On this full-day excursion, delight in the culinary wonders of the region, and discover Goa's unique blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, where Christianity and Hinduism exist side by side.
Begin with a drive from the port, through the lush green countryside to Old Goa. Here you will visit the magnificent Se Cathedral, consecrated in 1640 and built in the Portuguese-Gothic style and breathtaking Corinthian interior. Tour the elegant basilica of Bom Jesus, built of black laterite stone with marble and inlaid precious stones. The most honored and famous of all the churches in Old Goa, the Bom Jesus contains the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who spread Christianity in the Portuguese colonies.
Leaving Old Goa, proceed to the Shantadurga Temple, one of the largest and most famous temples of Goa dedicated to the wife of Shiva as the `Goddess of Peace'. The form of Durga was so named because at the request of Brahma, she mediated in a great quarrel between Shiva (her husband) & Vishnu and brought back peace in the Universe. Hence, in the sanctuary she stands between two other deities. The temple also features a six-story deepstambha (lamp tower) and subsidiary shrines.
Continue from here to the Spice Farm, set amidst acres of verdant forestland and home to more than 84 different species of bird, 100 varieties of orchids, and almost every spice imaginable. Take a guided tour of the grounds and inhale the aromas of beetle nuts, peppers, turmeric root, cinnamon and cashew trees, as well as the vanilla plant. Learn about the natural healing properties of spices, and sample some refreshing lemon grass tea made from boiled water, fresh lemon grass, ginger, and cardamom. Afterwards, enjoy a sumptuous traditional Goanese lunch, using the local spices grown on the farm.
Following a pleasant and relaxing visit at the Spice Farm, you'll re-board your coach and travel back to the ship.