churches. Then there is Gokul asthami (check the date) and Bonderam Festival on 4th Saturday of August.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi and World Tourism Day is celebrated in September.

Cucumber festival Goa St. Anne2. Outdoor Adventurous Activities During Monsoons

Goa is no more a disappointment for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. A number of well meaning ‘to do’ activities has come up in Goa. During monsoons Goa becomes a happening destination! More thrilling and more exciting! I participated in river rafting activities there in July when Mhadei River was filled to brim. It is a lifetime memorable experience for me. The river rafting activities are absolutely safe and experienced people conduct these tours. Since this is only a ‘16 weeks’ activity you will have to book your dates and time slots to avoid disappointments. In addition to that you can go trekking and touring spice plantations if you are a nature lover. Goa is green then! The spice plantation tour at Tropical Spice plantation has package kind of deals which includes lunch before or after the tour.

river rafting in Goa

White Water river rafting during June to September

Offbeat Things To Do in Goa During Monsoons - Spice Plantation Tour

Trekking and visits to spice plantations in Goa during monsoons.

3. Offbeat places to stay indoors in Goa

For Indoor lovers there are several monuments of historic importance. Museums are the best places to go when rains come lashing mercilessly! Goa is home to several museums, among them some are very unique. The museum of traditional houses of Goa is one such must visit unique museum. It is a good small museum, very useful for people who wish to know more about old Goan styles. Architect Gerard da Cunha deserves the whole credit of making this museum of traditional houses of Goa. The museum has 2 floors dedicated to building related materials. It also explains how the present day house designs have evolved from Indo-Portuguese designs. If you are traveling with children be sure to include this museum in your list of offbeat things to do in Goa during monsoons.

Offbeat Things To Do in Goa During Monsoons - Houses of Goa Museum

Exhibit at Houses of Goa Museum, North Goa.

Other interesting museums worth visiting are:

  • The Indian Customs and Central Excise Museum showcasing evolution of the Indian Customs and Central Excise from ancient times, its modernization and relevance today for revenue generation.
  • Museum of Goa is the largest contemporary art space in Goa, with galleries, a sculpture garden, a café, a museum store and an auditorium.
  • Mario Miranda’s art work in Reis Magos fort.
The Indian Customs and Central Excise Museum

Entrance to The Indian Customs and Central Excise Museum

Mario Miranda's art work museum

Museum of Mario Miranda’s art work in Fort Reis Magos.

4. Dining in Night Cruise

If closed shacks on seashores are a disappointment to you then I suggest you experience the dinner cruise organized by GTDC. It is a 2 hour cruise along Rvier Mandovi starting from the jetty in the Santa Monica. I am lucky to have experienced this night cruise too. On board there was troupe of talented local artists entertaining us with traditional folk dances of Goa like dekhni and fugdi. In between their performances they cajoled and encouraged participation of the guests on board. Hats off to their party spirit! Meanwhile we, the onlookers, got continuous supply of refreshments. They served dinner buffet in the lower deck. Everything was timed so well that by the time everyone finished their dinner we were back at Santa Marina jetty where we started. This cruise is worth an experience if you are in Goa and very much doable during monsoons.

Offbeat Things To Do in Goa During Monsoons - Dinner Cruise Goa

Dinner cruise organized by GTDC.

traditional dance dinner cruise in Goa

Coconut shell dance by local Goan performers.

Opening time of Dinner Cruise: Wednesdays and Saturdays 8.30PM.

Tariff for Night Cruise: Rs.650 for adults and Rs. 300 for children between 5 to 12 years of age.

Party spirit in Dinner cruise Goa

Guests reveling joyous party mood.

5. Off Season Rates for Lodging

One more off beat thing you can do which you may not do normally is go stay in some beach facing luxury hotels of Goa. The monsoon rates are tempting. I stayed in Panjim Residency and their monsoon tariff is comparatively low for the monsoon months, from June to September. Some of the 5 star luxury hotels slash their price to almost 50%. A good study can yield you very good stay options at cheap rates. You can even hire vehicles too at very low rates. Once lodging is taken care of rest of the tour becomes a breeze! So, go enjoy Goa in monsoons!

Panaji Residency Goa

Panaji Residency Goa

alila diwa goa luxury hotel

Alila Diwa Hotel – luxury hotel in Goa

The ones mentioned here are some of the offbeat things to do in Goa during monsoons. Do let me know in your comments which of these you liked best and intend to do if you visit Goa.

I visited Goa during July 2016 on invite from Goa Tourism.
My sincere thanks to Goa Tourism for hosting me for this FAM trip of Goa in Monsoons!

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91 Responses

  1. Interesting things to do! I love Goa in the monsoons, devoid of crowds it just looks more beautiful!

  2. Mridula says:

    The rafting looks so inviting and that trek too!

  3. verushka says:

    Such interesting and colourful festivals.The dinner cruise looks like a fun night out with friends a great way to get a dose of food and culture.

