Loutolim and Chandor

In different directions, the villages of Loutolim and Chandor in South Goa are studded with ageing Portuguese homes, most of them empty and driving around the countryside is a nostalgic experience. Loutolim is among Goa's prettiest villages, with narrow village roads meandering through green fields and a thick canopy of trees. The spice gardens here are worth visiting.

If you’re up for another delicious slice of Goan-Portuguese architecture, get ready to be wowed by Brangaza House in nearby Chandor, another amazingly preserved Goan country house. This is a 400-year-old piece of living history, with each of the two wings still occupied by two branches of the Braganza family, the Menezes-Braganzasand the Braganza-Pereiras. A treasure-trove of period furniture and Chinese porcelain, this mansion will give you a glimpse into how the landed gentry in Goa once lived. Again, give the family a heads-up before you turn up.