Picture fabulous beaches and the chance to live life in the slow lane. Grab a cocktail, close your eyes, and go with the slow flow of this beautiful holiday destination...
A big draw for holidaymakers in Goa is the beautiful beaches, however if you prefer holidays that involve a little more culture, the fascinating Goan history makes an interesting diversion. Influences from Indian, Islamic, and Portuguese cultures are clear to see in the hot and busy cities of Goa, which sits at the edge of the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India. So visit Panjim and Old Goa for a slice of authenticity.
Flights take between 10 and 14 hours from the UK, depending on whether you get a direct flight or transfer in Delhi or Mumbai, for example. Either way, you can be settling into your luxury beachfront hotel within a couple of hours of touching down.
Honeymooners and couples take particular delight in Goa holidays, though the destination will appeal to every kind of traveller.
Fantastic resorts to consider for your stay include: Ayurveda Beach, Baga Beach, Calangute Beach, Candolim Beach, Colva Beach, and Vagator Beach. Anjuna Beach, which draws visitors to its weekly flea market, is also popular.
And if peace and quiet is your goal, a short trip away from the resorts will reward you with ribbons of empty sands and undisturbed seas. The friendly locals will point you in the direction of your own private paradise, while you can also visit some of the coastline's livelier beaches such as Cavelossim, Mandrem, and Palolem.
Goa's other natural attractions include the “sea of milk”, otherwise known as the spectacular Dudhsagar Falls, and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary where you can get a great view of local wildlife.
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Pick the perfect time to visit Goa so you get beautiful weather and avoid the hurricane season. Here is when to travel...
The peak tourism season in Goa runs between November and March, when the rain and humidity have scurried off to bother some other destination. Prices and demand for hotels are therefore high around Christmas and New Year, when that average daytime temperatures are a pleasant 27C.
Monsoon season is June to September, meaning visitors willing to brave the rains, plus limited access to attractions and strong sea currents, can bag a bargain at this time of year.
Why not get involved with a traditional festival or event as part of your holiday? You can party with the locals and get a taste for real Goa. Find out what's on...
Food and Cultural Festival of Goa; February: Goan food is as tempting as it is varied thanks to the region's global influences. For a taste of real Goa, visit this annual platter of tastiness at various locations along the coast.
Panjim Carnival; February/March: Whoever would have thought you would find a typically European carnival on the west coast of India? Well you do, thanks to the Portuguese, who introduced this event that now draws huge crowds with its parades, parties and colourful activities.
Feast of St Francis Xavier; December: Old Goa is the place to see locals celebrate the patron saint of Goa. The party atmosphere is contagious and visitors are encouraged to join the fun.
From sunset cruises to jungle trails, you'll find plenty to do on holidays to Goa, whether you're looking for relaxation, adventure, romance or activities...
Relaxing: Stretch out at sunset with a beachside yoga class, or take it really easy and book an Indian head massage at your hotel spa. Bliss.
Shopping: Scour the stalls every Wednesday at the weekly flea market in Anjuna. There are plenty of treasures hidden among the tacky trinkets.
Nightlife: Party hard at Baga Beach, where open-air clubs and bars provide a unique setting in which to let your hair down.
Grown-up families: Watch out for lizards flying overhead on the jungle trails of Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. Deer and wild boar can also be spotted.
Active types: Goa's beaches are perfect for water sports, so gather your courage and try something new.
Romance: Step aboard a cruise boat at sunset and see the Mandovi River by moonlight with your lover.
Free & cheap: Find out more about glorious Goa at the free State Museum.