Head to 'intoxicating' Goa for sun, sea and Indian spice
With so much to do and see on an overland adventure in India, from bustling cities to the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, visitors may well relish the chance to relax and unwind on the beaches of Goa for a few days.
The region is famous throughout the world for its idyllic coastline and, having been first settled by the Portuguese, offers a fascinating mix of cultures not found anywhere else in India.
According to Joe Bindloss, Lonely Planet author, this makes for an "intoxicating" mix, with the travel expert recommending Goa as one of the top places to visit in 2012.
"The weather in Goa is almost as hot as the spicy curries served up along its palm-fringed coastline," he said.
"Settled by the Portuguese back in 1510, India's favourite beach destination offers an intoxicating blend of sun, sea, sand and Indian spice. Think of it as India's answer to the Algarve."
It is perhaps no surprise then that Goa is a haven for beach loving tourists from around the world, with around 1.2 million overseas visitors travelling to the region in 2010.
However, Mr Bindloss explained it is still possible to find stretches of coast currently unknown to most mainstream tourists.
"The beach strip between Candolim and Anjuna is firmly on the tourist radar, with hundreds of resorts tucked amongst the palms, but you can still find the laid-back tropical idyll that first attracted visitors to Goa on the beaches south of Panaji, particularly around Cavelossim and Palolem," he said.
Away from the beaches, Goa also offers a wealth of cultural and historic sites.
Among the most famous are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Basilica of Bom Jesus - considered to be one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India - and the churches and convents of Old Goa, built from the 15th century.