Goa tourism: Expectations during Christmas-New Year


Calangut-beach-goaArrival of foreign tourists in Goa had declined 30 per cent, but upcoming music events, like the Sunburn Klassique scheduled later this month, could help improve the scenario, said Jack Sequeira, secretary of the Travel and Tourism Association in Panaji. Goa was poised for slightly better occupancy and tourist footfalls in the New Year.

Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda and Bogmalo.

Russians have topped the list of foreign tourists in the coastal state for the last couple of decades. In 2018, nearly 300,000 Russians arrived, most of them between October and March.

When to visit
Oct–May, generally dry and sunny, is the main travel season, peaking Dec–Jan. Jun–Sep is the monsoon season, with torrential rains. Key events include the Goa Carnival (Feb/Mar, dates vary) with colorful street parades and a party atmosphere. Diwali (Oct/Nov, dates vary) is the Hindu festival of light with firecrackers and night processions. The long-running International Film Festival of India (Nov) features productions from around the world.

Popularity High/Low Precip
December 33° / 21° 1%
January 32° / 20° 0%
February 32° / 21° 0%

Attractive beaches in Goa to visit

Goa Velha: City in Goa

Old Goa, also called Velha Goa, is beside the Mandovi River in the western Indian state of Goa. The former capital of Portuguese India, it’s known for colonial-era monuments like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, with the remains of St. Francis Xavier, and the domed Church of St. Cajetan, inspired by St. Peter’s in Rome. Nearby, the vast Se Cathedral, built in the 16th–17th centuries, has ornate chapels and a bell tower.
The whitewashed Church of St. Francis of Assisi was constructed in Tuscan style in the 17th century. The adjacent convent is home to the Archaeological Museum, which displays portraits of Portuguese colonists alongside Hindu and Christian sculptures. To the west, the crumbling, red-brick St. Augustine Tower is nearly all that remains of a huge, early-1600s Augustinian church. Nearby, the 17th-century Convent of Santa Monica now houses the Museum of Christian Art, exhibiting items such as religious paintings, sculptures and silk vestments. Our Lady of the Rosary, a plain, Gothic-style church, stands on a hilltop overlooking the city.

Bogmalo: Village in Goa

Bogmalo is a small beach-side village in Goa, India. It is situated in a small bay with around a mile of curving sandy beach. The beach is located about 4 kilometres from Dabolim Airport and 9 kilometres from the port town of Vasco da Gama It is known to host conferences for AIESEC India every June or July. A unique feature in Bogmalo is a pet boarding and training academy founded by internationally awarded animal behaviourist Gautam Kari. Called Kari’s K9 Kamp, this canine facility is set in a beautiful Portuguese style villa and is a cage-free and leash-free facility. It is ideal for people going on vacation as the premises is close to Dabolim Airport. Services include overnight pet boarding, dog daycare, dog training and pet products delivery.

Vasco da Gama: City in Goa

Vasco da Gama is a city on the Mormugao peninsula in Goa, western India. The coast is dotted with beaches like Baina Beach, and has a natural harbor. On the headland, overlooking Varca Beach, 17th-century Mormugao Fort has 2 fountains. Dating from the 16th century, St. Andrew’s Church has gilded altars. The hilltop Japanese Garden has ocean views, and contains the ruins of the Fortaleza Santa Catarina fortress.

Dona Paula

Dona Paula, named for a Portuguese romantic heroine popular in local folklore, is an affluent area at the mouth of the Zuari River known for its ocean views. Dona Paula View Point is a lookout and promenade, home to Baroness von Leistner’s 1969 “Image of India” statue. Quiet Dona Paula Beach offers water sports and souvenir shops. High-end hotels dot the area, with restaurants offering western and Indian food.

Mandrem: Village in Goa

Upmarket Mandrem is known for its 2 quiet beaches, home to tucked-away cafes, yoga retreats and resort hotels. Mandrem Beach offers high-end accommodation in a secluded setting, while indie boutiques at Ashwem Beach sell designer fashion and jewelry. Both beaches have casual shacks serving seafood and western fare, while a handful of high-end spots on Mandrem Beach also offer Italian, French, and global cuisine.

Sinquerim: Village in Goa

Sinquerim is a village in Bardez sub-district, North Goa, India

Benaulim: Town in Goa

Benaulim is a census town in the state of Goa, India. It is the neighbour of Colva village from the north, Margao in the northeast and Varca village from the south. During the Portuguese regime, it was one of the nine comunidades in the region of Salcete. Contemporary Benaulim is a popular seaside resort in South Goa district, renowned for its balmy weather, golden sands, and palm‑fringed beaches. It also houses Goa’s only Don Bosco Animation Center. It is the birthplace of St. Joseph Vaz who was a priest and missionary in Sri Lanka.There are two popular churches in Benaulim. The Holy Trinity Church is a new church built with modern design near the beach area close to Maria Hall Junction, while St John the Baptist Church is old church popular for baptising St. Joseph Vaz. It is located in Cana benaulim. In 2016, BRICS summit was convened here. There is one luxury hotel in Benaulim, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Goa. There is a hidden side of Benaulim beach entrance behind the resort. They hosted the 8th BRICS Summit in 2016.

Agonda: Village in Goa

Agonda is a large village located in Canacona in South Goa district, India. Agonda is famous for its beach and It is one of the only four beaches designated as turtle nesting sites under the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 notification. There is one more beach on other side of Agonda cliff called Cola beach which has an adjoining lagoon.

