October to February: For beaches and nightlife
For beach shacks, night flea markets and parties, head to Vagator, Calungute or Baga in north Goa. If you prefer quieter beaches, head to Cavelossim, Mobor or Betul beaches in south Goa. Want to try something different? Dance away at the ‘Silent Noise’ headphone party at Palolem beach.
- Read more: 11 secret beaches in Goa
The year end festivities start with Christmas and carry on till the Goa Carnival in February. The Goa Carnival is a boisterous and colourful fiesta! Join the street parades to enjoy the live music, Samba dances and colourful floats with giant masks, feathers and flowers. If in Panjim, make your way to the Grand Parade on day one and the Red & Black Ball at Club Nacional on the last day.
March to May: For water sports
Although the water sports season starts in October itself, it is best to visit Goa after February when the crowds start thinning. The waters of the sea are ideal for paragliding, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, water skiing and parasailing. Windsurfing beginners should head to Dona Paula bay where the breeze is steady. Have a need for speed? Rent a speedboat (available at the Cidade de Goa, Bogmallo Beach Resort, and Taj Hotels) or ride a water scooter (available at Dona Paula jetty, Cidade de Goa, Majorda, and Candolim beach). Scuba diving is fast gaining popularity as well. You may also be able to spot Portuguese or British era wrecks underwater!
- Read more: Budget surfing destinations in India
June to September: For trekking in the monsoons
This is the off season, and hotels will offer you maximum discounts. Travel to Goa to catch the Sao Joao monsoon festival celebrated on the 24th of June each year. The locals jump into wells and ponds to find gifts thrown in by the village folk. Visit Siolim, Anjuna, Candolim, Calangute or Assagao in north Goa for the festivities. (preferably on foot since roads do get crowded!)
If you are a trekker and/ or nature lover, monsoons are indeed the best time to visit Goa. The Youth Hostels Association of India organises monsoon expeditions to the waterfalls inside the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in north Goa. This is a global biodiversity hotspot, and you may be able to see the Indian gaur, sloth bear, barking deer, ruddy mongoose, giant squirrel, flying squirrel et al.
Best time to book flights to Goa
We have studied the fare trends closely to suggest the most optimum period for booking your flights. To get reasonably priced flight tickets to Goa, we suggest you book your tickets and stay at least three months in advance. Sign up for Skyscanner’s price alerts to track the fare changes and plan your next holiday.