Bustling cities, serene beaches and savoury local dishes make Goa one of the most exciting destinations in India. Situated on the Arabian Sea in western India, the former Portuguese colony is a stunning blend of Asian and European cultures. Unlike anywhere else in the country, Hindu traditions meet Catholic customs in this safe and beautiful holiday destination holiday. While Goa’s interior is largely rural, the coast is home urban centres and popular resort towns. The relaxed South offers a rich array of luxurious resorts set amidst pristine beaches and lovely coconut groves, while the North’s energetic markets and entertaining nightlife in an unforgettable experience.
When to Go
Temperatures almost always range between the mid-20s and the low-30s in Goa, with the mercury dipping to the mid-teens after the sun sets. With comfortable temperatures and an abundance of sun, the best time for a visit is from mid-November to mid-February. The winter months are also the driest with only occasional showers. Late spring is the most humid period, while daily downpours are the norm from June to September. If you want to escape immense crowds and high prices, avoid visiting Goa during the week between Christmas and New Year.
India’s monsoon season runs from June until mid-October, when some activities you come to expect on holiday might be harder to enjoy. Diving, for example, is dangerous during the monsoons. For divers and snorkelers, the best time to visit is from mid-October to May when the water temperature sits between 27 and 30 degrees. Many beach huts and shacks along Goa’s scenic coast are also closed during the monsoon season.
Where to Stay
North Goa was once a haven for hippies during the Sixties and retains a distinctly free spirit with full moon parties, night-long raves and a lively nightlife. Candolim is a favourite for families and couples. With an eight-kilometre long pink-hued sandy beach, the town is a great spot for a laid-back holiday. Not only is the former fishing village of Dona Paula one of Goa’s best known resort towns, the watersports hotspot is also the setting of many Bollywood movies with gorgeous beaches lined by soaring palms. An original hippie hangout and offering a great nightlife, Baga is one of North Goa’s most popular destinations. Nearby is Arpora, a secluded respite from Goa’s more popular resorts. There’s a village feel in Arpora as rickshaws travel along leafy streets and past paddy fields, palm groves.
South Goa is the quintessential holiday destination with towering palm trees overlooking scenic, unbroken sandy beaches. Arossim is situated along a picturesque coast with unspoilt natural beauty. The resort town is located close to Cansaulim, home to the 16th century Church of St. Thomas’s Church. Some of the most luxurious accommodation is found in Arossim, including the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa. The seaside village of Cavelossim is a charming destination with a long white sand beach. A half-hour’s drive from Margoa, the village is also a twenty-minute drive from the picture-perfect fishing village of Varca.
Attractions & Events
Goa’s beaches are among the best in India, whether you are looking to relax on the sand or enjoy any number of activities on the water. Fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, diving and much more are possible in Goa’s beach towns. Popular beaches in the laid-back South include the enchanting Colva Beach and nearby Benaulim, an excellent watersports hub with world-class scuba diving schools. For a quieter getaway, Agonda and Patnem are excellent options. Palolem in the extreme south is also a scenic and popular beach. In the North, top beaches include Baga, Calangute, Morjim and Dona Paula. Less crowded spots are found at Arambol and Asvem. Sinquerim is home to a stunning quiet beach and calm waters, as well as a 17th century fort and excellent watersports facilities.
Anyone interested in a genuine Goan experience should consider a visit to Goa’s hinterland. The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary are among Goa's best natural attractions. To get a true sense of Goa’s culture and way of live, a visit to one of its rural villages is a must. Goa’s friendly villages are full of character. There are also plenty of attractions in many of the villages and towns of Goa. The beach town of Benaulim is home to the largest collection of ethnographic artifacts at the Goa Chitra Museum and the architectural museum Houses of Goa, while the village of Arpora has two vibrant Saturday night bazaars during the non-monsoon seasons.
For a more hurried pace, a visit to one of Goa’s cities provides a thrilling experience. Panagi is the state capital and home of Velha Goa or Old Goa, once the Portuguese colonial capital of Goa. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Goa is home to well-reserved architectural wonders and fine churches and convents including the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Goa’s culture is also on display during the Feast of St. Francis Xavier in December, when Old Goa’s streets come alive with celebrations. The European-style Panagi Carnival before Lent also draws massive crowds to with colourful parades and great parties. Margo is Goa’s cultural capital, commercial centre and second largest city. The animated city is located in the middle of a sprawling beach that runs for 30 kilometres, from Sancoale to the Mobor Peninsula.
Portuguese and Indian influences in the cuisine, architecture and culture make Goa one of India’s most visited destinations. Stunning beaches and charming towns offer visitors a friendly and invigorating experience. A1 Travel offers a range of cheap package holidays and discounted deals to Goa. Our all inclusive holidays include everything you need for an unforgettable trip, including airport transfers, food and drinks, activities and more. Whether you are looking for a luxurious getaway, a romantic honeymoon or a cheap last minute holiday, we offer the best options that suit your budget.
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