A Guide To Goa Airports: Strategies And Tips For An Easy Landing
Goa is a popular coastal state of India that receives thousands of tourists each year. Goa is known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, cosmopolitan culture and delicious coastal cuisine. Naturally, this scenic place attracts a lot of domestic as well as international travelers. The easiest and most convenient way to visit Goa is by taking the air transport route.
Goa International airport or the Dabolim airport is Goa’s only servicing airport that is located about 4 km from Vasco Da Gama city and 31 km from Panjim, the capital of Goa. As per passenger traffic records, Goa airport ranks in 10th place amongst the airports in India. As of 2017, the Dabolim airport handled over 7.6 million passengers.
This blog will walk you through all the facilities and services that you can avail yourself of at the Goa airport and also takes a peek into the activities you can indulge in as you move about in and around Goa.
Passenger Services at the Dabolim Airport
The lone terminal building at the airport is responsible for managing the passenger traffic pertaining to arrivals and departures of both domestic and international travelers. The terminal has already exceeded its capacity and hence is undergoing expansion and refurbishment.
The bulk of flights arriving at this airport are domestic and mostly from cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Qatar Airways, Air India and Air Arabia operate some regular flights from Gulf countries while charter flights from the UK and Europe form the bulk of international flights.
The Goa international airport is a government-run airport that is operating on a military airbase. Hence the airport has only limited facilities and infrastructure, especially pertaining to passenger services.
The passenger services at Goa international airport are enlisted below:
- Currency exchange: Currency exchange counters and ATMs (State Bank of India) are installed in the terminal building.
- Information desk: Any information related to baggage handling, flight schedules or queries regarding miscellaneous travel needs can be availed at this counter.
- Baggage: Baggage trolleys for multiple and heavy baggage are available at the Integrated Building Terminal.
- Child care facilities: Child care rooms are available for passengers travelling with infants and toddlers.
- Shopping: There are duty-free shops available that mostly sell souvenirs and craft items.
- Food: Various food outlets in form of restaurants and cafes can be found that cater to both arriving and departing passengers at the airport.
- Medical services: First aid and the emergency station are available at the airport in case of any exigencies.
- Wi-fi facility: Free wi-fi connectivity is available to all the passengers at the airport. However, the wi-fi facility is free for the first 30 minutes and you have to register your phone number to receive a code for using the facility.
- Lounges: The Goa airport does not have a dedicated lounges area. There is an outlet called ‘Good Times Bar’ that opened in 2019 in the domestic departure area and serves as a lounge for specific card holders.
- Other services: Other services like mobile charging ports, spas, smoking areas and other peripheral services are also available at the Goa airport.
Transportation Facility at Goa International Airport
Pre-paid can be easily booked at the airport upon arrival. You will find a taxi booking counter right in front of the terminal building as you exit from the arrivals area. Besides taxis, if you are looking for a cheaper transport option, an interstate bus service that operates buses to Vasco Da Gama and Chicalim can be availed. Also, shuttle services are quite popular amongst tourists arriving in Goa. Many well-known hotels in Goa offer shuttle services from the airport to the city of Panjim.
Things to Do and Places To Visit In Goa
Indulge In Beach Fun
The Goan landscape is be speckled with beautiful sandy beaches where you can indulge in sunbathing; water sports or even has sun-down parties. Both north and south Goa are dotted with beaches like the Baga beach, Anjuna beach, Colva beach, Calangute beach and many more beaches.
Visit the Majestic Forts of Goa
The region’s glorious past can reminisce through its spectacular forts. These magnificent forts besides being examples of architectural brilliance also offer breathtaking views of the Goan landscape. So do plan to visit the famous Fort Aguada, Chapora fort, Corjuem fort, Mormugao fort and many such exemplary structures.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Goa is a witness to colonial legacy and rich heritage. You can experience the architectural marvel and spirituality by visiting these famed world heritage sites. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, and Church of Saint Augustine are some of the sites that you should be visiting.
Visit the Historical Temples
The majestic temples of Goa are worth a visit for their spiritual and religious significance as well as architectural mastery and tranquil surroundings. The Mangeshi temple, Mahadev temple, Shanta Durga temple, and Brahma temple are some of the religious places that you can visit.
Enroll In Yoga Schools
The sun-n-sand ambience and the cosmopolitan culture are major draws for many travelers especially foreigners who enroll in yoga schools in goa to gain knowledge of yoga and spirituality. Furthermore, Goa is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. So, you will find many holistic healing centers which offer both contemporary luxury spa massages and traditional oil massage therapies.
Food and Shopping
Goa is a haven for exploring delectable seafood, Goan delicacies and other culinary delights. So, indulge in good food at Fisherman’s Wharf, Spice Goa, Tuscany Gardens and many more such restaurants that serve lip-smacking delicacies.
For shopping, head to the Anjuna Flea market. You can buy souvenirs, knick-knacks, garments, jewellery and handicraft items from stalls that sell myriad stuff. Besides, you can also enjoy live music and eat at the many food stalls at this weekly market.
Goa is a traveler’s paradise. The coastal state gets thousands of tourists each year owing to the many reasons mentioned in the above sections. However, the Dabolim airport at present is the only airport in the state that is operating with an overstretched capacity. Owing to this, Goa is all set to operate Mopa airport, its second international airport from September 2022. This Greenfield airport is expected to reduce the increased load of air traffic on the existing Dabolim airport.