Have you finally decided to take that long awaited holiday to India but aren’t sure where to go? If you’re looking for the perfect blend of colonial and modern charm, rich in history, cuisine and extraordinary culture, then look no further — Goa is your dream destination. Whether you’re looking to submerge yourself in vibrant city life or unwind by the seaside, Goa offers something for everyone.
History of Goa
Being a former Portuguese colony, Goa has a unique blend of cultures and architecture, attracting almost 2.5 million visitors every year. While many come as tourists, others venture out as pilgrims, drawn to the numerous Catholic and Hindu shrines.
Seeing that many coastal areas were under colonial rule longer than inland areas, it’s here where you’ll find greater Portuguese influence and consequently, a larger Christian population. Interior areas are home to the majority of Hindu communities and are chiefly comprised of villages, protected forests and mining zones.
Churches not to be missed: Mary Immaculate Conception, Reis Magos, St. Anne and Church of St. Augustine.
Best Beaches of Goa
Situated along the Southwest coast, Goa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and trips to the shore are much more than crystal clear waters and glowing sands. Once there you’ll be met with mouthwatering Goan cuisine; the best dishes found in simple seaside huts and local markets.
If you’re looking for a quieter, serene atmosphere, you might want to stick with beaches in South Goa, but if you’re up for a night of music and dancing be sure to wander up north a bit. Popular waterfront areas include: Candolim, Baga, Arambol, Vagator and Palolem beaches.
Goan Art and Culture
Looking for a break from the sand and sun? Why not explore the countless art galleries, museums and libraries that Goa has to offer. One can easily spend a day in Panaji at the Kala Academy, Goa Science Center or State Museum.
If you’re interested in vintage aircraft, be sure to visit the Naval Aviation Museum in Vasco Da Gama. Old Goa is an ideal place to find both religious and secular art; both the Modern and Christian Art Museums are must-sees.
If you do decide to head into a city, keep in mind that many shops close around 20.00, and many observe a strict siesta break from 13.30 to 15.30.
Getting to Goa
While some airlines fly directly to Goa’s Dabolim airport in Vasco Da Gama, you’re better off finding a cheaper international flight via Mumbai. Once you arrive at Dabolim, look for prepaid taxis, which often offer a slightly better rate than yellow cabs.
If you have prior accommodations made, be sure to check with your resort as many offer free airport shuttles. If you’re travelling domestically, there are excellent bus and rail options available out of most major cities. Travelling by train is a popular way of getting to Goa, as it offers breathtaking views of the coasts and country sides.
Be sure to make reservations well in advance since many major trains are often times heavily booked.
While Goa enjoys a moderate, warm climate year-round, take extra care if you’re booking flights to India during Monsoon season, which lasts from June to mid-October. Now, what are you waiting for? Book your ticket to Goa today!
Hippie Beach in Arambol (Goa)
Whether he is boarding flights to India, wandering the streets of Paris, or getting away from it all on a remote island, Vineet Desai is a writer and travel blogger who loves exploring new locations. He frequently takes time out to visit his family in Goa, but enjoys the freedom of going wherever he chooses and learning about new cultures. In his spare time he likes to study languages, watch movies and sample new flavours.