Steeped in colour, flanked by shallow shores, inhabited by troupes of pastel-painted elephants, Goa is a young adventurer’s paradise. There’s plenty to entertain here. Its postcard-perfect beaches are patrolled by the occasional cow, its markets buzz with drama, and its culture has more than enough to fill a bed-time story. Here are the best activities for families in Goa with children.
Jet skiing, kayaking, banana boating, fishing: Goa excels in adrenaline-fueled beach activities. However, rising above all of these is the real crowd-pleaser—parasailing. Strap in, pull off and soar above the waves, admiring Goa’s spectacular coastline along the way. Twin harnesses accommodate parents with children, with a wealth of operators providing plenty of variety across the state’s many beaches. These bird’s eye views make this a memorable highlight of a luxury holiday in Goa.
The shores beyond the 17th-century Fort Aguada in north Goa are landscaped with rainbows of corals, policed by hermit crabs and shoals of tiny, glittering fish, and overseen by the occasional hawksbill turtle. Join the underwater menagerie on a scuba dive, or, for younger swimmers, a gentle snorkelling excursion. The Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa provides all the accessories and guidance for an underwater family adventure.
For a break from the beach in Goa with children, set sail on the Arabian Sea in search of its notoriously playful Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. There are plenty of boats operating out of Candolim, Aguada Bay and Palolem Beach. Choose the latter for a detour to the remote Butterfly Beach, whose surrounding crystal-clear, bright waters prove irresistible to water babies on holiday in Goa.
The inimitable highlight of any family holiday in India is the wildlife. While Goa isn’t exactly known for its burgeoning tiger population, its Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary is blessed with one or two big cats, along with a decent selection of wild animals. Gather the troops in an open-backed Jeep to spot langurs, mouse deer, pangolins and flying squirrels. For a tamer experience, the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa is an enchanting visit for very little ones.
When it comes to spectacular beaches, Goa has it all. From the quiet romance of Betalbatim to the busy party atmosphere of Anjuna, there’s a shore to suit all tastes. The best beaches in Goa for children are Palolem, Patnem, Mandrem and Ashwem. These calm, quiet, shallow bays are ideal for rolling out a towel, stacking up the buckets and spades and kicking a ball about on the sand.
For young explorers with an appetite for the exotic, there’s plenty to sample. From the immense crispy drama of a masala dosa to jalebi’s saccharine scribbles—not to mention the endless seafood, Goa puts on a banquet of spectacular cuisine. Fussy eaters need not panic—easy pancakes, delicious pizzas, and classic sandwiches and burgers are readily available. The Kids At Taj club at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa occasionally arranges cooking classes alongside other activities, making this an excellent stay for families in Goa with children.
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