Fun, feni, and palm fronds; sun, sand, sea spray and seafood; beaches, beaches and more beaches Goa, a little state with so much soul that your happiest holiday memories are probably going to be from here. Beach holiday paradise, honeymoon haven, family fun zone - Goa is different things to different people.
Goa’s irrefutable appeal lies in its 105km long coastline divided by headlands, rivers, estuaries and bays into 40 plus beautiful beaches. Palm-fringed, rimmed by rocks, abutting rivers, outlined by laterite cliffs or approached through a tangle of vegetation, each beach is unique whether its sand is soft silver or coarse golden.
The easy going, relaxed air conjures up the magic to make Goa one of India’s major tourist destinations, attracting over a million visitors annually, three quarters of them from overseas. Visitors are drawn to Goa for its joie de vivre and its warm and friendly people.
So come to Goa - all you need to take along with loads of suntan lotion is loads of holiday spirit.
How to Reach Goa?
By Air : Goa has an international airport at Dabolim, 30 km from the capital, Panaji. Several overseas charter companies as well as most domestic airlines have flights to Dabolim. The regular domestic connections are from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai.
By Rail : The two main railway stations are Margao (Madgaon) and Vasco da Gama. The major connections are to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram. From other places in the north, east and southeast you can travel to Londa Junction and then transfer to a connecting train to Margao/Vasco da Gama.
By Road : Renting a car and being independent is really the best thing, but the buses are pretty good too. Bus connections are available to Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Pune, and other important tourist destinations in the region, operated by the Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra Road Transport Corporations and some private operators. Air-conditioned bus services are also available on some of the routes.
Best Time to Visit Goa
The best time to visit Goa is between late October and early April. The peak tourist season is from mid-December to mid-January, when the weather is near perfect, with daytime temperatures rarely going beyond 32° C. People from all over the world descend upon Goa at this time of the year, so be sure to have made your hotel bookings well in advance as accommodation prices hit the ceiling due to high demand. Christmas and New Years is celebrated through out Goa with a lot of gusto and everyone literally lets down their hair to be part of these celebrations.
The Goa Carnival festival is held in late February or early March and this again is a great time to be in Goa. The festivities are filled with music and dancing, pageants and parades!
The rains descend upon Goa during the months of June and July. Although really wet, Goa looks beautiful and lush and while swimming in the sea is not recommended, the flip side is that there are not too many tourists around so hotel prices are bottomed out. Take advantage of the low prices and visit Goa in the monsoons for a very different experience!
Goa is warm and humid throughout the year, with little variation in the temperatures, which stay around 28°-33° C (average maximum temps). You can expect it to rain heavily during the months of June through August, with July receiving as much as 133 cm. (52 inches). The rains taper off by early October and the months between November and February are usually dry.
Things to do in Goa
There are varieties of things to do in Goa for both adventurous as well as laidback travellers. Shopaholics will also not be disappointed in Goa. The long stretches of golden sand and the pandemonium of the waves will captivate you. Apart from beaches, the old state of Goa has several forts, churches, monastery and cathedrals to visit.
Adventure enthusiasts may like to participate in numerous water sports at the popular Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and Vagator beaches. Scuba diving, jet skiing, para-sailing, motorboat and water-scooter ride or a cruise – take your pick and explore the waters of Goa.
If you are not too keen on adventure then worry not, as there are numerous options for you to enjoy the beauty of Goa! Take leisurely strolls on the beach, or just sit and relax as you enjoy spectacular views of sun set. Shop till you drop at the Wednesday market on the Anjuna beach that is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Shop for souvenirs like handicraft items, decorative candles, wood carvings, gems and jewellery among other things or buy colourful sarongs with nature inspired designs.
Partake in the festivities of the Winter Carnival – Goa’s most popular event that features lots of music, dance and merriment. Satiate your hunger at local shacks on the beach side or some fine dining restaurants that offer authentic and scrumptious varieties of sea-foods.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Goa for a fun-filled holiday!
Hotels in Goa – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Goa ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.