Hotels in Goa
Choosing Goa as your holiday destination and booking a hotel here promises an enchanting blend of sun-soaked beaches, vibrant culture, and a laid-back atmosphere. Nestled on the western coast of India, Goa beckons with its unique charm, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking a tropical paradise.
Booking a hotel in Goa ensures access to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. From the lively shores of Baga and Calangute to the serene expanses of Palolem and Agonda, each beach has its own character, offering a spectrum of experiences from water sports and beach parties to tranquil sunsets and swaying palm trees.
Beyond the beaches, Goa's rich cultural heritage is on display in its historic churches, spice plantations, and vibrant markets. Explore the UNESCO-listed churches of Old Goa, such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus, or delve into the lively markets of Anjuna and Mapusa for a taste of local life.
The culinary scene in Goa is a delightful fusion of Indian and Portuguese influences, offering a diverse range of flavors. Seafood lovers can savor the catch of the day, while those seeking spice can indulge in Goan curries. A hotel stay in Goa not only provides a comfortable retreat but also opens the door to an immersive experience in a destination that seamlessly blends relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration.
Holiday resorts in Goa
Holidays here are for those who want to experience the ‘real Goa’, with a hefty serving of luxury on the side! Arpora holidays are full of traditional charm and home to some of the best sandy, palm-lined beaches in the region. The village is a rustic picture of clattering rickshaws, wandering goats, and small farms with sprawling rice-fields.
In contrast, the resort also offers excellent restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and a full calendar of festivities and events. It’s also home to the Saturday Night Bazaar, where you can flex your bargain-hunting muscles, lit by lanterns and fairy lights; it’ll give you a superb introduction to the area.
Things to do
If you’ve got children with you, the chances are that you’re going to need some entertainment up your sleeve. Older kids can get involved with the water sports that are offered at most of the beaches. Alternatively, there’s the chance to jump on a boat and go dolphin spotting.
For a fun, family day out, the wild and watery world of the Splashdown Waterpark is only four minutes’ drive or 20 minutes on foot. There you’ll find rides, slides, pools and flumes, perfect for children of all ages. The Saturday Night Bazaar is popular with younger visitors, who’ll enjoy the sights, lights, sounds and smells of shopping by lanternlight.
Arpora is slightly inland nearby the iconic Baga Creek and the popular Baga Beach is just a 20 minute walk away. Right next door is the Queen of Beaches, Calangute Beach, which is a lot more than just a beach, its bustling atmosphere flows from the iconic shoreline huts on the wooden promenade and it’s where you can buy drinks, food and handmade souvenirs. Relax along the long stretch of white sand under parasols and take a dip in the warm, gently shelving waters.
If you want something more upbeat, there’s plenty of opportunity for water sports or stick around after dark for delicious cocktails, live music and a party under the stars.
History and culture
Arpora is in upbeat districted of North Goa near the picturesque Baga Creek and is popular for its bustling Saturday market and vibrant nightlife. Arpora has recently seen some tourist development in the form of hotels, bars and and high quality restaurants built in the area. However, it still remains traditional with small hamlets, rice fields and a lush green landscape merging off the river.
North Goa is well known as having a vibrant nightlife and Arpora is no exception. You’ll be able to find an array of nightly entertainment from a selection of bars, clubs and casinos. Holidaymakers often visit Arpora, so you’ll find that DJs will play a variety of music from chart hits and dance to techno and hip hop.
Every Saturday night a market draws in visitors from all over Goa who come to sample the different types of street food and enjoy the entertainment and shopping. Browse round the stalls selling everything from handmade trinkets and souvenirs to spices and woven fabrics. As the evening continues the market comes alive with a party of street entertainers, musicians and dancers.
Just a short walk away is one of the original 60s hippie hangouts, Baga which is famous for being one of India’s best nightlife hotspots and provides plenty of opportunities to dance the night away.
Candolim is the perfect destination if you’re looking for sun, sea and swathes of sand, but without the post-midnight madness of livelier resorts such as Calangute. One of North Goa’s most picturesque resorts and full of bohemian charm, Candolim’s blessed with the best of the region’s beaches and surrounded by stunning tropical scenery.
The sun-drenched beaches and lazy days are typical of the laid-back feel of Candolim holidays, with the promise of exciting jungle adventures in a jeep or day-long sailing trips on a yacht. After the sun has set, the balmy nights are made for spending on the beach or eating a leisurely dinner, overlooking the romantic, ruined ramparts of the imposing Fort Aguada.
Things to do
Although Goa might be one of the smaller states in India, it’s packed with things to do. Your Candolim holidays could see you heading off on an adventure, climbing or hiking in the mountains or taking a tour of Goa’s steamy, tropical jungle and spending the day spotting monkeys and observing tigers in their native habitat, before taking a refreshing plunge under a waterfall.
