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Fontainhas - the Hidden Portugal

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Travel goa india travel fontainhas portugal culture heritage architecture photography
 Priyak Dey
Priyak Dey
Code and Wander: Journeys in Code, Camera, and the Quest for Meaning
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Amidst the hectic life of the capital, hides she, draped in vibrant colors, set beside the Mandovi river in an idyllic lifestyle of its own; the little known small colony of Fontainhas, an old Latin quarter in Panjim, is styled with its aura of difference.

partial photo of a brown tinted window of a house with red walls and white borders, abstract art showcasing some colourful violence
Colour Violence

After 50 years of independent Goa, the small town has well maintained the definition of ‘sossegado’; the architecture, winding lanes, blue cornered white marble stone name plates on the colorful walls, the food, the language spoken and the serene silence of the area takes you for ride through time and history.

colourful entrance to a home in fontainhas
An entrance to a home in Fontainhas

partial photo of a brown window of a house with yello walls and white borders, abstract art showcasing some peaceful chaotic patterns

Diversified in beauty ,a walk around the town, takes you uphill to the Althino Hills, the office of the Consulate General of Portugal; while the ancient creek Rue de Ourem marks the eastern end of the border.

The perfect weekend getaway, I packed my bags and boarded a bus to Panjim(Fontainhas is ten minutes walk from the main bus stand). Pre-booked a bed in the dorm in the Old Latin Quarters; reaching Fontainhas, I dumped my backpack and left with my camera and an empty stomach.

The moment I stepped my foot in Fontainhas, I knew I had to throw my entire research and plan out of the window. One week of research of places to eat , places to visit and itinenary to the very last minute was flushed away in a blink; but ain’t that the beauty of solo travelling – immense and uncountable, unrecognised possilibilites, the unfathomable joy in seeing the unseen unfold by the second in front of your eyes.

Fontainhas not only surprises you with its rich cultural heritage and history but also embraces you with a diverse culinary scene. As I wandered through the labyrinth of heritage buildings turned into cozy hotels and charming food joints, I felt like I was discovering hidden treasures at every corner. Places like Venite, The Panjim Inn(generally known as The Verandah Restaurant), The Black Sheep Bistro and many others are places to grab a bite while in town.

Venite is the place I spend most of my lunch and dinner time in; the little balcony sitting overlooking the little and dim lit lanes, the variety of food and meat preparations in Goan/Portueguese style served with a pint of cold beer is something one can only dream for after a whole day hike in scorching sun around the town. This is a must visit place if nearby; do drop by to see for yourself (you can get food and drinks in almost most conrners, but the stories printed on the walls of this place is ……..)

Panjim Church
Panjim Church

Staricase showcasing colors and vibes of Fonatainhas
Colorful Journey

People keep asking,”What would be perfect weekend getaway”. Well I dont know about perfect, but this little ‘Eden‘ inside the connundrum of daily life made me skip a heart beat. Keep your backpack ready and boots cleaned, perfection would be followed by surprises.

Let’s count our age in miles that we cover.

The best part of traveling solo is waving hello to strangers along the way and calling them friends. Thanks, Richard, for the drink, and I hope to cross paths again soon to hear all your travel stories over a drink. Until next time, have a safe trip, mate!

Have you been to Fontainhas or have a favorite travel destination? Share your stories and tips in the comments below!


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A copy of the same can be found here.


This content has been written back in June 29, 2017. This is a port of the article from