Why visit Goa?
Goa is famous for its sandy beaches and its huge range of accommodations that will suit all tastes and budgets; from 5 star luxury to makeshift huts, there is a beach and a bed for everyone. For a hippy-vibe go to Arambol; for solitude and introspection, try Patnem or Agonda, and Baga is perfect for anyone that wants to spend their time engaged in water pursuits.
For sightseeing and local attractions, the Anjuna flea market hosts over 500 stalls every Wednesday and Mackie’s Night Bazaar and the Saturday Night Market in Arpora Baga are always worth a visit. During daylight hours there are museums, churches and cathedrals offering fascinating insight into Goa’s history. There are also wildlife sanctuaries, spice plantations and nature resorts to delight and entertain, as well as elephant rides and boat trips for that extra special memory.
How far is the airport from city centre and which airlines fly to Goa from UK?
Goa International Airport (also known as Dabolim Airport) is roughly 30 kilometres from the capital city of Panjim and 4 kilometres from the nearest city, Vasco da Gama. There are seasonal airline charters in operation, normally between November and May. Manchester and London Gatwick airports both service the route, offering flights by Thomas Cook, Thomson and Monarch airlines.
What transport options available from the airport?
Travelling to the Vasco da Gama is as simple as catching the train as the Indian Rail service is only approximately 1 kilometre from the airport. To get to Panjim there are public buses that leave every half hour from the airport terminal, or there are taxis for those who prefer to travel in relative privacy or want to split the cost with a group. The terminal buses also go to Mapusa, Ponda, Margoa and Vasco da Gama, or there is another bus stop a little further away in Chicalim that runs similar routes.
What are the visa requirements for UK and non-EU nationals?
UK nationals must also have at least six months on their passport when entering the country. Non EU citizens must also have a visa and a passport that is valid for six months upon entry, but tourist visas are not eligible to be extended. If, however, and application is made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other visas may be able to be extended.
How to get around Goa?
Transportation in and around Goa can be on one of the flat-based ferries that traverse the rivers or on dry land, there are auto rickshaws, motorcycle taxis and taxis. Make sure to negotiate a fee before jumping on or in as the metres rarely work, but for a fixed rate use a local bus service which are cheap, frequent and have routes everywhere. For more freedom, hire a motorcycle but, except for long distances or day trips, car hire isn’t really cost effective.
With 10 hours of sunshine every day and temperatures averaging between 25°C and 30°C, Goa best visited between October and April. While temperatures are high all year round, the Southwest Monsoon season rainfalls of between 250cm and 300cm are normal. February is the driest month and July the wettest, but the monsoon season is becoming more popular as increasing numbers of tourists want to experience the extreme weather.