Toast to the Coast

Look beyond Goa’s beaches: check out the state’s spice heritage, attend a silent party, learn how to cook traditional Goan cuisine, do yoga, or book yourself into Alila Diwa for a revamp
By Charu Sharma
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SPICE ROUTE
Enhance your knowledge of spices by taking a guided tour of a spice farm in Goa. The guide will tell you all you need to know about spices: cultivation, harvesting, processing and use. Your tour will end with a delicious traditional Goan meal served on a banana leaf. The best known plantations include Savoi Plantations, Tropical Spice Plantation, Pascoal Spice Village, Rustic Plantation, Sahakar Farms, Sai Herbarium and Parvati Madhav Park Plantation. To learn more about tours, see www.goa-tourism.com.

An array of Goan spices
An array of Goan spices

LUXE ESCAPE
If the excesses of the festive season are telling on your body, it’s time for a visit to Bio Resurge at Alila Diwa Resort. A favourite with celebrities, this is an exclusive institution that promotes comprehensive health through its weight loss programme. Developed by Australian fitness guru Glen Schirmer, the 28-day wellness programme offered here focusses on helping individuals regain overall wellness. The package includes accommodation in ultra-luxe villas with private pools, meals, spa services and more.

YOGA RETREATS
et your fix of yoga while in Goa. Unwind at one of the state’s several yoga retreats. You can try the Mandala, where the ancient form of wellness is practiced in the serene geodesic spirit dome and at the Riverside Shala under the supervision of experienced practitioners. The Mandala offers yoga retreats as well. Or try Yogamagic Eco Retreat in North Goa, which has an earth-shaped yoga temple made from mud, clay, cow dung and coconut trees and with a spectacular bamboo and palm leaf roof.

Go back to the good old Yoga when in Goa for the ultimate wellness holiday
Go back to the good old Yoga when in Goa for the ultimate wellness holiday

SOUND OF SILENCE
In Palolem is a unique club that has for long been the life of the beach – Silent Noise. Here, DJs stream their music through wireless headphones, so that you can dance to the music of your choice without inconveniencing anyone else. You will see people grooving to different silent beats; the only sound you will hear is that of someone singing along. The visual effects will dazzle you and the fire dancers, trapeze artists and performers will leave you stunned. Listen to everything from dancehall to trance and electronica to pop.

Goa is known for its stellar night-life
Goa is known for its stellar night-life

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It’s no secret that cooking helps reduce stress and calm frayed nerves. Then why not indulge in foodgasms and cooking classes in Goa? A typical cooking class includes tours, during which you visit local markets, familiarise yourself with local fruits and vegetables and get a taste of Goan culture, and then cook a traditional Goan meal under the supervision of a master chef. The best bit: you get to eat the delicious food you’ve just cooked! What better way to rejuvenate than with a session in the kitchen.