Next stop on our Indian adventures is Arambol, a mellow paradise and the most northerly of Goa’s beach resorts.

With more than 100km of coastline to choose from, picking the perfect Goa destination is trickier than you might think. We’ve skipped the package holiday favourites of Calangute and Baga and headed north to escape the crowds. Arambol is all about barefoot days, dips in the ocean and drumming circles at sunset.

Well known a backpacker haven for long-staying budget travellers it has more of a community feel than the tourist hot spots. It’s also just a short hop along the rocky headlands to the hippy-chic resorts of Mandrem, Ashvem and Morjim for a taste of luxury beachside bliss.

10 days summed up in 10 favourite memories….

Every evening at the far end of the beach locals, expats, new-age hippies, artists and acrobats gather together for drumming circle. Drums beat as the sun goes down and dancers are twirling, whirling, spinning, swaying and clapping barefoot in the sand. It’s a melting pot of ages, nationalities and backgrounds with everyone welcome. We saw half naked fire dancers, flying acro-yogas and girls hula-hooping as if their lives depended on it! The atmosphere is energetic and incredible and it’s awe-inspiring to see people from all over the world coming together each evening to make music. Kids are welcome and our girls picked their nightly drumming ritual as their very best thing to do in Arambol.

The best bit about being at the beach is the kids can get as crafty, messy and creative as they like and no-one has to clean up afterwards. Armed with a pallet of paints, a handful of brushes and coconut husks galore the girls had a blast getting creative with colours and designs. Jessica was proud of her masterpieces whilst Millie got more paint on herself than on the coconuts!

This idyllic strip of coastline is more tranquil and less developed than Arambol. You can take long walks along the sparkling shoreline and watch the local fishermen haul in their nets. Here it’s all about hippy-chic and the beach shacks are noticeably more sophisticated and upmarket with a price-tag to match. The water is calm and safe for swimming and frolicking in the waves. Grab a lounger and settle in for a perfect beachside day.

Goa is well-known as being a foodie-paradise and our expanding waistbands wholeheartedly agree; the food is simply delicious. We loved discovering delicious dosa - South Indian traditional crepes and Tibetan Momo’s. The girls enthusiastically embraced the mouthwatering curries and the lightest, fluffiest Naans. Our favourite spot was our local; Arcan Bar - we ate here 4 times and it just got better and better. The main street in Arambol is also jam packed with cafes serving some of the finest western food we’ve had on our trip.

Could a Sunday morning be any more perfect than sipping on a spicy Bloody Mary and catching up with old friends. Whilst we love this travelling malarky we miss the chance to spend time with real life people. One of the best bits about visiting different places around the world is the chance to catch up with good friends that live there!

The cove like beach at Ashvem is gently curved and a perfect place to borrow body boards and hit the surf. No better way to while away a windy afternoon than riding the waves - Jessica was hitting the breaking waves like a pro by the end of the day and Millie was delighted being dragged about in the shallows!

Anjuna's Wednesday flea market is the place for grabbing souvenirs, although be prepared to haggle hard. Be prepared it’s huge, it’s hot and it’s bustling but with a bit of effort you can snap up some bargains. You’ll find the usual mix of beach staples, handmade clothes, hammocks, trinkets, jewellery, leather goods and plenty of buddha statues. Many of the stall-holders are super pushy which can make it hard to just enjoy a browse and a mooch but competition is fierce and they’re just trying to make a sale - just be persistent and firm!
Arpora's Saturday night street market is a better alternative (opens in Mid-December) held at night, with the streets lit up and a stage hosting live music it’s a more laid back and relaxing shopping experience. Nevertheless everyone has to experience Anjuna at least once!

So wrong but so right….we had a memorable day out at this Waterpark. A few dodgy looking slides (that should probably carry their own health & safety warning) blasting trance music and even a dance floor. But the kids absolutely adored it and even the grown-ups had a laugh throwing ourselves down the flume and the Awesome Threesome...The Tad-Pool area kept the kids entertained with them slipping and sliding their way down the Caterpillar and Tiger Tai on repeat for hours on end.

Anjuna’s most happening beachfront shack goes wild every Thursday night with their notorious psychedelic trance party. A huge dance floor with podiums, lights, lasers and banging tunes - no one will be left standing still for long. With the party kicking off at sunset kids are welcome and the girls ran riot on the dancefloor before it all got too hardcore and serious! Taking the girls to a “hippy rave” is no doubt a once in a lifetime experience and we all left with our ears ringing, grinning from ear to ear.

Last but no means least we have to mention our wonderful home from home in Arambol - the beautiful Hideaway House. Such a lovely place with plenty of space to relax and the girls adored their pink bedroom, princess bed and fairy lights! The location was just perfect - 3 minute walk to the beach and close to all shops and restaurants but tranquil & quiet. The neighbourhood is super friendly and we'd highly recommend the super-duper laundry service, Arcan restaurant and local drivers. Thanks Lorenzo for a brilliant stay for our family!

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