Essential information for Goa
- Virgin Atlantic flight daily to Delhi from London Heathrow. Connect onwards to Goa.
Do I need a visa?
British citizens require a visa for India and need to obtain this before travelling.
Anjuna flea market
Located in the heart of the 'backpackers' scene, the Anjuna flea market is the place to be on Wednesday's in Goa.
The Spice of Life: Ultimate Goa Holidays
Who wouldn’t want to go to Goa? With its near-endless beaches, spice bazaars and laid-back attitude, India’s smallest state seems to have something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking luxury, tranquility, hedonism or hippy-chic, holidays to Goa deliver it all. Goa has 105km of Arabian Sea coastline, where golden sands and swaying palms are interrupted now and then by dramatic, fortress-topped headlands. Inland is a lushness of paddy fields and coconut groves rising to the waterfall-tinkled Western Ghats range. Meanwhile, the state’s Portuguese heritage, and subsequent melding of Indian and European cultures, has created a particularly rich and delicious destination. In short, Goa holidays are both intoxicatingly exotic yet blissfully relaxed.
- Chill out on Candolim’s dreamy dune-backed beach. There’s an oh-so-relaxed holiday vibe here – think sun loungers, watersports and shacks serving coconuts and succulent seafood. The laid-back Lemon Tree Resort makes a refreshing base for holidays to Goa.
- Get lost on Varca, a never-ending stretch of peaceful palm-wafted powder fronting a laid-back fishing village. It feels largely untouched by the modern world – though the Zuri White Sands adds 21st-century luxe.
- Be dazzled on Arossim Beach – by its pristine white sands, vivid-green palm trees and the rainbow paintwork of the traditional fishing boats. Also dazzling is Arossim’s Park Hyatt Goa, an Indo-Portuguese village-style resort tucked into tropical gardens and boasting one of India’s largest pools – the ideal choice for luxury holidays to Goa.
- Wander water-riddled Mobor Beach, where the River Sal delta meets the sea, creating a paradise of lily-bright ponds, unexpected bays and shallow lagoons. Unsurprisingly, it’s an ideal spot for watersports. The opulent Leela Goa is in a prime position here, offering the best of beach and riverside relaxation.
- Party until dawn on Calangute Beach, the liveliest spot on the Goan coast. This is where Indians and outsiders alike come to let loose on a lovely long stretch of sand. Stay at the boutiquey Casa de Goa if you want a calming enclave amid the action.
- Tuck into a fabulous Indo-European fusion. In Goa, the traditional flavours of the Konkan Coast – coconut, spices, lots of fish – mix with a Portuguese love of pork, beef, palm vinegar and garlic. No Goa holiday is complete without sampling an eye-watering vindaloo or creamy fish curry, just two of the local specialities.
- Learn how to make up a proper curry at a cookery class. For instance, at the Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa you can visit Mapusa’s fragrant bazaars with Chef Rego before returning to create delicious dishes yourself.
- Breathe in the aromatic air of a spice plantation. Tour an organic farm to see how the local fruits, herbs and spices are grown, and finish with a traditional Goan meal served on a banana leaf.
- Drink your fill! Holidays to Goa can be washed down with ice-cold bottles of Kingfisher beer (the perfect accompaniment to a fiery vindaloo), sweet local port and potent feni, a spirit made from distilled cashew. Opt for a sundowner on a quiet beach or an open-til-dawn nightclub – Goa holiday packages can suit all sorts.
- Eat right by the sea. Shacks serving up mussels, lobsters and giant prawns are strewn along the coast. Or indulge in a romantic beach-side meal for two – maybe at the Park Hyatt Goa, in a private candle-lit cabana on the shore.
- Learn to windsurf – Goa’s gentle waves and light sea breezes are ideal for beginners. Dona Paula Bay, a little south of Candolim, is world-renowned, but centres at beaches along the coast offer lessons. Or try jet-skiing, banana-boating or parasailing – hotels such as the Lemon Tree Resort can organise a range of watersports.
- Mess about on the Mandovi River, the lifeblood of Goa, which flows via spice plantations and a scatter of islands. Choose your cruise: there are lively party boats, luxury yachts and vessels serenaded by Goan folk singers.
- Pump extra adrenalin into your Goa holiday package by jumping about in the jungle. Join a thrilling trekking and canyoning trip into the ravine-riven hinterland to abseil down cliffs, slide down waterfalls and make giant leaps into cooling pools, if you dare.
- Dive in with Goa’s aquatic residents – the waters here are teeming with marine life, from parrotfish, sweetlips and snappers to turtles and sharks. Snorkel and scuba trips can be arranged, as well as boat trips to see playful humpback dolphins.
- Get a different perspective on the Goan coast by dangling off it. There are several rugged headlands where you can try rock climbing, rappelling and jumaring (hauling yourself up on ropes) right above the waves. The Vivanta by Taj has expert guides that lead climbing trips within the resort limits.
- Amble around Old Goa, the UNESCO-listed ruins of the former Portuguese capital. Explore on foot or by bike to look around the venerable old buildings – day-trips are easy to arrange from nearby resorts such as Casa de Goa.
- Go shopping! Anjuna’s legendary Wednesday Flea Market is the place to buy everything from Kashmiri handicrafts to Gujarati trinkets, Rajasthani bedspreads and Keralan spices, not to mention slogan T-shirts and hippy paraphernalia. Or try Arpora’s Saturday Night Bazaar, where you can browse into the small hours.
- Find a little bit of Portugal in Fontainhas, India’s only Latin Quarter. This atmospheric district of Goan capital Panjim is a step back to colonial days – the narrow alleys are lined with colourful old villas and Catholic chapels, and the locals still speak Portuguese.
- Delve into the mysterious Arvalem Caves, carved by either of Buddhists or Brahmins (no-one’s quite sure) around the sixth century. While you’re there, stop off at Arvalem Falls for a refreshing swim.
- Break into a fortress or two on your Goa holiday – the coast is dotted with crumbling Portuguese strongholds, including the red-hued citadel of Chapora and the Reis Magos Fort, the oldest in Goa, which has been recently restored and affords far-reaching sea and river views. Combine a few sites on one culture-packed day-trip – hotels such as the Leela Goa can arrange fascinating tours.
With endless beaches, sumptuous cuisine and exotic culture to explore, our Goa holiday packages tick all the boxes. Whether you’re after a luxury stay or an activity-packed trip, take a look at our gorgeous Goa hotels to book your own great Goan adventure.