If all that excitement has left you a little worn out, recharge your batteries by spending a well-deserved day on the beach, stretching out on a sun lounger with the warm ocean lapping at your feet. If you’re still up for some excitement, try the water sports or cruise across the coast, watching pods of dolphins playing in front of your boat. Goan evenings are made for cold beers from the local beach shack and watching the sun set from the honey-coloured sands. If you’re in need of something to eat, wander into town for an aromatic Goan curry.
Candolim has a fantastic 8km stretch of golden sand that’s backed by tropical greenery and rolling dunes. The vibrant beach provides a lively spot to enjoy the soft sand and shallow waters. Stroll along the 17th century Portuguese Fort Aguada out to sea for panoramic views of the Arabian coast, and views of the abandoned River Princess bulk carrier that’s stranded about 100 meters offshore.
Relax on a sunbed and bask in the warm weather or take to the water for an array of water sports like jet skis, paragliding, windsurfing and canoeing. Boating trips are available for the beach that can take you sailing in search of humpback dolphins. You’ll also find a whole host of beach shacks selling clothes, cold drinks, food and souvenirs.
History and culture
The village of Candolim is one of Goa’s most popular holiday resorts and has been recently developed to be equipped with all amenities needed for a comfortable stay in India. Take a trip down to the beach to see the well preserved 17th century Fort Aguada, which is a lighthouse as well as a Portuguese fortress. Candolim is in a great location just north of the Mandovi River and only a 20 minute drive from Goa’s capital Panaji, where you can explore the Portuguese architecture and Hindu temples.
North Goa is well known for its vibrant nightlife and colourful beach parties. The majority of Candolim’s nightlife can be found along Fort Aguada Road, where you’ll find a variety of restaurants and bars. Enjoy an authentic Goan meal made from a blend of tropical, citrus and spicy flavours, before finishing your night in one of the bustling bars to dance till the sun comes up. Alternatively spend your evening under on the beach and sip on cocktails brought from the beachside shacks and party under the stars.
Thanks to the Romeo and Juliet-style legend that surrounds Dona Paula’s beautiful Beach, Dona Paula holidays tend to attract couples and honeymooners, as well as families who want to enjoy some quality time together. Nicknamed ‘Lovers’ Paradise’, the resort itself is incredibly peaceful and the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing break, overlooked by statue of the doomed Dona Paula and her lover.
However, this also has a reputation for being one of the best centres for water sports in the area. If you’re looking to add a bit of adrenaline to your time in Dona Paula, you’ll find everything from windsurfing and water-skiing to diving and spear-fishing. Located in the heart of green and vibrant North Goa, holidays to Dona Paula India also put you within easy reach of tropical jungle landscapes, which are just waiting to be explored.
Things to do
Although the white-sanded beach will probably occupy most of your time, there’s plenty to see and do, if you can bear to tear yourself away from the sun lounger. Drive 20 minutes and you’ll come across the Salim Ali Nature Reserve, where you’ll be able to spot a kaleidoscope of colourful birds such as hornbills, eagles and kingfishers. Alternatively, if you want to take a peek into Goa’s past, take a stroll up to Cabo de Rama Fort and soak up the impressive view: a superb spot for watching the sun set.
The Dona Paula Watersports Festival takes place in November and the waters are awash with competitors pitting their skills against each other. You don’t have to be a bystander: spectators are encouraged to take the plunge and have a go too. If the beach has too much pull, browse for trinkets in the stalls along the bustling waterfront. In the evening, sit down to an authentic curry, or hit a local bar for some drinks and live music.
Dona Paula has beautiful beaches with powdery white sands and clear, calm waters. It’s most popular is called Lovers Paradise and is lined with tropical coconut palm trees. The perfect sea conditions means there are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling and water sports, enjoy whirling across the water on jet skis and boats or taking to the skies paragliding. There are several nearby beach stalls selling cold drinks, fresh food and souvenirs, which are perfect for taking a refreshing break from the water.
History and culture
Originally a former fishing village, Dona Paula can be found along the coast of North Goa and is only 7km away from the state capital, Panaji. The resort is named after Dona Paula de Menezes and is surrounded by a number of different legends. The most popular is that Dona Paula de Menezes threw herself off a cliff when her father, a General, refused her permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias. Stories say that Dona Paula emerges from her tomb in the Cabo Chapel of the Raj Bhawan at night wearing only a pearl necklace. With the dramatic tales attached to this beautiful resort, it’s no wonder it has been nicknamed Lovers’ Paradise.
