There are far more things to do in Goa than indulge in the incredible coastline and beautiful beaches. Step away from the sand during your Goa holidays.
Goa’s gorgeous and expansive coastline means it’s only natural that those embarking on holidays to Goa will spend ample time lazing on the sand or splashing in the sea. While a Goa beach holiday promises endless indulgence and excitement, it is important to recognise that India’s smallest state offers far more than a soiree by the sea. From immense cultural heritage to diverse wildlife, bustling markets to stunning natural landscapes, here’s 10 things to do in Goa without going to the beach.
1. Visit Dudhsagar Falls
In the far east of the state, swimming in the waterfall pool sitting at the base of the Dudhsagar Falls will provide ample replacement for the waters of the Arabian Sea. The falls are one of the largest in India, measuring an impressive 603 metres.
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2. Explore Goa's Portuguese heritage
Home to the likes of Old Goa, once dubbed ‘the Rome of the East’ and considered the largest, richest and most splendid city in the whole of Asia, Goa's colonial history is a fascinating thing to explore. Encountering the countless grand landmarks and Portuguese homes is one of the most interesting things to do in Goa.
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3. Treat yourself to a spa and yoga session
The only thing more relaxing than lazing on the beach during Goa holidays is embracing the range of yoga and spa opportunities across the state, ensuring you return from your holiday in peak condition.
4. Discover Goa's wildlife
Goa is the location of a number of wildlife sanctuaries; the most popular being Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. The former is home to Indian bison, wild boar and even a few elephants, while the latter is famed for its 200 species of birds. The Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is also well worth a visit, located on the small island of Chorao. Enjoy a boat trip through this roadless reserve famed for its coastal birdlife and flying foxes.
5. Eat your way around the state
Nothing delivers a flavour of Goa quite like the state’s food. You’ll be spoilt for choice during your holidays in Goa when it comes to sampling authentic, local eats. From quirky beach shacks to classy eateries; a range of establishments will be serving up the likes of Goan fish curry, chicken xacuti and some of India’s freshest seafood.
6. Attend a festival
Goa’s calendar is packed full of cultural festivals and events, all proving to be a unique insight into the identity and heritage of the state and India as a whole. Whether it’s the colours of Holi near the beginning of the year or the stunning lights of Diwali near the end of the year; attending one of area’s festivals is among the best things to do in Goa.
7. Embrace the hustle bustle of a market
From the Saturday Night Market in Arpora to the bustling flea market in Anjuna each Wednesday, the (relatively) organised chaos of one of Goa’s markets is unforgettable. Grab some souvenirs, mix with the locals or simply go for the visual impact; the sights and smells are as diverse as they are fascinating.
8. Visit a spice plantation
The basis of the aromas that will fill the air throughout your holiday in Goa, the source of these flavours and smells can be discovered with a trip to one of Goa’s spice plantations. One of the most popular and accessible plantations is the Savoi Plantation where they grow a variety of spices and fruits.
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9. Take a trip to Hampi
Though the incredible archaeological park of Hampi isn’t exactly in Goa, it is still one of the most rewarding trips to experience during your Goa holiday. We offer a fascinating three-day and two-night tour to the ruins, recognised today as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
10. Take a trip to Mumbai
We offer a number of tours to other destinations in India for those spending their holidays in Goa and after another impression of the country. In addition to our trip to the north, you can head to Mumbai for a look at the city’s incredible Elephanta Caves, among many other top attractions.
Looking for some more ideas and inspiration for your holidays to Goa? Check out our Holiday Ideas page where you can discover the perfect getaway just for you.
Have we missed anything off this list? Let us know your recommendations by commenting below.