Goa is a tiny speck of sun-drenched, palm-fringed, hillock-speckled, lush-green-field-dappled paradise, skirted by white-topped sprays of salty blue waves. But then, Goa is a lot of things. This little seaside state, with an identity that's a seamless blend of Latino influence and Indian tradition, was crackling enough to have been one of the Millennium destinations of the world.
The essence of Goa lies in its marvelous expanses of palm-fringed beaches and azure-blue seas, all warmed by the sun and local hospitality. Goa is all about relaxed lifestyle, enlivened by the Goan love for music and dance, spiced up by its superb cuisine. Summers on the golden sands, winters in the warm waters, or soaking in the Goan rains - Goa is exhilarating round the year. The scenic splendor of Goa simply dazzles as nature bares her treasures, unfolding miles and miles of glorious vistas of rivers, ponds, wooded hills and valleys. Whitewashed churches and temples at strategic points heighten the effect.
There's more to Goa than sun, sand and natural beauty. The allure is quite distinct from the rest of India - it's not just the familiar remnants of European colonialism or the picture book exoticism that makes it so accessible, it's the prevalence of a form of social and political progressiveness that westerners feel they can relate to. Goans are friendly and happy-go-lucky. They are fond of the good things in life and are certainly not caught up in the rat race.
November to March
April to October
Tropical - between 23-35 ° Celsius
Throughout the year: Warm
Cottons, throughout the year.
Goa is linked by air to Bangalore , Mumbai (formerly Bombay ), Delhi , Kochi (formerly Cochin ), Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum ). Both domestic carriers, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways, fly there. The flying time from Mumbai to Goa is just under an hour.
It is advisable to book both your inbound and outbound sectors well in advance.
Goa is linked by the South Central Railway division (having major stations for halt at Margao, Vasco da Gama and Colem, linking Goa with the neighboring state of Karnataka) and the Konkan Railway division (having major stations for halt at Pernem, Thivim, Karmali, Margao, and Canacona linking Goa with Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi).
Goa is linked by road to Ahmedabad (1138 km), Aurangabad (699 km), Bangalore (592 km), Mumbai (597 km), Chennai (923 km), Pune (473 km).
Taj Exotica, Goa
The Leela Palace, Goa
Fort Aguada Beach Resort (Taj)
The Aguada Hermitage (Taj)
Goa Marriott Resort
Cidade De Goa Beach Resort
Renaissance Goa Resort
Majorda Beach Resort
White Sands Beach Resort, Radisson
Hotel Nova Goa
Captain Cook's Beach Hideaway
Ronill's Beach Resort
Paying guest accommodation and many 'lower-end' hotels available. There are also rooms and beach apartments with all amenities available for rent.
Panaji, the Capital of Goa, on the banks of the river Mandovi, was originally a major port. It still retains the old, narrow streets in Fontainhas. The Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is one of the oldest buildings (circa 1541) in the city. An evening cruise on the river is a must. Here you get a beautiful view of the capital. There are refreshments and traditional entertainment on board.
10 km east of Panaji, Old Goa was the capital of Goa during Portuguese rule. This has given it a rich architectural legacy of many beautiful churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.
Built by the Portuguese in 1612 to defend Goa , the fort is now better known as the location of the Taj Group's luxury resort. Walk along the keyhole shaped jetty for a superb view of the coast from Sinquerim almost up to Baga, and then, walk up the hill to see the citadel and the 1864 lighthouse. The fort also has a prison that is no longer in use.
Beaches: North to South
Querim, Arambol, Mandrem, Morjim, Vagator, Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Sinquerim, Vainguinim, Siridao Bogmalo, Velsao, Arossim, Utorda, Majorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim, Betul, Palolem
Goa is famous for its sea food. Try the vindaloo and classic sorpotel. Also the local red wine, and feni, made from cashewnuts.
The Euro-charter boom of the 1980s, which peaked in the 1990s, brought in a wide range of cuisines from all over the world. You can get good Afghani, Italian, German, Mexican, Thai, Tibetan, British, Korean, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Portugese and Greek cuisine, apart from the ubiquitous Chinese and popular Gujarati, Punjabi and Udipi food.
Goans were the pioneers for Western music in India. But even Indian music has a Goan connection. Playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, as well as classical singer Kishori Amonkar, trace their roots to Goa.
The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated in Old Goa on 3rd December.
Easter, Christmas, Shigmotsav Zatra, and Ganesh Chaturthi are also celebrated.
The Goa Carnival is very popular here. Held just before the season of Lent, it is a time of celebration and gay festivity. A parade of decorated floats on the streets is indeed a delight to the spectator's eye. Many tourists from India as well as abroad come down to Goa especially for the Carnival.
The sea around Goa is a great place to learn scuba diving. Not only it is safe and shallow, but it is also teeming with marine life.
Much of the local diving is conducted around this island. Some of the sites near the island include Suzy's Wreck, Davy Jones Lockers, Sail Rock, Turbo Tunnel, Surge City , Uma Guma Reef, and Bounty Bay.
Angria BankA four-hour high-speed boat ride takes you to this world-class dive site 120 miles from Goa. A vast underwater landmass about half the size of the state of Goa , it offers an amazing wealth of coral and fish. A 'live-aboard' is available with the local dive center to make diving at this site an unforgettable experience.
This rocky outcrop has interesting marine life as well as good visibility.
Malvan Shoal is 100 km away from Panaji, by road, along the sea cost of Maharashtra in the southern district of Sindhudurg bordering Goa.
Address:No. 145-P, Chapel Bhat, Chicalim, Goa 403711, India.
Dive Location:Joet's Guest House, Bogmala Beach , Goa.
Contact Person at Cochin :Willie Downie
Names & Qualifications of Dive Staff: Willie Downie - PADI Instructor
Address:c/o Cidade de Goa Beach Resort, Dona Paula, Goa 403004, India.
Dive Location:Grande Island & San Jorge Island.
Contact PersonVenkatesh Charloo
Names & Qualifications of Dive Staff:
Venkatesh Charloo - PADI Master Scuba diver Trainer.
Karen Gregory - PADI Master Scuba diver Trainer.
Decompression chamber is available about an hour away by road from any of the dive sites.
The visa issued for India is sufficient for your trip to Goa , no individual permit is required