Fontainhas, Goa – A Complete Guide. Goa is popularly known for its nightlife and exotic beaches. Tourists from all over the world visit Goa every day to experience the spectacular view of the Arabian Sea.
The flea market on the beaches, the exquisite delicacies served in the cafes and restaurants, the free flow of booze and the happening nightlife of Goa makes it a popular tourist destination.
However, apart from the above-mentioned facts, Goa also has a rich, colourful culture that involved European history, temples, monuments and a posh style of living. One such popular monuments of Goa is the Fontainhas.
Fontainhas is derived from Portuguese and means “little fountain”. It is a Latin quarter in Panjim and is located on the foothills of the Altinho hill. It is bounded by hills with springs on one side and creeks on the other.
The architectural style of Fontainhas is inspired by Portuguese culture. It has narrow and beautiful lanes with beautiful old villas and buildings on its sides.
There are projecting balconies on the buildings that are painted with colours like light yellow, blue and red. The buildings have red tiles on them that give them the look of a European Painting.
Antonio Joao de Sequeria was an expatriate from Goa in the 18th century. He was a wealthy man and established the quarter city of Fontainhas, which gained popularity since the year 1770.
In Fontainhas, the population was high as the rich people lived in the bungalows, and the poor lived in the foothills of the hill.
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Things to See and Do at Fontainhas
Fontainhas can be best explored by walking on foot. The narrow streets bordered by the picture-perfect buildings offers so many things to see and do here.
- Glare at the Portuguese style houses and buildings that are painted in the hues of yellow blue and red. There are little shops and cafes that are about a hundred years old. The bright colour of the houses makes you feel vibrant and positive.
- The wishing well house is another attraction in Fontainhas. It is a red-colour house that has a wishing well build in its courtyard. There are two rooster sculptures added to it. You can enjoy yourself there amidst the serenity.
- One of the major attractions in Fontainhas is the Chapel of St. Sebastian. Unlike the colourful neighbourhood, the church is painted completely white. It has the statues of the Virgin Mary and crucifix. Unlike other crucifixes all over the world, this one has Jesus Christ’s eyes wide open.
- If you want to explore the town more, you can visit the Geetanjali Gallery. It is a museum that has numerous paintings, wood carvings, sculptures from the Scandinavian Era.
- There are numerous cafes present in the town where you can visit and try authentic bakery items and coffee to soothe your mind.
Places to Stay at Fontainhas
La Maison Fontainhas is a boutique hotel that is specially curated for those visitors who want to enjoy their stay amidst traditional charms and culture of Fontainhas and the modern utilities.
The hotel has eight palatial rooms that have wonderful furnishings and are decorated with pieces of art. The hotel has its own restaurant named DESBUE, which serves great European fusion food.
Mateus is actually a restored mansion that was built in 1879 in the Old Portuguese style of architecture. It is located centrally from the waterfront and the casinos.
The mansion today is a boutique hotel and has a fine restaurant build along with it.
Heritage Panjim Inn
Heritage Panjim Inn is the hotel that serves authentic Goan food and has antique furnishing and nostalgic charm. With three different types of room to choose for, you can select the perfect style of comfort you wish to stay for.
The hotel has a sunbathing lounge, a dip pool and a rooftop salon. There is also a Veranda Restaurant on the first floor of the hotel from where you can enjoy the view while sipping your favourite drink.
Hospedaria Abrigo de Botelho
If you want to soak yourself in the Latin Goan culture, then nothing beats the hospitality that Hospedaria Abrigo de Botelho provides.
With great amenities and modern utilities, it is one of the best places to stay at Fontainhas.
With complimentary satellite TV and high-speed internet along with the authentic Goan hospitality, Carvela Homestay has excelled at serving comfort to its guests.
The hotel has the provision of continental breakfast and is a heritage property.
Afonso Guest House
Run by the famous Afonso family of Fontainhas, the Afonso Guest House is considered to be the bridge between the towns’ past and the modern times. It expertises in simplicity and offers a homely feeling to the visitors.
Afonso Guest House has a terrace lounge that serves breakfast to the visitors. It is bordered with potted plants and has a wonderful view of the St. Stephen’s Chapel.
