Luxury Goa Tour: a relaxing post-Rajasthan extension
Luxury Goa Tour: a relaxing post-Rajasthan extension
Our luxury Goa tour extension takes you to the beautiful, palm-friend beaches of Goa – an idyllic place to relax and recharge your batteries after a tour of Rajasthan and north India. Goa has a rich history and long association with the west. It was the first place in India to be colonised, by the Portuguese, in the early 16th century, and in the 60s drew the laid-back traveller in search of sun, sand and an easy-going lifestyle. The state today can be broadly divided into two regions: the north, which offers a plethora of beaches, bars, restaurants and things to do, though is generally thought of as busier and more commercial; and the south, which is quieter, more peaceful and relaxed, and home to most of Goa’s more luxurious properties. Our suggested place to stay on this luxury Goa tour extension is Ahilya by the Sea, a deliciously-boutique property in the fishing village of Nerul in the north.
Arrive in Goa (stay at Ahilya by the Sea, Goa)
Your luxury Goa tour kicks off on landing at Goa airport, where you’ll be met by a member of our team at the airport and chauffeured to Ahilya by the Sea. Quietly nestled on the far end of Coco Beach, neighbouring the quiet fishing village of Nerul, Ahilya by the Sea is a boutique gem offering eight spacious and tasteful rooms. This family-run property has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, with interesting art pieces peppered throughout. It’s ideal for those who appreciate a boutique experience, though is a short walk away from the beach. If you’d prefer direct beach access, we’d recommend the Leela (a luxury 5-star property in south Goa, with its own stretch of private sands); or the Taj Holiday Village (a comfortable 4-star hotel run by the ubiquitous Taj group, conveniently located in bustling north Goa). Another favourite of Indian Excursions is Taj Exotica. You have a number of choices to rest your head on your luxury Goa tour – our specialist will help you select the one best suited to your tastes.
Today you’ll be exploring charismatic Old Goa, accompanied by your local guide. A magnificent complex of cathedrals, churches and monasteries, spread along a 1.5-kilometre stretch, marks the site of Old Goa, the Portuguese capital until the mid-18th century. The walk through this area, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes in two of Goa’s most important religious monuments (the Basilica de Bom Jesus and the grand Sé Cathedral), ending on Holy Hill, where some of Goa’s oldest churches are located. Most of these buildings, designed by Italian or Portuguese architects, encompass a range of European styles, from sober Renaissance to exuberant Baroque and Portuguese Manueline.
This area was once a vast city, inhabited by more than 30,000 people. In the 16th century, it attracted missionaries and soldiers, merchants and horse-traders, and its elegant palaces and mansions were much praised by contemporary visitors. However, by the mid-18th century, a series of epidemics and the silting up of the Mandovi river forced the Viceroy to move his residence downstream to Panaji. Thereafter, decline set in and, by the 19th century, the city was finally abandoned and its houses demolished. Today, Old Goa is a mere shadow of its former self, but the few churches and cathedrals that remain are considered to be among Goa’s most significant monuments.
After lunch, you’ll continue to Panaji. Goa’s capital is situated at the mouth of the Mandovi river and is reminiscent of a provincial Mediterranean town. Earlier a port of the Adil Shahi kings of Bijapur, it became a military landing stage after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510. Today, Panaji has a relaxed and friendly ambience especially along the leafy avenues of the old town. The old residential quarters of Panaji has an old-world feel, characterized by a jumble of painted, tile-roofed houses. The streets are lined with taverns offering authentic Goan cuisine, and feni (cashew nut liqueur), and bakeries serving bebinca, the delicious local cake. Many of the residents still speak Portuguese.
Day 3 + 4
The next two days of your luxury Goa tour are completely at your leisure to relax and explore the local beaches at your own pace. The number of days you spend here in Goa can be extended (or reduced) to complement your schedule.
Depart from Goa
Today you’ll be chauffeured back to the airport in time for your onward flight. Some guests arrange international flights from Goa, whereas others depart from Delhi or Mumbai, in which case we’d be pleased to assist you with a suitable connection.
2018/19 Guide price:
₹83,000 ($1225; £919) pp
Our journeys are inclusive of accommodation with breakfast, a private car with driver throughout, experienced guides, entrance tickets and excursions. In other words, we offer a seamless and hassle-free experience where the only thing you need to worry about is soaking up the spectacular views and enjoying your fabulous hotels! This indicative cost is based on a couple travelling between October 2018 and March 2019, sharing a double or twin room. The cost would reduce significantly during the low-season months of April to September, whilst it would be noticeably higher during the peak Christmas and New Year period. Internal flights to get you to and from Goa would be at additional cost and arranged to best suit your wider itinerary.
The luxury Goa tour we’ve described here is merely a starting point to share a flavour of the possibilities, and absolutely every aspect is flexible (from the hotels to the destinations to the length to the sightseeing). A popular way to include our Goa tour in a more comprehensive itinerary would be to combine it withthis luxury Rajasthan tour, flying from Udaipur down to Goa. To connect the dots, prior to hitting the beaches of Goa we’d recommend a stop in Mumbai – not only is this bustling city full of rich culture and history, it’s also an ideal linking point from anywhere else in the country, to seamlessly add-on your visit to Goa on a wider tour of Rajasthan and north India. Let us know what you’d like to create and we can make it happen!
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Who are we?
Indian Excursions: the experts in tailor-made tours of Rajasthan. Anything you would like to see or experience in Rajasthan, we can make it happen! All our tours are private, and tailor-made to our guests individual requirements.
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We're open Monday to Friday 10:00 - 18:00. India is 5.5+ UTC.