Thinking about taking a holiday in India? Then you will be thinking about the beautiful beaches and laidback lifestyle around the sun-kissed shorelines of Goa. With 103 metres of powdery golden sands stretched out between the warm waters of the Arabian Sea and the welcome shade of the palm trees, it is little wonder the Goan beaches make for the idyllic sun and sand getaway. Cavelossim and Mobor beaches are blessed with white sands, quiet waters and beach shacks offering refreshment, while retaining all the charm of old Goa. The ‘Queen of Beaches’ – Calangute, and its neighbour, Baga Beach, are a little livelier. Sun loungers are in abundance on these sands, while parasailers and jet-skiers have fun in the sea. Away from the beaches, you are a short drive from Old Goa’s Colonial era monuments and the colourful Fontainhas Latin Quarter – now a World Heritage site. This elegant corner of Goa has much to offer the culture vultures, including many art galleries, live music venues and walking tours around the Colonial-style houses and winding lanes, as well as iconic Goan cuisine and European fusion dishes. Goa offers an intoxicating escape that is unique to India.
“I have holidayed in Goa many times with family and friends. A Goan holiday for me is enjoying the beaches, the markets, and the many restaurants you have to choose from. We love the atmosphere, the warmth, the sunshine, and the people – it’s all wonderful.”
1. Tour of Goa
Take a private, full-day, all-inclusive tour of Goa, with lunch at a spice plantation. Air-conditioned transport and a guide will ensure that you get to see the best bits of this historic area in comfort. Visit temples, villages, tour Old Goa, take in Panjim City, the state capital, and enjoy lunch at a spice plantation.
2. Boat excursion
Enjoy adventure on the back waters during a five-hour boat excursion. You get to take a speed boat ride, kayak, snorkel, fish for crabs and paddleboard. The relaxed traveller has the option of simply sunbathing on deck while Goa’s backwater islands glide past under the sultry Indian sun.
3. Dudhsagar Falls
Explore the Dudhsagar Falls on an eight-hour private tour with a personal guide. Standing at 310 metres high, the water looks like a cascade of milk; indeed their name is a derivative of Doodh, the Hindi word for ‘milk’. The tour opens in October, and takes in lunch at a spice plantation, as well as an hour’s jeep safari bringing you out at the foot of the falls.
4. Goa's National Park
Discover the natural beauty of Goa’s national parks. The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary showcases a variety of bird life, while its jungle safaris bring you closer to the wildlife. The parks are loved for their trekking trails, with the 12th century Tambdi Surla Temple, Devil’s Canyon and Sunset Point being big attractions.
By Neelima Vallangi
India’s sunshine state has long been a paradise for hippie travellers, loving its famed golden-sandy beaches and laid-back vibes. Goa today combines bygone Portuguese-era influences and modern Indian culture, quite unlike anywhere else in the country.
By Sarah Young and Vinyasa Yoga Asanas by Laura Hodgson
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 21 June - the longest day of the year - to be International Yoga Day, or just Yoga Day as it is known. Originating from such an esteemed body and being celebrated now since 2015, many people across the world recognise the positive impact of yoga on their lives.
By Natasha Hegarty
Diwali - or the Festival of Lights - is one of the most vibrant festivals of the year, with homes, communities and streets all coming alive with colour. It is also one of the most important events in the Hindu calendar and is celebrated all around the world.