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Goa

A beautiful, small state, with almost 100 kilometres of sandy beaches overlooking the Arabian Sea, Goa has had a long relationship with the West. It was the first place in India to be colonised by the Portuguese in 1510, reached its peak in the 16th century, and in the 1960s became a magnet for a new type of traveller in search of sun, sand and a laid-back lifestyle. Goa today can be divided into three distinct areas. The North, the first to be "hippified" has long since given way to development and is generally seen as busier and more commercial. South Goa is more peaceful and relaxed, often described as "Goa as it used to be", although many of its beaches are at least partially developed. In the centre, the Zuari and the Mandovi rivers reach the sea, and between them, like a wide tongue, is the triangular Panaji peninsula. On the riverbank on its northern side is Old Goa, the original port, with its handsome Portuguese buildings and churches.

>> Read our blog: Goa Food & Feasting

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