Goa is considered 'Rome of the East', and all Indian beach vacation itineraries lead to Goa. Gifted with hundred kilometers of coastline and gorgeous beaches, Goa is the pearl of the Indian littoral. Together with its cultural heritage as former colony, great food, ancient fort ruins, imposing Portuguese age cathedrals, welcoming people, coconut groves and sprightly folk music, Goa attracts hordes of tourists every year. A true Indian vacation cannot skip a Goa vacation.

Goa Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

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SEASCAPE COTTAGE RESIDENCY
Guesthouse Sleeps 10
Rates 1100 - 2800 INR
Anands Beach House
Apartment Sleeps 2
Rates 2500 - 5000 INR

Goa Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in India

Goa Geography

Goa is nestled on the western shore of the Indian subcontinent, rounded by the Arabian Sea, Western Ghats and Karnataka. Its relief comprises four main areas: Eastern Hill region, Central Valley Lands, Flood Plains and Coastal Plains. Goa enjoys tropical weather with moderate temperatures and riches its best time of the year during winter, from October till February. Goa’s geography is highly impacted by the rivers that cross its territory Chapora, Zauri, Mandovi, Tere Khol and Betul, forming estuaries and creeks, which craft a lovely landscape and harbor a rich marine fauna. The coast region interweaved with hill area creates an abundant tropical biodiversity and is a paradise for coconuts, cashews, mangoes, jackfruits etc. The aquatic fauna prides among others with lobsters, crabs, shrimps, oysters, jellyfish and catfish which become tasty ingredients of the famous goan cuisine. Thanks to its natural blessings Goa shelters several wildlife sanctuaries: Salim Ali Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Molem Wildlife Sanctuary.

But Goa’s absolute treasure are the beaches, an unrivalled collection of more than 25 stunning beaches that can craft any desire and accomplish any pretention, from bubbling party beaches to secluded, cut off the world slices of Eden. Some of the most interesting and impressive are thought to be:

Calangute Beach

Crowned as “Queen of beaches”, the most extended in North Goa and of course the primary preference of tourists is Calangute Beach. Besides being crowded all year round, which caused countless scenario modifications, Calangute succeeded to conserve its natural beauty. The beach is famous for its accommodation facilities, watersports, restaurants, markets, but mostly for its night life. Calangute is a regional hub for party amateurs and welcomes guests from all over the world. As the sun sets the sparkling lights of parties come to life inviting to endless nights of distraction and fun.

Baga Beach

If you would have to choose a word to characterize Baga Beach, that would-be exuberance. The most visited beach of the Northern Goa and the most popular among Indians, is an absolute must on your Goa vacation list. Postcard perfect seascape panoramas are breathtaking around here. Baga Beach is a vibrant place from sunrise to sunset and beyond. Here you can enjoy sunbaths, delicious food, pleasant bars and restaurants, shopping, music, karaoke, parties, parasailing, banana rides or dolphin cruises. The choice is yours!

Anjuna Beach

If Indians prefer Baga Beach, foreign tourists are more interested in Anjuna Beach. They are irremediably attracted by the rustling in the ocean breeze palms, serene rocky seashores, white endless fine sand beaches, all night parties, local music and inviting restaurants, westernized food and the local one, flea markets - Saturday night bazaar, Anjuna Flea Market, etc. The boho vibe and an incendiary atmosphere are tempting you to join.

Galgibaga Beach

If you are looking for relaxation, silence and waves music, the secluded Galgibaga Beach is a terrific option. Being one of the last secret treasures of Goa, Galgibaga harbors dark gold sand strips dotted with coconut palms and strong waves, not always recommended for swimming. But its prominent attraction is the Olive Ridley turtles nesting area positioned in the northern part of the beach. Olive Ridley turtles are a protected species and their nesting grounds are protected sanctuaries.

