Imagine a picture-perfect little 17th century fort, with a picture-perfect little Portuguese-era church nestled inside its ramparts, the whole thing perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, and voilà, you have Fort Tiracol, in the extreme north of the Indian state of Goa.

In other words, a darling, picturesque little gem.

A few days ago, we drove there for lunch from Dona Paula, a pretty drive involving crossing into the state of Maharashtra and back into Goa. I always love the idea of crossing boundaries – even unregulated state ones – but I think the next time we go, I’d love to arrive there by ferry.

There is a ferry, though we didn’t get the timings, because we were told that the local priest takes the ferry after saying Sunday Mass at 7am in Querim (on the opposite side of the estuary) arriving in time for 9am Mass in the gorgeous church inside the fort.

Chatting about the village priest, by the way, is indicative of the relaxed feel of the place.

So, first, a few photos to put this review in context.

Lunch was on the terrace, and, surprisingly, for a mid-week lunchtime, we had to wait a short while for a table, which is when we were told about the Mass timings.

This was our lunch view (above)

Between us we had a steak (declared excellent), a chicken roulade (said to be good but perhaps a tad dry), and I had prawns moilee which were excellent. I don’t eat meat, hence the vagueness about the steak and chicken. We didn’t have pudding, but my cappuccino was good.

Sadly we couldn’t go into church since it is under renovation – there is literally no roof.

Good to know that the historic building is being restored.

Stupidly we completely forgot to ask to look at the rooms, which are named after the days of the week, but the website photos look lovely.

A delightful lunch destination with the bonus of a drive through lovely countryside.

We paid for our lunch, and no-one at the hotel knew that I blog and review.

Personally & heartily recommended.


  1. That used to one of my secret bolt holes in India, I stayed 9 times and always in Monday or Sunday as they are the turret rooms with windows looking both ways across the estuary and out to sea. Most of the time I had the place entirely to myself although I occasionally dragged along a lover. When I first went it used to be Rs.500 a night! Then it was taken over, poshed up and now you say you have to wait for a table to be free. I of course moved on a long time before that and found other bolt holes which thankfully India abounds with…but I’m not telling your readers!

    Julian Parr
  2. Christine Pemberton I’ve been going there since the early 90’s and had some lovely peaceful times there (except Easter when they had non stop Mass!) I was there for a whole week when there was no power so only candle light and cooking on wood fires. Last time I went they had quadrupled the prices and the Delhites had discovered it so probably never again but I have a lot of very happy memories watching the river dolphins from the battlements and had ear marked Monday as a room I could die in if I had to!

    Julian Parr

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