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Delight in a wealth of rugged natural landscapes and Indian heritage in Goa, the country's smallest state. Combine visits to fifth-century temples and sites of rock art dating back 30,000 years with trips to the rivers, waterfalls and beaches that showcase the area’s raw natural beauty.
Base yourself by the sea at a beach hut. Wake up each morning, start on your tan or join up with throngs of visitors who start the music early. It’s worth taking your time choosing a hut as some have better and more comfortable facilities than others.
Stay by Arambol Beach for gorgeous scenery every day. On Wednesdays, join bargain-hunters at the Anjuna Beach flea market. Kalacha Beach offers easy access to the picturesque Sweet Water Lagoon. Walk the curving shoreline of Vagator Beach, which has views of Chapora Fortress. Benaulim Beach is consistently less crowded and hosts regular dolphin-watching tours.
For more natural beauty, take tours of the area’s national parks. These reserves surround the Western Ghats, a mountain range known for its vibrant wildlife population. See temples surrounded by jungle at the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. Listen to guides pointing out Bengal tigers, panthers, barking deer, leopards and macaques. Get a photo opportunity with panthers or bears at the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary’s zoo. Deer-watching safaris and elephant rides can be organized through local agents.
Venture into the history of the city at its fifth-century temple. This construction is devoted to the god Brahma. Admire the Portuguese-influenced architecture of the Shanta Durga Temple complex. Discover more about this history at Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as the region’s capital during Portuguese rule. Goa’s southern region holds a number of prehistoric sites featuring rock art and relics that remind visitors of the length of humanity’s story.
Fly into Goa’s Dabolim Airport. The weather is best for visiting from October to January, though the spring monsoon season is a great chance to see lush countryside.
Located in Cavelossim, this beachfront hotel is connected to a shopping centre, 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Cavelossim Beach, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Varca Beach and Benaulim Beach. Vaddi Beach and Maria Hall are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Kerkar Art Complex, Candolim Beach and Calangute Beach. Sinquerim Beach and Fort Aguada are also within 3 miles (5 km).
This family-friendly Bambolim resort is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Bambolim Beach and Goa Medical College and Hospital. Goa University and Odxel Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).
This family-friendly Benaulim resort is located by the ocean, within 2 mi (3 km) of Vaddi Beach and Maria Hall. Varca Beach is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.
Located in Panaji, this beachfront resort is in the city centre, 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Miramar Beach and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Kala Academy and Goa Science Centre are also within 1 mile (2 km).
This family-friendly Candolim hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 15-minute walk of Kerkar Art Complex and St. Anthony's Chapel. Candolim Beach and Calangute Beach are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Cansaulim resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Arossim Beach, Cansaulim Beach and Sunset Beach. Uttorda Beach and Majorda Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).
This Orlim resort is on the beach, 2.3 mi (3.6 km) from Varca Beach, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Cavelossim Beach and Benaulim Beach. Vaddi Beach and Sernabatim Beach are also within 6 miles (10 km).