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Old Quarter Hostel
Located at a distance of just 1 kilometre from the Panjim bus stand, Old Quarter Hostel is one of the budget-friendly hotels in Fontainhas.
The hotel has numerous facilities for guests like cycling, locker, attached bathroom, etc. It also has an in-house bar that serves Indian drinks to its guests.
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Where to Eat in Fontainhas
Viva Panjim is actually an ancestral home that is of more than 150 years old. It is turned into a restaurant and serves authentic Goan and Portuguese dishes.
The food is absolutely delicious, and the price is completely reasonable. With a sober ambience and a quiet location, it truly is a must try once you are in Fontainhas.
Located just at the centre of Panaji, Hotel Venite attracts a hoard of guests every day. With a superb ambience and wonderful hospitality by the staff, Hotel Venite is bound to mark your memory with a single visit.
Established in 1955, it was a Portuguese house painted in bright red colour that was later turned into this authentic Goan restaurant. Along with meals and cuisines, it serves snacks and tea.
If you are looking to explore Goa’s Portuguese history and connection, then you have to visit this little restaurant named Horse Shoe. It serves authentic, delicious Portuguese cuisines along with the backdrop of marvellous music.
The whole styling and ambience of the restaurant make it worth the visit. However, the food is absolutely finger-licking and the prime attraction of this restaurant.
Joseph Bar is one of the most popular bars among the locals and attracts a huge crowd every evening. It is a small and cosy inn that specializes in unique drinks at a reasonable price.
If you really want to enjoy your evening sipping into your favourite drink and listening to good music, then Joseph Bar is the perfect place for you. With a cosy ambience and unique decorations, Joseph Bar is a wonderful place to visit.
How to Reach Fontainhas
If you are planning to travel by air, then the nearest airport to Fontainhas is the Goa International Airport.
After reaching the airport, you can choose any means of local transport to reach Fontainhas, which is located at a distance of 16.5 kilometres from the airport.
Located at a distance of 15 kilometres is the Thivim Railway Station. You can take a rickshaw or cab after reaching the station.
You can choose any mode of local transport to reach Fontainhas from Goa. Bikes, autos, buses are available that make trips to Fontainhas.
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Tourist Attractions Near Fontainhas
Sunaparanta is the centre for Arts in Goa. It is actually a non-profit initiative to promote learning, understanding, enjoying and creating arts and visual arts.
The facility has exhibition galleries, spaces for workshops, residency rooms for guests, amphitheatre, an art resource library and conference rooms. Located in Altinho, Panjim, Sunaparanta is one of the chief attractions in Panjim today.
Gitanjali Gallery is an art gallery that exhibits numerous pieces of art by well-known local as well as overseas artists.
The art exhibited hung from the white walls of the gallery under the natural light coming through the corridors. There are numerous art and crafts from the Scandinavian era of the 1950s.
Apart from paintings, the gallery exhibits numerous lithographs, serigraphs, linocuts, etchings and woodworks.
Today, the gallery is also a centre that hosts book readings, book launch and other cultural activities. It also has a cafe where you can sip a cup of coffee while reading your favourite book.
Immaculate Conception Church
Build-in 1514 as a chapel on a hill in Panjim, the Immaculate Conception Church is a Portuguese colonial church built in a Baroque style.
The church is painted completely white representing the Virgin Mary, residing the church. With the backdrop of green, the church has a very attractive aura that pulls tourists from all over Goa.
The bell tower has the bell from the famous Augustinian Monastery. With a colourful interior and tasteful decor, the church offers serenity to the visitors.
Reis Magos Fort
Named after the Reis Magos village where it is situated, the Reis Magos Fort is located on the banks of the Mandovi River. It was built in 1551 to protect the estuary of the Mandovi River.
The fort is guarded by white laterite walls on its sides. It served as the guest house for dignitaries who visited Lisbon en route. The British Army later occupied it for a brief time and later it was used as a prison till the year 1993.
Located amidst the lush green hills and water spring, the white Reis Magos Fort offers a splendid view of the village.
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