Mapusa: Town in Goa

Mapusa is a town in North Goa, India. It is situated 13 km north of the capital Panaji. The town is the headquarters of Bardez Taluka. It is located on the main highway NH-17, linking Mumbai to Kochi. In Portuguese, the town is known as Mapuça.

Panaji: City in Goa

Panaji, also known as Panjim, is the state capital of Goa, in southwest India. Located on the banks of the Mandovi River, the city has cobblestone streets lined with colorful villas an buildings from the Portuguese colonial era. Palm-fringed Miramar Beach sits at the confluence of the river and the Arabian Sea. Set on a hill overlooking the city is the baroque Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, built in 1619.
Facing Miramar Beach, Goa Science Centre & Planetarium features interactive exhibits, model dinosaurs and an outdoor park. The riverside Kala Academy, a contemporary cultural complex, hosts dance and drama performances. Overlooking the water is the bright orange, hilltop Maruti Temple, dedicated to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman. To the east, the city of Velha Goa, or Old Goa, is home to colonial landmarks like the vast Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.

Calangute: Town in Goa

Calangute is a town in the western Indian state of Goa. Standing on the shores of the Arabian Sea, it’s home to long, sandy Calangute Beach, lined with restaurants and bars. Farther north, Baga Beach is a popular spot for water sports. To the south, the sturdy walls of Aguada Fort, built in the early 1600s under Portuguese colonial rule, surround a 19th-century lighthouse.
Calangute Market Square, beside Calangute Beach, hosts a buzzing weekly market selling leather goods, colorful textiles and Tibetan handicrafts. Calangute’s whitewashed churches include the colonial-era St. Alex Church, featuring an ornate golden altarpiece. Farther inland in the village of Saligao, the 19th-century Nossa Senhora Mae de Deus Church is topped with rows of Gothic-style spires. Southeast of Saligao, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary’s mangrove swamps are home to many species of migratory and wetland birds such as herons and sandpipers, as well as flying foxes and crocodiles.

Anjuna: Village in Goa

Anjuna is a laid-back coastal village on the Arabian Sea in Goa, southwest India. Anjuna Beach, a sandy cove dotted with palms and black rocks, was a well-known destination among hippies in the 1960s. Today it’s known for its electronic music trance parties. Each Wednesday, a sprawling flea market sells handicrafts, jewelry and food. North of the beach is St. Anthony’s Chapel, an old church with a whitewashed facade.

Baga: Town in Goa

Baga is a coastal town in the western Indian state of Goa. Standing on the shores of the Arabian Sea, it’s known for long, sandy Baga Beach, a popular spot for water sports. Held on Saturday nights, Baga Beach Market features stalls selling handicrafts and textiles. Baga’s coastline extends south to lively Calangute Beach, lined with restaurants and bars, and north to palm-fringed Anjuna Beach.

Arambol: Village in Goa

A hub for the study of yoga, meditation, and alternative therapies, lively Arambol centers on its namesake beach, popular with backpackers and bohemian travelers. Colorful beach shacks serve seafood, Goan cuisine, and western fare, and many double as bars with live music in the evening. Inland, the lanes are lined with low-key accommodations, alongside casual shops selling clothing and souvenirs.

Margao: City in Goa

Margao is a city in the western Indian state of Goa. Its Portuguese colonial past is evident in buildings like the 1675 baroque Holy Spirit Church, with its ornate interior and pipe organ. Sat Burzam Ghor is a grand 1700s mansion with 3 of its original 7 gables remaining. Margao Municipal Garden includes the colonial Municipal Building and library. Southwest, in Benaulim, the Goa Chitra Museum exhibits ancient tools.

Morjim: Town in Goa

Morjim is a Census Town in Pernem, Goa, India; it is situated on the northern bank of the Chapora River estuary. It is home to a variety of birds and is a nesting site for Olive ridley sea turtles. The village has become known as “Little Russia” because of the concentration of Russian immigrants living there.

Colva: Village in Goa

Colvá is a coastal village in Salcete, south Goa, on the west coast of India. Colva Beach stretches for around 2.4 kilometres, part of a beach consisting of about 25 kilometres of powder white sand, lined along its shore by coconut palms and extending from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south. Colvá is a famous tourist destination, visited for its beaches, budget hotels, guest houses, beach shacks, food stalls, restaurants, pubs and bars. The beaches are constantly monitored by lifeguards, and the swimming areas are flagged for warnings. The village had significant importance to Portugal and was the retreat for Goa’s high society, who would come to Colvá for their “Mundanca” or change of air. Today the Portuguese area is dotted with houses or villas, including many ruins. On weekends, huge crowds of tourists, visitors from around the world as well as local Indians, enjoy the sunset and various activities. The beach is particularly busy in October, when hordes of religious pilgrims come and visit Colvá Church, called Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Merces, that was founded in 1630 by the Roiz family and rebuilt in the eighteenth century on the village square.

Dabolim: Village in Goa

Dabolim is a village in Mormugão, Goa. It is located about 30 km from the state capital Panjim, 23 km from the South Goa district headquarters Margão and 5 km from Vasco da Gama, the headquarters of Mormugão. Dabolim Airport, the only airport in Goa, is located here. (Source: Wikipedia)

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