  4. blair villanueva says:

    I think the night cruise and a non-stop night party are awesome for monsoon season!

  5. Nisha says:

    I haven’t done rafting in Goa yet. And yes, that cucumber festival also eluded me. 😉

    A nice list to do.

  6. Very helpful and informative post with beautiful pics. its a good guidance specially for those who are visiting for the first time.

  7. Hayley says:

    Good advice, it can be hard to know what to do on a rainy day when traveling!

  8. Great to read, Thanks for the informative post .

  9. Kalpana says:

    Goa in the monsoons has become a very attractive destination. Sadly I haven’t made it there yet during the rainy season but when I go I’m going to visit all the museums. You never think of museums when there are beaches to enjoy – specially if you’re from Delhi. That cucumber festival looks pretty special too.

  10. I have been to Alila Diwa Hotel…it’s amazing! All the ideas are great! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. Goa is a paradise for party lovers and Adventure enthusiasts. Your post has given enough reasons to visit Goa even in monsoon when people generally try avoid trips.

  12. Interesting read with amazing pics

  13. Alka says:

    Noted. River cruise and river rafting are great ideas.

  14. Paola says:

    I think that I would definitely leave the outdoor activity to someone else, while enjoying the indoors instead

  15. Interesting things to do during the offbeat season. Thanks for the share, would love to try river rafting and also the cucumber festival sounds unique.

  16. Robert says:

    Excellent article and some very interesting things to do and see. I will be heading to India and Goa this Fall and will definitely look into a few places you have mentioned. The Panjim Residency looks very nice as well. 🙂

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      Thank you Robert, I am glad you found the article useful!
      Welcome to India, I am sure you will find Goa enjoyable in Fall too. 🙂

  17. The cucumber festival sounds great. A very interesting post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. The festivals of Goa sound so interesting. One should definitely plan to visit Goa during festival time.

  19. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder says:

    Goa has different charms in different seasons. Great post, Indrani… 🙂

  20. Arohii says:

    I have been to Goa when was a kid, it is damn beautiful! I would love trekking and seeing the plantations of Goa,even cucumber festival, I read all about it in your previous post, river rafting if only my parents would let me hehe and Dining in night cruise. This was an incredible post, made me long to Pack and go to Goa right now, sigh! I cannot 🙁
    Good day dear! 🙂

  21. Divsi says:

    A wonderful comprehensive list! Was there in monsoons last year. The natural beauty and greenery is mind blowing:) visited the bonderam fest and the area near rafting is so gorgeous. I feel monsoons in Goa are highly underrated. Your post is refreshing!

  22. Yogi Saraswat says:

    So we should plan a trip in off season to save our money and to enjoy its greenery .

  23. suanlee says:

    Great insight on activities that could be done while travelling during a monsoon! You’ve provided such a comprehensive list of activities and places to go. Thank you!

  24. Ana says:

    I went to Goa many times during my college days and just loved it! Your post made me nostalgic about my old college days!

  25. Sona Sethi says:

    Really nice read. I enjoyed every time I visited Goa and it was always a new version. This brings the best of Goa forward. 🙂

  26. This was interesting. You know I have been to Goa so many times but had no idea about the cucumber festival

  27. This is a great guide. i am not an indoor kind of person although I dont mind visiting the Portugese house. I would definitely enjoy the museums and the dinner on the cruise. 🙂

  28. Totally agree with you Indrani!!! I have been to Goa in all the seasons and can say for sure the most connected you feel to the locals and nature there is during monssons. Still have to visit the spice plantations but the rest of it…especially the festivals are so much fun 🙂

  29. Usually people avoid getting to destinations when it is monsoons period. I am one of them. Good to know if I get unlucky, there are many things to do like all the museums.

  30. I must admit I would prefer to visit during the dry season, but this looks fun! Rain is not always boring and I’m glad you proved it 🙂

  31. Divya Rai says:

    I am glad I stumbled upon this list; I have friends heading to Goa soon, and they could use this post! Come to think of it, that makes Goa a, all-time destination.
    Thank you for the post.

  32. Ami says:

    Nice one Indrani. I loved the rafting part…it was so refreshing.

  33. Tamshuk says:

    I would like to checkout those festivals. Some of them I’ve never heard of. I’m heading off to Goa in a week so I hope I can catch up on all these wonderful activities there

  34. Joanna says:

    I have traveled “in rain” before, in Vietnam, and it didn’t bother me because the weather was still warm. I would like to visit Goa and try rafting, I bet it’s quite and experience when it rains. Also, I would chose a luxury spa hotel, to just sit in the tub and enjoy the calming sounds of rain while reading a good book.

  35. Sarah says:

    Great to read there’s still so much to do despite the monsoons. I’d read elsewhere that everything practically closes down! I’d love to try rafting.

  36. Carmy says:

    The white water rafting looks like it’d be a blast. I’d love to check that out

  37. Goa is so vast to be get discovered in one go. Several angles, streets, corners left untouched by me even after a number of visits to Goa. And now you provided a new perspective of the place, in fall. In coming year I wish to check museums and want to be a part of these fests.

