We compare what's there to find the best deals for you.
Please enter a valid email address
You're now signed up. Great deals will soon be delivered to your inbox.
Language: Konkani | Currency: Indian Rupee | Local time: GMT +5:30 | Avg. Flight time: 14 hrs
Many visitors to Goa are drawn there by the world-class beaches. There’s no shortage of luxury accommodation along the coast, but the southern end of the state is far quieter and less populated. Among the glorious natural scenery that surrounds Canacona you’ll find some of Goa’s most upmarket boutique hotels within moments of peaceful beaches such as Palolem and Patnem.
Head north towards original hippy hangout Anjuna to experience a completely different side of Goa – this is where you’ll find those infamous parties and a constellation of delicious fish restaurants and cool cocktail bars. The north of the state has a more European vibe, where tourists wear bikinis and the infrastructure is far better developed.
Sun-drenched beachside towns such as Calangute, Baga and Anjuna itself are the obvious choice if you’re searching for Ibiza-style nightlife, bar-lined beaches and plenty of water sports to enjoy. Alternatively, stay in the state capital Panjim to combine time on the beach with some serious sightseeing. With the huge range of cheap package deals on offer, the north is a better choice for travellers on a budget.
It’s easy to be dazzled by those sweeping sandy beaches, but to discover the real Goa, you will need to head inland, where rice paddies and spice plantations encroach on the humid jungle and sluggish rivers wind through buffalo-grazed fields.
Stay in one of Siolim’s crumbling colonial manor houses to experience all the beauty of the north without the frenetic feel of Anjuna, or get off the beaten track to discover the eco lodges and jungle spa hotels scattered around Mollem National Park. If you prefer wildlife-spotting to sunbathing, then an all-inclusive package to an inland haven is an obvious choice.
Goa’s spa options are concentrated largely in the coastal north, and are perfect if you need to relax after some heavy partying. Mandrem, with its palm-fringed beaches, is home to some of the most luxurious spas in the state – think treehouse eco-lodges and riverside bungalows dotted around state-of-the-art wellness centres.
Just across the Chapora River is the pretty village of Assagoa, which couples proximity to Anjuna Beach and the Chapora Fort with a smattering of famous yoga retreats. Further south, Canacona is another wellness hub.
An elite collection of beachside hotels is scattered along the coast all the way down to Patnem Beach, with everything on offer from philosophy sessions and mediation to traditional Indian head massages and organic juice bars. These places aren’t cheap, but affordable if you’re able to find a good deal.