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What is the best time to plan a holiday in Goa? Well, Goa is one of those few holiday destinations that can be visited the year round. Depending on your budget, your requirements, and your reasons for holidaying, practically any time of the year can be a fun holiday in this beach paradise.
Let us take a look at what Goa has to offer month-wise:
January is the time of the Feast of the Three Kings. This is a feast that is celebrated every year on January 6, which is considered to be The Epiphany or Three Kings Day as per Christian culture. While it is held in the ancient church of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Our Lady of Cures), people eagerly participate in this feast, regardless of their religious orientation, many places across Goa also celebrate the feast. This 10-day long festival is full of gaiety, dancing, music and revelry. Devotees come to offer their obeisance and seek the blessings of Our Lady.
Weather wise, too, January is a good time to be in Goa. There is a slight nip in the air, and one can spend hours on the beaches, without fearing for a sun-tan. A holiday in January will be a bit heavy on your pocket though, especially the first half of January, as it is still the ‘peak’ holiday season.
Carnival time! One of Goa’s most popular and enduring attractions is the Goa Carnival. Experience the carnival just like it is in South America, yet with a distinctly Indian touch. Like all other Latin American carnivals, the goa carnival culminates in the crowning of the indubitable King Momo, who is selected from the participants.
It continues to be cool and breezy in February, and most hotels also drop their peak season pricing post the carnival, so you can get good deals.
Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring! March is the time where the whole of India celebrates the end of winter and welcomes spring, through varied festivals and rituals. In Goa, the 14-day long Shigmotsav Festival marks the end of winter. Holi and Rang Panchami typically falls right in the middle of this festival, and Goans celebrate it with abundant use of Gulaal and other colours. A breath-taking Float Parade is carried out every day of the festival at different locations.
While it starts getting hotter by March, if you are someone who likes secluded beaches and solitude, March is a good time. With most schools gearing up for exams, you will find few domestic tourists. While there will be a smattering of International tourists, these will also have begun to move away, as the weather becomes hotter by the day. You will get good deals on hotels, water sports and so on.
April – May
At the height of summer, Goa will be hot, sultry, and humid. You can still enjoy the breezy beaches though, provided you stay away from the direct glare of the sun, apply generous amounts of sun screen, and keep yourself hydrated with chilled drinks. This is the period that most of the natives flock to Goa, those urbans who call Goa their native place. The biggest attraction of visiting Goa in the summer is gorging on mouth-watering mangoes, jackfruits, and cashews, that abound in the summer. The Konkan Fruit Festival, that takes place in Goa around April-May is a unparalleled experience for the foodies.
June – September
It is in the monsoon months that you will get to enjoy the stunning beauty of Goa apart from its beaches. If you are a lover of the rains, the monsoon is the best time to visit Goa. It transforms itself into a lush green countryside and even the beaches take on a mysterious, tempestuous look. Of course, all the beach shacks, shanties and water sports are closed during the monsoons, so it will be a quiet, introspective holiday if you do choose to go in the rainy season.
The Sao-Joao fest is a major monsoon attraction, normally held during late June. It is a wild water carnival, where the natives engage in revelry and boisterous fun
October – November
October marks the start of the ‘peak’ season in Goa. The water sports are back, the shanties are up, and the prices escalate! The temperature starts dropping only by late October or early November, and the party goers and revelers start flocking. Normally some or the other major festival also takes place in Goa around November – either a jazz festival, or a film festival, or a book festival.
Aah, Goa in December, is every party lover’s ultimate dream. New Year’s Eve in Goa is much hyped, and its an experience worth having. The entire week from Christmas to New Year is one bonhomie after another. It is also the most expensive time to travel to Goa though, and the prices will be sky high! But the fun and the experience of New Year in Goa is something you will cherish for a lifetime.