Sahakari Spice Farm
Step into the traditional side of Goan life with spice garden tours and folk dance exhibitions. You can also play out your Tarzan fantasies with demonstrations on how to swing between beetle-nut trees and bathe elephants.
Cavala's three properties are ideal for visitors looking for cheap accommodation that is close to the action, and still enjoy some peace and tranquillity when they turn in for the night. The hotel's rooms are housed in cozy two-storey cottages, the beach is a just a short walk away, and the in-house bar provides great live entertainment almost every night of the week.
This casino floats on the Mandovi River and looks out onto the bright lights and bustle of Panjim. Dress to the nines and live the life of a high roller, if only for an evening, with blackjack tables, plenty of slot machines, and loads of cheap cocktails at your fingertips.
Head away from the beaches and explore the forests and rivers of Goa with Canopy Tours' excursions. Enjoy stays at a rustic nature lodge, bird-watching trips, boat safaris, and wildlife adventures that most Goa visitors miss out on.
Begin your trip to Goa by staking your claim to a lounge chair on Baga's trendy beaches, try your hand at some exciting adventure sports that range from water skiing and parasailing to the slightly tamer deep-sea fishing and sailing, or forget your diet plans and enjoy Goa's incredible cuisine that draws heavily on its Portuguese influences.
Architecture and history buffs will enjoy visits to Goa's many churches, including the Basilica of Bom Jesus which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This baroque-style church holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, and was completed in 1605 when the Portuguese still ruled Goa.
Village life can be explored in South Goa's Margaon and Fatorda, while those looking for peace and quiet should go all the way down to Palolem. Here you will find cheap beach shacks, only a few other visitors, and spectacular sunsets that provide the perfect end to your day.
Goa International Airport Vasco da Gama (GOI) at Dabolim is Goa's main airport and is the only one that serves international flights as well as charter services to the state. The airport is located approximately 30 kilometres away from Panjim, the capital of Goa.
International airlines with flights to Goa include Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, Thompson Airways and Air India. Domestic carriers with flights to this airport include Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Indian Airlines, as well as low-cost carriers such as SpiceJet, Indigo, and GoAir. While it is tricky to find direct Goa flights from Canada, most passengers can get cheap tickets on flights with stopovers in the Middle East, Mumbai, and Delhi.
Winters are the best time to book flights to Goa as this is when you will find pleasant weather with plenty of sunshine and no rain to disrupt your beach plans. Temperatures during this time stay in the low to mid-20s (Celsius) and might even drop to the high teens during a particularly cool winter.
Most visitors choose to avoid monsoons in Goa but booking flights here between June and October will get you to Goa when it is at its greenest. There are also fewer tourists around, and is the ideal time to visit if you're hoping to avoid the crowds. Some tourists might find summer temperatures in Goa too hot to handle but this is when most Indian visitors make their way to the beach capital. If you're planning on booking Goa flights during this season, load up on the sunscreen and keep well hydrated.
Cheap airfares and good weather are easier to combine in November or February and those travelling to Goa at any time in between these shoulder seasons had best book well in advance.
Goa International Airport Vasco da Gama (GOI) has two terminals, one each for international and domestic flights to Goa. Passengers with connecting flights can easily walk between the two.
Most visitors choose to stay in North Goa and if this is where you are headed, make sure you account for travel time to and from the airport which can take up to an hour or more. You can find more information on the ground transportation options listed below on the Airports Authority of India website.
Public Transit: State transport buses are available outside the airport premises to destinations in Panjim, Margaon, and North Goa, but first-time visitors are better off using the taxi service which is quicker and easier to navigate. Buses make frequent stops along the way, and although tickets are cheaper, this is not the most comfortable or convenient way to travel after a long flight.
Hotel Shuttle: Goa hotels provide complimentary pick-up services from the airport and if yours is one of them, be sure to let the hotel know your flight's arrival time and terminal. Drivers holding passenger name-cards can be found at the exit gates of the arrivals area.
Taxi: A prepaid taxi service can be found just outside the airport's exit area. Beware of anyone offering you the 'best deals' on trips to central Goa and stick to services that have an airport authority or government authorization sign. Fixed prices to different areas in Goa are displayed at the counter, and a one-way trip to central Panjim from the airport will cost less than $10 CAD.
Post-paid taxis are also available at the airport, but are not ideal for those unfamiliar with standard prices to destinations in Goa.
Car Rental and Chauffeured Car Services: Car rental companies are located at the airport but unless you are comfortable driving on Indian roads, opt for a chauffeured car instead.