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Located on the west coast, Goa may be the smallest state in India but it packs a mighty punch. A string of easygoing beach holiday towns overlooking the Arabian Sea, its coastal strip is divided into two distinct parts, North Goa and South Goa. Between the two areas sits the state capital of Panaji and the former Portuguese capital of Old Goa, whose monasteries and Catholic churches are a popular side trip from the more commercial holiday resorts along the shoreline.
If you’re after nightclubs, beach bars and restaurant shacks during your holiday in Goa, head to the northern resorts of Calangute and Baga, where you can spend the days having fun on the water and the evenings drinking cocktails and partying the night away.
Rummage for trinkets and spices at the legendary Anjuna flea market, or admire the illuminated religious structures of Panaji from a twilight cruise along the Mandovi River. If you’re a foodie, make a beeline for the Friday market in the town of Mapusa, where you can tuck into authentic Goan street food and buy colourful Indian textiles to take home.
Down in the south, the pace of life slows right down, with rest and relaxation the order of the day. Some of Goa’s finest spa hotels are tucked into the casuarina trees behind the beaches of Arossim, Utorda and Benaulim, some of which offer holistic Ayurvedic treatments, meditation classes and yoga sessions for tranquillity-seeking travellers.
Paddle through lotus ponds on a kayaking tour of the mirror-flat Sal Backwaters near Margao and see kingfishers, lapwings and Indian swallows close up. Or take a snorkelling day trip out to Grande Island off the coast of Vasco de Gama and spot dolphins en route before enjoying a traditional Goan barbecue on the beach.
Have a Goan holiday in the heart of the action or far away from the hustle and bustle – either way you’ll find every kind of hotel option along Goa’s coast, so you can kick back, stretch out and enjoy the laid-back beach vibe.
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Mother of God Church and within 6 mi (10 km) of Arossim Beach and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Fatorda Stadium and Sunset Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated on a stretch of beach where the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea meet, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa is a 5-minute walk from downtown Panaji, Goa's capital. Miramar Beach is .7 km (.4 mi) away.
Situated by the sea, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Candolim Beach, Sinquerim Beach, and Fort Aguada. Calangute Beach is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.
This family-friendly Calangute resort is located in the entertainment district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Calangute Market and Calangute Beach. Baga Beach and Candolim Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St. Anthony's Chapel and Calangute Beach. Candolim Beach and Baga Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
This Goa luxury resort is situated on a quiet stretch of Mobor Beach on the Arabian Sea. A fishing village along the Sal River is just south of the resort.
Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of St. Anthony's Chapel, Calangute Beach, and Candolim Beach. Sinquerim Beach and Baga Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).
This family-friendly Bambolim resort is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Bambolim Beach and Goa Medical College and Hospital. Goa University and Odxel Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).