Laid back nightlife
Dona Paula has a sociable nightlife with a great choice of restaurants, bars and casinos. Enjoy a delicious meal by the coast and watch as the sun sets behind the Arabian Sea. Spend your evening sipping cocktails in one of the laid back bars where you can dance til the early hours to a DJ or live band. Dona Paula is close to the state capital, Panaji, which means that even more night time activities are just a stone through away.
Places similar to Goa to visit
Bijilo Beach is a quiet beach resort in Gambia that’s perfect for a laid-back holiday in the sun. Chill out with a cocktail and a good book on the soft almond-coloured sands, or spend your days spotting monkeys in the lush green lands of Bijilo Forest Park.
Things to do
If you want to sample a slice of paradise, Bijilo holidays will be right up your street; this resort is a haven hidden away from Gambia’s busier tourist areas, so it’s not as crowded. If you’re looking for a beach holiday, then it’s a great destination with stunning shorelines brushing up against the vast Atlantic Ocean. It’s easy to laze away a day on the beach, soaking up the sunshine.
If you’re feeling more energetic, you can dive deep into nature in Bijilo National Park, which is brimming with beautiful wildlife and rare plants.
When you’ve finished exploring, you’ll be ready for a hearty dinner at a local restaurant. Try a delicious local speciality, like spicy chicken yassa and fufu. Evenings here are as laid-back as they come. It’s all about kicking back with a cold drink in a beach bar as you watch the sun set over the ocean.
Enjoy the serene setting of Bijilo’s beaches where wide strips of golden sand shelve into crystal clear waters. Back in the 1970s the beach was covered in dense woodland, which was cleaned up for the growing tourism in the area. Parts of the beach are still surrounded with wild greenery and palm trees making the setting even more picturesque.
You’ll find that a lot of the coastal hotels have their own private sections but there’s plenty of space on the beach to bask in the warm weather. Recline on sun loungers under parasols before taking a refreshing dip in the glistening sea.
History and culture
Bijilo can be found just 8km from the capital, Banjul, on the coast of the oldest English speaking country in West Africa, The Gambia, which gained its independence from Britain in 1965. Less than half an hours drive away from Bijilo is the famous protected part, the 250 acre Abuko Nature Reserve. The park opened in 1977 by the first President of the Republic of Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, who wanted to preserve the local flora and fauna for future generations.
The nature reserve can be visited as well as others in the area, such us Bijilo National Park, which is a haven for tropical wildlife and animals like monkeys and the nocturnal galago. The resort is relatively quiet with the main entertainment secluded to relaxing along the beaches and exploring the wild nature at your leisure.
Low key nightlife
As Bijilo is a small, remote resort there’s very little nightlife with only a selection of bars to experience. Enjoy a leisurely drink in one of the beachside cafes and relax whilst watching the sunset over the glistening waters. There’s a selection of nearby restaurants where you can sample authentic Gambian cuisine like spicy stews and grilled meats with flavoured rice.
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A true taste of the easy-going Gambian lifestyle‚ Brufut Heights is the perfect place for relaxation. This small village is in a great location, just 2km south of Bijilo Beach, in a quiet area with a lovely stretch of sand–and–shingle beach. As you’d expect, the weather in Brufut Heights is amazing, with plenty of sunshine and a delightfully warm climate as soon as you step off the plane.
Things to do
Spend your days sipping cold drinks in a beach bar or relaxing on the soft golden sands of the beach. At lunchtime, tuck into freshly grilled fish or a spicy Gambian stew at a local restaurant. Grab your camera and embark on a boat trip down the Gambia River, where you’ll see hippos and crocodiles.
The nightlife in Brufut Heights is laid-back, with most hotels holding entertainment over dinner, such as live music and traditional dancing. Dine under the stars and soak up the tropical party mood.
The unspoilt beach at Brufut Heights provides a quiet location for peaceful days basking in the sunshine. The wide stretch of golden sand is easily accessible via a fairly steep path winding through the rustic, rocky landscape. Enjoy the palm tree setting whilst relaxing on the beachfront and watch as traditional long African Boats called pirogues sail over the water with the tide.
Swim in the warm, clear waters of the Atlantic and try your hand water sports such as wind surfing, canoeing or sailing. There’re a range of quaint cafes and restaurants along the beach where you can have a refreshing drink in the afternoon and dine in the evening watching the sunset.
Brufut Heights is one of the quietest resorts along the Gambian coast in western Africa and is approximately 10 minutes south of Kololi. It’s the unspoilt beaches and laid back atmosphere that brings holidaymakers to the area year on year. Visitors can enjoy the long stretch of palm tree fringed beaches and views of the glistening Atlantic waters.
The small village of Brufut Heights has a relaxing nightlife both day and night, which does mean that the nightlife is quite laid back with only a handful choices for evening entertainment. You may find that your hotel will provide an array of nightlife from performances of traditional dance to live music.
