Located in the Konkan region, Goa is synonymous with Indian tourism along with other states such as Kerala and Rajasthan. This land offers many riveting experiences from stunning historical monuments to quaint churches and hip beaches. On one hand you can indulge in the adventurous water sports and on the other, you can uncover the hidden secrets of this city. Feel the true essence of this tourist hotspot with Goa Holiday Packages.
Banana Boat Ride
Photo Credit : Peanuttt
You can experience this exciting activity at numerous Goa beaches such as Baga Beach, Candolim Beach, and Colva Beach to name a few. The Banana Boat is essentially a tub shaped in the form of a yellow-coloured banana. It is long and cylindrical and is pulled by a motor boat on the sea. The challenge is to stay atop this unstable boat. If you are thrown off it, you have to start all over again.
[Experience enthrilling water sports activities like banana boat ride in Goa at Bogmalo Beach]
This is considered a safer activity compared to other water sports. Alternatively known as a water sled, banana boating is becoming popular by the day. When attempting this activity, safety precautions are taken like wearing life jackets. The driver of the motor boat, who is navigating the banana boat, tries his best to turn it upside down. The people atop must ensure that this does not happen by using their counter-balancing skills.
Kayaking in Sal Backwaters
Photo Credit : U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region
Goa is well-known for its beaches, bays, backwaters and rivers. The Sal Backwaters are an ideal location to go kayaking and witness the impressive flora and fauna on the fringes. The beautiful waterways meander into the villages. On the banks of the river you witness the region’s abundant bird population. The best time to visit the backwaters is from October to May.
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Goa has an abundance of fishing villages and fishing in the river is a common activity. On a kayaking expedition you can see plenty of fishing and do so yourself if you have time. The waterways also wander into many regions that would normally remain inaccessible. These regions are typically the natural habitats of migratory and resident birds. Those who have knowledge of and interest in birds, could spot and recognise some rare species here.
Kayaking is an easy and enjoyable activity but you need to wear safety equipment. No prior experience is required.
In Goa, it is not unusual to see parasailing being the main activity at any beach. The beaches here are the haven for this enjoyable water sport. Parasailing is an activity that lets you feel how it is to be in the sky. Up in the sky, you get an amazing panoramic view of the coastline. The Baga Beach, Calangunte Beach, and Vagator Beach are some of the popular destinations for this adventure sport. You can try this adventure activity at all times of the year except during monsoons.
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Parasailing is conducted with ample safety precautions like wearing a wet suit and life jacket. The harness, cord and gear that support you are checked rigorously to ensure everything is proper. It is best to do this activity through an adventure company that specialises in providing parasailing activities. Although the duration is around 10 minutes, the experience is surreal and could last you a lifetime.
Scuba Diving & Snorkelling
Photo Credit : NOAA's National Ocean Service
Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular recreational activities in Goa holiday packages. Scuba diving allows you to see the underwater life such as colourful corals, shells, and multi-hued fishes in the sea. There is clear visibility in the sea that ranges up to 10 metre. Goa’s water bodies are considered safe and good for beginners. There are plenty of dive sites in the state. Some of them are Uma Guma Reef, Bounty Bay, and Davy Jones Locker.
Snorkelling is swimming underwater with a snorkel fitted into the swimming gear. The snorkel allows you to breathe fresh outside air given that it is projected outside of the water. This sport allows you to experience underwater activity for extended periods of time.
[Enjoy Island Trip With sea walk, snorkelling, kayaking and jet skiing at Baina Beach in Goa]
Snorkelling is not an adventure sport; it is more of a leisure activity. Although no special training is required, you must know swimming. One wears pressure vests that let you descend further into the waters or stay close to the surface. You are provided an initial training on how to snorkel safely before beginning the activity.
Short Walking Trip of Old Goa
Goa was under colonial rule for hundreds of years. The Old Goa region was the capital during these times. Over here you can see numerous churches and convents. Visit the Archaeological Museum to view artifacts that pertain to the Catholic faith. The interiors of the museum are finely crafted. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is where you celebrate and worship infant Jesus. St Francis Xavier’s tomb is here. It is believed that the saint’s body has not been embalmed, yet the body has not decayed.
[Also check out most famous beaches of South Goa]
The Museum of Christian Art is another museum in Old Goa that houses numerous artifacts belonging to the Christian religion. There are excellent paintings here that are worth seeing. Some silverware housed in the museum date back to the medieval period. This place was the first nunnery in this part of the world and stayed so for many centuries.
See the brilliant architecture of the Sé (St Catherine's) Cathedral. This church was built based on the command issues by the King of Portugal.
