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Holidays in Goa

A laid-back state on the western coast of India, Goa holidays are all about relaxing on the beautiful white-sand beaches, with their crystal clear waters and gently swaying palm trees. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, you’ll love soaking up the rich culture that the destination’s so famous for. Holidays to Goa have something for everyone, whether you want to delve into the nation’s history and explore the Portuguese colonial past; relax and unwind with some rejuvenating beach yoga or indulge in some tasty local delicacies such as a mouth-watering fish curry. A colourful and welcoming place with an infectious party atmosphere; you’re guaranteed to fall for its unfaltering charm.

25-30 °C

You can expect year-round hot temperatures with a monsoon season and dry season.

9-9.5 hours

The only airport in the state is Goa International Airport (or Dabolim Airport).It’s about 40km south of Calangute and Arpora, and 28km south of Dona Paula.

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.

Whispering Palms Resort

7 Nights, All Inclusive
Hotel highlights
  • Short walk to the beach
  • Close to the beach
  • Family-friendly hotel

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1862 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 11 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

Sunset Beach Hotel

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Exclusive to us
  • Close to the beach
  • Set amongst traditional Goan houses

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 186 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 8 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

Hard Rock Hotel Goa

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Live music nights
  • Luxurious accommodation
  • Music memorabilia

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 839 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers
  • In-Flight Meals
  • Your Seat Choice*

Colonia Santa Maria

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Just 100m from the beach
  • A short walk to Baga's resort centre
  • Relaxed Portuguese-style village feel

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 739 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 10 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

Karma Royal Haathi Mahal

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights
  • Close to bars, restaurants and shops
  • A short stroll to the beach
  • Peaceful ambience

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 921 reviews

Thomas Cook Customer Rating
Based on 3 reviews

What is included ?

  • 20kgs Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort 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.

Goa’s history, heritage and natural beauty are celebrated at every turn. Head to Old Goa for its museums and stunning 16th-century ruins, and to the lush and peaceful Mollem National Park within the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. Under Goa’s tropical sun, the beaches are irresistible, and dotted with bars and restaurants. There’s no need to pack your swimming costume, as North Goa has some great-value swimwear shops. Shopping in Goa is an attraction in itself, with boutiques and bazaars to suit every budget. Bring home some beautiful handmade textiles, local spices – and some swimwear for your next trip.

One of the best things about holidaying here is getting to sample all the delicious local food that the area is so famous for. Rich in flavour and variety, you’ll have a fun challenge on your hands trying to experience as many different dishes as you can. Its blend of Hindu and Portuguese origins means there’s an irresistible assortment of both tropical and spicy flavours, which you can perfectly accompany with a Kingfisher beer, Himalaya water or a yoghurt-based lassi. Seafood lovers will be keen to try the state’s staple dish of fish curry, or dare you try a fiery vindaloo? The huge selection of places to eat means there’s something to suit every taste and budget; from traditional beach shacks to gourmet restaurants.

As the sun sets on all the beautiful beaches, the laid-back vibe springs into life and transforms into a party atmosphere like no other. The whole area plays host to a huge range of bars and clubs, pumping every kind of music, from house and trance to hip-hop and dubstep out into the night air. For the ultimate club nights, make sure you visit Club Tito, Café Mambo and SinQ. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere then The Sol or Café la Musica might be just your thing.

This is so much more than your usual bucket and spade holiday. Its rich and diverse culture and mind-blowing scenery make for non-stop sights and attractions to keep you entertained on your holiday. Head out on a wildlife discovery adventure and see who has a keen eye to spot freshwater crocodiles in the wild in Cumbarjua, lurking in the lush wetlands among the marine life and birds. For a taste of the local culture and traditions, go sightseeing in Old Goa, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving its original charm. Here you’ll find the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Church of St. Catejan, which form part of the ruins of 16th century capital Portuguese India. If you’re in Calangute, the Kerkar Art Complex puts on evening performances for you to enjoy and has a small gallery for you to explore.

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GOA IS BEST FOR...

Happy campers: Camp on secluded Khola Beach, an idyllic hideaway at the state’s southern tip.

Foodies: Enjoy the famous Hindu and Portuguese-fusion cuisine. The fish curry is a must.

Culture lovers: A colourful state, rich in tradition; you’ll love delving into the local way of life.


FAST FACTS

Language: The languages spoken are Konkati, English, Marathi and Hindi.

Currency: The currency here is the India Rupee (INR). You can only buy INR on arrival in India.

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

Fly to: The only airport in the state is Goa International Airport (or Dabolim Airport).It’s about 40km south of Calangute and Arpora, and 28km south of Dona Paula.

Flight time from UK: 9-9.5 hours

Tourist information: Further India tourist information can be found here.

Visa and health: Before you travel, click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday.


WEATHER AND CLIMATE

Temperature: 25-30 (°C)

It doesn’t matter what time of year you choose to visit, you can pretty much guarantee that the jumpers and cardigans can stay at home. The temperature rarely drops below 25˚C and often reaches the mid-30s (°C) throughout the summer. The monsoon season is between June and September, so despite still being warm, you might experience some heavy rain. It’s very rare at any other time of year, though.


GETTING AROUND

By bike/scooter: Travel around like the locals and hire a bike or scooter. Bike rental shops are really easy to find here.

By car/jeep: If there are a few of you travelling together, you may want to look at hiring a car or jeep. 

By taxi: Taxis can be expensive, but can be useful if you can agree a price with the driver before you travel. 

Private driver: For ease, if you’re thinking of having a full day out by car, book yourself a private driver. 


EVENTS

Religious festivals: There are plenty of religious festivals celebrating the area’s Christian and Hindu traditions, especially in Panaji, which hosts numerous events throughout the year.

Heritage Festival: If you’re travelling in November, don’t miss the Goa Heritage Festival, which is all about celebrating the region’s history with great food and music.

Big Feast: In December each year, Old Goa bursts into life during the Feast of St Francis Xavier at the Basilica of Bom Jesus. 

Holi: Get covered in bright coloured paint as you join in the biggest Hindu festival, Holi. And don’t miss the vibrant Sabado Gordo (Fat Saturday) festival, held before Lent as part of the carnival celebrations.


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