Goa, India

Located on India’s west coast, Goa may be the country’s smallest state, but Royal Holiday members will likely find themselves at a loss to experience everything this Indian jewel has to offer. A one-time province of Portugal, Goa has emerged as one of India’s top tourist destinations by virtue of its glittering beaches, historic landmarks, and outstanding nature preserves. Royal Holiday travelers looking to experience India in all its multifaceted beauty will do well to start in Goa, especially given the club’s wide range of vacation options.

The club’s northernmost resort, the Royal Goan Beach Club Monterio, sits right on the Arpora River in Bardez and is a short walk to Baga Beach. Travelers will likely prefer the two resorts in Benaulim, the Royal Goan Beach Club at Royal Palms and the Royal Goan Beach Club at Benaulim, both of which sit right on the coast within easy reach of beaches such as Colva, Senabatim, and Benaulim. Still others will choose the Royal Goan Beach Club at Haathi Mahal, a gorgeous resort in south Goa that puts guests in the center of everything the region has to offer. The outstanding condominium resorts offer a broad array of room options and amenities, ranging from in-room kitchenettes to pools, restaurants, playgrounds, and on-site entertainment.

Royal Holiday members traveling to Goa will find a place humans have inhabited for many thousands of years. Archaeologists have found remnants of the art made by societies that lived in Goa up to 30,000 years ago. Goan society was ruled by numerous powers across its history, ranging from the Bhojas of Goa to the Bahmani sultans and Adil Shahis, prior to its conquest by Portugal in 1510. A Portuguese colony for 450 years, the region was eventually annexed by a newly independent India. Today, visitors will find an astoundingly gorgeous tourist destination filled with biodiversity, historic architecture, and some of Asia’s best beaches.

As a beach destination, Goa will delight anyone interested in water sports or dolphin watching. Royal Holiday members who want to hit the waves will find everything from scuba diving to catamarans and speedboat rides down the river and on the Arabian Sea. The beaches of Goa are delightful, with sellers offering coconut water, Henna tattoos, massages, and hair braiding. Further inland, one will find the numerous national and private parks. The largest, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, offers gorgeous evergreen vistas, while Cumbarjua Canal and tiny Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary provide an opportunity to see some of India’s fascinating flora and fauna.

Of course, no Royal Holiday traveler should visit the region without taking at trip to Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that shows the colonial splendor left behind by the Portuguese. The architectural flourishes and old world charm of sites like the Basilica of Bom Jesus make for an excellent afternoon of exploring, while nearby gems like the Naval Aviation Museum offer a different view of this corner of India. Shoppers will want to take a trip to Arpora’s Saturday Night Bazaar and the Anjuna Flea Market, both of which offer incredible deals, while those looking for complete relaxation will want to take advantage of the Ayurveda practitioners and Reiki masters, who offer their traditional healing methods across the region.