Other last minute holiday destinations
If you’re craving a last minute, balmy, beach break but haven’t quite made up your mind on where to go, we’ve got plenty of other fantastic destinations to choose from. Take a look at the breathtaking limestone islands and white sand beaches across Thailand or make the most of the year round sunshine with a rejuvenating break to the Caribbean. With flight times of less than three hours, the Balearic Islands offer pristine stretches of sand paired with bright blue ocean off the coast of Spain.
However, to find out if a last minute break to Goa is for you, take a look at our travel guide and explore some of our favourite hotels in the region below.
Famed for golden beaches, Goa is a great choice for a last minute escape
Direct flights from the UK to the sun-drenched shores of Goa take around nine hours, but give you enough time to catch up on all the latest movies and lose yourself in your favourite book.
If you’re looking for a relaxing break away from the crowds, head to the northern Goa coast and top up your tan along the peaceful shores of Candolim. The main street is laden with authentic curry houses and boutiques selling traditional wares, and down on the sand you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take to the inviting Arabian Sea.
In the south, Varca Beach offers even more tranquility with an array of pastimes from river cruises to dolphin spotting. The narrow streets of neighbouring Cavelossim are adorned with market stalls, and visitors are invited to explore the impressive Church of the Holy Cross and colonial architecture in the town centre. Along the beach, small shacks serving up ice cold beer and refreshing cocktails will keep you entertained throughout the night.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday
Anything booked around eight weeks in advance constitutes a last minute holiday, and you’ll find some of the best deals on the market within this time frame. Of course, you’ll also want to pay attention to the high and low season and decide if you’re flexible on when you can travel.
Across Goa, the high season spans from mid-November to mid-February, when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable yet still averaging around 30°C. Between March and May, the climate becomes very hot and humid making this the quietest period on the calendar. If you can stand the heat, you’re sure to snap up an incredible deal at one of the swankier resorts. From June to October, the low season ties in with the monsoon season, providing plenty of parties along the coast, which welcome the downpours.
Set among 24 acres of immaculate manicured gardens this 4* hotel sits along the pristine white sands of Varca Beach, less than an hour from the airport. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze at a morning yoga class with views of the Arabian Sea, lounge by the massive outdoor pool with a drink from the bar or pamper yourself with an Ayurvedic treatment at the spa. There are plenty of activities to keep the more active busy, from snorkelling and bike hire to a nine-hole golf course and a plethora of watersports down by the sand.
Resembling a Goan Portuguese village, the charming colourful buildings of this 3* boutique hotel surround a classic outdoor pool where guests are invited to laze on the sun terrace with a refreshing cocktail from the poolside bar. Just minutes from the golden sand of Sinquerim Beach and Candolim's vibrant resort centre, you'll find plenty of bars, restaurants and watersports on your doorstep, from water-skiing to fishing trips with the locals. Dine under the stars on the outdoor terrace and tuck into a fusion of Indian and international cuisine or grab a light snack at the creperie by the pool.
Cidade De Goa's tranquil gardens overlooking Vainguinim Beach are a world away from the bustling capital city of Panjim, just a 10 minute drive away. Lounge by the pool taking advantage of the fresh sea breeze or head down to the sand for a game of beach volleyball before relaxing in the sauna, steam room or whirlpool. With five restaurants and cafes nestled around the hotel you'll have plenty of options when you start to feel peckish. Recalling Lisbon's bohemian old town, the chef's speciality restaurant Alfama presents global, gourmet dishes with a local twist. Or pull up a teak chair and enjoy fresh seafood and succulent meats and vegetables at the elegant, beachside barbecue restaurant.
Moments from Candolim Beach, and reached through beautiful, palm-strewn gardens, Whispering Palms offers guests a trendy retreat. Just 10 minutes outside Candolim centre you'll find a selection of vibrant bars and restaurants close by. On-site, the serene pool is the star of the show, surrounded by stylish sunloungers and serviced by two bars for light snacks and refreshing drinks. You'll find a main buffet restaurant serving up international cuisine and an open-air a la carte number for gourmet Goan cuisine. Nightly entertainment is provided in the form of live music and themed Goan nights in the lounge bar.