WHAT TO SEE AND DO ON HOLIDAY IN GOA
Are you in the midst of planning a getaway to Goa? Maybe you’re already counting down the days to your Indian holiday? With pure white beaches, palm-fringed coasts and transparent turquoise waters stretching across a spectacular 66 miles, glorious Goa really is a dream-like destination. Brimming with beach appeal, if you do manage to bring yourself away from the state’s sandy shores, you’ll find a bounty of other things to see and do on your holiday. From visiting spiritual retreats to a day at the spice plantations, there’s something for everyone to experience and the choice is all yours!
The jewel of western India and a postcard-perfect paradise, prepare to fall for Goa’s undeniable exotic charms. Embracing the Arabian Sea, the state beautifully blends its unique Portuguese past with Indian tradition so expect to be met by scenes of rich colour and remarkable colonial buildings, amongst lush green jungle and balmy beaches aplenty. The fusion of culture also extends to Goa’s culinary scene too where Indo-Portuguese tastes provide a real treat for your taste buds.
WHEN TO VISIT
If it’s your first time taking a holiday to India, then book Goa between November and February when temperatures sit pleasantly in the mid-late twenties and you can spend your days soaking up the sunshine. June to September is a more affordable time to travel however this is monsoon season and although the temperatures are hotter, expect some rain to appear most days.
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For your dose of culture, Goa provides a wealth of opportunity to experience the beauty and history of the region. Head to Fontainas, a breath-taking UNESCO world heritage site that showcases the perfectly preserved Old Portuguese quarter. With sites like the 1880 Chapel of Saint Sebastian waiting to be discovered amongst the narrow streets, the area really does offer tourists a step back in time and some incredible photo opportunities around every twist and turn.
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT
In North Goa, sitting pretty in the laps of nature next to a quaint old fishing village lays Ashiyana – a wellness centre and all round spiritual sanctuary. With a blissful eco-friendly setting, the centre nourishes mind, body and soul with yoga sessions and spa therapies all designed to help you unwind and reconnect with your inner self. Boasting a natural pool hidden amongst abundant greenery too, Ashiyana is a true oasis and a must for some well-deserved calm, rest and relaxation.
Embark on an adventure through Goa’s rich jungle and spot eagles, monkeys, pangolins, spotted hyenas, sloth bears and more. Amongst wildlife and flora of Goa’s lush jungles, you’ll also find ancient temples, churches and covenants scattered all around. In fact, the oldest of all, Mahadev Temple of Tambdi Surla dates back to the 12th century. No matter if you’re a nature lover, the outdoorsy type, or a history buff, visiting one of Goa’s jungles is sure to delight and leave you with memories you’ll treasure forever.
There’s no denying Goa’s main attraction is its impressive coastline - making it the ultimate destination for a stellar beach break. If you like a little atmosphere on the beach, then head to North Goa for a beach experience bursting with life. If your idea of a blissful day at the beach conjures visions of a more peaceful environment, then opt for the serenity of South Goa and relish in quieter days spent in the sun.
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
India is a land renowned for spices and so what better way to experience them than in their natural surroundings? Goa has many spice plantations for tourists to visit, including Sahakiri Spice Farm that spans a fragrant 130 acres. From vanilla and cardamom to turmeric and cinnamon, the farm is also home to an indulgent array of exotic fruits like papaya and jackfruit too. Spend the day learning and sampling, before finishing up your experience and tasting the flavours at the farm’s on-site restaurant – delish!
Dudhsagar Falls are one of Goa’s must-see attractions; at a majestic 320 metres the waterfall is a popular place to visit all year long, but, none more so than during monsoon season when the white torrents cascade in abundance. Nestled in the Western Ghat Mountains and surrounded by forest, the falls also sit within a beautiful trekking route – perfect for the more adventurous holidaymaker who wants to explore more of India and you can finish off by reaching the falls and enjoying a swim in the fall’s idyllic lagoon.
MAKE FOR THE MARKET
If you’re ready for a little retail therapy on your trip, then the traditional Anjuna market is filled with treasures for you to discover, so dust off your haggling skills and get set to go shopping! From intricate jewellery to pretty ceramics and silks, you’ll find an array of traditional trinkets and souvenirs to buy and remind you of your time in Goa. Don’t miss the Saturday Night Bazaar at Arpora too – it’s a wonderful place to experience the heritage and culture of Goa and celebrate the artisans and products unique to the area.
FINALLY, WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN...
After sunset, Goa’s night scene awakes with glittering lights and lively music setting the scene for beachside bonfires, waterfront dining and spirited parties at the many bars and clubs. With food and drink at the heart of every evening, there is something for everyone so grab a cocktail and see where the Goan night takes you!