Located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea with palm-fringed beaches and balmy waters, Goa is India's prime beach destination with a popularity dating back to the colonial era and reaching its zenith in the 1970s as a hippie haven. With 101km of coastline there's no shortage of beaches whether it's the lively resorts of North Goa including Fort Aguada, Candolim, Calangute and Anjuna, famous for its Wednesday flea market, or the more laid-back beaches in the south that include Bogmalo, Colva and Benaulim.Read More
Goa's Portuguese colonial past is most keenly felt in the state capital of Panaji, also known as Panjim. The relaxed city is home to a number of open plazas lined with white-washed cathedrals and Portuguese architecture including Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, consecrated in 1541, and the Old Portuguese districts of Fountainhas and Sao Tome with distinctive candy coloured heritage homes. It's the perfect place for a leisurely stroll and makes for a lovely day trip.
A couple of churches also remain in the old former Portuguese capital, Old Goa including the large Se Cathedral, the Covent and Church of St Francis of Assisi built in 1661 with gilded and carved wood work and old murals, and the Basilica of Bom Jesus. As well as beaches and churches, Goa is the perfect place to indulge in some of India's most celebrated cultural exports, whether it's yoga at sunrise or a week's cooking course learning how to make a mean curry. There's also spice plantations, waterfalls and little-visited wildlife sanctuaries for those looking for a little adventure added to their beach holiday.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Goa. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Goa on a bespoke touring itinerary to India, take a look at our tailor-made holiday planning section.