Attraction: Tropical ambience, beaches, water sports & culture
Best known for its beautiful 130km long coastline, Goa is separated from the rest of India by jungle covered hills of the Western Ghats. The whole coastline, being one long palm-fringed beach indented occasionally by inlets and estuaries, offers fantastic bathing and water sport opportunities. Goa’s heartland has a lush patchwork of paddy fields, coconut plantations and gently meandering rivers. Being under Portuguese rule for 450 years, has given it a delightful blend of East and West, making it different from the rest of India.Some of the best beaches are at Anjuna, Calangute, Colva and Palolem with long sandy stretches, palm trees, fishing villages and the usually warm waters of the Arabian Sea. The types of accommodation range from luxury beach resorts and middle class hotels to budget accommodations along the beach with most having swimming pools as an alternative to the sea.For water-sport enthusiasts, Inside India will be happy to arrange snorkeling or scuba diving as well as fishing, for Goa boasts of a fascinating diversity of marine life.There are so many things to see and do in Goa along with sea bathing and relaxing. We feel that a holiday in Goa will only be complete when you experience all its enchanting aspects.
Take a walk through Panajim, and the town will reveal narrow, winding streets, old houses with overhanging balconies, special boutiques offering a variety of interesting buys, numerous small bars and cafes and several good restaurants serving authentic Goan cuisine and fresh sea food in a wonderful atmosphere. Or visit the flea market with its wonderful blend of Tibetan traders, Gujarati tribal women and locals. Expose yourself to the local ambience with a visit to the local weekly market in Mapusa and enjoy the intensive aroma of fish, incense, spices and exotic fruits stacked on the sidewalks. Or meander through Old Goa, and see beautiful churches, including the Sé Cathedral which is built in a Portuguese Gothic style. At Ponda, a few kilometres ahead of Old Goa, are the Shri Manguesh and Shantadurga temples, worth a visit for their unique style with an obvious Portuguese influence. Temples here are open to all and it is interesting to watch pilgrims making offerings through the mediation of the priest at the main shrines.