Goa is the ideal destination to escape the hustle and bustle of the rest of India. Known for its pearly white beaches and hippie culture, it is popular with backpackers for its nightlife and numerous festivals. At the same time, there are plenty of quiet beaches where travellers can relax and take yoga or meditation classes. A visit to Goa requires a number of preparations, including applying for an India visa.
The beautiful beaches of Goa
Which part of Goa is best to visit depends on the type of trip. Backpackers who want to party late into the night are advised to go to the north of the state, while the south of Goa is more suitable for travellers who want to enjoy the beautiful beaches in peace and quiet. Popular resorts in the north include Anjuna and Vagator. Anjuna is known as the party destination of India with various nightclubs and open-air parties. In addition, Anjuna hosts a flea market every Wednesday that is visited en masse by tourists. Vagator has a beach with rugged cliffs and various entertainment venues.
A popular destination in the south is Palolem, a coastal town characterised by beach houses in all kinds of colours and where hippy culture is still alive and kicking. Not far from Palolem is Agonda, a fishing village with simple accommodation. The beaches at Agonda are some of the quietest in Goa and are therefore perfect for relaxing and recharging your batteries. Take a yoga or meditation class and unwind.
What else is there to do?
Although the majority of tourists mainly travel to Goa for its beaches, there is plenty more to see and experience in this state. Goa has quite a bit to offer for culture and sports enthusiasts. The Portuguese influences can still be seen in Goa. There are several churches and monasteries that are on the UNESCO world heritage list. The capital of Goa, Panaji (called Pangim in Portuguese) used to be the capital of the colony of the Portuguese East Indies, and many Portuguese colonial buildings can be seen in the centre of the city. Active people can practice various water sports in Goa, such as surfing, diving, kayaking or swimming. The waterfalls of Dudhsagar in the east of Goa are also worth a visit. Take a dip in the water and visit the nearby game reserve.
Preparing for a holiday in Goa
Applying for an India visa is mandatory if you wish to visit Goa. Since a few years, it is no longer necessary to go to the Indian embassy for a visa application. The India visa can be easily applied for online, after which it can be printed out and carried with you on your trip. The electronic tourist visa for India comes in three variants with a validity of one month, one year and even five years. However, the one-month visa has so many drawbacks that it almost always makes more sense to apply for a one-year visa. Within this year, you can travel to India several times, as long as each individual stay does not exceed 90 days. This means that you can stay in India with an e-visa for up to three consecutive months. This makes it possible to combine a stay in Goa with a visit to other parts of India or a tour of the country.
Apart from applying for an India visa, there are still some preparations that need to be made. Certain vaccinations are recommended when visiting India, which often have to be received several weeks or even months before departure. In addition, it is wise to take precautions against malaria. Contact a doctor or vaccination specialist to find out which vaccinations and medicines are recommended for a holiday in Goa.
Are you planning to travel to Goa? Then apply directly for your India visa. The visa is valid for one year from the moment it is granted. This means you do not need to know exactly when you will arrive in India, and you can apply for your visa even if you have not yet booked flight tickets or accommodation.