Complete Travel Guide to Goa!
A coastal retreat offering a beautiful expanse full of natural as well as historical wonders, Goa is every backpacker’s dream destination. It is the smallest state in India and is nestled on the scintillating shores of the Arabian Sea. As the state is blessed with lush greenery, glistening sandy beaches, beautiful waters, gorgeous streams, ancient beauties, and a lot more, it interests travelers from every corner of the world. Travel to Goa and indulge in its vibrant and laid-back environment.
While in the northern parts of the state you have raging parties, high-spirited bars and clubs, and beautiful beaches, in the southern parts you have a serene and tranquil environment to savor. From waterfalls to backwaters, travel to Goa for a wholesome experience.
So, if you are planning a tour of this global destination, here is the complete travel guide to Goa for you. Goa is all about breaking free from your mundane life and bringing out the careless you. It is one of the most significant attractions in India and is frequented by millions of tourists every year. Over a period of time, it has become the party capital of India.
Best Time to Visit Goa
Having a tropical monsoon climate, Goa harbors a pleasant environment with a hot and humid climate for most of the time in a year.
October to February: This is the best time to visit Goa as these are months when one would find extremely pleasant weather to roam around and explore the state. You have a relatively cool atmosphere to enjoy and hence, it becomes a perfect retreat for beach enthusiasts, honeymooners, party lovers, and yoga enthusiasts. It is an ideal time to explore the outdoors as you wouldn’t be experiencing the scorching heat of the summers.
Laze back on the cold sands of buzzing beaches, explore the vibrant streets, visit open-air cafes, bars and pubs and enjoy the Goan mood to the fullest.
During the month of December, Goa hosts some of the country’s biggest festivals like Sunburn, cultural exhibitions, Christmas parties, New Year celebrations, and a lot more. Hence, this is the best season to visit Goa when travelers from around the world swarm the state.
This is also the time when it becomes difficult to find resorts and hotels. So, make sure to book your stay in advance while visiting Goa in the month of December or January. Also, expect prices of accommodation higher than usual.
March to June: These are the months when the summer in Goa is at its peak. You can experience an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius along with extreme humidity during this period. Hence, tourists often refrain from visiting the state from March to June. However, this is also the time when hotels and resorts give extremely good deals and pubs and bars roll out seasonal offers.
So, if you are looking forward to enjoying in isolation in Goa away from the usual crowd at a relatively low expense, then this is the time for you to visit Goa.
July to September: If the monsoon is your love, then do visit Goa during these months. This is the time when nature in Goa is in full glory. Streams are brimming up, waterfalls are gushing down heavily, and the greenery welcomes you with happy smiles. You can also enjoy the numerous monsoon festivals of Goa during these months.
Top Tourist Attractions
Goa has its pride lying beautifully in shimmering beaches and seaside beauties. With its golden coastline, Goa houses some of the most beautiful beaches in India. These places are full of high-spiritedness and cultivate vivacity and life. The list of the most popular beaches in Goa includes Palolem Beach, Anjuna Beach, Calangute Beach, Colva Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, and Agonda Beach.
Basílica de Bom Jesus
Dating back to the late 16th century, Basilica de Bom Jesus reserves the age-old legends of Goa. It whispers the glory of Goa through its rugged walls, exemplary architecture, beautiful interiors, and an interesting facade. Visit this Roman catholic church and walk down the lanes of history. It is also one of the significant pilgrimage centers for Christians and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Literally translated as the Sea of Milk, Dudhsagar Falls cascades down the lush terrains of the Western Ghats and resembles a milky stream gushing down with full force. It is a rain-fed waterfall and is counted among the tallest waterfalls in India with a height of more than 300 meters.
Up for some photography by the beach? Well, take a tour of the stunning Aguada Fort standing tall and strong since its construction in the early 17th century. It is located on the beautiful shore of Candolim and the Mandovi River and offers exquisite spectacles to its visitors. Visit it and snap wonderful clicks for the site is extremely photogenic.
Open on all Wednesdays, Anjuna Market is a popular flea market in Goa where shopaholics from around the world can be seen. It is a perfect place to indulge in souvenir shopping. You can buy junk jewelry, artifacts, beach clothing, and handicrafts. However, do sharpen your haggling skills before paying a visit.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then you shouldn’t miss out on this lovely sanctuary. Touted to be the largest protected reserve in Goa, the sanctuary houses rich biodiversity. You have lush grasslands, diverse flora and fauna, and soothing walking trails to explore. Visit it and come across a variety of animals and birds including leopards and elephants.
Other significant places to visit:
- Cabo de Rama Fort
- Immaculate Conception Church
- Mangeshi Temple
- Reis Magos Fort
- Tito’s Street
- Grande Island
Best Things to do In Goa
Indulge in adventure sports
Goa is full of adventures and no wonder thrills-seekers find their happiness in its lap. Visit it and indulge in a number of water sports and experiences. Go parasailing, windsurfing, or wakeboarding and explore the expansive waters of the Arabia Sea. Ride down the water scooters across the sea and feel the thrill and excitement. Try scuba diving or snorkeling and witness the colourful marine life of Goa.
