Goa may be India’s smallest state, but it draws a large amount of interest from visitors around the world every year. Having been ruled by Portugal in the past, Goa developed separately to the rest of India, and has a distinctly different feel to other Indian regions.
Goa is renowned for its important Hindu and Catholic places of worship, its world heritage architecture and wonderful beaches. It’s a hotspot for biodiversity as well, and the fauna and flora are rich and flourishing.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Goa, India. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and remember to check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
The nearest South African Consulate to Goa is the South African Consulate-General in Mumbai. Gandhi Mansion, 20 Altamount Road, Mumbai, 400 026. Phone: + 91 22 2351 3725 / + 91 22 2352 3726.
See and do
Goa is rich in beauty and its beaches are no exception, with good swimming, wonderful views and beach-side eateries being par for the course. Anjuna Beach is notable for the Alberquerque Mansion, whose octagonal towers and Mangalore-tile roof oversee a bustling flea market every Wednesday. Calangute Beach, on the other hand, is famous for its nightclubs and water sports, while Baga Beach is more popular with families and charter tourists. For a quieter beach experience, try Patnem, Asvem or Arombol Beaches, which have yet to catch on with the tourism trade.
With its Portuguese history, Goa became a focus point for spreading Christianity, and a multitude of churches stand testament to those efforts. The top five to visit are the Bom Jesus Basilica, the Se Cathedral, the Church of St Francis of Assisi, the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of St. Catejan.
Of course, with Goa’s Hindu population, there are plenty of temples as well, and they are equally fascinating to visit and view. Shree Manguesh Shantadurgai Prasanna Temple is the best known, and hosts a large festival every year.
Shopping in Goa is very affordable, and you’ll find some wonderful crafts at the markets and stalls, from carved furniture to brassware, crochet, and more. Goan lacquer-ware toys are a popular souvenir, as are hand-painted ceramics and handmade gold jewellery.
If you’re looking for public transport in Goa, you might be disappointed. Apart from a bus network, there just isn’t much available. Renting a car or a motorbike will be your best bet, otherwise book a taxi or chauffeur service from your hotel.
Goa Dabolim International Airport – GOI
Food and beverage: There is a snack bar and café in Terminal 1, and a snack bar in Terminal 2.
Currency Exchange: There are foreign exchange facilities in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Report items lost or found within the airport terminal to airport security, who will direct you appropriately.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Bogmallo Beach Resort, Coconut Creek Resort, Best Western Devasthali Resort, Hotel Supreme Vasco Da Gama, Hotel La Paz Gardens and The HQ.
Car Hire: There are no car rental facilities at the airport. Consider enquiring with your hotel about airport shuttles, and rental options for the rest of your trip.