Lush and lovely Goa was created as a place for relaxation. Studded with vibrant temples and majestic churches, Goa is a window to the religious history and eclectic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures found in western India. On this enlightening half-day tour, discover two of India's most captivating cities, Old Goa and Panjim.
Departing Mormugao, you will first come to Old Goa, where you will visit two historically important churches, the most prominent legacy of the Portuguese. Tour the Se Cathedral, dedicated to St. Catherine and consecrated in 1640. The most imposing church in Old Goa, the cathedral took over 80 years to build and is larger than any church in Portugal. Next, proceed to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the first church in India to be elevated to the status of a minor basilica and a World Heritage Monument. Constructed in 1605, the church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa. Covered with marble and inlaid with precious stones, the splendid Bom Jesus is considered the best example of baroque architecture in India.
Goa's capital, Panjim is spread along the south bank of the Mandovi River, in a charming sprawl of red-roofed houses, sunny squares and gardens of bougainvillea and frangipani. Panjim town has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with streets lined with taverns and bakeries offering Goan cuisine,"Feni" (cashew nut liquor) and `Bebinca', the delicious local cake. Explore the city's highlights, including Church Square, the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Fontainhas, the city's oldest district. Later, visit the market before departing to a heritage Goan-Portuguese mansion, the home of Otto de Oliveira Fernandes, to meet a 'Goanese' family over light refreshments.
Later, enjoy a relaxing drive back to the ship.