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Holidays in India
India is a colourful, exhilarating and diverse country. Each state feels brand new, varying between beaches and bustling cities. Experiencing different cultures and religions rubbing shoulders is a heady and thrilling experience for new visitors. In India, no two days are the same except for the hot sunshine, fantastic cuisine and warm welcomes during your holiday here.
Visit during November to March for slightly cooler average temperatures.
India has multiple domestic and international airports in each state. Visitors may fly to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi or Goa International Airport in Goa.
To experience India’s fabulous beaches, diverse cultures and thriving cities, book your holiday to India with Thomas Cook today.
Goa is India’s smallest state, best known for its beautiful golden coastline in addition to historic towns influenced by the region’s past as a Portuguese settlement. If it’s the best of the beaches you’re after, a popular string of resorts lie in the north of the state, where the long sweep of sand includes Candolim and Baga. This sandy stretch is punctuated by a cluster of cities like Old Goa and state capital Panjim, known for their ancient architecture. Inland, almost as a parallel to the sandy coast is the green ocean of jungle, wildlife sanctuaries and the Western Ghats mountains.
Visit India’s tropical southwest coast for miles of golden beach resorts, each with their own welcome mat of white-sand beaches. Easy-going and sociable, the resorts all feature upbeat bars, markets and restaurants plus top water sports and day trips on the coast. For a slightly different experience in the great outdoors, the country is filled with vast wildlife reserves, jungles and thickly-covered mountain ranges, each providing adventure at every turn among the diverse landscapes alive with rare wildlife. When it’s time to go back to civilization, explore towns hundreds of years old with sights and landmarks left behind from a fascinating history.
If it’s beaches you want, Goa is the place for you. Its coastline stretches on for miles, dipping into coves and bays and unfurling into one long sweep of golden sand. Dotted with palm trees and smoothing out into water the same colour as the sky, it is an idyllic sun-drenched experience. There are plenty of things for kids to do on India’s beaches, with top picks like Candolim’s eight kilometre pride and joy. Perfect for families, Candolim beach has lively beach shacks for your drinks and snacks, enough sun loungers to go around and boat trip options.
Goa has one of the most diverse landscapes in the country, with the natural wonder of the Western Ghat mountain range as its backbone. The mountains are thick with tropical jungle, mangroves and fascinating wildlife. One of the best places to go in India for visitors with an interest in the great outdoors, the jungle is packed with opportunities for adventure. You could trek through the trees on the back of an elephant or take a canopy tour to look for rare species of birds. The Mandovi River is a fantastic place to book a cruise and go dolphin-watching.
To see a different side to India’s attractions, it’s worth a trip to its historic towns for a little sightseeing. Cities like 19th century capital Old Goa and Panaji are filled with elaborate landmarks like the polished white Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, dating back to the 17th century and still standing in all its splendour. The beach resort of Arpora is best known as the home of one of the country’s biggest markets, the Saturday Night Bazaar, a mix of international food stalls, live performances and late night dancing.
Beach lovers: If you’re looking for sun and sand, India’s southwest coast is where you’ll find the beach resorts.
Culture vultures: Visit the historic cities or pick from an exciting year-round calendar of cultural events and festivals.
Adventurers: Explore the rich landscapes of the Western Ghats, teeming with exotic wildlife and flora and fauna.
Language: The languages spoken in India are Hindi and English
Currency: The currency used in India is the Rupee
Local time: India is 5 hours 30 minutes ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: India has multiple domestic and international airports in each state. Visitors may fly to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi or Goa International Airport in Goa
Flight time from UK: Approximately 9 hours 30 minutes direct
Tourist Information: Further India tourist information can be found at www.tourism.gov.in/ Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to India.
Temperature: Mid-late 20s (°C) reaching the 30s around May
Best time to visit: November to February for slightly cooler temperatures.
India is a vast country with weather that can vary hugely from north to south. The country’s deserts and the Himalayas cause hot summers, the coolness in the north and an annual monsoon season. Located down in the southwest, destinations like Goa are popular for their tropical beach weather.
By taxi: Taxis are an easy way to nip between attractions. They tend to be black and yellow and won’t always have a meter, so it’s a good idea to negotiate the price before you get in.
By auto rickshaw: A three-wheeled taxi usually bright yellow and black, the auto rickshaws seat two and are a quick (and thrilling!) way to make short journeys. Cheaper than a taxi, but make sure you sort out the price up front.
By bus: If you’re travelling between resorts or taking a longer journey, the bus is the cheapest way, with frequent services operating in towns and cities.
Carnival: A festival you may not expect to see in India is Carnival. The Portuguese brought this traditionally Catholic event to Goa, and it takes place at the usual time in February, before Lent. Celebrating Carnival like the best of them, Goans go all out with street parties, costumes and parades for three or four days.
Culture: food and fashion: The Goan Heritage Festival is a new festival taking place in January, for five full days of events and exhibitions celebrating Goa’s heritage. This includes art exhibitions, live craft demonstrations, cookery, dance and fashion shows.