Your guide to Goa, India’s pocket-sized beach paradise (and best kept secret)

·5-min read
goa travel guide
goa travel guide

Goa paints the most stunning picture, with endless beaches, lush greenery and the most delicious cuisine. Touted as the party capital of India, the state is often bustling with tourists that come from near and far to soak in its bustling atmosphere. But the journey is also just as worthy of praise. All roads that lead to Goa are beautiful, and so are the train journeys to reach the state.

Here’s your Goa travel guide to visiting the state – by air, by road, and by train.

Goa: All you need to know about this picturesque locale

 

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Goa is undoubtedly one of the best party destinations in India. With white sandy beaches, charming bars, beachside shacks, and even casinos, it’s little wonder that people flock to this locale for a little R&R. Goa has also the most perfect weather, especially in the winter months, making it a hotspot for those looking to escape extreme cold or heat.

However, the party scene isn’t the only reason worth visiting; Goa is also a state that is filled with history and culture. With heavy Portuguese influence, the state is an amalgamation of colours, flavours, and cultures which make it as vibrant and rich as its party personality. There are ample festivals, forts, spice gardens, and parks to explore – perfect if you don’t want to spend all your time at the beach – as well as water sport activities and hiking opportunities for the adventurous.


Book your stay at Grand Hyatt Goa here

Goa also boasts of a bountiful nature, with several forests, lush tropical greenery, national parks and more. It is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls – such as the Dudhsagar Falls – and every village has its own water bodies for you to marvel at.

The state is also blessed with delectable cuisine, which alone is already reason enough to travel to Goa, even if you don’t have a food guide handy with you. Goans love their food, and some of their dishes such as Vindaloo, Xacuti, and Poi breads promise a gamut of flavour. The food is heavy with Konkani and Portuguese influences, and will definitely pack a punch.

Here’s your Goa travel guide

By Air

Goa is well-connected with most major Indian cities by air, but there are currently no airlines that fly direct from Singapore’s Changi International Airport to the western Indian state. You can book taxis from the Vasco da Gama Airport to take you to your hotels, since Ola and Uber do not operate in the state.

By Road

The roads that lead to Goa, especially from Mumbai, are some of the most scenic journeys you will ever take. The highways are filled with coconut and palm trees, and offer views of the coast and the sea like none other. The Mumbai-Goa route via Pune is the easiest and the fastest, and takes about 10.5 hours to complete – however, we’re sure it will take you much longer than that, given that you’ll constantly stop to soak in the beauty of the hills, the valleys and the seas you encounter enroute.

Distance from Mumbai: 590 km


Book your stay at Alila Diwa Goa here

By Train

While Goa is connected to most major cities by train, the route we’d recommend is the Mumbai-Goa one – that, too, in a Vistadome coach! The train journey offers some of the best views in India, including one of the Dudhsagar Falls – and it’ll make you fall in love with train journeys all over again!

What to see in the state

Beaches

Anjuna, Calangute and Morjem are just some of the many popular beaches in Goa. With beachside shacks, hotels and hostels, the state ensures that your travel to Goa is stress-free and a lot of fun, no matter where you are. Go swimming in the water or enjoy the nightlife as the beaches take on a completely new vibe at night, and we promise your experience will be one you never forget!

Forts

Goa is home to several forts – Aguada, Chapora (the one where Dil Chahta Hai was shot) and many, many more. Some of them are in complete ruins while some others are in a much better condition, but if you are a history buff, a trip at these will only enrich you and add to your experience.


Book your stay at Hilton Goa Resort here

Churches

Goa has some stunning churches. These include Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mae De Deu Church and more, which will draw you in with their stunning architecture and a sense of calm they provide to you.

Waterfalls

A lot of Goa has a hilly terrain, and it’s no wonder that the state is home to several water bodies. Apart from the Dudhsagar Falls, Goa is home to several waterfalls that you may stumble upon on your journeys, or when you ask locals to guide you throughout your travel in the state.

Spice Gardens

Given its weather, Goa is home to a lot of foliage – and spice gardens form a huge part of them. Take a walk in one (or many) of these gardens to learn more about how local spices are grown. Be sure to bring back some of your favourite ones, and we promise your culinary experiences will change forever!


Book your stay at Heritage Village Resort & Spa Goa here

National Parks

There are as many as six national parks and bird sanctuaries in Goa – housing a plethora of wildlife, flora and natural beauty. From rare birds to common animals, you’ll be able to see them all here.


Best time to visit Goa

 

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Undoubtedly the monsoon and winter months – from August to February. Apart from great weather, you’ll also be able to enjoy exciting activities, nature treks, year-end parties, music concerts, and plenty of fun-filled activities that’ll make your stay there memorable.

Hero and featured image credit: Hilton Goa Resort)

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