Goa is by far one of the most visited region in India, located less than 600km South of the buzzing Mumbai. It is considered the primary holiday destination in the country, attracting 2.5 million visitors each year including numerous foreign tourists, with its fabulous beaches and green lush vegetation. As a former Portuguese colony, it is considered one of India’s most charming regions with its rich history, unique architecture and culture. Indeed having been isolated from the rest of the country for some 450 years, it offers today a truly unique experience with a much more relaxed vibe.
- Map of Goa
- Top sights in Goa
- Best hotels in Goa
- About Goa
- Top cities in Goa
- Goa travel
- Goa images
- Goa videos
Map of Goa
Discover the top sights, towns and best hotels on the Goa interactive map with images and videos.
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The region of Goa can administratively be divided into two districts including North and South Goa, which can be further divided into 11 sub-districts called talukas. As both of the district are very similar geographically and share the same history, many believe that the real distinction is between the central coastal areas where most of the resorts and beaches area located, and the other inland regions.
The Northern part of Goa is famous for its historical remains such as the Chapora and Aguada Forts, as well as numerous coastal resort destinations such as Anjuna, Calangute and Candolim.
North Goa can be divided into the following 6 talukas:
- Pernem: northernmost region home to the Arambol and Mandrem beaches
- Bardez: coastal region home to the town of Mapusa and Baga Beach
- Bicholim: central inland region
- Sattari: easternmost region home to Valpoi
- Tiswadi: coastal region home to Goa’s capital Panaji and charming Old Goa
- Ponda: central southernmost region of North Goa
The southern part of Goa is known to be the primary transport hub to the region with the Madgaon Junction railway station as well as some of Goa’s most sought after beaches including Agonda, Palolem and Canacona
South Goa can be divided into the following 5 talukas:
- Mormugao: coastal region home to Goa’s only airport and Vasco da Gama city
- Salcette: coastal region home to Margoan city and Madgaon Junction railway station
- Sanguem: eastern region of South Goa
- Quepem: central region of South Goa
- Canacona: southernmost region of South Goa
For tourist purposes Goa is sometimes divided into a third section, Central Goa, which comes between the North and the South. It is where the key cities of Panaji and Vasco da Gama city are located, as well as the charming town of Old Goa and the famous beaches of Dona Paula and Miramar.
Top sights in Goa
Some of the most important sights in Goa in alphabetic order include:
- Agonda: a peaceful southern beach desination often referred to as Turtle Beach
- Anjuna: a charming coastal town known for its flea market
- Beaches: Goa has some of the most exciting beaches in the country. Click here to discover the best rated coastal destinations.
- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: exciting natural park home to wild boars and Indian bison
- Cabo de Rama: an old Portuguese fort located near Agonda
- Palolem: a charming village south of Agonda famous for its breathtaking natural bay
- Calangute: one of the most sought after resort town in North Goa, known as the Queen of Beaches
- Canacona: southern coastal destinations with scenic natural beauty
- Candolim: small resort village to the north of Goa
- Chapora : home to the hilltop Chapora fort in the northern part of Goa
- Dona Paula: a favorite beach destination south of Panaji
- Dudh Sagar Waterfall: one of the world’s highest waterfalls 60 kilometers east of Panaji
- Fort Aguada: well-preserved seventeenth-century on Sinquerim Beach
- Mapusa: large city of Northern Goa with a colourful Friday Market
- Margao: primary railway station and important tourist hub for Goa long idyllic coastline
- Museums and art galleries: Goa has a number of great artistic sites
- Old Goa: a lovely colonial town with sixteenth century churches, convents and monuments
- Panaji : the charming capital of the Goa state with plenty of colonial heritage
- Miramar Beach: a popular beach destination only a few kilometers west of Panaji
- Ponda: known as the cultural city of Goa and surrounded by green villages and spice farms
- Vasco Da Gama: city home to Goa’s only airport and tourist hub for the various resorts town
- Wild life sanctuaries: such as the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
Best hotels in Goa
Goa has some of the country best hotels and resorts, from budget accommodations to luxury 5 stars establishment right on the beach. The following are some of the best hotels in Goa as voted by the users, divided into 5 Stars, 4 Stars, 3 Stars and budget accommodations. To learn more about those hotels a short description, address and booking linking following.
