Holidays to Goa are a big beachy vibe, complete with palm trees, watersports and special dolphin sightings.

A more low-key India

India is probably best known for the busy streets of Delhi, dodging tuk-tuks and grand palaces. So Goa is a bit of an alter ego for the fast-paced nation – it’s the smallest state, but that’s no bad thing. Long, sandy beaches, lush green jungle and local market waterfronts. It’s more chill down here. Tuck in to fragrant fish curries, tour Hindu temples and take a yoga class – this is still India.

Laid-back resorts

Down in South Goa, you’ll get a snapshot of the state’s serene side. The beaches are a real picture, from the palms of Palolem to the mega sands of Arossim Beach and dolphin-spotting scenes of Cavelossim. Life is slow in the south. Just go with the flow and find a spot to lay down your towel for the day. The beaches are lined with seafood shacks, restaurants and a scattering of hotels to keep you within reach of civilisation and snacks.

Beyond the beach

Goa lines up more than just beaches. It’s got a stand-out Portuguese past with loads of lasting Baroque architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, in North Goa is definitely worth a visit, but the star attraction is really the Se Cathedral of St Catherine – it’s the biggest church in the whole of Asia. For nightlife as well, you want to be in the north. Calangute’s got a great dance and dining scene to check out.

At a Glance

  • Stretch out with some yoga in South Goa
  • Sail along Goa’s backwaters on a traditional wooden rice boat
  • Check out North Goa’s Se Cathedral of St Catherine

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