Goa is a popular tourist destination in India on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The tourism industry is highly flourishing here due to the presence of many historical monuments, churches, sea beaches and other tourist attractions in various parts of North and South Goa. Goa has something for everyone from amazing beaches, reputable nightlife, excellent food, and adventure activities.
Travelers enjoy the beautiful scenic beauty, comprising of seven rivers, waterfalls, mountainous region of Western Ghats, and wildlife sanctuary. If you’re wondering where to go next in the globe, Goa won’t disappoint. Below is your ultimate travel guide to visiting Goa.
Best Time to Visit
The summer season in Goa lasts from March to May. While the winter season comprises of months starting from October to February.
Therefore, the best times to visit Goa is during summer and winter months. It’s best to avoid the monsoon season from June to September, because this is when Goa receives heavy rainfall. Summer is the best time for visiting the beaches and enjoying adventurous water sports while winter is the best season for participating in local festivals and colorful fairs.
It still gets warm during winter, so you’ll also be able to enjoy the outdoors and the beaches as well.
- Baga beach and Morjim beach are located in North Goa. These are famous for vibrant ambiance with plenty of beach shacks and bars.
- Calangute and Candolim beaches with shiny golden sands are highly popular among all foreign tourists.
- Anjuna and Vagator beaches are mainly known for the flea market and joyful nightlife in Goa.
- Aguada beach and Chapora beach are famous for housing the historic forts of the same names.
- Colva, Benaulim, and Mobor beaches are the prominent tourist spots of South Goa.
- Arambol, Mandrem, Miramar and Dona Paola are few other famous beaches of Goa.
What to wear in Goa?
Travelers heading for Goa must carry a swimsuit for enjoying swimming in the seawater; swimsuits with tank tops and spaghetti strapped tops are also used as swimwear for a more modest approach than a bikini.
Fashionable women also carry sarongs, light Indian clothing, kaftans, kimonos or ponchos, of bright colors to wear over their swimsuits.
Men and women mostly wear cotton shorts, palazzos, or loosely fitted trousers while sightseeing in Goa. Linen clothes are especially comfy and breezy for warm weather.
For strolling comfortably on the beaches and around town, good options include printed scarves of light fabrics, straw hats, light footwear, and sunglasses.
You might want to use sunscreen, to take care of your skin.
The nightlife of Goa is a prime attraction for tourists. There are plenty of nightclubs in various parts of Goa. At these venues, people enjoy food and drinks, and dance to the beats of live music or played by DJs in well-adorned ambiances. Below are a few of the many places to check out:
- Club Tito’s in Baga Beach, Drift Bar in Candolim Beach, Down the Road in Panaji, and Lido’s in Dona Paula Beach. These are only a few names among the numerous reputed nightclubs.
- The beach shacks on Anjuna, Calangute, Vagator, and Baga beaches delight people with delicious local street foods, with tasty soft drinks throughout the nights.
There are many pubs all over Goa, where people can taste exotic drinks with local seafood dishes. People can also hold exciting night parties on some beaches or on luxury cruises over River Mandovi.
Let’s just say that Goa is awake at night.
Foods that will blow your taste buds
The typical Goan cuisine is characterized by abundant uses of spices and strong flavours. Common dishes include rice, seafood, meat, and tropical vegetables.
- Shark Ambot Tik is a sour fish curry, made with shark flesh and paste of spices.
- Pork Sorpotel is actually a Portuguese dish and highly popular among Goanese Christians, which tastes best 3 – 4 days after cooking.
- Prawn Balchao is a form of prawn pickle, prepared with a special Goan spirit called ‘Feni’ that renders a tasty flavour.
- Chicken Cafreal is a typical combination of Portuguese and Goan cuisines, where chicken leg pieces are cooked with a green paste and many Goan spices.
Likewise, there are many other authentic Goan dishes that tourists cannot miss to taste while visiting this region.
Thrilling Adventure Sports
Apart from partying and digging into tasty local cuisines, tourists can enjoy various types of adventurous sports in Goa.
- Scuba diving and snorkelling are favourite water sports for daring people. These are safe with the guidance of experienced instructors and using all given safety measures.
- Windsurfing at Baga, Calangute, Candolim, and Dona Paula beaches is a popular water sport. Windsurfing provides the pleasure of both sailing and surfing over the sea waves.
- Parasailing is a popular adventure sport where the participants take off from a winch boat, on which the parachute remains tied safely.
- Other popular adventure sports include: kayaking, water scooter, river rafting, water skiing, kite surfing, ATV biking, banana boating, and hot air balloon rides.
Winter season is the best time to enjoy all these adventure sports when the climate remains favourable.
Notable Historic Places in Goa
Apart from the wonderful beaches, many historic places also hold great tourist interest.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus is an UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the tomb of St. Francis Xavier.
- Se Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of St. Cajetan, and Church of Our Lady of the Rosary are a few other names among the numerous churches admired for their splendid architecture of Gothic style.
- Fort Aguada, Reis Magos Fort, Cabo de Rama Fort, and Corjeum Fort have great historical importance. They were built by ancient Hindu rulers of this region.
Anjuna Flea Market, Panjim Market, Mapusa Market, and Calangute Market are the popular marketplaces of Goa.
At these markets, travelers can buy various handicrafts, carpets, spices, Goan pickles, cashew nuts, dried sea fish, junk jewelry, local garments and footwear.
Other excellent places to buy souvenirs and antique objects at reasonable prices include: Baga night market, Mackie’s Night Bazaar, and Ingo’s Saturday Night Bazaar.
Best Hotels in Goa
Most of the reputed luxury and budget hotels in Goa are located on or nearby the popular sea beaches of this state. There are a few good hotels also in Panjim and other major cities of Goa where tourists can book their accommodations.
Guests enjoy the modern amenities in these hotel rooms. And many hotels offer additional services provided for free.
Unexplored Places in Goa
Bhagawan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is a little known tourist attraction in Goa, which is close to Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Tambi Falls. Netravali Lake, Casa Severina, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and Arvalem Caves are few other places with lesser fame.
Now, you’re ready to book your trip to Goa and enjoy it fully!