In November 2015 our guests Sue & Paul travelled to Goa. Here they share some of their fond memories from their trip....
"We recently returned from a 29-day trip to Goa, and we can honestly say it was one of our best ever holidays. Southern India, Goa in particular is an amazing destination.
Originally we planned a two centre, two-week trip but found The Goa Experience staff to be extremely informative and they offered us a degree of flexibility. Having helped us get a 30 day e-visa they were then able to arrange a week in South Goa, a week in North Goa, some excursions in the middle and also time for free travel that we arranged for ourselves. Given problems that have arisen with air travel, it was good to know that our departure and return to the UK were in the hands of a reliable ABTA/ATOL operator.
The direct flights were very comfortable, with plenty of legroom in economy class. Arriving in Goa in the middle of the night was no problem as our bodies thought it was 21.00. We were fortunate to clear immigration controls easily and the private transfer to our hotel was well organised.
The Acacia Palms hotel in Colva was very comfortable, with friendly staff and set in pretty gardens. Colva is a small but busy town and popular with Indian domestic tourists and locals. The scene on the beach at the end of Diwali was fascinating. Being based in Colva, in more relaxed South Goa, allowed us to acclimatise easily; we changed money, bought a local phone SIM card to help with our planned travels and ate very well. Days were spent walking along the beach at the edge of the Arabian Sea.
The soft white sand was firmer and flatter by the water’s edge, and cycling next to the sea was easy and popular. We often headed south to quieter beach shacks and then strolled back later as the sun was setting. We always felt safe, with plenty to entertain us wherever we were. Evenings were spent in a variety of restaurants and beach shacks.
After trips to Hampi, a spice plantation, a hill station, an overnight boat trip and a visit to the capital Panjim, we arrived in North Goa to stay at the excellent Sonesta Inns near Candolim. The hotel is in a fantastic location, set away from the bustle of the main road and with direct pedestrian access to the beach. The room was superb, the gardens beautiful and the staff always attentive. The centre of Candolim was about 15 minutes away on foot and Calangute about 25 minutes, though taxis were readily available if we didn’t want to walk. The two towns were very different, lively and enjoyable, and after all the hustle and bustle there was always the beautiful pool and serene gardens to return to. The food was very good at the hotel, though there is a wide choice of other restaurants nearby.
Moving around the region was absolutely fascinating. We tried taxis, local buses and trains. We couldn’t believe how friendly everybody was. We laughed and smiled for the entire month - surely what a good holiday is about.
Thank you very much Goa Experience, it was a fantastic and truly memorable trip."
Sue & Paul, Southampton
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