Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in India. Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Influenced by over 450 years of Portuguese rule and Latin culture, Goa presents a somewhat different representation of the country to foreign visitors. The state of Goa, in India, is famous for its beaches and places of worship, and tourism is its primary industry. Major tourist attractions include: Bom Jesus Basilica, Fort Aguada, a wax museum on Indian culture and a heritage museum. The Churches and Convents of Goa have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Goa’s beaches cover about 125 kilometres (78 miles) of its coastline. These beaches are divided into North and South Goa. North Goa is more commercial and touristy; whereas South Goa is where most private beaches are located. A notable exception in South Goa is Palolem Beach which is one of the most visited beaches in Goa. Some of the more popular beaches are Colva, Calangute, Baga and Anjuna.
Goa Tourism At A Glance
“Beaches, Sunsets and Crazy Nights”
Neatly tucked into the Western coast of India, Goa is the state associated most with touristy beaches, a happening nightlife and over 300-year old Portuguese architecture.
Referred to as the city of churches by many, the culture of Goa has the lingering effect of being a Portugal colony. Visibly different from the rest of the country, Goa has characteristic colourful houses, lush green fields and a soothing languidness in the atmosphere. The charming villages of Goa are ideal for a laidback morning walk or an aimless evening stroll.
North and South regions of the place are strikingly different – the former is a cultural hub with traditional eateries and markets, while the latter makes for an
idyllic vacation with its 5-star hotels, private beaches and a mix of white sand and clean blue water. Under the star-laden skies, each festivity becomes more alive. Goa greens and wildlife makes for a nature lover’s ideal hotspot. If you are a food adventurer, you may want to visit the gorgeous spice gardens and try a glassful of cashew feni. Goa provides a respite, not just for the tourists on an appointment with nature, it is also the place for crazy parties and a vivacious night-life. The ultimate tourist destination of India, Goa promises to be something special for all types of travellers.
How to reach Goa
With over 2 million tourists coming in every year, Goa has to be well connected and accessible.
Goa by Car:
A road trip to Goa is also a great option. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune are some popular places people drive down from. There are three national highways which pass through the state – NH 4A, NH 17, NH 17A. The roads are good and the view is amazing, making the drive worth it. You can hire a cab or if you are going in a group with multiple experienced drivers, you can take your own car. Apart from the fuel/cab charges, you will have to pay the toll tax.
Goa by Flight:
Goa International airport is located at Dabolim, ~30 kms away from Panjim. Multiple domestic airlines provide daily flights from major cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad. Most international flights to Goa arrive via Mumbai. In case your hotel offers free pickups, you don’t need to worry about commute from the airport. Otherwise, pre-paid taxi is generally a good option.
Nearest Airport: Goa International Airport
Goa by Road:
Several luxury and budget buses run from major cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, New Delhi to Goa. State run bus service, Kadamba Transport is also a good option. Other state bus services – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh – also have daily buses going to Goa. Various private players also run buses connecting many cities to Goa. For comfortable rides, super deluxe AC and Volvo buses would be the better options. These would generally cost between Rs 1500 – Rs 2500 depending on the distance and type of bus.
Goa by Train:
Goa has six railway stations. Most people usually get down at Madgaon or Vasco-da-Gama in South Goa and Thivim in North Goa. The train ride to Goa is worth the journey just for the view. The picturesque scenery of the Konkan region makes for an amazing sight. Train is also the cheapest option apart from being fast and comfortable.
Commuting Within Goa:
Beaches in Goa are far apart and it stretches more than 100 km from north to south. Bus connectivity is good for popular areas of Goa and fares are low and still gives you a great view of the city. But buses are not a great option if you are looking for beach hopping or going to hang around till late night. You could rent a motorcycle or a scooter if you have a valid license. The rent starts from INR 300 per day per bike like Honda Activa or around INR 400-500 per day for Royal Enfield bikes. This excludes petrol costs. Riding on bikes is the most popular way of commuting in Goa for young tourists, including foreigners. You can also hire a cab, with or without a chauffeur to roam around. It starts from Rs.1000 per day for a simple hatchback. However, finding parking spots close to all beaches could be a problem whereas bikes give you the flexibility of going pretty close to the beach to park.
The best way to explore Goa is on a bike.
For more information regarding sight seeing in Goa visit http://goa-tourism.com/