Throw your preconceptions out of the window! Goa holidays are not just about white sand beaches, turquoise waters and a tropical climate. This tiny state – the smallest in India - is also full of lush plantations, rice paddy fields, Portuguese mansions and ancient temples. With its slow pace of life and desert island feel, a holiday to Goa leaves you feeling like you’ve discovered your own secret garden of Eden - but with beach parties.
Goa boasts some of the most beautiful scenery and coastline on the planet. With the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghat Mountains to the south, Goa is a tiny, cocooned paradise. The colonisation of Goa by the Portuguese in 1498 has left behind a trail of unique architecture and history. The churches are particularly worth a visit, most notably the Basilica of Bom Jesus in ‘Old Goa’.
Sun worshipers are spoilt for choice. Goa’s beaches run from Maharashtra in the north to Karnataka in the south and this stretch of golden sand, palm trees and crystalline water is arguably Goa’s biggest attraction. From beach resorts with cafes and bars to miles of deserted sand, Goa’s beaches have something for everyone. For other holidays, check out the stunning scenery of Divar island.
With beaches, culture and fantastic tropical weather, Goa is the ideal destination for all; from families and couples to singles and groups. The capital of Panjm, is located in North Goa and is a beautiful mix of old churches, cobbled streets and red-roofed houses. Set on the banks of the Mandovi estuary, this city is the perfect setting to sit and sample a powerful feni – a local cashew nut based spirit.
The nearby coastal town of Anjuna is famed for its world-renowned flea market where you can haggle away or simply shop for bargains. There are plenty of activities on offer for those that like a side order of adrenaline with their beach paradise. Bike hire is available in many resorts and you can take to the water for dolphin spotting or bird watching from a canoe.
A visit to a spice plantation is a must, try Sahakari Spice farm for a real taste of India. Here you can see how India’s famous spices are produced as well as take an elephant ride - whilst keeping your eye’s peeled for monkey’s - before retreating to a shady spot for a delicious Indian feast. If you want to explore further afield head to Goa’s far east to visit the state’s oldest temple, the beautiful Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla.
Whether you are looking for something off the beaten track or high-end luxury, lastminute.com can help you create your dream holiday to Goa. With only a 10-hour flight time from the UK, Goa is the ideal far-flung destination without the hassle. Book all your holidays to India with lastminute.com