As you might know, I’m intrigued by Goa. Haven’t made it there yet, but here Julie Cheung shares an experience at a country house in this former Portuguese colony in India.

Goa is a mystical land of monsoons, rice paddies, breathtaking beaches, intriguing markets and colonial history and I was lucky enough to experience the charms of India here, staying at a country house called Presa di Goa. Set away from the bustle of the crowded, touristic areas in the peaceful countryside, the sound of birdsong and nothing else was a magical escape after a long journey.

Noorani Masjid - Goa, India

On arrival, I gazed between the coconut palms, looking for the architecture that would transport me back to a time when the Portuguese inhabited this exotic world. I thought about their first impressions and how strange it must have been to arrive in a place like this, far away from everything familiar. The brightly coloured colonial buildings formed a large part of my trip in Goa, an elegant monument to turbulent days and a beautiful culture that is – sadly – fading fast.

Once inside, I was relieved to find an air-conditioned room, exquisite in the ornate Indo-Portuguese style with a beautiful four-poster bed. The single deluxe room was definitely big enough, and the balcony allowed plenty of time for contemplation and a little meditation amid the beauty of Goa.

Coconut tree sunset

Presa di Goa also had a lovely swimming pool for cooling down after a morning exploring the neighbouring village or at the nearby beaches. Calangute Beach is popular with holidaymakers, so it does tend to be a bit more crowded, but if you are willing to explore a little on your own, it is easy enough to rent transport and venture further afield to somewhere a little off the beaten track for a white sand paradise.

I rounded off my days at Presa di Goa with wonderful fresh seafood caught from the surrounding waters, and began them with a hearty Indian breakfast, simply divine! All in all an unspoilt colonial retreat in a beautiful location for those considering a holiday to Goa this year.

Girl in Pink

Photo credits: Chris Goldberg, Rosie Rogers, Akshay Mahajan.

This post is brought to you in cooperation with Holiday Hypermarket, but the visit at Presa di Goa was not sponsored.