Mollem National Park
Photo Credit : Sankara Subramanian
Nestled in the Western Ghats, this wildlife sanctuary is spread over 240 sq km. Situated in the Sanguem region of Goa, the Mollem National Park is where many temples belonging to the Kadamba Empire are present. Alternatively called the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, this place is known to house multiple species of snakes. You can see the majestic King Cobra here. Take an expedition to see the gigantic Indian python in its natural habitat.
The park is also home to numerous species of birds such as the fairy bluebird, golden oriole, and kingfisher. The park is a colourful wildlife sanctuary given that there are various species of butterflies here as well. One such splendid butterfly species is the Blue Mormon. You can see plenty of Blue Mormons here that leave you amazed with their natural splendour. This place also has numerous trekking trails. These expeditions allow you to ply deep into the intriguing forest and see wildlife on your feet.
Visit Dudhsagar Falls
Photo Credit : soumyajit pramanick
Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered cascade is on the Mandovi River. Around 60 km from Goa’s capital city, it is nestled in the Mollem National Park and considered to be one of the most beautiful in this region. The fifth tallest in the country with a height of 310 metres, the waterfall abounds with water during all seasons. During the monsoon, the water levels become voluminous adding to its breath-taking beauty.
[Dudhsagar Falls is one of the spectacular waterfalls in India, Check with our trip to Dudhsagar Falls]
You can also trek in the regions surrounding the Dudhsagar Falls as part of Goa holiday packages. The Castle Rock Route takes you through a scenic escapade of railway tunnels, hills, creeks and verdant greenery. The Kulem Route is yet another scenic trekking trail that passes through amazing sightseeing attractions. The views from this trekking route are captivating. You can take plenty of treasured snaps to capture the memories.
The Dudhsagar Falls is like an artistic expression of the divine on Earth. Get mesmerised by the magnificence of these cascading waters when here.
Experience the splendor of the Goan landscape at night on the Mandovi River cruise. It allows you to see wildlife and bird activity on the shores of the river. On this tour, you are plied in a jetty along serene waters. The salubrious breeze that inundates you is refreshing. Many resorts and adventure companies offer dinner cruises. You can have dinner on a private boat whilst gliding through the placid river.
There are numerous Goa holiday packages offering night cruises. For instance, this package could include a ride to the Daula Paula Bay. On the way you pass by the Adil Shah Palace. You can also view the Mae de Deus Church of Saligao and photograph its stunning appearance at night. On the ride you can enjoy tasty Goan food prepared on the boat.
[Want to learn cooking delicious food? Join Cooking Classes at Benaulim Beach in Goa]
Here revel in the dances and performances arranged on the mini-ship’s deck. Wine and dine in the most exotic locations in the world. Night cruises are one of the most popular activities with international tourists.
Visit Old Temples and Churches of Goa
The best place to see ancient sites of religious interest is North Goa. Some of the temples in this region are Mangeshi, Mahalakshmi, and Nagesh temples. Visiting these temples is a welcome change for visitors and completes your trip to this picturesque state. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is the popular church. It was the first church in the country to be given the stature of a minor basilica just before India’s Independence.
There are many churches that were built during the medieval period by the Portuguese. The designs of these revered structures bear a strong influence of Portuguese architecture. Church of St Francis of Assisi is a 17th century church that is known for its beautifully decorated and designed tabernacle. Se Cathedral Church in Goa was once a church visited by the wealthy Portuguese colonialists.
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Today, this place of worship is open to all and is visited by people of all faiths. These temples and churches in Goa add to the rich cultural fabric of the state.
Photo Credit : Liv Unni Sødem
The market at Panaji is always bustling with activity. Apart from market shoppers you can also see visitors from different parts of the world here. Located in centre of the city, the prices of the commodities here are generally less compared to the prices in other places.
[Check must things to do in southern part of Goa]
Goan Cultural show
The culture of Goa has strong influences from the Western world. It is not surprising given that this region was under the rule of Portugal for a long time, which has left a lasting impression here. Every aspect of Goa has an essence of Portuguese culture. Be it the dances, cuisines, or dress code, there is an element of Western influence in them.
People here are said to have a deep affinity for music and football. Almost every other home in Goa has a musician in it and everyone here loves to play football, let alone watch it. There has never been an incident of communal disharmony here and Goa celebrates festivals pertaining to all religions. Mando is the traditional dance of Goa. Dulpod is another popular dance form. Western social dancing is common in parties and celebrations.
[Experience the eclectic culture and quaint villages with Kerala extension in a goan holiday]
Goa has its own form of theatre. Called Tiatr, the performance is a mix of music and drama. The language used in the theatrical displays is Konkani and English.
Visit Anjuna & Calangute Beach
Photo Credit : Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose
Anjuna is a historic town founded in the year 1595 built in remembrance of S. Miguel. Every year feasts are held in honour of this saint and Nossa Senhora Advogada. There are three large churches here. Once upon a time, this region was under the rule of the Portuguese.
