Catch the true essence of Goa in Sao Jose De Areal village

Escape the crowded tourist hubs and beaches to experience the tranquil, peaceful and laid-back Goan lifestyle in this village in South Goa
UNWIND: Escape the crowded tourist places for the gentle murmur of Sao Jose De Areal village.
UNWIND: Escape the crowded tourist places for the gentle murmur of Sao Jose De Areal village. Photo: Vrutha Karmali

VRUTHA KARMALI

Sao Jose De Areal – also referred to as just Areal – may be one of the smallest villages in India’s tiniest state but it’s certainly not just another village. Known for its scenic beauty, Areal, provides a tranquil escape from Goa's bustling cities and towns and crowded tourist hubs.

Located in South Goa, the place hosts many festivals like Sao Joao and Carnival in a traditional manner and with great enthusiasm. In recent years, Sao Joao festival has whet tourists’ interest with aggressive promotion by the State’s tourism department and by catching the attention of travel bloggers and enthusiasts.

QUIET SPEACE: The crowded tourist spots can't compete with the tranquil charm of Sao Jose De Areal.
QUIET SPEACE: The crowded tourist spots can't compete with the tranquil charm of Sao Jose De Areal.Photo: Vrutha Karmali

Areal stands tall as the container of Goa’s rich cultural history and heritage, worth exploring and understanding. And if you’re looking to feel and relish the authentic Goan life, visiting this village is a must. 

Fertile fields

The fertile fields of Sao Jose De Areal, which have helped sustain generations of its inhabitants, give a glimpse of Goa's agrarian life. The village's fertile lands are ideal for growing a variety of crops such as rice, coconut, and various types of vegetables.

FERTILE GROUND: The parched earth soaked in the life-giving rain has brought paddy fields in the village to life.
FERTILE GROUND: The parched earth soaked in the life-giving rain has brought paddy fields in the village to life. Photo: Vrutha Karmali

The scenic and lush green paddy fields swaying to the tunes of the calming breeze are pleasant to the eyes. Aside from being a picturesque site, the fields tell stories of hardworking families of farmers who have been tilling the land for years.

St Joseph Church

The St Joseph Church in Areal, known as Sant Juzechi Firgoz in Konkani, the local language, stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the village as its history is linked to the spread of Christianity in Goa during the Portuguese era, making it a historical landmark. The intricate Portuguese architectural structure draws visitors with its serene ambience and beautiful design.

DIVINE CONNECTION: The St Joseph Church in Areal stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the village
DIVINE CONNECTION: The St Joseph Church in Areal stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the village Photo: Vrutha Karmali

Portuguese-era bridge

The newly renovated Portuguese-era bridge near the St Joseph Church serves as a symbol of love and unity within the community. The restoration project of the bridge was taken up by the locals themselves and the renovated bridge was inaugurated last year on the occasion of Republic Day, January 26.

The bridge holds historical significance as it was used as a link between the two villages, Sao Jose De Areal and neighbouring Dicarpale, during the ancient times. A unique feature of the centuries-old bridge is that it was constructed solely using mud and laterite stones. Aside from being a historical landmark, the bridge represents the sheer dedication and love of the villagers towards their village and community.

CONNECTING PAST & PRESENT:  The newly renovated Portuguese-era bridge near the St Joseph Church.
CONNECTING PAST & PRESENT: The newly renovated Portuguese-era bridge near the St Joseph Church. Photo: Vrutha Karmali

Sao Jose De Areal lake/ Oilem Moll Lake

A small part of Pali Lake falls within the borders of Sao Jose De Areal. It is also referred to as the Oilem Moll Lake by the locals. Discussions on the beautification of the lake are ongoing. The calm and peaceful lake not only makes up for a beautiful view but also helps in moderating the hot temperatures during summer.

UNWIND: Escape the crowded tourist places for the gentle murmur of Sao Jose De Areal village.
A ride through South Goa's Cansaulim village

The industrial estate

The industrial estate in the village represents a balanced blend of agricultural and industrial development. Over the last couple of decades, Sao Jose De Areal has embraced industrialisation while maintaining its agricultural roots. The industries in the village have also contributed to the local economy by increasing employment opportunities.

UNWIND: Escape the crowded tourist places for the gentle murmur of Sao Jose De Areal village.
Come close to wilderness at Green Goan Village

But this industrial growth has not marred its serene atmosphere. The village has succeeded in striking a balance between industrial development and ecological preservation.

How to reach the place

Areal is roughly around 10 km away from Margao city - a 20-minute drive by road. The village falls between Goa’s two most popular cities – Margao and Quepem. Areal with its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage and strong sense of community will not disappoint you.

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