Goa is the smallest state in India and offers a fascinating mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures. Away from the superb beaches, there’s quite a bit of sightseeing to do.
The modest, low-rise capital, Panaji, has a fine collection of colonial-era buildings, the most attractive of which are on the waterfront and in the colourful little Latin Quarter, Fontainhas.
A few miles upriver, in Old Goa, the more adventurous visitors can find tranquil old streets and massive churches while along the coast there is a scattering of Portuguese-era forts: Chapora is still an atmospheric ruin, but Tiracol has metamorphosed into an exquisite heritage hotel.
Some ancient mansions have been beautifully restored, such as the Figueiredo in Loutolim and the Palacio do Deao in Quepem.
For a taste of the Western Ghats, Wildernest is a fantastic eco-lodge in the lush green hills of the interior, with trekking, birding and an infinity pool.
Calangute beach, north-central Goa. Photo by Uspn.