  38. For me Goa was the mystery. What all i can think about Goa was ‘Beach and party’ but i guess now i can plan my visit even better.

  39. I’m just dying to go to India and experience monsoons for myself. I think I would really like the dinner cruise. It’s good to know that it is timed well and people seemed to have fun.

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      That one seems to be a great hit with the locals too. Great chance to mingle with them Stella.

  40. I came to India directly after monsoon season, which I was told was “festival season.” Indeed there were a ton of festivals, but I sort of thought they were all in celebration of post-monsoon season when the weather was more predictable and beautiful. It is great to see there are also monsoon festivals! I am from Louisiana and we are accustomed to Hurricanes… so we have hurricane parties! I can totally relate to the urge to dance in the rain!

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      Hurricane parties seems adventurous!
      Yes after monsoons comes many festivals of India. Glad you saw them. 🙂

  41. Woah! I had no idea whatsoever about a cucumber festival! Haha, sounds amazing.

  42. Visiting museums is surely a great idea.

  43. Christina says:

    That’s an interesting angle on Goa. Actually it reminds me of Arundhati Roy’s novel God of Small Things. Although it wasn’t set in Goa he writes about the monsoon. I’d love to do a trip of cities around the world that were influenced by the Portuguese., Goa being one of them.

  44. Christina says:

    What a positive spin on the Monsoon season. I would not personally book a trip to Goa during the Monsoon but I bet costs are much cheaper. It is great to know that if I ever find myself in Goa during that time I will surely not be bored between the festivals, other exciting outdoor activities and all the museums.

  45. Vyjay says:

    You have portrayed some relatively unknown facets of Goa, which is so refreshing. The cucumber festival sounds interesting and I need to check it out. The heritage and culture of the Portuguese that is preserved in museums and private houses, is another fascinating aspect that needs to be explored.

  46. Sheena says:

    I wish you had posted this 2 years ago when I was in Goa for 5 days during the monsoon season & didn’t really leave the hotel!

  47. Kat says:

    I think it’s nice that travelers have a long list of things to do in Goa even during monsoons. The festivals look interesting. I can sort of relate because here in the Philippines half the time it’s raining or cloudy, so we try to make the best of our time.

  48. Darlene says:

    Cucumber festival looks interesting! First time I heard of a festival like that. Thr river rafting and spice plantation tour are more up my alley but would like to try the dinner cruise too.

  49. I haven’t tried river rafting and it really is interesting to try it during the monsoon season (put some adrenaline on it!) I also want to experience the night cruise! This post is very informative and I would definitely use this as a reference for my future travel there! <3

  50. Always wanted to do Goa in the monsoon but never seem to have the time, so 2017 is the year for it. Was clueless about the cucumber festival and with lodging cheap in the off season it is a good place to go for a break

  51. Gina says:

    The cucumber festival looks like so much fun and it’s my favorite thing to eat in the summer months. I also didn’t know there were cruises around there and a two hour relaxing tour around River Mandovi sounds right up my alley.

  52. I want to go to India so badly! Hopefully next year! I have read some great things about Goa so it’s on top of the list! But these things are very interesting! Especially the festival!!

  53. I have always heard that monsoon season in Goa is way too wet and difficult to handle, that most if not all the expats and tourists stay away for the entire season. Of course there are always offseason travelers, I think I would like to go to Goa in the monsoon season.

  54. Belinda says:

    I would hit the Night cruise and the museum if I was traveling alone. I love how detailed your information is.

  55. Michelle says:

    Bookmarked and pinned this for my future personal use! I wanted to head to Goa last year but was told that it was not going to be worth my time due to the monsoon season – I can see now they were wrong 🙂

  56. neha says:

    Really loved your post. When it comes to Goa, often what I find people talking about is beach, alcohol and night time parties. No one ever thinks of so much more amazing cultural depth and experience that Goa has to offer. I am definitely going to try these on my next trip to Goa

  57. Soraya says:

    Water rafting during the monsoon season would so much fun!!! I can only imagine the adrenaline. The cucumber festival also sounds really interesting. I am not surprised that you are able to get great hotel deals during this time.

  58. Kitchie says:

    Goa is really in my bucketlist! This list makes me more excited — need to go there even on monsoon 😀

  59. Totally agree. Goa is less crowded in off season. One should definitely try going in monsoon once. The beaches are really beautiful during rains. And the prices for accommodation are also low. And yes the museums are worth a visit.

  60. Such a handy guide to help people make the most of their time in Goa, even during monsoon season! I would love to try rafting during the season – good tip to book ahead of time.

  61. Samantha says:

    So many things to do during a monsoon. I probably would prefer to stay indoors away from the rain. The Cucumber festival sounds interesting…a whole festival dedicated to cucumbers?!

  62. Cat says:

    I’ve never heard of a cucumber festival! That must be an interesting experience to have. White-water rafting looks like a fun activity of outdoor adventurers!

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