Nothing screams ‘endurance and stamina’ quite like a day-outing in an Indian open air market. As far as fortitude and resilience goes, the Tour de France has nothing on the Tour de Goa! Yet rewards abound for those who brave the enticing and hectic markets, and a day out spent bartering for gorgeous, unique and sometimes even useless souvenirs is an Indian holiday experience never to be missed. For a little reprieve between outings, choose a holiday apartment in Siolim, the most delightful and peaceful of all riverside villages in Northern Goa.
Blissfully unaffected by the mass-tourism which seems to have infected all nearby villages, Siolim is an absolutely delightful vacation base for all your Goan expeditions. Close to all major hubs, yet far enough not to be annoyed by them, Siolim offers the serene visitor an abundance of hikes to enjoy and plenty of temples to admire.
When staying in Siolim don’t miss the chance to spend a day in one, or all, of the following markets. Remember to put on your poker face; barter till you drop, and fill your bags with more knick-knacks then you’ll ever know what to do with.
Siolim Wednesday Markets
When we said Siolim is peacefully quiet, we did mean every day except Wednesdays, when it seems every farmer and his stray puppy converge on the old ferry terminal to sell produce and wares. Exceptionally fresh and utterly delicious, the Siolim markets are ideal for the self-catering tourist; buy all your desired ingredients (including spices galore) and retreat to your heavenly rental villa to spend the evening cooking a mouth watering meal.
Mapusa Friday Markets
The more famous town of Mapusa is only 6km south-east of Siolim, and it is here that you’ll discover a slightly ‘bigger’ market place. Think spices, shoes, clothes, souvenirs, anything you need and even more you don’t, the Mapusa markets are extremely popular and can get astonishingly packed. Hop on a two wheeler from Siolim and try to get here in the early morning, when you’ll grab the best produce, if not the best bargains.
Anjuna Wednesday Markets
On Anjuna beach, about 5km south-west of Siolim, is where you’ll discover quite possibly the best flea markets in Goa. A true visual spectacular awaits you in Anjuna, where a colourful and eclectic mix of just about everything is on sale. From Tibetan jewellery, to teas, spices, all kinds of food produce, not to mention clothes, fabrics, shoes, CDs, arts and crafts and anything else you can possibly think of.
Arpora Saturday Night Markets
We loved the Arpora markets, especially by the end of the week, when the only place we had left for more storage was our stomachs! In Arpora you’ll find a myriad of food stalls and plenty of live music and cold beer to keep you awake until late, which is just as good because by the time we visited we thought we’d bought one of everything on sale in Goa, but turns out we were mistaken. The Arpora INGO markets are on an entirely different league, and certainly not to be skipped. The atmosphere is electric, the sellers hail from all over the globe (as do the visitors), and a Saturday night here is a quintessential Indian experience.