Goa Travel Guide
Goa AttractionsGoa boasts a number of great attractions for visitors to enjoy while on holiday. This area is of course famous for its gorgeous beaches, but there are also many splendid historical sites to visit in Old Goa, colonial architecture to explore in Margao and Panaji, and a vast flea market to browse in Anjuna. The Dudhsagar Waterfall and Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are also popular Goa attractions.
There are many stunning beaches in Goa: Anjuna Beach was once the famous hippie hangout but this beautiful stretch of palm-lined sand has become popular with tourists of all kinds; Baga Beach is great for swimming and a little less crowded than Anjuna, though no less picturesque; Calangute Beach is the busiest and the most commercial, and although it is not as lovely as some of the others aesthetically, visitors enjoy exploring the beach bars, restaurants and shops; Colva Beach is a developed resort area and somewhat blighted by all the hawkers, hotels and hangers-on, but visitors who walk just a little way can still find beauty and peace along this stretch; Palolem Beach, in the south, is the most unspoiled and natural of Goa's popular beaches, and has retained its laid-back and secluded charm.
Although still known as India's party paradise, Goa is a wonderful, relaxing destination to visit with kids on holiday. Children will love the variety of things to see and do, be it renting a bike to explore the local area, catching a boat for some swimming and dolphin-watching, or simply enjoying the beaches. Please note, however, that although some hotels or guesthouses may offer childcare services, and this may be tempting, it is strongly advised that you keep your children with you at all times while in a foreign country.
Anjuna Flea MarketOnce just a backpacker and hippie hangout selling kaftans and chillums, the Anjuna Flea Market is now more commercial, with a broad range of high-quality goods on sale. Traders from all over India come to sell their wares: Lamani women from Karnataka, dressed in... see full details
PanajiFor most visitors to India, Panaji is simply a busy bus terminal, offering connections between India's southern cities and the beautiful beaches of Goa. However, this most sedate of state capitals has plenty to offer tourists, and should rightly have a day or two... see full details
Old GoaOld Goa was the state's capital city until 1843, when it was moved down river to Panaji. Once a byword for splendour, with a population of several hundred thousand, Old Goa was virtually abandoned from the 17th century, as the river silted up... see full details
Goa BeachesGoa has some amazing beaches, and draws a steady stream of local and international tourists. In the north, Anjuna Beach once played host to hordes of hippies, but is now home to a number of trendy beach bars as well as the famous Wednesday... see full details
Dudhsagar WaterfallA great outing in Goa is a trip to the Dudhsagar Waterfall, which is one of the most popular natural attractions in the area. The falls are located in a tropical jungle near the Goa-Karnataka border, and are surrounded by a network of... see full details
Dr Salim Ali Bird SanctuaryThe Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is home to around 400 species of birds, both local and migratory. Here visitors can expect to see kingfishers, pintails, coots and egrets, as well as a few crocodiles, jackals and foxes inhabiting the mangroves. Although this is... see full details
AnjunaFamed as a hippie hangout since the 70s, the main source of Anjuna's enduring popularity as a holiday destination is its superb beach. Fringed by palm trees, the curve of soft white sand conforms more closely to the archetypal vision of paradise than... see full details
Baga BeachThe Baga Beach holiday resort is a few miles south of Anjuna, and is basically an extension of Calangute. Lying in the lee of a rocky, wooded headland, the only difference between this far northern end of the beach and its more congested... see full details
Calangute BeachOnce a peaceful fishing village - and then a haven for hedonistic hippies - Calangute is now Goa's busiest and most commercialised holiday resort, a 45-minute bus ride north of the capital, Panaji. The road from the town to the beach is lined... see full details
ColvaColva is the oldest and most heavily-developed South Goan holiday resort. The town itself is dotted with colonial-style villas and ramshackle fishing huts, but the beachfront is crowded and blighted with unimaginative concrete hotels, snack bars and souvenir stalls. Indian tourists and local children... see full details
PalolemFor years Palolem remained a secret holiday getaway to all but the most independent traveller. Situated towards the southern tip of Goa, twenty miles south of Margao, it has now been discovered - but thankfully, due to strict urban planning restraints, tourism is kept... see full details