Things to do in Goa

 

The Indian state of Goa has become a firm favourite with UK holidaymakers in recent years, particularly for its stunning beaches, dramatic architecture and carefree spirit.Located on the country’s south west coast, it is synonymous with partying and beach holidays, but also has an array of other sights and experiences for travellers.

Portuguese traders first landed on the shores of Goa in the 1500s and the area existed as a Portuguese colony for centuries, until it was annexed as part of India in 1961.Goa has more than 20 delightful stretches of white sand beach down its 101km long coastline, some of which are crowded year round with holidaymakers, while others present secluded palm-fringed paradises for those seeking a quieter break.

 Every type of traveller and size of wallet is catered for and accommodation along the coast ranges from five star hotels to palm-leaf shacks. Goa is now India’s richest state and has seen a huge influx from neighbouring areas in recent years.

Calangute and Baga in northern Goa are heavily developed resorts and full of the usual tourist amenities, the south offers simpler and more peaceful resorts like Colva and Benaulim, while partygoers head to Anjuna, Vagator, and Chapora. Goa was famous as the hangout for hippy travellers and the psychedelic generation during the 1960s and 1970s and it still attracts similar visitors as well as more conventional tourists, luxury travellers and backpackers, and there are a number of popular yoga resorts in the north of the state.The Portuguese influence is widespread and food in Goa is a delicious blend of meat and fish cooked with Indian spices in a way unique to the region.

Alcohol is freely available in the state and Goa produces large quantities of rice and coconuts, which feature in many of the dishes.The ruins of the former Portuguese capital at Old Goa are a key tourist attraction, with an exotic mix of European and Indian architecture and a number of quaint churches and cathedrals.

The influence of early Portuguese merchants can also be seen at the ruins of Fort Aguada in north Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica, which houses the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier.Goa has a number of charming market towns, as well as the bustling state capital Panaji. Vasco-de-Gama, the largest town in the state, has some interesting colonial and native architecture, while the town of Anjuna has a popular weekly flea market.

Other towns of interest include Margao, Marmagao, and Mapusa. The state is dotted with ornate and colourful Hindu temples and holds a number of lavish annual Hindu and Christian celebrations. As India’s smallest state, Goa represents a manageable slice of the vast country and has just 1.4 million inhabitants. Inland visitors can walk in the Western Ghats range of mountains, a world biodiversity hotspot, visit numerous estuaries and river valleys, and a number of small islands. Its tropical jungles in the east of the state are home to bright birds, wild boars and the region has a large snake population. The Salim Ali Bird sanctuary is particularly interesting, with its exotic mynas and parrots.

Visitors to Goa generally arrive by air or travel to the state from the Indian capital Mumbai. The Konkan Railway line, built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast between Mumbai and Goa. Once in the state, public transport largely consists of buses, unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws and the state’s unique yellow-and-black motorcycle taxis.

Goa’s official language is Konkani, but many Indians speak English and travellers will not struggle to get around the more heavily populated areas. The country has a warm and humid climate for most of the year, with temperatures hottest in May and a cooler spell between December and February. The annual monsoon season starts in early June and runs to late September.

Call Global Holidays on 0845 299 4450 for a Goa holiday

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Goa is a wonderful holiday destination. The great weather; the food; the culture;the people; the scenery – all make for a wonderful winter holiday destination. And best of all, its excellent value for money!

Goa is a state on the west coast of India and it has become popular with British visitors over the last few years. In fact, many Brits have bought holiday homes in Goa and they spend a good part of the winter there. Goa is about 10 hours flying time from the UK and flights operate from Gatwick, East Midlands and Manchester between the months of November and April. These months are the best time to visit as the weather is about 30C and there is little rainfall.

Another reason why you should visit Goa is that the food is great and very cheap. A typical meal for two people including drinks will cost about £6 in total so you won’t need as much spending money as you would if you were in Europe.Goa - Aguada BeachThe standard of hotels varies. Goa has some excellent 5 star hotels.

 The Leela Palace is one of the best and rivals many of the best hotels that you will find anywhere. There are plenty of 2 and 3 star hotels. The 2 star hotels tend to be basic but most have swimming pools.Goa is divided into north, south and central. The majority of the hotels are in north Goa and the main resorts are Baga, Calangute and Candolim.

These resorts have most of the 2 and 3 star hotels and the area is more commercialised than south Goa. In south Goa you will find the majority of the 4 and 5 star hotels and the area is less commercialised than the north.There are some cracking deals to be had in November and early December.

 A week including flights and a 2 star hotel will cost about £329 per person and 2 weeks at the 3 star Nazri Resort on Baga Beach will cost from £469 per person. The prices over Christmas and New Year are more expensive and the prices tend to rise in the peak months of January, February and March but we still have good late holiday deals even for these months so it is well worth calling us on 0800 433 2300 to check our latest prices.

A winter holiday to Goa is a great way to escape the cold British winter weather and at such good prices it’s hard to not be tempted.

If you want any advice about a holiday to Goa or want a low cost quote please call Global Holidays on 0800 433 2300.

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