Honeymoon guide to Goa
With a choice of more than 20 tourist-friendly beaches, accommodation options to suit all budgets and a fascinating culture, Goa offers much that appeals to adventurous honeymoon couples.
The Indian state of Goa is renowned for its beautiful beaches, UNESCO World Heritage-listed architecture and unique mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures.
Unwind on palm-fringed Palolem Beach – arguably Goa’s most beautiful beach, a 2km-long crescent of golden-white sand framed by rocky headlands – with a cold beer and fresh spicy seafood.
Pick up bargains at Anjuna flea market, lined with stalls selling designer beachwear, silver jewellery, prayer wheels, curios, mirrors and elaborately woven multi-coloured cloth from neighbouring Karnataka. Or just watch the exotic spectacle of strolling musicians, religious mendicants, performing monkeys and snake charmers that mingle alongside holy cows among the rows of market stalls.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Goa on foot soaking up the atmospheric former capital of the one-time Portuguese colony. Don't miss the Basilica of Bom Jesus (photo), built in 1605 of local red stone and the final resting place of St Francis Xavier, a legendary 16th century missionary and patron saint of Goa.
Further afield, explore the narrow, winding cobbled streets of Panaji, the atmospheric old quarter of Fontainhas lined with faded, pastel-coloured Portuguese colonial buildings that date back to the mid-17th century (and were used as a backdrop in the dramatic car chase at the beginning of The Bourne Supremacy.)
Take a four-wheel drive to Dudhsagar Falls, then hike up to the famous 310m-high cascade that flows into a deep green pool surrounded by the rugged Western ghats and overlooking unspoiled tropical forest. Cool off with a swim in the deep, icy pool.
More about attractions in Goa…
Goa offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit most honeymoon budgets, including the following 5-star hotels…
Vivanta by Taj Fort Aguada
Location: Sinquerim Beach, Candolim, Goa
Ave nightly price: AUD442 per room
Description: Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Vivanta by Taj Fort Aguada offers luxurious 5-star accommodation spread across 73 acres. Boasting 5 dining options, it features a spa, outdoor pool and fitness facilities. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Featuring Portuguese designs and private balconies, air-conditioned units are fitted with classic wood furnishings and a DVD player. Private bathrooms have a bathtub, hairdryer and bathrobes. Guests can enjoy relaxing spa massages after active workouts at the tennis and squash courts. The property also houses a library, mini golf course and water sports facilities. Offering varied international and local menus, Latitude provides a trendy setting and all-day dining. The resort also has Italian and seafood restaurants as well as 2 bars. Just 100 m from Fort Aguada, Vivanta Fort Aguada is about 12 km from Vagator Beach and Chapora Fortress. It is a 75-minute drive from Goa International Airport and provides free parking.
The Leela Goa
Location: Cavelossim, Goa
Ave nightly price: AUD410 per room
Description: Surrounded by gardens and blue lagoons, The Leela Goa Beach Resort offers luxurious rooms with a DVD player. Facilities include a 12-hole golf course and an outdoor pool. Rooms are elegantly furnished and feature a balcony overlooking the lagoon. They are equipped with a satellite TV, CD player and minibar. En suite bathrooms come with a bathtub and hairdryer. Guests may enjoy Ayurvedic massage and yoga sessions at the spa, or arrange a sunset cruise at the tour desk. The Leela also provides a tennis court and pottery making classes. Leela Goa offers 7 food and beverage options served buffet style, with cuisines ranging from local Indian dishes to Italian food. The resort is located 40 km away from Goa Dabolim Airport. Panjim, the capital city, is around 60 km from the hotel.
Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa
Location: Arossim Beach, Cansaulim, Goa
Ave nightly price: AUD395 per room
Description: Set within 45 acres of landscaped gardens with glimmering waterways and lagoons, Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa is nestled along the pristine Arossim Beach. It offers an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. It has 3 specialty dining options and an award winning Spa, Sereno Spa. Free WiFi access is available in all public areas. The pousada-style accommodation will provide you with air conditioning and a balcony. There is also an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath and a hairdryer. At Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa you will find a 24-hour front desk and a concierge desk. Other facilities offered at the property include a shared lounge, a games room and a tour desk. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling. The property offers free parking. Dining option includes Casa Sarita that serves authentic Goan cuisine while Da Lugi serves a selection of Italian delights. Palms is a seafood restaurant on the beach. Enjoy the robust flavours of Indian food at Masala and savour international cuisine at our 24-hour restaurant, Village Cafe. The Cabo Da Rama Fort is 25 km. The Baga Beach and the Fort Aguada are 45 km. This resort is within 15 km from Goa International Airport and the Madgaon Railway Station. Goa International Airport is a 15-minute drive.
Taj Exotica Goa
Location: Benaulim, Goa
Ave nightly price: AUD361 per room
Description: Spread across 56 acres of landscaped gardens, the Mediterranean-style Taj Exotica Goa sits along a private beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. It boasts golfing facilities, a full spa and outdoor pool. 6 dining options await guests. Decorated in neutral colours, rooms feature classic dark wood furnishings. Each comes with a balcony overlooking the garden, pool or sea. Select rooms offer a private pool or hydromassage bathtub. Sunny afternoons can be spent playing tennis or getting a relaxing massage at The Jiva Spa. The resort also provides a fitness centre and 24-hour room service. Guests can enjoy fresh seafood at the beachfront Lobster Shack while Mediterranean cuisine is served at Miguel Arcanjo. Traditional Goan dishes are offered at Allegria. For a nightcap, Adega Cameons Bar serves a variety of drinks. Taj Exotica Goa is 3 km from Colva Beach and 12 km from Madgaon City. It is a 45-minute drive from Goa Dabolim Airport. Free parking is available.
Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
Location: Miramar Beach, Panaji, Goa
Ave nightly price: AUD299 per room
Description: Goa Marriott Resort & Spa offers luxurious 5-star accommodation, featuring a casino, outdoor pool and spa. Offering 3 dining options and free parking, it is a 2-minute drive from Kala Academy Pier. Featuring spacious layouts, Marriott Goa’s air-conditioned rooms have stunning views and DVD players. For convenience, a safe, ironing and tea/coffee making amenities. Private bathrooms have hot/cold showers and a hairdryer. Regular workouts can be maintained at the fitness centre. For leisure, there is a tour desk that organises day trips. Goa Marriott Resort & Spa also provides business services. All-day dining with international dishes is available at Waterfront Terrace which also features outdoor dining with poolside views while AZ.U.R. is the transitional lounge specializing in Mediterranean dishes. Other options include Wan Hao Asian restaurant, Simply Grills and 24-hour room service. Located in the business hub of Panaji, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa is a 40-minute drive from Dabolim Airport.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more hotels and resorts in Goa at TripAdvisor.
The best time to enjoy Goa’s beaches is during the cool, dry season between November and April, and especially from mid-December to February, with daily temperatures averaging 29°C (84°F).
Goa is warm and humid year round, with temperatures hitting 33°C (91°F) in May, the hottest month. Heavy monsoonal rains last from early June to late September.
Note: Goa’s peak season is during Christmas and New Year when the cost of beachside accommodation often doubles or triples.
More about Goa Weather Guide…
Goa hugs the centre of India’s west coast bounded by the Arabian Sea. The most convenient route is to fly into Mumbai Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) then connect with a domestic flight to Goa’s Dabolim Airport (Dabolim International Airport).
Stretching across 3700 sq km, Goa is divided into two regions – North and South Goa, each with its own distinct coastal and interior areas.
The central coastal area reflects the Portuguese colonial influence with a larger Christian population, while the interior is home to a majority Hindu population.
More about how to get to Goa…
Latest update Goa honeymoon destination: 5 August, 2018