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.
25°C - 30 °C
October to March for the best beach weather, with May being the hottest month and temperatures hovering around 30°C.
Approximately nine and a half hours
Goa International Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, is less than 40 minutes’ drive from the resort
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Dona Paula this summer for tropical beaches and the best water sports around, all tucked into one of the prettiest corners of Goa.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
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 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.
Wreathed in the the tragic tale of forbidden love between a Viceroy’s daughter and a lowly fisherman, the beach earned itself the name ‘Lovers’ Paradise’. The legend aside, this sun-bleached beach boasts true tropical appeal, with powdery white sand and coconut palms offering a little shade from the midday sun. The clear, turquoise waters are consistently warm and the shoreline shelves gently out to sea, making it a favourite for snorkelers. It’s also safe for kids. Kick back and relax on one of the many sun loungers scattered across the beach and take refuge under the thatched parasols. Dona Paula Beach is lined with beach stalls serving cold drinks, snacks and souvenirs. With plenty of water sports and sailing activities to pick from, the beach is Dona Paula’s best attraction.
Dona Paula has developed a reputation for being Goa’s water sports capital, with the near-perfect conditions of the beach providing the ideal environment. Expect popular activities such as jet-skiing, water-skiing and parasailing, as well as some fantastic diving and snorkelling. Some pretty exhilarating options come in the form of speedy water scooters, or huge rubber rings attached to a speed boat. There are plenty of things for kids to do in Dona Paula, with lots of sailing and cruising excursions to choose from, from fishing to leisurely yacht rides.
Aside from the stunning natural attractions, there are plenty of other things to see and do on your Dona Paula holidays. About 6km from the beach, you’ll find the Goa Science Centre and Planetarium. A must for anyone with even a passing interest in the cosmos, and any budding astronauts, the centre offers spectacular 3D science shows and the planetarium takes you on a tour of the galaxy. With a science park, exhibitions and plenty of activities, it’s a great day out for all the family. After a day of adventure, the resort has a laid-back but sociable nightlife scene, with a good choice of restaurants, bars and even a casino! As a special night out or celebration, the nearby Mandovi River is a good place to book a party cruise.
Water babies: With an average sea temperature of 28°C, it’s easy to spend all day in the warm, turquoise ocean, whether you’re snorkelling in it or zipping across it on water skis.
Families: Play on the beach all day or plan exciting daytrips and sailing adventures out at sea.
Nature lovers: The magnificent scenery is filled with attractions for nature lovers, with wildlife-rich national parks and jungles waiting to be explored.
Language: The primary language spoken here is Konkani, although India’s official languages, Hindi and English, are widely understood.
Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Rupees, before jetting off on your Dona Paula holidays.
Local time: Dona Paula is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Goa International Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, is about 26km from the resort.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to Dona Paula is 9.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at www.goatourism.gov.in/destinations/other-attractions/179-dona-paula
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday.
Temperature: Sun-seekers should book their holidays to Dona Paula in May, when the mercury peaks in the low to mid-thirties. For slightly less intense heat, book your break between October and January, when the temperature hovers in mid to high 20s (°C).
Although this resort has a classic tropical climate, the monsoon season hits between June and September. The rest of the year varies from comfortably warm to very hot, allowing you to take your break whenever you like. The best time to visit is during the winter months, when you’ll get plenty of sunshine and far less humidity.
By bus: The nearest bust station is 6km from Dona Paula Beach, in Panaji. Buses are regular, appearing around every 15 minutes. State buses aren’t air-conditioned and can get very crowded. For a more comfortable ride, pay the extra and hop on one of the luxury buses that operate in the area.
By taxi: Fixed price taxis are on hand at the beach, hotels and local attractions. Make sure you check the price before you hop in, as most taxi drivers don’t use meters.
By motorcycle: The motorcycle taxis are unique to the resort, offering a handy way to make a zippy journey, but one person at a time. Motorcycles are available to hire if you fancy a go yourself, but don’t forget: you’ll need a licence.
Summer celebrations: The beach is a hotspot for a variety of festivals and celebrations, such as the Hindu celebration of Janmashtami. Held in September, this is an exciting experience for visitors, where locals turn out in crowds to take part the colourful festivities, feasts and dancing.
Beach party: Not to be outdone in the celebration stakes, September also sees the Feast of St Lawrence taking place on the beach. One of the most important Christian festivals on the local calendar, expect a colourful whirlwind of parades and parties hitting the town for three days.