The beach at this place is called Anjuna Beach and is where many trance parties are held. You can also witness the flea market in Anjuna when in town. Use this opportunity to purchase household items such as clothes and electronic appliances.
The Calangunte Beach is one of the picturesque beaches in India when selecting holiday packages for Goa. Known as the queen of beaches, it is located just 15 km from the capital city. It is big enough to host hundreds of revellers. Being a crowded all the time, there are plenty of activities here such as water sports. Around this seashore you can find excellent accommodation facilities. This is a perfect haven for tourists looking for Goa’s sun and sands.
There are so many churches in Goa to see and explore. This is probably the only place in the country where you can see so many impressive churches within walking distance. The strong Portuguese history imbibed into the state contributed to the creation of these places of worship.
Visit Anjuna & Calangute Beach
Both these beaches are popular hangout places. Anjuna and Calangute Beaches are within walking distance of one another.
Elephant Wash & Ride
Photo Credit : Robert Rybnikar
There are specialised elephant washing tours that let you wash elephants in the company of mahouts. Feel what it is like to scrub the hard skin of these pachyderms that are known for being water lovers. You can sedate elephants into a beautiful trance-like state with water. Mahouts will guide you on how to wash an elephant. These elephant trainers give you company and explain the nuances of elephant washing.
[Experience the aroma and splendour of the spice plantation along with elephant ride in Goa]
After this activity, it is time embark upon an elephant ride. This whole experience is a joyful one especially if you have made friends with these adorable animals while washing them. As you ride an elephant on a jungle safari, feel like a maharaja. The experience of riding on a huge animal is intimidating at first. But after a point of time, you become part of the proceedings.
Photo Credit : Ricardo Liberato
The Arabian Sea is a treasure trove of marine life when on Goa holiday packages. When you venture into the deeper regions of the sea you can spot the enduring dolphins. A professional guide accompanies you explaining the behaviour and lifestyle of these delightful creatures. If you are an experienced swimmer, you can swim with the dolphins.
There are many terms and conditions to this exercise and it has to be approved by the respective authorities. Swimming activities in deep sea are based on weather conditions.
[A worthy experience when heading to Goa is the dolphin ride, Check our Trips to Dolphin ride at Bogmalo Beach]
The dolphins are excited to see human beings and you can see them pop out of the sea frequently and also do somersaults. There is no shortage of acrobatics that they can perform. Watching dolphins is a surreal experience. These beautiful creatures are usually harmless. Normally, when there are dolphins around, you know that the waters are safe.
Spice Plantation tour
Photo Credit : Ben Snooks
There are numerous resorts and adventure clubs offering spice plantations tours. Many villages in Goa offer salubrious surroundings for you to experience the best of naturalistic elements. You can either take them on foot or on elephants. You could also get nutritious food served on a plantain leaf here.
These regions are also home to some rare and exotic species of birds. As you walk through the trails of the spice plantation, accompanying you will be a guide who explains the various medicinal implications of the spices present here. You are informed on how these plants are reared. Around the vicinity you can also view tropical fruit trees laden with custard apples, jackfruits, bananas, and papayas. Be welcomed monkeys on these trees. It is a relaxing experience to see these frolicking animals swinging from one tree to another.
The Candolim Beach is around 15 km from Goa’s capital city. Located in North Goa, this beach originates from Fort Aguada. The ending point is the Calangunte Beach which is one of the longest beaches in Goa. Situated in Bardez of Goa, the ambience is always calm and composed. The dunes are scrub covered. The combination of sands and sea is a sight to behold on the holiday packages for Goa. The road to the destination is packed with establishments.
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There are numerous shops and restaurants on this road. Called the Candolim Calangute Road, this commercial centre provides you enough shopping avenues. The area around the Candolim Beach is pretty non-cluttered. There are not many resorts and economical inns here. Fascinating feature of this place is the deserted ship called River Princess that been at this beach for many years.
Photo Credit : Jennifer Kumar
A historic town, Fort Kochi holds the distinction of being the first township set up by European immigrants in the country. Essentially an island, every part of this place is steeped in history. The expositions and sightseeing interests echo the glorious bygone era.
When on Goa holiday packages that combines a Kerala tour, begin the tour at K. J. Herschel Road. As you walk through this road you see many buildings and homes of famous European colonialists. Fort Kochi is often considered to be a precious gem among Kerala’s tourist destinations. This place showcases the strong European heritage that existed several centuries ago in this state. It also reflects the cosmopolitan temperament of the state.
