If, like me, you’d rather still be donning your summer wardrobe and getting out in the sun for some much-needed vitamin C, instead of struggling with the transition into the dark, wintery months: don’t worry, because all is not lost. It sounds to me like you could be just the sort of person who’d love a winter sun holiday. There’s nothing better than packing your suitcase, putting your ‘out of office’ on and leaving the icy mornings far behind as you jet off into the sunshine. Not sure where’s good to go for the ultimate dose of winter sun? Goa holidays are perfect at any time of year, so here’s why I think you’ll love them.
If there’s one thing Goa’s great for, it’s the incredible beaches that line its coast, with the glistening Arabian Sea lapping their golden shores. Think endless stretches of powder-soft sand, lined with swaying palm trees and dotted with colourful, traditional fishing boats. Goa’s beaches have come a long way since they first started developing during the hippy era of the 1960s, but they’ve still maintained that same laid-back vibe; perfect for soaking up those warm winter rays.
Speaking of winter rays, you perhaps want me to tell you a bit more about why Goa is such a good choice for a winter sun holiday. How about if I told you that the mercury rarely drops below the mid-20s (˚C), meaning there’s never a bad time to visit? January is the coldest month of the year in Goa, but even that has an average temperature of 25˚C. Toasty, right? So whether you choose to base your holiday in the lively resort of Calangute, in the traditional resort of Candolim or on the tropical shores of Baga, you’re never going to be short of some beautiful weather.
I already said Goa is great for its incredible beaches, but something I’ve got to mention that Goa is really great at is filling your holiday with unforgettable, mouth-watering dining experiences. Browse a local market or wander down a street full of restaurants and you can’t help but be blown away by the tantalising aroma of delicious dishes and scented spices filling the air. You’ll want to sample anything and everything while on holiday in Goa; from the tasty street-side snacks that vendors are selling to the most wonderful curries and seafood being served up in waterfront restaurants.
Okay, I lied. There are lots of things Goa is great at; and winning you over with its captivating and absorbing culture is yet another. Now, don’t get me wrong; holidays are all about relaxing, so you’ll often catch me lazing by the pool with my head in a good book. But really I love nothing more than exploring new and exciting local cultures, and, home to both Indian and Portuguese heritage; Goa is the perfect place to do this. Explore remarkable temples, haggle the best bargain at a local flea market or night bazaar, or watch an evening performance at the Kerkar Art Complex in Calangute; there’s so much to love about the Goan way of life.
Despite being the smallest state in India, Goa doesn’t half hold a lot of history inside its borders. Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, was the first European to reach India by sea on his voyage from 1497-1499, so therefore heavily influenced the shape of Goa’s future. The Portuguese’s past rule is still evident today, even in the local architecture, as you’ll see many Portuguese-style houses all over the state. If you really want to delve into the area’s colourful past, then head to the historical city of Old Goa and wander around impressive churches, monuments and ruins or visit one of its fascinating museums.
This might surprise you to hear, but Goa is actually the party capital of India. So if you preserve all your energy soaking up the sun on the exotic beaches during the day, you’ll be more than ready to dance the night away once evening falls. If you’re looking for big-name DJs and banging beats, Tito’s Road in Baga is where you’ll find the famous clubbing strip. If, however, you’d prefer to experience Goa’s traditional hippy vibes, then head down the coast a bit to Anjuna Beach and get involved in the lively beach parties held here every evening.
Have you ever considered a winter sun holiday before? Do Goa holidays sound like something you might enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.