Enjoy an authentic evening meal of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables in one of the beachside restaurants. Sample the country’s signature dish, domoda, which is a hearty meat and peanut stew, before taking an evening stroll as the sunsets.
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Kotu Beach is one of the best holiday destinations in Gambia. For a wonderful African adventure that’s packed with year-round golden sunshine, a vibrant atmosphere, and a welcoming, rich and varied culture, there’s honestly few better.
Located on the Atlantic coast of Gambia, Kotu Beach is a beautiful destination with great beaches, bars, markets and some of the most modern and luxurious hotels you’ll find anywhere in the world. For a unique and memorable holiday in one of Africa’s gems, Kotu Beach is the perfect choice.
Things to do
Holidays to Kotu Beach are perfect for wandering around this charming village with its bright and lively atmosphere and welcoming culture; after all, this stretch of coastline is otherwise known as ‘The Smiling Coast’. Beyond the beautiful beaches, you can discover a choice of bustling markets, where you can pick up unique souvenirs and don’t forget to haggle.
When the sun goes down, there’s plenty of hotel-based entertainment going on in this here. If you fancy a flutter, then pop on your best evening dress or tux, and head to the glamorous casino nearby and put a few pounds on red at the Roulette wheel.
Kotu Beach is on Gambia’s beautiful coastline and is one of the many resorts along the Atlantic coast stretching from the south of the River Gambia. Enjoy the warm, crystal waters and soft white sand that are fringed with coconut palm trees, which only adds to the tropical setting. Spend a day sipping fruity cocktails by the beach and take in the picturesque views of the lapping shore.
The interchanging weather conditions of the sea means that there are plenty of opportunities for water sports, such as wind surfing, jet skiing, diving, paragliding and body boarding. For something more remote, head inland for secluded sands with small lagoons and green foliage.
History and culture
Kotu Beach can be found along the western coast of Gambia shelving into warm Atlantic waters. The resort is becoming popular with tourists for its stunning beaches and nearby nature reserve where exotic birds populate the mangrove forest. The Kotu stream creates harbours, lagoons and nature spots where you can see birds like waders, kingfishers, whistling ducks and several species of birds of prey.
Visitors can enjoy nature trails along the coast or walks in the nearby iconic, Bijilo National Park. Kotu Beach also has a choice of bustling markets where you can purchase local produce like hand made woodcarvings, souvenirs and pottery.
Laid back nightlife
The evening entertainment in the small village of Kotu Beach is relatively quiet with only a few bars open late. The majority of the nightlife can be found in the hotels, which may include live music and traditional dance performances. Enjoy a meal along the main road made up of bars, restaurants and small shops. Dine on freshly caught fish, authentic meat stews and spicy rice dishes whilst watching the sunset in the laid back atmosphere.
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Plan an exotic adventure and visit a colourful city where old meets new. Marrakech holidays are divided into the Medina (old town) and Guéliz (new town). You can discover the thousand-year history of the Red City in the main square of the hectic Jemaa el-Fna and make you way through the winding souks.
And when the sun goes down there’s a buzzling nightlife scene to enjoy, too. Love being outdoors? It’s is just a short distance from the stunning Atlas Mountains, where you can go trekking during the summer and skiing in the winter. With so much to explore, there’s never a dull moment when you choose holidays to Marrakech. With warm sunshine throughout the seasons, it makes a glorious year-round destination.
Things to do
On holidays to Marrakech, you won’t want to miss the hustle and bustle of the traditional souks (or markets) and explore every inch of Medina. If you want to escape the noise for an hour, then you’ll find plenty of peace and quiet in the stunning Menara Gardens. If you’re looking for something completely different during the winter months, head out to a ski resort in the Atlas Mountains. Oukaimeden is only an hour’s drive from here, and offers a great selection of slopes for beginners through to some seriously challenging black runs.
What do I need to pack?
For anyone taking Marrakech holidays, sunscreen is an absolute must. When it comes to clothing, think light and airy by day and something a little warmer for the evenings. As the ‘Red City’ is relatively conservative, there are a few observations you should make. For women, it’s important to keep your shoulders and legs covered, so leave the strappy tops and tiny shorts at home. Instead, think t-shirts or light shirts and dresses, skirts and shorts that go below the knees. While headscarves aren’t required in public, you’ll need to wear one as a sign of respect if you’re visiting any sites of religious interest.
Because of the heat, comfortable shoes can be important, and you might want to protect your feet from the dust, so ‘closed’ footwear is a good idea. Sun hats are essential for the little ones.
If you’re taking gadgets with you on your holiday to Marrakech, be sure to take an adaptor plug and a portable power-bank.
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