How To Reach Goa
Being a popular tourist destination and an unwinding spot, Goa is well connected to all the major cities in the country by air. You can avail regular flights to this tropical paradise from cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Chennai. However, the fastest way to reach Goa is to take a flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai which takes approximately an hour to reach.
The Dabolim Airport in Goa is located around 26 kilometres from its capital city; Panaji. As the tourist season arrives, this aerodrome also receives international flights even though it is mainly served by domestic airlines. The airport also provides currency exchange, prepaid taxi counter and ATMs along with the basic amenities. To keep you busy as you await your flight, the airport also has food joints and shopping centres within its premises. People travelling internationally usually fly into major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai and then transit into a domestic flight with airlines such as Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet or Air India.
There are also a few Russian, German and British charter companies that offer direct flights to the Dabolim Airport during the months of November to February.
It would be advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially if you are travelling in the peak season. Goa is packed during the summer and the New Year season. Hence, make sure you book your tickets and accommodation well before time to get cheap deals.
Air India is identified as the national carrier and also the safest airline to the destination. However, one can choose between any of the following airlines to travel to Goa - Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and Vistara. Upon arrival, individuals can avail of the bus taxi or hotel shuttle to reach their required destination.
The long Konkan Railway deemed to be 760 kilometres stretches all the way from Mumbai to the north and Mangalore to the south. However, Margao’s Madgaon Railway Station is the biggest station and strongly linked to other parts of the country through a vast train network. Regular trains run from Delhi to Madgaon, the important ones being Goa Sampark Kranti Express and Trivandrum Express. The Madgaon Railway Station is located approximately 38 kilometres from the capital city. Another railway station is the Vasco da Gama station that is 29 kilometres away. Taxis will be available as soon as you make your way out of the station. The rail is a rather inexpensive way to travel and you will reach your destination in approximately six hours and 24 minutes. With the main railway station being in Madgaon, which is North Goa; try to take a train that stops at Thivim if you plan to travel to the North Goa beaches. Travelling to Goa by train is a treat to one’s eyes as the scenic locations and lush green trees whiz past you.
Ever since we have watched Dil Chahta Hai, a road trip to Goa has been on our bucket list. Hire a car and drive down to this beach paradise as the salty smell of the sea fills your senses and scenic locations rush past you. The easiest way to travel by road is from Mumbai which is just fourteen hours away. The fastest route however from Mumbai is via National Highway 4, which takes you from the Mumbai – Pune Expressway to Belgaum and then to Goa. State and private buses also run to and from Goa to various cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hampi. However, we suggest you take the train instead of the bus because of the unpredictable traffic.
For all the water babies out there, cruise ships coming from the UAE and travelling between Mumbai and Maldives are available. However, if you are travelling from Mumbai and want to stay amidst the water for a while, a new cruise ferry service functioning between Mumbai and Goa will be there at your beck and call. Known as Angriya Cruises, this is a one-day journey reputed to be an overnight pleasure. It comprises two restaurants, a spa and an infinity pool. The ship sets sail from Mumbai’s Victoria Docks at 4pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and reaches Goa’s Mormugao cruise terminal at nine in the morning the following day.
The service functions from October to May and online bookings open one month in advance. Hence, make sure that you book your tickets well before time.
Make use of the few remaining passenger or vehicle ferries which were once a widely used transport by the locals. These ferries run from seven in the morning to nine in the night with an interval of thirty minutes. Pedestrians have free access to these ferries. If you wish to head to North Goa, you can hop on to the Panaji to Betim ferry that will take you to the northern beaches.
A vast network of buses travel to and from every village and town in Goa. However, the central pick up or drop-off points are located in Panaji, Margao and Mapusa. If you plan to travel between North and South Goa, you will have to change buses at either Margao or Panaji. Fares start from INR 5 to INR 40. Local buses are usually rusty and stop at many places, hence try to take the faster ‘express’ buses instead.
If you would rather holiday at your own pace and take your own sweet time to gallivant around Goa, we suggest you hire a car. You could go for a self-drive hire car which would cost around INR 1100 for small cars and INR 4500 for a large car.
Talking about motorcycles, we are sure you will spot tourists whizzing by you on a scooter or a motorcycle. You can do the same by hiring a motorcycle for INR 200-400 per day for a scooter. However, if you are renting the scooter/bike for more than a few days; prices do drop at an alarming rate.
This is also a good way to travel around Goa. It is also cheaper than a taxi and suitable for short trips. It costs around INR 50 for a short trip and INR 150 for a longer one.
So, if you’re planning the perfect Goan adventure, check out our amazing Goa Tour Packages. You can arrange for your flights and tickets to visit the Land of Fun Times at Thomas Cook!