Goa : for first time visitorsSmriti Saxena
Rightly termed as Hawaii of the east – Goa is among top five most popular tourist destinations in India. So, if you are planning your trip to Goa then here is some introduction:
Getting here: Visiting this global village is fairly simple. Depending on your location and feasibility, you can choose to drive or ride, fly or take a train.
- By Air: The Dabolim Airport (GOI) lies at a distance of almost 29 kilometers away from state’s capital Panaji. It’s well connected to other major cities of the country via regular flights. It is the only airport in the state
- By Road: There are a number of public as well as private bus operators in Goa, which offer options for intra-city and inter-city conveyance. Goa enjoys daily bus service from important cities like Mumbai and Pune. Driving to Goa is also amazing. Some people take flight to Mumbai and they drive onwards. The road route is absolutely stunning and is worth it.
- By Train: Goa has two major train stations – Vasco Da Gama and Madgaon. There are other two Konkan Railway stations – Karmali and Thivim. To reach Panjim, Karmali is the closest station and Thivim is the station to go to Mapusa or Calangute. There are direct trains to Goa from most of the major cities of India. For travelling via train anywhere in India you need to plan well ahead of time (possibly two months in advance) as train tickets get sold out pretty soon.
Staying here: To be able to finalise a good accommodation, you need to have clarity on: what is it that you are looking for? You could choose from a serene and relaxing vacation, a party type holiday or probably a mix of both. Until you don’t decide your holiday type, it will be difficult for you to conclude whether you want to be in North Goa or South Goa.
- Luxury holidays are a USP (unique selling proposition) of South Goa. I prefer South Goa for its pristine beaches and laidback character largely good for walks, swimming, chilling and de-stressing. Locally known as the Konkan, the area spreads from Arossim to Mobor beach. The stretch is known for its peace, greenery, village-like atmosphere, its luxury resorts and fine dining restaurants serving authentic Goan cuisine.
- If you like a fast pace and plenty of things to do, then North Goa is the place to be. Crowded beaches, crazy nightlife, Goan trance, hippie markets and yoga retreats define the buzzing spirit of North Goa. This side of the state offers budget hotels and homestays. The area is dominated by the famous flea market, beach accessories, eating joints, shacks etc. It’s largely for people those who like to live it up, who like to travel light and take in more. Bikes, cars and jeeps can be hired by those who like to follow their own itinerary.
When to go: There’s no special time to go to Goa, you can choose as per your mood:
- Mid-November to Mid-February is the peak tourist season. The weather is pleasantly cool and comfortable. December is the time when Goa witnesses one of its most popular festivals, Sunburn, besides extensive Christmas and New Year. This time of the year usually is crowded and expensive.
- March to May: Not a preferred season because it’s hot and humid, the sea becomes rougher and there are not many activities.
- Mid-June to October: Mid-June to October is the time when the rains hit the beautiful Goa. There are parties across the length and breadth of Goa to welcome the rains. If you love the monsoon and the lush green countryside then it’s a great time to visit. Hotels are running big promotions during this time.
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