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Holidays in North Goa

The Indian state of Goa is divided into two districts North and South Goa. Whilst both are recognised for their fabulous beaches North Goa has more beaches and is the more developed and livelier of the two areas. North Goa shares a border with South Goa, has a coast line onto the Arabian Sea and is bordered to the north by the Indian district of Maharashtra and to the east by the district of Karnataka. The North Goan coastline is approximately 30 km long.

The area can be reached by international tourists via flights into the Goan airport of Dabolim which is served by a number of airlines. Alternatively almost all the major international airlines fly into Mumbai and Delhi with an easy onward connecting flight to Dabolim. There are also regular bus and train services from Mumbai and Delhi to the Goan capital Panjim. Flights from Europe for example are in the order of £500 or less.

Within the district are a number of key cities including the state capital Panjim and the former capital of Old Goa now a ruin and a World Heritage site. The district also includes the port of Vasco de Gama which has an important role for all sea faring connections to the region.

The climate is consistently hot all year round with little fluctuation in temperature – usually ranging between 25-30c at the extremes. It is however marked by a monsoon season which runs from June to September hence the peak visiting season tends to be outside this period. The coastal resorts tend to benefit from sea breezes.

The area is especially well known for its popular beaches to which many international tourists flock. The beaches are in general very lively with plenty on offer in the form of water sports, parties and carnivals. The range of water sports is usually extensive including amongst other things surfing, snorkelling/diving, jet/water skiing and wind surfing. Close to the shores the sea is ideal for swimming although further out the Arabian Sea can be a little rough. They are not a destination for those looking for peace and quiet. There are many beaches in the region but some of the most notable are Anjuna, Dona Paula, Miramar, Vagator and Bambolim. Each has its own special attractions with Anjuna Beach for example being known for its hippie culture and colourful weekly flea market. Dona Paula is especially popular with international tourists who are attracted by the adventure sports it offers.

North Goa's attractions are not limited to its beaches as there are many monuments, forts and other buildings that are worth visiting. The blend of Hindu and Christian culture offers churches and temples of both faiths to observe. The 400 year history of Portuguese occupation has left its mark on the area not only in the form of the Baroque architecture which can be found in the capital Panjim but also in other settlements such as the cliff top Fort Aguada built in 1612 to protect Goa against Dutch and Maratha invaders.

The popularity of North Goa as a tourist destination means that accommodation is in plentiful supply. Depending on your budget the area can offer everything from village home stays right through to five star luxury hotels and beach resorts.