What is the best season to visit Goa? A lot of people ask me this question. Initially, I would suggest them the peak seasons or New Year eve but gradually I have come to realize that Goa is one of the few places in India, which isn’t about season. It is an experience. It is always vibrant and cheerful. It is beautiful with lovely beaches. Goa is welcoming throughout the year. It has a unique weather, flavor and setting every month. Ideally, there can not be one best season to visit Goa . Be it feast of St. Francis Xavier or 14 day Shigmo festival (or Shigmotsav), or Tripurari Poornima, Goa has a way with festivals too.
Monsoons in Goa
You might wonder, wouldn’t it be messy in the monsoon? But trust me, I have seen an amazing, heavily green and picturesque side of Goa during the rainy season. This used to be an offbeat season but not anymore. Travelers love to enjoy the pitter patter in the cafes, while enjoying delicious Goan food or by getting soaked in the swimming pool. I have done it all with my friends. Sometimes, it is almost like a therapy to sit in your resort, enjoy your drinks and simply enjoy the moment. Goa is a feeling and it is not about running around from one place to another.
Goa has amazing architecture and especially Portuguese influence. You might want to stay in one of those houses for one day. Or why not have a shack hotel or a home-stay which has idyllic views of the Chapora River? Picturesque moments and cool breeze will be yours for most of your stay. There are other rivers too, Mandovi River and Tilari River if you want to explore and do some offbeat activities in and around. During the monsoons, the white foam, Dudhsagar (sea of milk) falls is at its best.
Also rainy days don’t mean that it rains all day. After a few hours, it becomes clear day, greener and you can chill around your favorite beaches. Some of my favorites are Candolim, Calungate and Baga. I like the monsoon season for its mist and the dramatic change of colours of the clouds. There is an instant transformation from blue to black.
Winters in Goa
Don’t think of getting tanned, just get the tan. Well, when it comes to sand, sun and surf, this is the golden time. You can have lots of good times on the beaches. The idea of basking in the sun, with a chilled drink in hand and enjoying the sound of water off the shore is a great way to spend your winters in Goa. A little later, Christmas and New Year is an all-time favorite of mine. You will get to see a different side of the pretty state. It is also the time for the famous Sunburn festival.
Rather don’t be surprised if I tell you that you can also celebrate Hindu festivals, there in a village. Tripurari Purnima also called Dev Deepawali is celebrated after 2 weeks of Diwali and it is a very colorful celebration in Goa. The smallest state of India also has some of the best temples. You might want to see them on a sunny day. Brahma temple in Carambolim is a popular one to start with. One of the special feature of Goan temples are that they have a Lamp Tower or “Deepmal” or the “Deepa Stambha”. It can be between two to six storied high and signifies Maratha influence.
The sunny days and chill in the air is a great time to explore and experience the architecture and culture of Goa. While Goan food is always a delight, winters make a great time for indulging in delectable cuisines. You can take in some warmth from the lip-smacking food. Go around, book your shacks or sunbeds around Anjuna, Calungate, Vagator, Candolim, Mandrem and Baga or more. I would recommend the Sinquerim Beach too.
Summers in Goa
When you are not able to decide which season or month is best for Goa, just go during the summer. You might find it hard to explore the churches and local stuff in the day due to the strong sun but you will love the musical evenings and the vibrant Goa nightlife. Goa is inarguably the best when it comes to night parties, so find yourself some deals and grab them.
I would suggest book a hotel or a home stay close to the beach. Enjoy the proximity to the water in the mornings and during the days, visit the Big Foot Museum, Spice plantations, Aguada Fort, Fontainhas, and Lighthouse in addition to the beaches. Don’t forget to check out the flea markets on some of the beaches.
Sao Joao Festival is a colorful and vibrant festival during the month of June. Summers is also a good time to play with water and get splashed up. Goa is the place for banana rides, Jet Ski, knee boarding, windsurfing, surfboarding, parasailing and paragliding, you can do it all there. You can also try kayaking and white-water rafting in Goa.
On the hot days, you will love to be closer to nature and forests. While everyone does the beaches, you can do the national parks in an around Goa. This is a good time to plan a day for Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Bondla, Mollen National Park and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Summers are good time to spot wildlife.
Goa is all about taking a break from the monotonous life. Be it any season, you will never be disappointed. I also love the luxurious side of Goa where you have some of the best resorts and boutique hotels which provide for great experiences. Just go and chill in Goa.