5 Things to Keep in Mind if You're Travelling to Goa for the First Time

Going on a trip to a new destination can be hectic, especially if you’re not well-prepared in advance. Goa is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in India and it can offer something special for the taste of each traveller.

Before you start organizing your suitcase for your upcoming trip, you might want to read up some things about the place you are visiting and make the right decisions so you enjoy your holidays even more. Here are some tips for everyone visiting the ultimate beach destination of India- Goa.

Pick the right time of the year to visit

Depending on the time of the year you wish to travel to Goa, there are a few things you need to consider in order to be able to enjoy your visit as much as possible. The very first thing you need to consider is travelling during an off or peak season. The first advantage you will come to discover is a difference in prices.

In general, the peak season lasts from October to February with the most expensive season for tourists to visit is from a few weeks before the Christmas holidays until after them, at around the middle of January. The good thing is that this is a small time frame that you can easily avoid so you can cut down on costs if you are on a budget.

A great thing about this beautiful location is that the weather is good pretty much all year round, so even if you wish to visit during the off season you will still be able to enjoy temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius and swim in the sea without the weather being an issue.

Pack light in all seasons

As mentioned previously, the weather in Goa is always warm and sunny, even during the winter months. No matter the time of year you wish to visit, it is a good idea to bring light clothes with you so that you don’t encounter any issues with the heat.

If you plan on visiting during the summer, cool linen and cotton clothes are a necessity as it tends to get very warm during these months. Always make sure to carry a bottle of cool water with you, your flip-flops, a pair of sunglasses, a hat of your choice and most importantly plenty of sunscreen.

Most important of all, you should remember to bring your swimwear along and some beach towels. The sea in Goa is beautiful and you should be prepared to jump right in as soon as you arrive at your destination to cool off after a tiring trip.

Explore the different beaches of Goa

Before you start looking for a hotel, it might be a good idea for you to decide which parts of Goa you would like to see. The best thing about Goa is that it has so many beaches for you to choose from that you can swim in a different beach each day.

One of the reasons why Goa is one of the most visited tourist places is because of its beaches.
For all the beach bums out there, Goa doesn't fall short on them. All picture credits to Pranavi Chhikniwala.

With its coastline being longer than 100 kilometers, Goa has a plethora of different beaches for you to explore, whether you are looking for a more organized and modern one or a less crowded one where you will be able to relax with the people you are travelling with.

Some of the most crowded beaches include Baga, Calangute, Candolim and Vagator while some of the more peaceful ones include Ashwem beach, Hollant beach, Kakolem beach and Butterfly beach. All of them are easily accessible for anyone.

There are a couple of things you need to remember when it comes to exploring these beautiful sunny beaches. First and foremost, no matter which time of the year you are visiting you need to remember to have sunscreen with you as you face a high risk of either developing sunburn or having a sunstroke. The temperatures are always high and the sun is pretty much always shining in this area of India so you need to be prepared with the right things and not stay in the sun for too long.

Along with that, some of the beaches in the north part of Goa are prone to having strong currents and can be a danger to visitors who are unaware of this problem. While these beaches should be marked with red flags to warn visitors, you should always ask a lifeguard on duty whether swimming in certain areas is safe or not.

One last thing you need to remember is to always be wary of the jellyfish that can swim in the beautiful waters in Goa. There are quite a few species of jellyfish living in the waters so you should try and keep your valuable jewelry off of you while you swim as jellyfish tend to be attracted to shiny objects underwater.

Make time to visit the historical monuments

Goa might be small but it is packed with things to see which hold a lot of value. Apart from the stunning beaches, there are beautiful waterfalls such as the Dudhsagar Falls which is Goa’s tallest waterfall and other notable places you have to visit during your stay.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus built in 1605 is one of the most popular churches in Goa and is listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites amongst others. It stands as a reminder of the diversity of Indian religions and traditions. On the inside, you can find a modern art gallery featuring paintings of the late 20th century.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Another place to visit is the Arpora Saturday night bazaar, which works every Saturday evening after 6 pm. There you will be able to buy spices, clothes and other interesting souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family. You can also have a chance to try many local street food dishes and drinks.

There are plenty of other places for you to see and depending on what you wish to explore, you are bound to find the perfect activities for your needs in beautiful Goa.

Try the local alcohol and seafood

Last but definitely not the least, it would be a shame for you to visit Goa without having tried their delicious local alcohol called Feni as well as the seafood dishes which are the area’s local specialty. Feni is available in different versions around the area but you should definitely try the refined one before everything else.

Another popular alcohol in the area is called Urrak and while it might be tasty and easy to drink you need to remember that it can be quite strong, so make sure you drink slowly and with caution. You should also make time to try the local Bebinca cake which is a desert consistent of layers of coconut milk, egg yolks, nutmeg and cane sugar.

When it comes to the local cuisine, it is considered to be a mix between Indian food and Portuguese influences which make the dishes completely unique to the area. The seafood is the local specialty and crabs make a large part of many dishes, as they are very easy to obtain- all thanks to the beaches. Trying fish curry made of fresh white fish is a must for new travellers to the area.

Organizing the trip of your dreams

A visit to Goa is worth the trouble to plan everything correctly in advance. From the place you will be staying in to the beaches you will be visiting and the activities you wish to partake in, it is a good idea to have a concrete plan so you enjoy your stay even more without encountering any issues.

Goa might be small but it has so many different things for you to experience and you are bound to have the time of your life.

About author

Erica Sunarjo is a professional writer and editor for TheWordPoint. She has a passion for travelling and she loves to help people plan their trips abroad easier. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and reading novels from her favorite authors.

Writer, Erica Sunarjo.