Other adventures to try include white-water rafting, kayaking, hiking, trekking, ATV bike riding, water skiing, and camping.
While in Goa, a cruise is a must-have experience. Sail down the ocean or the rivers of Goa and explore its wonders while staying afloat. It is surely going to be an experience to cherish forever. There are a number of cruise operators in Goa that would offer you the best deal. You can ask your hotel or resort staff to arrange one for you. Take out your family or partner and spend some quality time witnessing Goan marvels.
Witness the majesty of dolphins
Dolphin watching is one of the most loved activities in Goa with kids. Go on an early tour of Calangute, Palolem, Agonda, Miramar, or Dona Paula Beach for dolphin sightings. You can also book a dolphin-spotting cruise that would take you several kilometers into the sea and let you have this exhilarating experience of watching dolphins playing in the waters.
Try your luck at casinos
Casinos are an important part of Goa tourism as they allure travelers and gamblers from around the world. Turn on the entertainment mode and have your luck take a chance at these game parlors. The popular casinos you can plan to visit include Casino Carnival, Casino Royale, and Casino Caravela.
Party till dawn at clubs
Partying is in the culture of Goa and no traveler dares to miss out on this wonderful experience. Here, there, everywhere you have bustling party venues to indulge in. Explore the reveler in you as you dance the night away. Visit clubs and groove to your favorite tunes. These are the places where the soul of Goa resides.
Yoga Retreats or Yoga Teacher Training in Goa
If you think Goa is all about unleashing the party animal and going crazy all day and night, then you must explore the wellness retreats of Goa. These are the places where you get to treat your mind, body, and soul and revitalize your energies.
These yoga retreats in Goa host a collected and composed environment, and are perfect to rejuvenate the inner self. Take Ayurveda classes, meditate, spend time learning yoga lessons, stay at eco-friendly accommodations, and indulge in body massages and spa treatments. You can also enroll in more serious programs such as yoga teacher training in Goa to learn in detail about the merits of Yoga.
Nightlife In Goa
The nightlife in Goa is extremely boisterous and lively and it is all set to enthrall the party animal in you. Great food, amazing setups, vibrant ambiance, and wonderful music – altogether ideally define the night scene of Goa. No wonder it is one of the most sought-after party destinations in India and is frequented by millions every year. It is often said that when the sun goes down, the spirit of Goa rises up with all enthusiasm and vigour.
And once you are out in the streets of this cute little state, everything seems believable. At every corner, you have people drenched in the colors of dynamism. Whether it is about beach parties, barbeque nights, camp outings, or beach discos, Goa stands out perfectly. The list of the best party places in Goa includes Tito’s Bar and Club, Leopard Valley, Club LPK, Shiva Valley, Hill Top, and Palm & Sands.
Where to Stay In Goa?
Goa, being a global tourist destination, is full of places to spend a breathtaking vacation. You have all kinds of accommodations to go with including beach resorts, luxury hotels, bed & breakfast, guesthouses, beach shacks, budget hotels, and more. However, make sure to book your stay in advance if you are planning a visit during the peak season. Stay at these delightful places and make the most of your vacation.
The ideal places where you can find the best accommodations include:
Vagator and Agonda – for liveliness and ambience
Calangute and Palolem – for beach lovers
Majorda, Palolem, and Candolim – for couples and honeymooners
Baga, Anjuna, Calangute, and Arpora – for party animals and bachelors
Colva and Palolem – for families
Baga, Calangute, and Colva – for watersports enthusiasts and adventurers
Top Travel Tips Before Planning Your Trip to Goa
Goa is a vibe in itself and one would find a beautiful mix of culture and ambiance on the streets here. However, there are certain things one must keep in their mind while exploring around. These travel tips would surely make your vacation a hassle-free and memorable affair.
- Indulge in proper research and always check out the weather of the city or place you are planning to visit beforehand.
- Do not disrespect religion or culture, or other traditional practices.
- Always keep a copy of your important travel documents while exploring outdoors. It would always help in case of emergencies.
- Always make sure to have a local guide with you while exploring the unexplored areas.
- Digital payments are accepted at most places. Hence, make sure to avoid carrying a lot of cash with you.
- Keep a check on your belongings and what you eat & drink, especially while in public.
- Always haggle the price to half while bargaining at flea markets in Goa.
- If you are looking forward to exploring Goa in the best way possible, then it is recommended to hire a bike or a scooter.
How to Reach ?
Being one of the important parts of Indian tourism, Goa has amazing connectivity to other cities and countries of the world.
By Air: If you are traveling by air, then you can book your flight to Dabolim International Airport to reach Goa. The airport is located at a distance of about 28 km from the capital city of Panaji. Dabolim Airport is well connected to other cities of the world including Sharjah, Bangalore, Delhi, Muscat, Oman, London, Dubai, Mumbai, and more.
By Road: Goa has a good network of roads and owing to this, it is easy to drive down or take a bus to reach Goa. If you are coming from neighboring states of India or other nearby cities, it is recommended to drive your own vehicle as on the journey you are going to come across some of the most gorgeous sceneries and spectacles.
By Rail: Goa has two major railway stations named Margao and Vasco Da Gama. These stations are well connected to the other cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.