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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.
The mercury tops out at around 32°C during May and June, before dropping down to the less-sweltering mid-20s by September.
Approximately nine and a half hours.
The nearest airport is Goa International Airport in Goa, which is about an hour’s drive from the resort.
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Arpora to experience for yourself the heart of Goa’s hippy coast, complete with idyllic beaches and the most interesting market you’ll ever see.
What is included ?
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.
Known as ‘the Queen of Beaches,’ Calangute Beach is one of the most popular in Goa, and just a 20-minute walk from Arpora. A sprawling, 7km stretch of powdery white sand, you’ll find plenty of sun loungers to help you top up your tan and brightly-coloured umbrellas to help you stay cool. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, with busy beach shacks and bustling bars lining the sand. Many of the shacks also offer handmade trinkets, which make great gifts or mementos of your Arpora holidays. Once the sun starts to set, the Queen of Beaches transforms itself into a nerve-centre for nightlife, with live music, beach parties, cool cocktails, and plenty of dancing.
The weekly Saturday Night Bazaar is more of an evening out than a market, and it’s an absolute must on your holiday to Arpora. The aroma of sizzling street food and spices mixes with the smoky perfumes of incense sticks to create a heady cocktail for your nose. The centre of the market holds a stage where, as the night goes on, the noise of haggling and laughter become a gentle underscore to the sounds of singers and musicians, giving the whole thing a party feel. Browse for trinkets, leather goods, clothes and jewellery, as well as local handicrafts and pieces of art. Be brave and barter to make sure you get the best deals!
The beautiful beaches are filled with things to do on your Arpora holidays, from building good, old-fashioned sandcastles, to splashing about on the gently-shelving shoreline. There are plenty of water sports, from water-skiing and windsurfing to opportunities for snorkelling and even learning to dive, in the crystal-clear waters. If you prefer to stay dry, jump on a boat and cruise towards the Arabian Sea. Fantastic for day trips, boat excursions can include stopping off for a sun-drenched lunch or even dolphin spotting, so it’s easy to spend a week or two on your Arpora holidays without leaving the seaside.
Families: If you can bear to tear yourself away from the beach, you’ll find plenty to do on your holiday, such as dolphin spotting and wildlife excursions.
Beach lovers: Every beach is a slice of paradise. Think powder-soft sands, swaying palm trees and shores that shelve gently into waters so blue, they’re almost a cliché!
Bargain hunters: Fancy yourself as a haggling hero? Test your skills by night at the biggest and busiest market in Goa: the Saturday Night Bazaar!
Language: The languages spoken are Hindi and English
Currency: You’ll need to change your Sterling into Rupees for your holiday
Local time: Arpora is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Dabolim Airport. The transfer time is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Flight time from UK: The Arpora flight time is 9.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at www.tourism.gov.in
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your Arpora holidays
If you’re a fan of hot sunshine and tropical weather, take your holidays to Arpora between May and June, when the temperature peaks in the early thirties. If you prefer something a little less intense, book your break from September onwards, when the heat and humidity drops and the mercury hovers in the mid-twenties. July, August and September are the monsoon months. Bring a brolly!
By bus: With regular services running to Baga and Calangute, buses are a budget-friendly way of hopping between beaches.
By bike: Goan roads are easy to navigate and bicycles or scooters are a zippy way to get from A to B.
On foot: If you don’t mind the walk then it’s around 20 minutes to get to most local attractions, such as Calangute Beach, on foot.
By taxi: Book taxis from the airport or local hotels, but make sure to check first if yours is metered or a fixed-price rate. On a night out, there’s also the opportunity to catch a ride in an auto-rickshaw: a motorised, three-wheeled version of the traditional transport.
January feast: Every January, Arpora celebrates the Feast of St Sebastian, one of the most important Christian events in its calendar. It also happens to fall on the same day as Dhalo: the Goan dance and drama festival, so expect traditional dancing, live music and outstanding firework displays.
For clubbers: About 15 minutes’ walk from Arpora you’ll find Baga Beach, which hosts the popular Sunburn Electronic Dance Festival. A three-day event that takes between Christmas and New Year, this vibrant festival features Indian and international dance-music acts and top DJs, from across the world.
The biggest party of the year: In February, the Goa Carnival kicks off in all its colourful glory. Expect to see flamboyant floats, kaleidoscopic costumes, live music, sizzling street-food and phenomenal fireworks. There’s also the chance for a bit of celebrity-spotting, with guest appearances from Bollywood stars and cook-offs featuring well-known Indian chefs.