Goa is a renowned holiday destination with a mix of sun, beaches and relaxation. With its natural scenic beauty, beckoning beaches, famous architecture, mouth watering sea food and festivals it is a place where you can be at best of your spirits. Not to mention the hospitable people and land full of rich flora and fauna owing to its location on the Western Ghats. Additionally water sports, flea markets, night markets and the cosmopolitan crowd gives a sense of easy going and exciting holiday experience.
Photo Credit: Martin Frey
Capital: Panaji. Largest City: Vasco Da Gama.
Languages spoken: languages spoken here are Konkani, English, Hindi, and Marathi.
Domestic and International Airport: Dabolim airport in Vasco da Gama is the nearest airport.
Main Railway Stations: Thivim and Madgoan are the nearest railway stations.
Bus Station: Panajim, Madgoan and Thivim are the nearest bus stations.
Places to visit:
There are various beautiful beaches like Calangute, Baga, Miramar, Anjuna, Agonda, Vagator, Candolim, Dona Paula, Palolem etc. Wild life sanctuaries like Bondla, Cotigoa, Mahavir and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Butterfly Conservatory Park, etc. Other tourist places to visit are Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Spice plantations, Old Goa Churches and Museums, River cruises and casino’s of Goa and if you want to pump up your adrenaline then there are various adventure activities like diving, watersports, paragliding, etc.
Goan cuisine is mostly seafood based, the staple foods being rice and fish. Dishes such as Sorpotel, Vindaloo and Xacuti (pronounced Cha'cuti), Cafreal are some of the well known dishes. For seafood one should also try the beach shacks during their visit to Goa.
By motorbike - Choice of geared and un-geared motorbikes and scooters can be rented here. Wearing a crash helmet is compulsory when you go on any major highways. Foreigners will need an International Driving Permit (Convention 1949); this is the first thing police will ask you, if you are caught. You should also carry your normal driving license with you.
By bus - Buses are an inexpensive and great way to travel and see the country side.
By car - There are a lot of cars for hire all over Goa. The best place to start inquiring for the service is with your hotel. In general, you are required to book a daily package of 8 hours or 80 km. Cars for self drive are also available in Goa.
Shopping and getting around:
Apart from the local markets and the famous Fenny and Cashew - snazzy footwear, bohemian apparel and avant grade accessories beckons the shopaholics. Beach stalls are great for funky clothes and jewellery while haute couture designer collections are available at sophisticated studios dotting across the state. Goa's lifestyle stores housed in Old Portuguese mansions gives you the best selection of traditional and contemporary products while evoking the grandeur of colonization. Decorated Azulejo tiles with Mario Miranda's signature touch are affordable gifts for someone special.
Nightlife in Goa is exciting and there are many ways to spark up the evening. The people of Goa are fun lovers and it is very common to find families going out for a night of fun & merriment. The atmosphere is excellent - totally relaxing and extremely favorable to an enjoyable night out with friends and family. You will surely have a special night with the shimmering sand, the soothing moon and the bracing waves. There are a lot of clubs and beach shack and party places to enjoy in Goa.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Goa is between late October and early April when the weather is comfortable, dry and pleasant.
Monsoon starts in June and ends in September.
Goa celebrates a host of Festival each year. Goa carnival is an eagerly awaited festival in Goa which falls in February and has a huge influx of tourist during the season.