Located on the western coastline of India along the Arabian Sea, Goa is famous for its beaches and nightlife. Besides the beaches, there are numerous other places you can visit and fun activities you can enjoy in Goa. A perfect blend of eastern and western cultures with a strong Portuguese influence, Goa is an ideal family vacation spot.
Goa Tourism has ensured the place attracts a steady flow of tourists all year round by working closely with local businesses. So, the next time you have a Goa trip on your mind, make sure to check out all that Goa Tourism has to offer.
Places To Visit In Goa
There are tourist destinations in Goa that are very popular with holidaymakers. Some such Goa tourist places to visit in Goa are listed below:
Calangute Beach: Your Goa trip is incomplete without a trip to Calangute Beach. Known as the Queen of Beaches, it is one of the largest and busiest beaches in Goa. It is replete with commercial establishments such as shacks, and food stalls. It is also very popular for its various water sports activities. The nightlife in Calangute ends by 10.00 pm making it a perfect choice for a late-night family outing.
Aguada Fort: One of the Goa tourist places which one must definitely visit with family is the Aguada Fort. The Portuguese built the fort to thwart invasions of the Marathas and the Dutch by preventing ships from entering the River Mandovi. One of the major heritage sites in Goa, a freshwater spring exists within the fort. The Aguada Fort is open on all days from 9:30 am to 6.00 pm.
Anjuna Beach: Another one of the Goa tourist places that is a must visit is Anjuna Beach. Stunningly beautiful with its white sands and coconut trees, the beach is perfect for relaxing and enjoying sunbaths. It is also very popular for its moonlight rave beach parties that attract tourists from all over the world. There are other attractions you can explore around the beach as well.
Dudhsagar Waterfall: One of the major tourist destinations in Goa that cannot be missed is the Dudhsagar Waterfall. Said to be one of the highest waterfalls in India, the white water rushing down from a height of nearly 1017 feet is truly breath-taking. Legend says a prince was passing by when a princess was taking a bath in the lake. Her handmaidens poured milk in a cascade in before her like a curtain to preserve her modesty and that is how Dudhsagar Waterfall got its name.
Varca Beach: Peaceful and serene, Varca Beach is a stretch of amazing white sand and sparkling blue waters. The sand is dotted with lovely black lava rocks while being surrounded by tall palm trees and other beautiful greenery. You can enjoy watching the dolphins on the Sal River too. You will also find fishing boats lined in certain areas as it is home to the local fisherman.
Apart from these, there are various other places to visit in Goa such as Fontainhas in Panjim, Flea Market etc. Do visit these places during your family vacation to Goa
Things to Do In Goa
If you thought your Goa trip was just about the beaches, then you would lose out on a lot more that Goa has to offer. Your Goa trip plan needs to include several other things such as
Shopping: Goa is a shopaholic’s dream come true as it is famous for its several flea markets. The markets sell an eclectic mix of clothes, jewelry, artefacts and more. The main flea markets you must definitely visit are the Saturday Night Market held on Arpora Hill, between Baga and Anjuna; and the Wednesday Flea Market located near Anjuna Beach.
Water Sports: With all the beaches and water, it is no surprise that Goa has a range of adventure water sports activities for you to enjoy. This is something that attracts tourists from all over the world. Go snorkelling at Bogmalo, Calangute, Baga beaches; jet ski at Colva, Anjuna, Calangute, Baga, Aguada and Candolim beaches; enjoy the thrill of white-water rafting at Valpoi, Mhadei and Mandovi River; and more.
Wildlife Sanctuaries: If you are a nature and animal lover then make sure you visit the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary at Mollem and Cotiago Wildlife Sanctuary at Khotigao. You can expect to see deer, panthers, porcupines, leopards, gazelles, bears, hyenas and other exotic animals.
Churches/ Temples: Rich in heritage, Goa is home to many famous churches and temples, and some have even been declared as world heritage sites by UNESCO. Churches such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus that has the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, Se Cathedral dedicated to St. Catherine or temples like the Mangeshi Temple, ShantaDurga Temple among others are a must see.
Hot-Air Balloon Ride: Goa Tourism has tied up exclusively with Tiger Balloon Safaris to provide hot-air balloon flights in Chandor, South Goa. A truly luxurious and unforgettable experience, you get a clear and amazing 360-degree view of the surrounding areas. The pilot takes you to an altitude of up to 2,500 feet in the air while the ground crew follows the balloon so they can be ready for you when you land.
Best Time to Visit Goa
The best time to visit Goa is during the months of November to February. The weather is calm and pleasant and one can enjoy all of Goa’s attractions. The Christmas and New Year parties are also very famous all over India. All Goa tourist places are open during this time. However, this being the peak season, it is usually very crowded and expensive.
If you enjoy nature and lush greenery, then July to September is the perfect time to visit Goa. Most of the water activities are closed but some like white-water rafting, trekking, visits to wildlife sanctuaries, etc can be enjoyed. You will also get to enjoy discounts and low fares due to the off-peak season.
How to Reach Goa
Travelling to Goa is really easy as it is well-connected by air, rail, and road.
By Air: The nearest and only airport is Dabolim, which is situated approximately 29 kilometers from Panaji. It is well-connected to most major cities worldwide. It has two terminals, one for domestic and the other for international flights.
By Rail: The railway stations in Goa are Vasco da Gama and Margao that are very well linked. Goa is connected to other parts of the country through two main railway lines. Konkan Railway connects the western coast and South Western Railway connects the south. Trains run regularly from Delhi too.
By Road: Goa is connected to other cities with four national highways. The government-run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Kadamba Transport Corporation operate buses for Goa. There are also many private bus operators connecting Goa to different parts of the country.
Goa offers accommodation options to suit every budget. However, to have the best family experience you must stay at the Club Mahindra resorts. With three resorts in prime locations set against scenic backdrops, the Club Mahindra Acacia Palms Resort in Goa, Club Mahindra Varca Goa Beach Resort and Club Mahindra Emerald Palms Resort in Goa have a host of amenities that make your stay comfortable and memorable. It is perfect for a family vacation. You can check out the Club Mahindra reviews online for more information.
Go and explore Goa. With Goa Tourism helping to make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Goa has something for everyone.