Daytrips in Goa

India might be a monumentally-sized country, but Goa is a tiny spot on its western shores. This is actually a huge benefit as Goa’s small size makes daytrips in and around its main holiday sights that much easier. And with such a vast and varied history and scenery, you’re going to want to do some exploring.

You may be tempted to stay put in your well-equipped resort, but venturing out will give you access to a whole new face of Goa. With towering waterfalls, a bustling capital and some seriously ancient ruins, here are our top picks for getting out and about and seeing lots of Goa.

A weekend in Hampi

We’ve slotted Hampi in the bonus category because technically it’s a little far for just a daytrip – about an eight-hour drive – but it’s well worth the effort. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and temple town found in Karnataka, which hugs most of Goa. Now a historic shell of itself, Hampi was once one of the largest and wealthiest Indian cities in its prime.

Grand Island

Joining a guided tour can get you to the largely untouched shores of Grand Island, just off the coast of northern Goa. The island is only accessible by boat, but that trip over the Arabian Sea is half the fun as pods of dolphins have been known to put on quite the show in the waves.

Panjim

Panjim is the capital of Goa, located a quick drive from holiday destinations like Candolim and Calangute. The city retains the foreign influences that reigned here for centuries, with much of the architecture and red-tiled roofs being distinctly Portuguese, especially in the old Latin Quarter.