Sun, sea and surf, that's the image of Goa that attracts millions of tourists from around the world. They enjoy a perfect holiday and carry back a healthy tan to show off to friends. We welcome them with open arms and a warm heart! Though the tourists are encouraged to laze on our sun kissed beaches and swim in their clean waters, we would like to remind them that there is much more to Goa than its beautiful shore. The hinterland of Goa beckons them with a virgin blush! Unspoilt tracts of forests in Mollem and Cotigao constantly spring surprises with a serene lake or shy wildlife playing hide and seek! The awesome Sahyadris mountain range along the eastern border of Goa is one of the hot spots of bio-diversity in the world. And connecting the mighty mountains to the sunny sea, meandering across the countryside are the beautiful rivers. The Khandepar river thunders down great heights, forming the spectacular Dudhsagar Waterfalls. A variety of bird life is found in the mangrove forests along the banks of river Mandovi and river Zuari and are a bird watchers paradise. Marsh crocodiles bask lazily along the banks of the Cumbharjua Canal. Idyllic organic farms and spice orchards dot the slopes of small hillocks across the state. The name Goa came to European languages from the Portuguese colonisers, but its precise origin is unclear. The Indian epic Mahabharata refers to the area now known as Goa, as 'Goparashtra' or 'Govarashtra"' which means a nation of cowherds. 'Gopakapuri' or 'Gapakapattana' were used in some ancient Sanskrit texts, and these names were also mentioned in other sacred Hindu texts such as the Harivansa and the Skanda Purana. In the latter, Goa is also known as "Gomanchala". Gove, Govapuri, Gopakpattan, and Gomant are some other names that the region is referred to in certain inscriptions and texts such as the Puranas. It has also been known as "Aparant". Goa is a land that redefines holidays, with its exquisite mix of sun, surf, and beaches; Goa has become the ultimate tourist destination. It is a tiny emeralds land with its natural scenic beauty, attractive beaches and temples, famous for its architecture, feast and festivals and hospitable people with a rich culture. So get swept away by the spectacular sunrises and sunsets and rejuvenate yourself. Goa travel guide Referred to as the "Rome of the East" and "Pearl of the Orient", one of the smallest state of Goa nestles on the lush green Konkan region on the western coast of India. Goa is well known all over the world for its breathtaking scenic landscapes and the architectural splendors of massive heritage forts, Old Portuguese mansions magnificent churches and ornate temples. Ruled by various dynasties, this exotic land is a potpourri of various cultures and traditions. Well Known for its palm-fringed beaches, culinary delights and lively parties, Goa amazes everyone with its vibrant lifestyle and gracious hospitality that have made it the most popular tourist destination with travellers around the world. Tourism in Goa Tourism in Goa is a primary and currently the most important industry after the mining ban, and tourism brings substantial monetary flow in the state. Blessed with sun sand and sea, Goa has marked a significant place for itself as the most visited tourist destination in the world. Goa Tourism attracts millions of tourists every year who come to experience its amazing natural beauty and enjoy the colorful festivals in Goa. With an objective to promote tourism in Goa, Goa Tourism Development Corporation organizes interesting city tours, pilgrimage tours, beach tours, heritage tours, conducts cultural programs, and shows for the tourists. The cheap holiday packages offered by Goa tourism cover all major tourist attractions of the state. Goa tourism Guide available at Goa Tourism reception centers provide information about, Goa hotels, Goa attractions, Goa transportation, Goa festivals, Goa Shopping and other travel details. Adventure tourism in Goa Adventure tourism in Goa is growing fast in leaps and bounds. The sun kissed beaches of Goa play perfect host for adventure sports. Adventure lovers can indulge in to various exhilarating water sports activities such as water-skiing, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, swimming, scuba diving, angling and windsurfing. Best time to visit Goa If you love the sun and want an exciting beach thrill, the ideal time to visit Goa is between October & May when the state enjoys a salubrious climate. However, if you wish to experience beautiful monsoons, where and love photography, you need to visit the state in the months of June, July Aug & September. The prices of the hotels and resorts drop during these months. We promote Goa throughout the year as a 365 day holiday destination. Tourist Attractions Goa Goa is dotted with numerous white sandy beaches, churches, temples and other historical monuments. Some of the major tourist attractions in Goa are Calangute / Baga Beach, Agauda Fort, Shree Shantadurga & Shree Mangueshi temple, Anjuna Beach, Colva beach, Dona Paula jetty, Vagator Beach, Benaulim Beach, Basilica of Bom Jesus & Se Cathedral, Saint Augustine Towers, Chapora Fort, Spice Plantation Gardens, Dudhsagar waterfall and Mayem Lake. How to reach? Travel to Goa by Air: Dabolim Airport of Goa (recently renovated for better services) is situated in Vasco city, at a distance of 32 Kms from the capital, Panjim. All major low cost carriers and full service airlines operate regular flights to and from Goa. This is the only airport as of now, however, the Government is planning to setup another airport in the North in Mopa, Pernem to smoothen the air traffic. Travel to Goa by Rail: Goa's two main stations are at Margao and Vasco da Gama, which are well connected to all-important cities of India by several Mails/ Express trains.The other stations in Goa are Pernem Railway Station, Thivim Railway station, Karmali Railway Station, Verna Railway Station, Dabolim Railway Station, Cancona (Balli) Railway Station, Curchorem Railway Station and Mollem Railway Station. Travel to Goa by Road: Panjim, the capital city is linked by road to Mumbai, Bangalore, Belgaum, Gokarn, Hospet , Kolhapur, Pune, Mysore and many other cities of the neighboring states. Goa Tourism runs regular deluxe buses and luxury coaches to all nearby cities of Goa. Travel to Goa by Sea: Currently only private yachts have access to travel to Goa from different parts of the world, however, necessary approvals are required for such access. Travel in Goa by Road : Buses operated by private operators and the State Transport Corporation ply to different nook and corners of Goa. Tourist taxis and auto rickshaws are another preferred mode of travel, which are easily available near most hotels and tourist spots. Motor bikes, taxis and cars also be hired at reasonable prices.