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Holidays in Goa

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’!

25-30 °C

Hot subtropical climate with monsoon and dry seasons

9-9.5 hours

Goa International Airport (or Dabolim Airport)

Book a Thomas Cook holiday here and find yourself diving into not only the blue Arabian Sea, but a melting pot of cultures and the experience of a lifetime too. There’s no doubt you’ll have an unforgettable holiday, full of relaxation, incredible food and non-stop fun.

Recommended Offers in Goa

Highland Beach

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Close to the beach
  • Short walk to local bars and restaurants
  • Seven swimming pools

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 602 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 24 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Ocean Palms Goa

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Close to the beach
  • Spa
  • Close to bars and restaurants

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 683 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Phoenix Park Inn Resort

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Short walk to the beach
  • Close to local shops and restaurants
  • A welcoming atmosphere

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1489 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 3 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

So My Resorts

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Exclusive to us
  • Short walk to the beach
  • Close to the resort centre

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 544 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 11 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

Santa Monica

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Exclusive to us
  • Short walk to the beach
  • Close to the resort centre

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 320 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 1 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • 24hr Connected Service
  • Return Transfers

No matter what you’re looking for in your holiday, there’s bound to be a resort that’s right for you. Three of the most popular places to stay are Calangute, Candolim and Baga; each with its own unique draw. Furthest north is Baga, with its beautiful beach; then there’s Calangute with its buzzing resort centre; then finally, Candolim with its authentic vibe.

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.

For many travellers, this is a major highlight of holidays in Goa. Regional cuisine is an irresistible blend of tropical and spicy flavours, drawing on Hindu and Portuguese influences. Vegetarians and seafood lovers are especially well catered for in this part of the word. How about a rich prawn curry with rice, or a fiery vindalho (vindaloo)? Wash it down with an ice-cold Kingfisher beer, and non-alcoholic alternatives include refreshing Himalaya water, or thick lassi (a yoghurt-based drink). From beach shacks to gourmet restaurants, all tastes and budgets are accommodated across the country. 

Goa’s laid-back daytime vibe bursts into life when the sun sets on the horizon. This place has long been known for its party atmosphere, and it’s jam-packed with buzzing clubs and bars. Club Tito’s, Café Mambo and SinQ are among the most popular hotspots, playing everything from house and trance to hip-hop and dubstep. The full moon parties (introduced by the region’s hippies back in the 1960s) are still alive and kicking today in the north. 

Looking for a more relaxed atmosphere? Head for a lounge-like Café la Musica, or The Sol. If you’re feeling lucky, you can visit an elegant casino, like the Casino Palms on Baga Beach, or even one of the casino ships on the Mandovi River for a unique experience. 

All kinds of cultural adventures await you here. Go sightseeing in Old Goa, where you’ll discover the magnificent ruins of this 16th-century capital of Portuguese India. Don’t miss the Church of St Catejan, or the Basilica of Bom Jesus, two of the most famous sights. Visit the Kerkar Art Complex in Calangute to enjoy a spectacular evening performance, or simply wander around its small gallery.
This region is also brimming with gorgeous natural scenery, ready and waiting to be explored. Take a trip to the wild side and experience freshwater crocodile-spotting in Cumbarjua. You’ll catch these creatures lurking in the lush wetlands here, along with a wealth of marine life and exotic birds.

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GOA HOLIDAY RESORTS


HOLIDAYS IN GOA


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. 

More About Goa 
Overview, Things To DoWeatherPhotosUseful PhrasesFAQSCurrency


Fast facts

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,


Weather and climate

Temperature: 25-30 (°C)

No matter what time of year you visit, swimsuit weather is practically a given for holidays in Goa. Temperatures hardly ever drop below 25°C even in the depths of winter, making this a great destination for some serious winter sunshine. Highs of 34°C are a regular fixture in summer. It’s worth bearing in mind that the country does experience heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (that’s between June and September), but the rest of the year sees almost no rain whatsoever. 

Weather In Goa 
Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug,

Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec


Getting around

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

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.


Why choose Thomas Cook

With hotels available to suit every person and every budget look no further than Thomas Cook for your getaway this year!

  • Thousands of hotels to choose from
  • Dedicated online customer service
  • Over 178 years of travel experience
  • Award winning travel company
  • Thousands of destinations worldwide

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