Goa is like no other state in India. The Portuguese colonial influence, the endless beaches, the glorious whitewashed churches, or the relaxed culture of ‘Susegad’. Susegad is a uniquely a Goan term that translates loosely to ‘laid-backness’- that is evident in all aspects of the Goan way of life.
Goa is located in the Western region of India with the Arabian Sea to its west. It was formerly a Portuguese province, until as recent as 1961. Rich in heritage, culture, flora, and fauna, it is a biodiversity hotspot and on this ‘Unventured’ trail, you will experience the essence of this diverse and unique state, along with the adventure of exploring it on a bicycle.
As part of your trail, you will be staying at beautiful heritage hotels, beach huts, eco-resorts, in the midst of the forest, and 2 nights by the backwaters in a quaint homestay. As the Goans say, “kenna chill, kenna thrill” which translates to “sometimes chill and sometimes thrill”. The Unventured trail is all about pleasing the chill and thrill-seeking explorer in you.
Who can do this tour?
This expedition is for anyone with a keen interest in exploring and truly “travelling” through Goa. You will re-discover its culture, tradition, and history at a pace that allows you to stop, interact and enjoy the true Goan way of life. This is not a physically “intensive” trail and anyone who is initiated to cycling and is keen on exploring and riding with a group of like-minded people can sign up. The terrain in Goa ranges from flat grounds to moderate climbs. The distances pedalled daily will range from 40 to 60 kilometres on rolling terrain and the difficulty level will vary from being easy to moderate as we trail along.
Your Goan trail is all about experiencing the chill and the thrill that Goa has to offer. On this tour, we’ve ensured that we’ve put a good mix of local experiences like an overnight stay in a Goan heritage home, beach shacks, nature resort, and some local homestay experiences in a scenic village, where you can walk around post your ride and make conversation with the locals.
You will ride an average of 35 kilometres per day, but some days could have longer rides than others. The itinerary on each day, ferry hops, and distance of rides are meticulously planned from experience in offering tours in the region.
Arrive at Goa, Panjim. You are expected to arrive at or before noon at Goa airport. A central meeting point in Panjim will be shared with you closer to the date. After a bike fit, we will explore the charming Fontainhas and wander through some interesting galleries and art spaces. ‘Expect the unexpected’ is the phrase to live by. We’ll also visit the Reis Magos Fort, a 16th-century fort that walks you through the history of Portuguese-influenced Goa.
Ride distance: 15-20 kilometres
Accommodation Type: Homestay/guest house
• You will meet and greet your fellow travellers.
• Introduction to the ‘the Pearl of the Orient’.
• Explore charming Fontainhas, Reis Magos Fort and some interesting galleries and art spaces.
On day 2, we will explore Velha, also known as Old Goa. You can relive the essence of the Portuguese empire, religion, and also visit the famed Basilica of Bom Jesus.
Ride distance: 30 Kilometres
Accommodation Type: Homestay
• Explore Old Goa: Portuguese architecture and history
• Explore quaint churches and heritage monuments
Post an early breakfast, we will ferry hop from Divar Island toward Bicholim and start riding towards Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. We trail through the forest with rich flora, to peek at some interesting natives, like the Indian Hornbill, emerald doves, and Golden Orioles, not to forget the Bonnet Macaques and if you’re lucky, enroute your trail you will even spot pangolins and porcupines. You will stay at a forest resort with activities like guided bird walks for an insight into untamed Goa.
Ride Distance: 70 kilometres
Accommodation Type: Nature Resort
• A ride through the villages and the countryside towards the hills.
• Experience life in the countryside of Goa.
• The stay at a bird sanctuary.
Post breakfast we begin our hike toward Tambdi Surla Waterfalls. Spend time soaking in the gushing water and resting up by the falls. A scrumptious picnic brunch/lunch awaits to savour amidst the lush green forests. We hike back down and spend the evening exploring the forests over a guided bird walk.
Hike distance: 5-8 kilometres
Accommodation Type: Nature Resort
• Hike up Tambdi Surla Water falls
• Visit an ancient Temple
• A guided walk with a naturalist. (Birding Session)
Post breakfast we ride toward Palolem beach along the countryside, stopping over at local markets. The Palolem beach is tucked away from the hustle and bustle offering a quiet and serene views of the beach.
Ride distance: 70 kilometres
Accommodation Type: Beach Shack
• Ride along the countryside
• Relaxed evening by the beach
We rest today and you are free to do whatever you like. You can choose to walk around the beach and soak up the mild winter sun or perhaps even ride some waves. It is a day to bum out by the beach, mingle with the local volleyball team or get your own frisbee championship going. Indulge in some shopping at the flea market and feast on local cuisine…think vindaloo and prawns.
Ride distance: 0 kilometres
Accommodation Type: Beach Shack
• Spend some time relaxing by the beach.
• Visit the local flea markets and shopping.
We bid goodbye to the “Pearl of the Orient” and take home with us fond memories of Goa, rediscovered through its architectural splendours, beach resorts, backwaters, and wildlife sanctuaries
The Unventured Experience
On the Unventured trail, you will experience a diverse and unique side of Goa with the added adventure of riding through it all on a bicycle. All along your trail, you will be staying at beautiful heritage hotels, beach huts, eco-resorts in the midst of the forest, and also in a quaint village homestay in the Divar Islands.
Our ‘Susegad God Cycling Tour’ is a good blend of nature, culture, history, local food, and real-world experiences. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a regular city commuter; this trail has a good combination of challenging climbs to downhills through quaint countryside roads, villages, and forest trails for you to trail leisurely as you interact with locals.
This tour is graded medium intensity in terms of distance and gradient climbing since most of the rides will be done on 100% tarmac roads. We suggest that our guests start mountain biking in their own home country a month before this trip. This is to ensure you take away the unfamiliarity with mountain bikes that occur due to lack of practice, physical unpreparedness, and that you don’t hold up the other prepared participants. This tour will include a local guide, a tour leader, a mechanic, and a designated support vehicle with driver.
Your tour will be supported with a “support vehicle”, the cycles are 21-speed, aluminium 6061 alloy frame mountain bikes. You will also have a well-trained mechanic accompanying you, and a full repair kit with essential spares. We will also be carrying a backup cycle along the expedition; just so that nobody misses out on the riding experience, should his or her bike have a serious breakdown.
Accommodation: Accommodation will be in 2-3 star hotels and homestays with good hygienic bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis.
Transport: A team of 10-12 riders will be supported by one coaster bus with a carrier that will transport both the riders and bikes along with a spare cycle, lunch packs, and water. Through the day this vehicle will trail with the riders.