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Enjoy the Indian Ocean in Goa, India
Learn more about this luxurious seaside area of India

The Indian subcontinent stretches out into the Indian Ocean, offering up a great deal of coastline to enjoy. If you are considering a luxurious getaway to the beach, consider the coastal state of Goa. Before India was an independent nation, Goa was a colony of Portugal, and its decidedly European influences can be felt today in its architecture and cuisine. Learn more about this dynamic destination to see what it might have to offer you on your vacation.

Where to stay

While many travel articles are all about what you should do when you reach your destination, so much of a trip to Goa is about where you stay. The resorts in the area are known for their lavish appointments and incredible amenities. According to Thrillophilia, if you want to stay where the brightest stars in Bollywood do, you need to book a room at Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa. It is perched right on the beach, providing great views of the water. Inside, the hotel has a fitness center, activity center for kids, spa and even offers an on-call doctor. When you want to leave the lap of luxury to explore the area, the staff will help arrange sightseeing tours or other fun activities.

If you prefer to stay in the jungle instead of near the ocean, the blog Hippy in Heels recommends Wildernest Nature Resort. Family-friendly trekking options connect to the hotel, as well as a sparkling pool perfect for a relaxing swim. Wildernest also has a meditation center and temple, if you want to make a more spiritual connection with the jungle, and it is committed to serving natural food to help rejuvenate the body.

What to do

One of the most essential things to check out while in Goa is its many natural wonders. Since this is a resort area, you’ll find many beaches like Baga and Calangute for you to stretch out on and work on your tan. Before you head out, take a look around your particular beach to see if they provide recreation options like scuba diving, parasailing or kayaking. Explore breathtaking waterfalls in the area as you venture further inland, perfect for photo ops and in-the-moment admiration.

When you travel to India, trying the local cuisine is obviously a must. The country is known for its spices, so a good place to start your culinary adventures is a spice plantation like Tanshikar's Working Organic Spice Farm in Sanguem. At this particular property you can learn about growing a variety of crops, including vanilla, nutmeg, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, coffee and cocoa. After a tour, a restaurant on site lets you taste what you saw still growing out in the field. If you want to learn how to use these amazing spices in a new way, this farm and many outside establishments throughout Goa offer cooking classes. You’ll return home after your trip with the best souvenir of all: a new dish to cook and share with others.

If you’re interested in religions of the world, Goa is a particularly unique vacation spot. Due to its history with the Portuguese, Goa has a sizeable Christian community and a number of older, European-style churches. The most unique Christian church is the Catholic Basilica of Bom Jesus. The casket holding the relics of St. Francis Xavier lies here, resting just behind a silver statue of the saint himself. To see a Hindu temple, consider Shantadurga Temple, a holy place that honors the goddess Durga. This temple is further removed from the city; many reviewers on TripAdvisor consider it to be a place of refreshing tranquility compared to Goa’s general hustle and bustle.

Goa is a unique part of India perfect for your next vacation, whether you’re looking for adventure or a nice time on the beach. Talk with your travel planner and your family to see if a trip to this wonderful place is right for you.

This article is presented by BMW of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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