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Goa top 5 Stars hotels
- Vivanta by Taj Panaji, 5 Stars hotel
- Taj Exotica Goa, 5 Stars hotel
- Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada, 5 Stars hotel
- Vainguinim Valley Resort , 5 Stars hotel
- Alila Diwa, 5 Stars hotel
Goa top 4 Stars hotels
- The Crown Goa, 4 Stars hotel
- Citrus Goa, 4 Stars hotel
- The Village Square, 4 Stars hotel
- Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort, 4 Stars hotel
- Coconut Grove, 4 Stars hotel
Goa top 3 Stars hotels
- A’s Holiday Beach Resort, 3 Stars hotel
- Casa Britona, 3 Stars hotel
- Fahrenheit Hotels and Resorts, 3 Stars hotel
- Casa Severina Hotel, 3 Stars hotel
- Soul Vacation Resort, 3 Stars hotel
Goa top budget hotels
- Alor Holiday Resort, budget hotel
- Hotel Viva Goa International, budget hotel
- Martin’s Comfort Hotel, budget hotel
- Cochichos Resort, budget hotel
- Little Italy Resort, budget hotel
Goa is one of the smaller states in India both in size and population, with 3,700 km² and only 1.4 million local inhabitants. It is set on the south western side of the country between the much larger region of Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai to the North and Karnataka to the East and South. It’s capital is Panaji (Panjim) with other key cities including
Goa has been an important tourist hub since the 1960s, starting with the wave of hippies and expat Goans, then the German visitors in the 80’s and more recently Catholic and Hindu pilgrims attracted by the various churches and other holly sites. The region has also become a popular destination for health therapies with a variety of medical treatment, massage and relaxations spots.
Today the Goan population is in majority Hindu but with almost a quarter of Roman Catholics and a minority of Muslim, all living in peace and harmony. In the last couple of years, the region also had a immigration wave from people of neighbouring states, perhaps attracted by the “sossegado” easy going Portuguese lifestyle, or simple because of a better train and plane connection .
Although the regions attracts visitors all year long many consider Winter , between mid-November and mid-February, to be the ideal time to visit. It is when it is the most comfortable with low precipitation and mild weather as oppose to the wetter Monsoon season in the summer and autumn or the hot low season in the spring
Top cities in Goa
Goa is considered one of the less urbanised region in India, with no city significantly larger than 100,000. Vasco da Gama and the state capital Panaji are the largest cities in Goa, but there are many more smaller towns with their own charm worth discovering both along the coast and inland. Not to forget that the state has over 350 villages, each offering a unique character.
The most important cities in Goa include:
- Panaji : the charming capital of the Goa state
- Vasco Da Gama: one of the biggest cities of Goa, home to the only airport
- Old Goa: lovely town with sixteenth century churches, convents and monuments
Best beaches in Goa
Being the primary resort holiday hub in the country, it is no surprise that Goa offers some of the best beaches in India. The following are some of the best rated:
- Baga Beach: arguably the best beach in Goa, it is a lovely family tourist destination couple kilometres north of Calangute
- Calangute Beach: often referred to as the Queen of all Beaches in Goa, has plenty to offer including water sports, restaurants and clubs, but can sometimes be overcrowded and noisy
- Anjuna Beach: located not far from the famous Chapora Fort, and known for its lovely Albuquerque Mansion from the 1920s
- Arambol Beach: one of the northernmost beach in Goa offering shallow waters, ideal for swimming and peace away from the crowds
- Palolem Beach: located in one of the southernmost places in Goa it offers breathtaking views with rocks and islands off its shores
- Patnem Beach: a small and quiet beach within Canacona taluka in the South of Goa
- Vagator Beach: a beach in Bardez, neighbouring Anjuna
- Morjim Beach: a beautiful and wide but pricey beach offering shallow water popular with kitesurfers as well as Russian tourists
- Ashvem Beach : a quiet beach in the north of Goa’s Pernem Taluka
- Mandrem Beach: a quiet beach in the north of Goa’s Pernem Taluka
- Candolim Beach: located in North Goa’s Bardez taluka, once quiet fishing villages, which became crowded tourist destinations
- Colva Beach: considered one of the most idyllic place but getting more and more touristic
This section shows the best ways to get to and from Goa as well as how to explore the region.
- Get to and from Goa
- Get around Goa
Get to and from Goa
The best way to get to Goa is by train. Indeed the Indian Railways offers direct train services from and to Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvanantapuram, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Goa’s primary train station is Madgaon in South Goa. Travelling by train is one of the best way to discover the fabulous Goan scenery blessed with a lush vegetations. The other lesser known train station in Goa is Thivim, located only a few kilometers East of Calangute and its various beaches. Please be advised the train tickets need to be reserved in advance as there are quota of seats set aside for tourists.
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Get around Goa
The best way to move around Goa is by motorbike, scooter or bike. You may also rent a bike, although not recommend it. Alternatively you can use widely available rickshaw taxis.
The following is a selection of some of Goa’s best photographs or click here to view the complete India image gallery.
- Transcendent Goa Video : beautiful footage of the Arambol Beach in Goa