Holidays to Benaulim add a distinctly Portuguese twist to traditional Indian culture, making for truly memorable trips.

Chill-out zone

With its coconut palm groves, paddy fields and sandy beach, South Goa's Benaulim is certainly easy on the eye. Decidedly under the radar, it's a laidback alternative to the up-all-night towns of the north. Think friendly bars, family-run seafood restaurants and a classic fishing village feel.

East meets West

Part of India's south-west coast, evidence of this place's Portuguese colonial past pops up wherever you look. Taxis and tours can take you to whitewashed chapels, crumbling forts and palatial mansions, including Our Lady Of Merces Church and the super-swish Palacio do Deao. After your wanders, wind down with a traditional Ayurvedic massage.

Beach for days

Benaulim sits next to a whopping 25-kilometre strip of sand, made up of separate beaches that share the same gentle waves. It's also home to a colourful fleet of traditional wooden outriggers. Hit the water for some unforgettable dolphin-spotting or sit back and take in the grandeur of the Arabian Sea.

Ticket to ride

Benaulim harbour's got you covered when it comes to boat tours. Daytime trips will give you the best view of the area's thriving marine life along the Sal River – you'll also stop for a scrummy seafood lunch. In the evening, you can catch a snap-worthy sunset cruise – keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal fruit bats making an appearance in the rainbow-tinted sky.

At a Glance

  • Learn about Goa's Portuguese-influenced past
  • Snorkel in the shallows to spy on aquatic locals
  • Admire the sunset from a waterfront restaurant