A guide to a beach holiday in Goa

Goa is one of the 28 states that forms India in addition to the country's 7 union territories. It was once part of the Portuguese overseas territories until 1962 when it became a part of India. The state is famous for its beaches, historic architecture and places of interest making it a top tourist drawer in the country.

Useful information

How to get there

Dalim Airport or Goa Airport serves passengers who wish to fly in to the state. It is 35 kilometres from Panaji, Goa's capital. There are no direct flights to Goa from the UK and airlines such as Air India, British Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, and Jet Airways have layovers in Mumbai or New Delhi. Passengers take domestic flights to reach Goa.


Goa is divided into two areas, North Goa and South Goa. The beaches in North Goa are the more popular starting in Fort Aguada and extending all the way to Arambol. You can choose to stay in Anjuna Beach, Baga Beach, Calangute Beach or Candolim Beach.

Anjuna is popular for its moonlit beach parties reminiscent of the hippie period. Apart from this, there is a flea market in the area for everything that you need for lazing in the sun.

Baga Beach is a quieter area and is ideal for families because of its calm waters. Calagute is also one of those beaches frequented by hippies in the 60s.

Colva and Benaulim Beaches are two quiet spots away from the harried crowds while crescent-shaped Palolem Beach is in the middle of two headlands. You can even watch dolphins in the area. Head to the south and you will still have plenty of choices from Colva and Bogmalo Beach to Majorda, Palolem and Benaulim Beach.

Where to stay

Goa is becoming a major tourist destination in India and as such, there are plenty of hotels on offer from boutique and spa hotels to inns and guesthouses. There is a place to stay to suit every taste and budget from sparsely furnished rooms to luxurious suites.

No shortage of activities

Tourists primarily go to Goa for the beaches. However, if you get tired of just being lazy without doing anything but sunbathe and swim, head out to Panaji and visit some attractions. Take a look at Old Goa and check the Viceroy's Arch where you can see the sculpture of the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama overlooking the river. While in the area, visit the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier at the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

You can also visit Old Goa's Architectural Museum and its temples; Shantadura Temple, and Mangadura Temple. Day trips inland are possible to visit parks and sanctuaries most of which are government-owned.

With so many things to do and see in Goa, it is no wonder that this small Indian state is fast becoming a popular beach destination for visitors from all over the world. It has nearly everything from quiet beaches, historical sites, and museums to national parks and sanctuaries.

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