Over the past decades, the coastal state of Goa has become one of the most popular destinations in India. Getting to Goa does no longer involve lengthy stopovers, as there are four airlines that operate direct flights between the United Kingdom and Goa, making Goa a very convenient holiday destination.
As soon as they step out of the plane, visitors will realise that there is something about Goa that makes it different from the rest of India. This “something” is continental European influence, as the state was ruled by the Portuguese for over 450 years. Goa’s charm lies in its eclectic mix of cultures, architecture, and cuisine, which will turn any holiday into a fascinating adventure.
And since we are on the subject of adventure, you may be wondering which are some of the most interesting travel adventures in this Indian state. Although Goa is known for its fine beaches and its cultural life, there is much more to this area that just that, thanks to its superb variety of landscapes and activities on offer.
Let’s start with the most popular adventure sports in the coastal areas. Watersport lovers are well catered for in Goa, as it is possible to practise paragliding, parasailing, jet skiing, diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and dinghy sailing, among others. A trip to Grande island, just off the coast in Vasco de Gama, makes for an excellent day out. It is possible to charter a canoe, a boat, or even a private yacht in the town of Candolim and head out for a day of exploring the island’s underwater world. Candolim is also a good base for those interested in crocodile river cruises and dolphin spotting. Day trips usually start at £15 and include food and drinks in addition to an English-speaking guide.
Goa has some stunning mountain scenery. For the best views, head to the Sahyadri mountain range, where impressive canyons and exuberant wildlife await you. Alternatively, the Dood Sagar area (near the border with the state of Karnataka), offers the perfect opportunity to explore Goa’s wilderness and exotic nature.
Before you leave, make sure you don’t miss Goa’s World Heritage Sites. These are concentrated around Old Goa, a charming colonial town that often leaves visitors wondering whether they are in Mediterranean Europe or in India.
With so many options on offer in Goa, the only problem will be to find time to experience them all!