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Exotic beaches, palm-fringed coastlines, spiritual retreats, awesome nightlife and some delectable seafood are what you can expect to find on your holidays in Goa. Home to a spectacular 66-mile coastline stretching across the Arabian Sea, this west Indian state is certainly the go-to destination for beach lovers. You'll find vibrant towns, UNESCO-listed cities, fine-dining restaurants and fantastic nightlife here so that when you're not sunning yourself on the beach, there's plenty to spice up your day. Goa holidays combine the classic Caribbean mix of crisp white sands and transparent sea with a European twist of traditional churches and colonial buildings, making it the perfect break for those after culture by the coast. If you are looking out for bustling beaches then North Goa is the place to be, while South Goa is a great option for those who prefer quaint stretches of sand.

 

The best time to visit Goa is during the late Indian summers, ideally November to February, when the weather is still sunny but the temperature is cool and comfortable. The months of June to September are when the hotels offer the best prices, but you should avoid going between March and May when the temperatures rise and the weather becomes humid. Goa effortlessly combines a popular party atmosphere with spectacular golden beaches, meaning it's a great destination for laid-back days and lively evenings – without being too expensive.

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Spiritual Sanctuary

 

 

Spiritual Sanctuary

Ashiyana is a wellness centre located in the laps of nature next to a charming old fishing village in Manderm Beach (North Goa), where holidaymakers can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the laidback eco-friendly ambiance. Yoga sessions led by the experts are designed to help you relax your body, mind, and soul and connect with your inner self. Walk out feeling refreshed and ready to explore the nearby scenic attractions.

Beach Bounty

 

Beach Bounty

Goa’s biggest attraction is undoubtedly its vibrant golden-sand beaches. This expansive coastline along the Arabian Sea is absolutely spectacular and each of the beaches in this city have developed their own personalities since the hippie days of the sixties. Choose from backpacker-friendly Arambol, bold Baga, palm-fringed Palolem and hippie market haven Anjuna to set down your towel and tan at. Don't leave before exploring the hidden crescent coves, where the only footprints will be the scuttling crabs and your own.

 
Shop at the Markets

 

Shop at the Markets

If you’re ready for a little retail therapy, get your haggling skills dusted off and head for Anjuna market where you're sure to root out a bargain or two. Alternatively, the Saturday night markets in Arpora are well worth a visit, offering both local and Western wares, live music, plenty of food and cocktails to wash it down with.

 
Vibrant Vagator Beach

 

Vibrant Vagator Beach

As the sun falls below the horizon, Vagator beach morphs into a trance heaven, where full moon parties are rife and partygoers flock from all over to dance to the latest rave tunes. Kick off your flip-flops, feel the sand between your toes and lose yourself in the music as you look out across the Arabian Sea.

 
Dunk in the Dudhsagar Waterfalls

 

Dunk in the Dudhsagar Waterfalls

Take a jeep trip to this beautiful area situated on the Mandovi River (roughly 35 miles away from Panaji), in the peaks of the Western Ghats. It’s idyllic during monsoon season, when white torrents of water run down the cliffside and culminate in a deep green pool. There are a couple of other pools to enjoy here, too.

 
Hunt for Temples in the Jungle

 

Hunt for Temples in the Jungle

You can find a wealth of temples, churches and convents scattered around Goa, but the oldest one is concealed within the dense jungle and only survived Portuguese rule because of its great hiding place. Mahadev Temple of Tambdi Surla has been around since the 12th century, and is 40 miles away from the Goan capital of Panaji.

 
The Spice of Life

 

The Spice of Life

Food is enjoyed fully in Goa, as it is throughout India. The scents, spices and flavours of authentic cuisine will attract and tantalise even the most seasoned travellers. So whether its a classic fish curry rice, a morning bhaji-pao (bun with a thick curry), or a zesty vindaloo with its infusions of wine vinegar and garlic, the Indo-Portuguese influence is a treat for the taste buds.

 
After Sunsets

 

 

After Sunsets

Once the sun goes down Goa's night scene wakes up with neon lights, party music and plenty to eat and drink. There is something for everyone to enjoy here, so whether you want to wine and dine in the local restaurants, go to a beachside bonfire BBQ night or party at the bars and clubs, Goa has got it covered.

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