Hotels in Goa
Goa is known as the place where east meets west. Indian tradition and the influences of Portuguese occupation combine here to incredible effect. It has a strong reputation for beautiful, clean beaches and welcoming, friendly people who don't take things too seriously.
In the 1960s, the area was a mecca for the hippy crowd and backpackers. The fresh, modern and designer feel of many Goa hotels today might mean you never want to leave.
Things to do on Goa
The coastline by the Arabian Sea is ideal for watersports – as long as it isn't monsoon season. The trend for windsurfing in Goa was brought over by an Englishman in the 1970s. There are plenty of guides offering scuba diving, surfing, parasailing and water skiing.
The further south you head along the coast, the less crowded the beaches are likely to be. This area also has a more relaxed, laid-back pace – try some yoga or meditation.
Further inland, it's said, is the ‘real Goa'. The old Portuguese settlement in Salcete has almost no ‘tourist' atmosphere. In Old Goa, the Se Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church built in the 16th century as a celebration of the Portuguese invasion.
Goa is India's smallest state, so even the amazing and varied experiences here are just the beginning.
The road network in Goa is good, getting you to Mumbai in the north almost completely via major roads. Buses can be expensive, especially if you opt for one with air conditioning. If you take a taxi, confirm the price before you set off.
Get in and out via Goa International Airport. Flights run direct to Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh. You can fly internally to Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Food and drink
Goa has its own cuisine, with lamb, seafood and coconut milk as particular trademark ingredients. There are noticeable Portuguese, Catholic and Hindu elements in many Goan dishes, and rice is a staple accompaniment.
It was in fact settlers from Portugal who brought the chilli to Goa – it's now a vital part of almost every dish.
Sample some authentic vindaloo, which was invented here. The bhaji can also be found in Goa, made with other fruits and vegeSEOSITE_LEVEL_DESCRIPTIONs instead of onion.
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