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Goa Back

To many people, Goa is all about the beaches - and it's fair to say that the soft white sand and sparkling blue water of the Arabian Sea are definitely some of the main attractions here.

But this is also an area rich in history and culture. The coastal state retains much of its old Portuguese colonial architecture, traditions, religion, and lifestyle, particularly in the old capital of Old Goa, where there are several churches, a cathedral and lots of great local markets, all well worth exploring.

Relax under a palm tree on the beach, watch the dhows sailing out into the sunset and see the fishing boats landing their catch, or wander around the local spice plantations revelling in their heady scent - there's something here for all kinds of different travellers. The locals say that time moves more slowly in Goa, so if nothing else it's a brilliant stop for a few days, a great chance to enjoy a bit of tranquility in an often frenetic country.

Goa is also home to some fantastic cuisine, including many fish-based curries, classic Goan pork vindaloo and Feni, a local spirit made from coconut and cashew nuts.