Fontainhas - Reconnoiter the Old Latin Quarter in Goa
Fontainhas was found in the 18th century by some of the wealthiest Portuguese called Antonio Joao de Sequeira. He was said to have used this land for coconut plantation but the headquarters of the Portuguese government was shifted to Panjim due to the Epidemic spread in Goa at that time. However, in 1984, UNESCO declared the Fontainhas as a heritage area and since then tourist crowds around the area absorb the beauty of the place.
This place is located very close by the capital city of Goa and it is called the Latin Quarter of Goa. This portion of Panjim is clustered with ancient yet beautiful creek usually called the Ourem Creek towards the east, and the Altinho Hills towards the west side. The place is stunning and has some of the most colorful houses you can come across in Goa. The colonies hold a great heritage of ancient times and are well-maintained even today. The stunning beaches in Goa’s coastline make this place a must to visit for every traveler.
Fontainhas is a very simple example of the colonial architecture style. The houses and cottages are painted in bright fluorescent colors, and thus becomes the reason to attract the tourists to this place.
What to see?
When it’s about exploring this beautiful place, you will get the feel of stepping into history. The buildings are structured beautifully and walking down the narrow cobbled streets, you will understand why this place is called one of the best tourist attractions in Panjim. The capital town of Goa might have many such attractions to move you back in time, however, Fontainhas will top the list.
If detailing is mentioned, you cannot miss the marvels of the Old Portuguese houses that are from ancient times, which dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The houses are painted in hues of yellow, green, and blue, along with some tint of red-tiled roofs, the doors are made artistically, and the overhead balconies are the cutest thing in town. The moment you look at the details of the attractive and colorful houses, you will instantly fall in love.
Fontainhas also has some of the cutest cafes and bakeries that will take you 100 years back. Cute is an understatement for these beautiful looking chilling spots. The reason why these houses radiate with the vibe they do is that this cottage is painted every year to maintain the charm. The painting is mostly done after the monsoon season and this rule is followed from the Portuguese time itself.
When Fontainhas is talked about, you will find art following the way. Every year these historic houses are transformed into art galleries, with residents hosting the art event. The Goan heritage is given the utmost importance and every year a single recent is picked to host the event. The residents proudly display the unique architecture, the feature of their balconies, beautiful looking furniture, the interior of their home, and dining halls.
This festival is carried out mostly during the peak season; February is the usual month that the resident arranges the festival on. The reason behind this festival is to preserve and promote the Goan heritage to the world through the travelers to Goa. The entertainment in this festival is brought by the singers and performers from around the world who visit this place during the occasions. The festival of Fontainhas serves a great opportunity for artists.
Where to eat?
To make sure you are well-fed and enjoying the famous Goan cuisine, you can visit the Viva Panjim, they serve some of the delicious Portuguese cuisine, along with Horse Shoe which is another place famous for survives authentic Portuguese cuisine. For some Barbeque cravings, you must visit Barrels & Bones, you will be able to stuff your stomach with sizzling chicken, sweet soy glazed pork sizzler, pizza, risotto, grills, steaks, salads, and many others.
Where to stay?
Staying in Fontainhas is not going to be a problem, the accommodations are provided at some pocket-friendly. There are many Portuguese mansions where you can book a room to stay overnight. Goan hospitality will spoil you with love and comfort. These mansions offer three options like standard, deluxe, and superior, however, all the options will give you a vibe of the bygone era.
The best part about these mansions is that they also have rooftop sunbather’s lounge and salon where you can chill. You can also relish the authentic Goan food with some local Feni and wine to start with.
How to get there?
The closest airport to Fontainhas is the Dabolim Airport, which is approximately 25 km (16.5 miles) away. You can easily hire a cab, or take public transport to reach the destination.
Taxi Route- Approx 51 min
Estimated- INR 700-900
Via NH366 and NH 66
Bus Route- Vasco – Approx 49 min
Estimated- INR 40-150
Belgaum Bus Stand towards Vasco => Vasco - Bhatwadi towards Bhatwadi
P.S. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of this colorful cottages. Also, fares may vary based on season and weather.