Goa is located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese, who claimed Goa as the seat of the Catholic Church in the East in the 1500s, controlled the area until 1961, when India invaded to liberate. The state’s Portuguese past is most apparent in its plazas, cathedrals and architecture.
Goa splits neatly into two districts: North and South Goa. Lively North Goa has the state capital, Panaji and the former capital of Old Goa, with its interesting churches and buildings. There are many beaches along North Goa such as Fort Aguada, Candolim, Calangute and Anjuna, famous for its Wednesday flea market. Panaji boasts many old buildings including Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, consecrated in 1541 and the Old Portuguese districts of Fountainhas and Sao Tome.
A couple of churches remain in the old former Portuguese capital, Old Goa. The largest church is Se Cathedral. The Covent and Church of St Francis of Assisi built in 1661 contains gilded and carved wood work and old murals. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world, as it contains the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier who in 1541 spread Christianity among subjects of the Portuguese colonies in the east.
South Goa is more laid back. Beaches here include Bogmalo, Colva and Benaulim.
If you are planning a Goa holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Alila Diwa Goa
Alila Diwa Goa brings a refreshingly unique resort experience to Majorda Beach. The resort is located amidst lush paddy plantation leading to the Arabian Sea.
Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort Goa
The Lemon Tree is stunning with medieval oil paintings, artefacts, tile work, heraldry and stained glass set amidst lush green gardens.
Sonesta Inns Goa
The Sonesta Inns is tastefully arranged around a vast central pool area, a gently shelving expanse of sand and garden runs from the grounds to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Goa Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Goa.