Goa, a name that for scores of people and years has conjured up visions of
sunbathing, feni and never-ending beaches is India's only true holiday resort.
Often compared to Rio de Janeiro, Goa's carnivals, quaint Portuguese villas, ancient Hindu temples, spectacular cathedrals, and the all-pervading laid-back attitude to life -- susegaado -- have attracted millions of tourists since the 1960s. With 40 beaches to choose from, you can pick from placid, serene stretches of white sand to happening, partying beaches where the atmosphere is electric on tours to Goa India.
The Goan beaches are only part of the story: there are also 500-year-old churches and forts and temples to see all over the state, treks to go on, rivers to traverse, waterfalls to climb to, wildlife sanctuaries to visit, spice plantations to walk through, prisons and lighthouses to gaze up at, canals to sail up to take a peek at toothy crocs, quaint traditional villages to visit where rope-makers and weavers and potters take you back in time, scuba-diving to learn so that you may flipper through rainbow-coloured marine creatures and many more fun things to do on tours to Goa India.
If you think holidaying is about partying, shopping, and dancing the night away, nightclubs and discos here open at 11 pm and stay open sometimes until breakfast -- if you come here towards the end of December and the beginning of January, some clubs stay open practically 24 hours a day! As for shopping, while you can pick up big brands if you want them, there are also a whole lot of exclusive lifestyle stores, furniture stores, and designer clothes outlets, as well as the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna Beach where foreigners and locals congregate to sell everything from ornate hangings to sarongs to Rajasthani jewellery to wall-hangings to Nigerian woodwork to exotic foodstuffs from around the world. The Friday morning wholesale vegetable, fish and livestock market at Mapusa, and the Saturday night bazaar at Baga are other tourist attractions on tours to Goa India.
If you think holidaying is about spending time with children and the family, Goa is the place where they can all freak out. The place has around a 100-odd km of beaches and most resorts - even the medium-priced ones - come with a host of amenities like swimming pools and beach activities. And if
you think holidaying is about indulging yourself, destressing or simply taking it easy, the sun-kissed beaches are just what you must have. To help you along there are Ayurvedic massages, Swedish massages, Kerala massages,
jacuzzis and chill showers, saunas and steam rooms, yoga sessions and even cruises on the river.
Goa is roughly divided into two regions: North Goa and South Goa. The capital Panjim is in the middle but is considered part of North Goa. The town of Mapusa, north of Panjim, is considered the centre of North Goa while Margao, southwest of Panjim is the centre for South Goa.
The beaches are also divided into north and south and the further one goes away from Panjim -- espcecially the south -- the less developed are the beaches. Though beaches intrinsically are the same -- water, sand and people
-- each has a different character, as you'll discover on Goa Tours.
The northern beaches begin on the north bank of the Mandovi River with the top resorts around the hilltop of Fort Aguada. Close to Panjim and Mapusa are Singuerim and Condolim beaches. Then there is Calangute, Baga and Anjuna. Further north are Chapora,Vagator, Siolem and Chopdem. A single road links all the major beaches of the north.
Most of the southern beaches have highly developed resorts or miles of sandy stretches with Margao as the centre. The most developed of these are Majorda, followed by Colva and Benaulim. Further down are Varca and
Cavelossim and lastly is the almost untouched beach of Palolem, a beautiful sight that you'll see on Goa Tours.
Mapusa is alsmost 30 km away from Panjim to the north and it is not too far away from the beaches of Calangute, Baga and Anjuna. One reason why everyone knows and talks about Mapusa is because it is the hub of the northern beaches. Calangute and Baga beaches, incidentally, have become too commercialised and unfit for those who want a quiet beach holiday. There are a number of places to stay on either of the beaches.
Anjuna, the other beach, is filled with people at almost all times of the day during the March to October season. The beach is frequente by backpackers and those who want to visit the Wednesday flea market for which
Anjuna is well-known.
Among the northern beaches the town of Arambol is still what many consider virgin territory. A beautiful unspoilt beach stretches from north to south. Most people who keep on coming year after year to Arambol, however, do not
stay at any of the places on the beach. Instead, they move north of the beach to a lagoon, which has crystal clear waters.
Margao or Madgaon is the gateway to the southern beaches, especially the
well-known Colva and Benaulim beaches. Once Colva had smooth, flat, white sandy beaches but not any more. The place has been taken up by the guest houses and hotels. The good thing about Colva is that the place is active
even during the monsoons when most other small beaches close down. Benaulim is within striking distance of Colva. It has still managed to keep its intrinsic village atmosphere although a number of hotels and restaurants
have come up near the beach. The roads to Margao and Colva cross the centre of the village.
You can travel to all these beaches and see the beautiful sights of Goa on tours to Goa India, with Asia Tours and Travel.