10 Reasons why Goa is the Best Place on the Planet
Many people ask why I spend so long in Goa, usually the only reason I can give them is ‘why not’ or ‘where else’ because honestly I really don’t know where else I’d rather be.
This slice of paradise on India’s Western shores provides such a diverse and captivating mix of people, food, lifestyles, cultures, things to do and religions that there really is something for everyone and whats not to like about spending endless sunshine filled days exploring the gorgeous countryside or relaxing on the beach?
But what is it that makes Goa so special, not just for me, but for so many other people who feel compelled to return each year to Goa’s shores, many of them stay for the whole season, find it hard to leave and call Goa ‘home.’
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Here’s 10 reasons why I love Goa and think it’s the best place on the planet.
Sunshine filled days
While the Northern Hemisphere is in the grip of winter India enjoys sunshine filled days perfect for exploring or just for lazing on the beach and even when temperatures rise across the rest of India, Goa is kept a little cooler with the refreshing sea breezes. Apart from in Monsoon (June- Sept) you can pretty much guarantee that you will wake up to sunny, clear, blue skies and a warm day – beats shivering in the gloomy cold European or North American winters.
So many beaches
Goa has over 300 km of tropical coast line and all the beaches have their own special charm and character which means you will never get bored. From the empty, white sands of the beaches in the South to the action packed beaches in Calangute or hippy Arambol, mellow Morjim, colourful Palolem or secluded Cola Beach – there’s a beach to suit everyone in Goa! And yes, there are cows on the beaches – it’s all part of the unique Goan charm!
A global community
Some of my friends say ‘why go anywhere else when the whole world comes to Goa’ and it’s true! Apart from the Goans, who are some of the most hospitable, kind, welcoming and tolerant people anywhere, you will meet people from all over India and all over the world in Goa – Brits, Russians, Israelis, Italians, French, Germans, Swedes, Swiss, Australians, Americans, Spanish, Peruvians, Chileans, Argentinians everyone. Even though the days of the overland ‘hippie trail,’ which bought the first tourists to these shores and made Goa famous are over, there is still a thriving hippie and alternative community and many foreigners stay for the whole season which gives Goa a blend of Eastern and Western culture and a good community feel making it easy to make friends.
A magical, unique culture
Goa is India’s smallest and most laid back and westernised state and you can still see, feel and taste the influences from nearly 500 years of Portuguese rule that creates an intoxicating blend of East and West. India is perhaps the most exuberant, captivating and incredible country in the world but traveling here can be challenging but Goa is distinctly different from the rest of India and much easier. Perhaps its the perfect blend of the magical Indian culture, the laid back Portuguese charm and the hippie past that creates a heady mix that is captivating, unique and welcoming to everyone and means that Goa is quite unlike anywhere else in the world.
Read More: 21 Reasons I love India so much
Goa is a foodies heaven! Indian food is always a delight and Goan cuisine which fuses the flavours of Indian and Portuguese cuisines with a healthy amount of fresh seafood and tasty spices is a unique treat. But it’s not just about curry, any food you want, from anywhere in the world, you can enjoy in Goa.
From cheap and cheerful beach shacks to laid back eateries and world class fine dining restaurants – you are spoilt for choice here, the European food is also great and you can even get a real beef steak. Perhaps the best thing about the food scene in Goa is that it’s always great value for money with even a dish in a fancy restaurant not setting you back much more than 500 Rupees (£5 pounds $7 ) Expat supermarkets also sell imported food so you don’t even have to miss your favourite foods from home.
Goa is home to some of the best markets in the world and you can really find some interesting, unique bargains, as long as you know how to haggle! The famous Anjuna Flea Market still erupts in a sea of colourful sarongs, spices and souvenirs in Anjuna every Wednesday, and the Saturday Night Market in Arpora is so much more than just a market – it’s a night out with live music, food stalls and loads of handmade, hippiesh clothes and jewellery stalls. The local markets are also great to experience, try the hustle and bustle of Mapusa’s local market for a taste of ‘real India’ and every night at sunset a hippie market and drum circle sets up on Arambol Beach.
Out of this world nightlife
Goa is called India’s party capital and nightlife here is definitely among the best in the world. Again, it’s really diverse, from classy dinning and cocktails at sunset to the buzz of the market, live music, casinos, bars pumping out the latest Bollywood hits or techno parties, silent discos on Palolem beach and of course the famous all night psychedelic trance raves under fluorescent palm trees that Goa is famous for. Goa’s nightlife is an experience and with so much going on the party never stops!
Read More: Top 10 best parties and clubs in Goa.
Theres always something new to explore
There really is something for everyone in Goa, from luxury hotels to cheap beach huts, from swish nightclubs to hippie hang outs, from mellow yoga retreats to all night raves, fort and churches, spice plantations and waterfalls and so much more history, culture, architecture and nature to explore.
And Goa is not just about lazing on the beach – there are all kinds of yoga and alternative therapies and courses on offer, cooking courses, adventure sports and so much more to do. Even though Goa feels pretty touristy on the main beaches it’s easy to escape, get off the beaten track and see a more authentic side.
One of my favourite things to do is just exploring by motorbike, zipping through the paddy fields under a palm tree filled blue sky, through colourful villages and past old white washed churches with the wind in my hair is an intoxicating experience and everyday you can still find something new to explore – you won’t get bored.
Read More: Things to do in Goa – off the beach!
Low cost of living
India is one of the cheapest places in the world to travel (it’s possible to get by on only 1000 Rupees (£10 / $15 a day) and although Goa is more expensive compared to the rest of India, life here is still wonderfully affordable compared to the rest of the world.
The relaxed ‘Susegad’ pace of life
Susegad means a relaxed, laid-back attitude towards life and Goa is well known for its chilled out pace of life and the importance placed on having fun and living life to the fullest.
Goa is also one of the easiest places to travel in India, as a solo female I have never felt unsafe, I can wear what I want, even at night, without attracting uncomfortable attention and life is relaxed, peaceful, free and easy.