Internationally renowned for its beaches, Goa is visited by thousands of foreign and domestic tourists each year, and has become one of the most popular holiday destination for European travellers, particularly in the Northern hemisphereâ€™s winter. Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 kmÂ² (1,430 sq mile) and has a coastline of 101 km (63 miles).
Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a warm and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35Â°C (95Â°F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoons arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September. Goa has a short cooler season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by cool nights of around 20Â°C (68Â°F) and warm days of around 29Â°C (84Â°F) with moderate amounts of humidity.
Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it handles 12% of all foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons, winter and summer. In winters, mainly European tourists come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summers (mainly the rains), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays. Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland.
Goa has two main regions â€“ North and South which attracts the tourists every year regularly. While North Goa has its old world charm buzzing with festivities, ethnic Goan markets, handicrafts and famous beaches like Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator etc. In contrast South is more serene and less dense with sparse development and boasts of beaches like Colva, Benaulim, Cavelossim and more.
The Goan food has the influence of Portuguese cuisine, while the taste of Western India and Mediterranean food is also very much evident. Goa is one of the few places in India that you can go to a restaurant and order both beef and pork(beside fish and chicken), which are usually served very lightly spiced unless you prefer local flavours. Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks are sold widely in Goa.