We aren't quite ready to sell holidays to India. But there are plenty of other places to visit instead. SEARCH

Goa holidays

For more than four centuries, this western part of India was a Portuguese colony, and you’ll still notice a distinctly European character here today. Expect historical churches and delicious cuisine, plus a 66-mile stretch of coastline running alongside the Arabian Sea, complete with unspoilt beaches. Holidays to Goa will take you to a place where east meets west. Head for the north, and you’ll discover vibrant towns like Baga brimming with lively markets. It’s also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Goa, the former colonial capital that had its heyday during the 16th century. Then there’s the south, with its pure white sand, coconut groves and sophisticated hotels. No wonder this state is known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’!

Things to do

From north to south, this multicultural destination boasts so much more than action-packed beaches and stunning sunshine. Holidays to Goa are also about delicious cuisine, lively nightlife and fascinating culture. Foodies will love sampling this region’s unique Indo-European cuisine, which blends oriental spices with Mediterranean flavours. This part of the world is also known for its neon nightclubs and bustling bars where you can let your hair down. A trip to Old Goa will take you to historic 16th-century ruins, and to the peaceful Mollem National Park within the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. And as for souvenirs, why not pick up some beautiful handmade textiles or tasty local spices? The markets are brimming with colourful goodies.

 

 

 

Map of Goa

world_map
25-30 ℃

Hot subtropical climate with monsoon and dry seasons

View live forecast

 

9-9.5 hours

Goa International Airport (or Dabolim Airport)

Goa is best for...

Beach lovers: Near-endless beaches are a highlight of this region. Why not relax with the locals at Baga Beach? Or party until the early hours at Calangute Beach? 

Happy campers: Camp out on Cola Beach Resort’s unspoilt beach; you’ll find this secluded hideaway on the country’s southern tip. 

Foodies: Enjoy the unique Indo-Portuguese cuisine. Ambot tik (a sour and spicy fish curry) is an absolute must try. 

Fast facts for Goa

Language: The main languages are Konkani, English, Marathi and Hindi.

Currency: The currency used in India is the India Rupee (INR), which you’re only permitted to purchase on arrival in India.

Local time: Goa is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Dabolim Airport. The transfer time is around 1 hour. 

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Goa is 9.5 hours.

Tourist information: Ahead of your holiday here, check out more tourist information here.

Visa / health: Click here for visa and health recommendations and advice for your holiday

Holiday destinations related to Goa:

 

Getting around Goa

By bike or scooter: Zip around on a bike or scooter, just like the locals do. Bikes are available to hire nearly everywhere you look. 

By car or jeep: The perfect solution if you’re travelling in a group, or you want the freedom to see the region at your own pace. 

By taxi: They can be pricey here, but in places like Panaji (the state capital) you can get a fixed-rate service. Most drivers don’t use a meter, so agree a fare before you set off. 

Private driver: Thinking of spending a full day exploring Goa? Do it in style and book yourself a private driver. 

Events in Goa

Religious festivals: The Christian and Hindu heritage here is reflected in its abundant festivals, and Panaji especially plays host to a fabulous array of religious and non-religious events. 

Goa Heritage Festival: An annual highlight in November, two days filled with food, music and festivities mark a celebration of the region’s rich and diverse history. 

Big feast: In December, Old Goa comes to life during the popular Feast of St Francis Xavier (the patron saint). It’s held at the Basilica of Born Jesus. 

Holi: Experience Shigmotsav, their take on colourful Hindu festival Holi in February/March, and don’t miss the vibrant Sabado Gordo (Fat Saturday) festival, held before Lent as part of the carnival celebrations.

Goa safety and security

Do I need a passport?
If you’re planning a holiday to Goa, you will need a passport. You must have a machine-readable passport to be granted entry to India, which must be valid for a minimum of 180 days after your arrival in the country. Your passport must also have two blank pages for your visa.

For more information on Goa passport requirements and details of the country’s entry rules, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements. 

Do I need a visa?

British citizens will need a visa to visit Goa as a tourist. You can apply for an e-Visa online through India’s e-Tourist Visa website. If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not you will need a visa, it’s best to check with the Indian High Commission.

For more Goa visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements.

Should I get travel health insurance?

When travelling abroad we always recommend you take out comprehensive travel and health insurance and this applies even more so if you’re visiting India. If you need emergency medical treatment after becoming ill or even being involved in an accident on holiday, your policy should cover you. It’s always best to check through your documents before you travel so that you know what is and what isn’t covered. You should also check that you’ll be insured for any activities you’re planning to take part in on your holiday.

Goa weather

Temperature: 25-30 (°C)

The region of Goa lies on the coast of western India. This idyllic holiday destination is home to traditional, charming villages and towns as well as busier tourist resorts and beautiful beaches. Follow our Goa travel advice and you’ll ensure you make the most of your holiday.

Goa’s hot, tropical climate attracts holidaymakers looking for a beach break during the summer months, which runs from March-May and throughout October. You may be surprised to learn that October is the hottest month here, with average temperatures ranging from 30-35°C. During the summer the weather is less humid and you’re unlikely to see much in the way of rain, compared to the monsoon season.

Running from June until September, monsoon season sees high humidity and plenty of rain, with an average of 26cm of rainfall each year. If you’re planning a beach holiday, it makes sense to come to Goa between October and May to make the most of the dry weather and hotter temperatures.

Best hotels in Goa

Popular Goa holiday resorts

Similar destinations