Goa Culture

Thanks to its tumultuous history, as former Portuguese colony, Goa incorporated European influences in its culture and nowadays it is a multi-ethnic society that shelters in harmony Hindus, Muslims and Catholics and is the most westernized Indian region. Goan culture is a mix of Iberian and Indian influences, Hindu temples near Catholic churches, Indian bazaars and European central squares. Even if Goa is considered a glaring and luxurious destination, its inhabitants conserved their ethnicity and are profoundly religious.

Goa is out most famous for its Indo-Latin carnivals, Goa vacations without a festival are not veritable Goa vacations, even not Indian vacations in their true meaning. Besides carnivals Goa has many other festivals and celebrations like Shivaratri, Shigmo - spring festival, the Feast of Our Lady of Miracles and celebrates the New Year in western style. Goa also respects faithfully all the important religious celebrations of India and proves a real reverence for celebration in general.

Goan cuisine is a major part of the local culture and intermixes influences of the Konkan cuisine, Bahamani Nawabi and the Portuguese one. Its fundamentals are the rice, sea food, lots of spices and masalas, extensive use of coconut and also pork dishes, uncommon to the rest of India.

From many points of view Goa is vastly different compared to other India regions, and shows distinctive styles in most life aspects, from different sari styles to adopting the Iberian siesta. Goan people are kind, welcoming and happy on the go. This type of personality together with a complex amalgam of individualities became the source of an immense creativity, arts and music being an inner aspect of the Goan life. The folk culture, music, drama and dance have a special and unique flavor in Goa and are a perfect colored illustration of the unity in diversity conceived by the rich Goan heritage. These performing arts mix traditional influences, tribal elements with ingredients of the West and of course East. The influence of Goan music within the Indian music industry can be noticed by the fact that all famous singers have Goan roots.

Goa Landmarks

Experiencing such a tumultuous history left notable traces, so besides beaches, parties and music, Goa is the proud owner of some remarkable ancient ruins, spiritual temples and beautiful landscapes. You may spot some of them below:

Fort Aguada: vivid testimony of a rich past
One of the prominent attractions of Goa is an imposing fort settled on a cliffy promontory, between the River Mandovi and Sinquerim beach, Fort Aguada. This is a 17th century architectural jewel, built by the Portuguese as defense point against Marathas and Dutch. Fort Aguada was the most important fort of the Portuguese era, it remained unimpugnable for almost half a millennium. The highlights of the fort are the stunning panoramas over the Arabian Sea and surrounding area, the 13m high lighthouse dating to the 19th century and the tank for water storage having a capacity of 10 million liters. Nowadays part of the fort is beach resort and part of it is Goa's Central Jail.

Chapora Fort: Bollywood’s most darling fort
Centuries old guardian of the Chapora river is the famous Chapora Fort, a Bollywood preferred location. The name of the fort Chapora is thought to be based on "Shahpura", meaning the "Town of the Shahs". The red laterite fortress was established as a frontier surveilling post, initially erected by the Shah Adil of Bijapur and reconstructed by Portuguese later. The fort served several times as focal point for rejecting Maratha invaders attacks and holds an underground network of tunnels used for safe retreat in case of emergency. Chapora Fort is almost a ruin today, but attracts visitors with its colossal ramparts, Muslim tombs and hypnotic views of the Arabian Sea.


Basilica of Bom Jesus: Goa’s religious inheritance
Portuguese era left behind a significant legacy, architectural masterpieces, elements of cultural and historical importance, one of these is Basilica of Bom Jesus. Classified as UNESCO World Heritage monument, it is a popular worship place in Goa and preserves the relics of St. Francis Xavier. Built at the beginning of the 16th century in baroque style, Basilica of Bom Jesus is an outstanding pilgrimage place for the Christian world. The white marble church is the first Minor Basilica erected in India.

Dudhsagar Waterfall and Pandava Caves: admire the fury and the glory of mother nature

Pandava Caves are a complex of grottos dating from the 6th century and a place of high importance among the local devotees. Together with Arvalem falls, a 50m cascade ending up in a lake they make one of the top attractions in North Goa.

Dudhsagar Falls. As the name states “a sea of milk”, Dudhsagar Falls is a multilevel fall with total of 310m, that is most spectacular during monsoons season.