It’s no secret that Goa is a favourite beach destination in India. It has a laid-back lifestyle, hippie vibe, glorious scenic beaches, natural tranquillity, beach sports, and awesome parties. It’s a great destination year-round, but visiting Goa during summer is quite a special experience. Here are some reasons to visit Goa this summer.
The hotels and resorts in Goa slash their prices during summer, but the facilities are just as good as at other times of year. What’s more, flights to Goa are cheaper. So, if you want a luxurious holiday on a shoestring budget, head to Goa this summer.
Just you, your partner and the sun, sea and sand: romantic bliss! In summer, it’s easier to snag a table at a beach shack to enjoy a romantic evening by candle light, away from prying eyes! Alternatively, enjoy a quiet, serene sunset cruise along the Mandovi River.
Make a beeline for one of the beautiful beaches of this tropical paradise, sans crowds! Relax and soak up the Vitamin D on a sun-kissed stretch of sand, or take a contemplative barefoot stroll, perfect therapy for your body, mind and soul. Just don’t forget to pack your sunglasses and sunblock.
Water sports definitely shouldn’t be missed on a trip to Goa: parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing, banana boat ride, scuba diving, dolphin spotting, snorkeling… Get ready for an adrenaline rush!
With nearly non-existent crowds, the vendors slash the rates of the items in order to make a sale. Shopaholics can fill their bags with Goan specialties and souvenirs without leaving much of a dent in their pockets. Plus, alcohol is also cheap during this season. More reasons to party until the sun comes up.
A trip to Goa is incomplete without trying the delicious local cuisine: pork vindaloo, Goan fish curry, sorpotel, fish recheado, prawn balchao, bebinca, and of course, the local liquor, Goan feni… hungry yet?
There are festivities and celebrations in Goa year-round, but the months of summer (March-May) throb with high spirits and liveliness. The best festivals at this time of year are Shigmo (March), a street festival that portrays Goan life through folk performances, music, dance and parades; Easter (March or April); Grape Escapade (April), a wine festival; the Goan Food and Music Festival (April), which celebrates Goan delicacies and music; the Konkan Fruit Fest (April); India Bike Week (April); and the Goa Heritage Festival (May).
Because of the relative scarcity of tourists in Goa during the summer, you’ll get the chance to explore some of the state’s off-the-beaten-path treasures in peace. Enjoy the aroma of fresh spices at a spice plantation; hang out with elephants at the Jungle Book; enjoy splendid views and Portuguese history from Sinquerim Fort; watch Greek performances at Greek restaurant Thalassa; explore architectural wonders at Rivona Caves, Arvalem Caves or Lamgau Caves; try backwater kayaking on the Zueri and Nerul Rivers; spot wildlife in nature sanctuaries…
Dudhsagar Plantation, Karmane Village, Mollem National Park, Goa, +91 097653 64456
Jungle Book, Waterfalls Rd, Kulem, Goa, +91 098221 21431
Thalassa, Small Vagator, Ozran, Vagator, Goa, +91 098500 33537
Arvalem Caves, Rudreshwar Colony, Sanquelim, Goa, +91 0832 249 4200
Countless yoga retreats and one-off lessons are held on the soft sands of Goa. Patnem Beach in South Goa and Arambol Beach and Mandrem Beaches in North Goa are ideal places to head if you’re looking to join a class. There are also numerous wellness centres in Goa. These offer all kinds of rest and relaxation, and often serve organic meals to keep you hale and hearty. A few excellent options include SWAN Yoga Retreat, Banyan Tree Yoga and Vedic Valley. A splendid retreat in Goa awaits you this summer!
SWAN Yoga Retreat, 101/4 Bairo Alto, Assagao Bardez, Assagao, Goa, +91 080073 60677
Vedic Valley, 770, New Wada, Morjim, Goa. +91 088885 49807
Trek along the picturesque pathways of the Mahavir Forest Reserve and witness the splendour of the Dudhsagar Falls. Water cascades in milky froth (hence their name–dudh means milk). They’re truly a sight like no other!
Owing to its close proximity to the Western Ghats mountain chain, Goa is home to rich and diverse fauna and flora. The Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Mollen National Park, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are some must-visit spots.
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Valpoi, Goa, +91 0832 222 5926
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Canacona Taluka, Khotigao, Goa, +91 0832 296 5601
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Usgao-Ganjem VP, Goa, +91 0832 243 8750
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Near Ribandar Ferry, Chorao, Goa, +91 0832 222 9701
With minimal crowds, picturesque spots and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, Goa is summer is a paradise for shutterbugs. Though the sun is strong in the middle of the day, the morning and evening glow are a photographer’s delight.
Thanks to the quieter streets of summer, touring the whole state by bike is easy. Stop wherever you want to admire beach towns, Portuguese-era architecture and scenic beaches. Bikes are cheap to rent, at around INR 175- INR 250 (US$ 2- US$4) per day, and are a perfect way to explore India’s smallest state.