[Enjoy Cycling through Spice Plantations of Kerala showing endless list of destinations that can easily mesmerize the cyclists]
You can either walk or bicycle on the streets of Fort Kochi. This region is characterised by a natural harbour. There are plenty of historical sites here that need to be learnt about. You can check in at any one of the homestays in Fort Kochi to experience an extended holiday here.
Photo Credit : Thejaswi
Located in the vicinity of the Periyar National Reserve, the waters of this lake are suitable for boating. A typical boat journey lasts for about two hours to completely experience all aspects of this pristine water body.
Elephants are a common sight on its banks. You can see them drinking water from the lake. During the afternoons, these animals tend to have a swim in the shallow regions of the lake. The lake is also a haven for numerous bird species and you can see plenty of them flying across here.
During the boating expeditions venture close to the banks to see many other wild animals that come to the lake to drink water. Those who are lucky might even spot a tiger or leopard. The best time to visit this place is during non-rainy days. During the monsoon, your boating expedition could get a bit dangerous.
Photo Credit : Robert Rybnikar
Kerala is the land of spices, similar to what you experience on Goa holiday packages. After visiting Goa, you can drive straight to God’s Own Country. There are a lot of similarities between the two states given that they offer the best of the Western Ghats.
[The spices have always been an integral part of the land of Kerala, Join us in tour of spice plantation in Kerala]
Be it the food or hospitality, both regions have the best of facilities to give tourists. There are numerous spice plantations on the hills of Munnar in Kerala. Located in Idukki district, Munnar is one of the most romantic regions on Earth. Spice plantations dot the landscape and are interspersed within the thick foliage. You must visit the cardamom plantations that enchant you with their pleasant aroma.
When you take a nature walk through these verdant plantations, you step into a different world all together. The sharp smell of spices inundates your senses. These spice plantations are like slices of heaven on Earth. Their picturesque location is something that is worth travelling thousands of miles to see and experience.
Photo Credit : Ankur P
Kerala backwaters are known all as being one of the most exotic locations on Earth. This can be experienced on holiday packages for Goa in combination with a Kerala tour. These regions have the best naturalistic ambience to suit any type of holiday visit. It could be a personal recreational visit, honeymoon, spiritual tour or an expedition to learn more about the flora and fauna here.
There is no better place to experience the treasures of nature than at the backwaters of Kerala. The ideal place to experience this is Alleppey. The vast Vembanad Lake is a large inland water body that is home to some of the rarest migratory and resident birds. There are world class and award winning resorts around this place.
[Experience perfect relaxation and plush green vegetation in Kerala with our backwaters tour in Kerala]
You can take a houseboat excursion on these serene waters. Experience a fine blend of gracious Kerala hospitality, food and scenic delights in these backwater cruises.
Dutch Village Tour
Located around 10 km from Ernakulam, is the charming Dutch Village. The highlight of the tour is the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. This palace was built by the Portuguese and was gifted to the ruler of Kochi at the time named Raja Veera Kerala Varma. It incorporates design elements of traditional Kerala architecture. Being a double storied palace, this magnificent structure is also home to exquisite murals. Get panoramic views of the Arabian Sea from here.
The murals inside the palace are based on situations from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Some murals also depict stories from famous books such as Kumarasambhavam. You can also see various weapons stored and displayed in the complex. These weapons were used by the erstwhile rulers of Kochi.
House Boat Cruise
Photo Credit : Niyant Dalal
When on holiday packages for Goa and Kerala, begin the sojourn with a house boating experience in Kottayam, Kerala. This region is a picturesque place to start off before meandering through the backwaters and reaching Alleppey (considered to be the home of the backwaters).
[What gives Kerala that characteristic calmness, apart from other factors, are the backwaters of the region, Check our Kerala Backwaters Package]
The floating stays are beautifully decorated, with the insides equipped with basic amenities for a comfortable stay. These boats are ideal vehicles to get beautiful views of the emerald waters. En route you can see paddy fields, bountiful hillocks, lush plains, and many such naturalistic delights.
Photo Credit : Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose
Experience the white sands of Goan beaches that stretch for several kilometres. There are so many famous beaches in Goa that it is difficult to pin-point the best one. This destination is not only about them, but as the beaches here are so good, sometimes it’s the only thing one thinks of. They offer dance and musical performances during late evenings. There are bonfires and people playing on the beach even up to midnight.
Most of the seashores are crowded, simply because Goa is an international tourist destination with excellent accommodation. International visitors constantly flock to this part of the world. They enjoy an extended holiday in one of the top tourist destinations of the world.
There are hotels and resorts beside Goa’s many beaches. Almost every one of them offers world class facilities. There are budget home-stays and hotels for the economy traveller and superior luxury nests for the luxury seekers. On offer is a little bit of everything for everyone.