Aside from beautiful beaches, Goa stands out in India, mostly for its fascinating Portuguese colonial architecture and heritage. Lured by the promise of the lucrative Spice Route, the Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510 and their influence existed for 450 years, leaving an indelible mark in the process. Old Goa exhibits the best example of this, with its Baroque architecture, forts, whitewashed churches and stunning cathedrals. Outside Old Goa, in Panaji, is Fontainhas & Sao Tomé, the oldest and most distinctive Portuguese districts, which make for desirable walking through the narrow streets and offer a flavour of yesteryear. Meanwhile, Braganza House, built in the 17th century, is the biggest Portuguese mansion of its kind in Goa; it is a great sight to behold.
Portuguese influence extends to many of the notable churches dotted around Goa, especially in the beautiful district of Old Goa, where the magnificent Sé Cathedral is located. Construction of this splendid, traditional Tuscan-style church started in 1562 under the orders of King Dom Sebastiao of Portugal, with the finishing touches made some 90 years ago. Visit the fascinating Basilica of Bom Jesus – idolised in the Roman Catholic world – which holds the immortal remains of St Francis Xavier, the so-called ‘Apostle of the Indies’ and boasts an intricate facade combining Doric, Iconic and Corinthian design. In Panaji, the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1619 and was the first port-of-call for Portuguese sailors travelling from Lisbon to pay their thanks for a safe crossing.
The Anjuna Flea Market is a must, with its weekly Wednesday market selling merchandise from all over India. Stroll around this lively market with vendors shouting their wares, market stalls brimming with jewellery, sculptures, colourful saris and incredible sacks of vibrant and aromatic spices from Kerala. For a totally different market vibe, visit Mapusa Market, especially on a Friday morning, as the raucous, yet charming atmosphere attracts shoppers and vendors from all over Goa – a perfect location to find a keepsake to take home with you.
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Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.