The beach paradise of India, Goa is a splendid holiday destination in India despite its small size. Sun shines with its full fervour here and the shimmering sands and warm sea water are enough to let you rejuvenate. Goa is all about spending days amidst tranquil ambience, colourful cultures, and jovial locals. As the sun sets, Goa transforms itself into a party ground hosting the most happening beach parties ever.
Goa amazes the world with its vibrant mix of attractions to explore. Goa proudly owns 25 amazing beaches which give you a peaceful escape. Most of these beaches are secluded and thus, make great havens of peace. In North Goa, beaches like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna and Colva remain the most popular among travellers and locals. South Goa is calmer and brings to you some secluded beaches like Arambol, Palolem and Galgibaga. Unwind, relish Goan food, or partake in exciting water activities, Goa’s beaches pamper you with just everything.
Goa’s history can be seen in the list of churches dotted here. Basilica de Bom Jesus in Old Goa is a popular church that flaunts excellent Baroque architecture. It is visited by pilgrims from all parts of the world. Church of St. Francis of Assisi also looks spectacular due to its heritage construction. It was constructed by the Portuguese as a chapel in 1660. Today it houses remarkable sculptures and paintings.
History lovers must explore ancient forts of Goa. Fort Aguada is a famous one perched over the Sinquerim beach. It is a splendid architectural marvel belonging to 17th century. From here you can enjoy marvellous views of the Arabian Sea. Also, visit the Chapora Fort in North Goa. Though it is mostly in ruins now, it showcases beautiful views of the adjoining Vagator beach.
Festivals of Goa are full of dance, drinks and dazzle. Festivities here bring the people of Goa together in the most beautiful manner. While some festivals portray Goan cultures and traditions, there are some dedicated to music and partying. Goa Carnival is perhaps the most popular festival where thousands of travellers flock from all over the world. The festival brings out the vibrant colours, beautiful costumes, foot-tapping music and remarkable extravaganza. A New Year Fiesta in Goa is a dream of every party animal. With its inherent party culture, Goa throws the most pulsating New Year parties which start from Christmas only. Sunburn Festival is another not to be missed festival of Goa which is a supreme treat for music lovers. Uncountable people flock in Goa to be a part of this carnival which showers you with the best music, food and shopping opportunities. Another popular music festival of Goa is VH1 Supersonic where numerous International and Indian artists perform and play some electrifying beats.
To savour the local cultures and religions sprawling here, witness Feast of St. Francis Xavier in which people assemble in large numbers at the Basilica of Bom Jesus church. The festival lasts for 10 days and sees huge merrymaking.?
Goan cuisine mostly consists of rice, seafood, coconut, vegetables, meat and pork. It represents the cultures of Goa as many dishes are still cooked here in clay pots. Being a beach destination, sea food is extremely popular here. Kingfish is the most common dish served with rice. Other seafood delicacies include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel. Chicken Cafreal is also served in all local restaurants. When it comes to drinks, Goa’s has its own alcoholic drink, Feni. Other must try goan dishes are ambot tik (spicy and sour curry prepared with fish), Goan Sausages (made from pork meat), etc. ?
Goa is a great place to indulge in shopping. You can find numerous beachside markets selling everything from clothing to junk jewellery and gothic accessories.? Anjuna Flea Market is a popular one where stalls of hammocks, handicrafts, tattoos carving, jewellery, and much more have been lined up. Panjim is a known market area from where you can bag wines, cashew nuts, local handicrafts, Goan spices, etc. Goa is also known for hosting the most pulsating night bazaars. Saturday Night Bazaar at Arpora and Mackie’s Night Bazaar are two exciting night markets where you can shop around, eat local food, explore beautiful cultures and meet happy locals.
Air : The Dabolim Airport, just 29 kilometres from Panjim, is well connected with all major Indian cities.
Rail : Two major railheads in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim. Both these stations are well connected by trains from all over the country.
Road : Road network in and around Goa is remarkable. Thus, one can easily find bus services to reach all parts of Goa. Self drive option is also great. ?