It’s no secret that December is the best time to be in Goa. Everything from the serene beaches to the raging parties are alluring to the different types of tourists here. Goa has it all, from magnificent beaches to rocking parties.
The state also celebrates Christmas and the New Year like no other. There are certain special gems in Goa that we think you should explore during December. Here are our top picks for things to do in Goa in December.
Things to Do in Goa in December
1. Explore The Saturday Night Goa Market
The Saturday Night Market takes place on the busy sands of Arpora in Goa. The entire market begins from 7 pm and goes on till the wee early morning hours. The market has a varied collection of goods ranging from fancy jewellery to unique antique showpieces.
Be sure not to miss the live music performances and the exotic fire dances who take to the stage post 10 pm. The market also has some lip-smackingly delicious food stalls.
- Address: Aguada – Siolim Rd, Xim Waddo, Arpora
2. Pay Your Respects At The Liberation Day Parade
Goa achieved independence from the Portuguese colonial rule in 1961. In the years since its independence, Goa has come a long way. However, it has not forgotten the hardships it had to face during the Portuguese rule.
Every 19th of December, Goa celebrates the Liberation day and there are parades from three different locations in Goa. The parades ultimately unify and meet at the Campal ground in Panjim. The participants then pay tribute to the freedom fighters and the Indian Navy.
- Address: Campal Ground, Panjim
3. Go Crib Hopping Around Goa
There is no doubt that Goa is the best place in India to be during the Christmas week. The entire state comes together as one and celebrates the festival.
Making a crib during the Christmas is definitely a must do. Many families decide to portray their crib making skills and keep it on display for all to see. The Department of Art and culture of Goa organizes a competition every year for families to come together and display their creativity.
- Address: Multiple locations depending on where the event is held
4. Visit The Mesmerizing Serendipity Arts Festival
The Serendipity Arts Festival is held on the banks of the Mandovi river in Panjim. The art festival is held across multiple art disciplines like visual, performing and the culinary arts.
The art festival is curated by a panel of jurors who themselves are veterans in their respective art forms. If you are in Goa during the later weeks of December we advise you to not miss this festival
- Address: Panjim, Goa
5. Get Twirling At The Christmas Balls
During the week of Christmas, another key highlight of Goa is the various balls or dances that are organized all around the state. The ones in Parra and Woodbourne Hall Gounley, Nuvem are particularly famous.
You can take part in some of the most fun dances activities that go on in these ballrooms. If you feel that you aren’t on par with your dancing skills or are feeling a little rusty, then you needn’t worry as there are a plethora of week-long dance workshops that are conducted by different dance groups in goa as well.
- Address: Multiple locations
6. Attend An EDM Festival Or Party
Goa has seen a ban on two major music festival, namely Sunburn and the Vh1 Supersonic Music Festival. However, that won’t stop Goa from grooving out. The Timeout 72 Hours Goa Music Festival is a three-day music festival. The music festival has seen the likes of Martin Garrix and Wiz Khalifa perform.
- Address: Vagator
7. Watch Turtles Take Over The Beach
Olive Ridleys are a type of turtle most known for the heart-shaped carapace on their backs. The turtles can grow up to 70 centimetres in length.
During the month of December, these turtles make the beaches of Goa their nesting site and gather in the thousands to do so. The most famous nesting beach has to be the Galgibaga Beach in Canacona.
- Address: Galgibaga Beach, Canacona, South Goa
8. Participate In Church Fairs
Every year on the 8th of December, the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception feast is held in Panjim. The feast is held post the novenas – prayers that go on for nine consecutive days.
The entire church is decked up in beautiful lights and decoration and is a sight to behold, especially in the evenings. There is an also a street fair that happens near the church where you can shop for items like crockery, handicrafts and sweets.
- Address: Altinho, Panaji
9. Witness A Goan Wedding
Goa is known for the lavish weddings that it gets to witness throughout the year, However, December is the peak wedding season in Goa. People from all over the country plan for their special day to be in Goa and bookings are done in advance.
If you get the opportunity you should definitely witness a traditional Goan wedding which is quite apart from the other traditional wedding.
- Address: Any church in Goa
10. Visit Dudhsagar Falls
One of the key highlights of Goa is the Dudhsagar falls. Set in the Mollem region of Goa, the picturesque waterfall was made famous by various Bollywood movies like Chennai Express that used the falls as a backdrop.
The Dudhsagar falls stands at a height of 1017 feet and is the fifth tallest waterfall in the country. There are many trekking routes around the falls that you can take, which will throw an entirely new perspective on your concept of beauty.
- Address: Sonaulim
11. Visit The Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary And Mollem National Park
The Mollem National Park, alternatively known as the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, is situated in the Mollem region of Goa. The park is spread over 240 square kilometers and is deep in the heart of the Western Ghats. The park is home to a variety of snakes, including the exotic King Cobra. There are guided tours that are conducted in the sanctuary, where you can see the Great Indian Python in its natural habitat.
- Address: Mollem
12. Wash An Elephant
In Goa, there are guided elephant washing activities that let you wash these animals in the company of their Mahouts. These massive yet gentle animals, due to their tough skin, tend to feel the heat more than humans and hence require water washes to keep cool.
The mahouts will guide you on how to properly and safely wash these gentle giants.
- Address: Multiple locations throughout Goa
13. Go Dolphin Spotting
Goa is blessed with a wonderful coastline and is surrounded by the Arabian sea. If you tend to venture out into the deeper seas you can spot the Dolphins. There are professional guides who accompany you as well as guide you through the entire dos and don’ts of the tour.
People who are adept at swimming are allowed to get into the waters with the dolphins. Getting into the water depends on the weather conditions and the guides initial approval.
- Address: Aguada – Siolim Rd, Sinquerim, Candolim, Aguada Fort Area
14. Bring In The New Year In Style
Goa is undoubtedly the best place to celebrate the new year. The entire state comes alive with a pulsating energy that can be felt even in the most distant corners of the state.There are numerous parties that you can attend.
There are celebrations conducted on the beach with fireworks and other pyrotechnicians conjuring fire-based imagery. You can feel the festivity of the Goan people as they come together to celebrate this holiday.
- Address: Multiple places throughout Goa
15. Dance To Your Own Tune At A Headphone Party
At Palolem you can dance the night away without disturbing a soul. The Silent Noise party on the far south end of the beach goes on till the wee hours of the morning without making a noise. Partygoers use wireless headphones to connect to the music and can be seen swaying and dancing in silence – a fascinating and fun experience.
- Address: Palolem Beach
16. Spend The Day At A Beach Shack
There are so many great restaurant shacks in Goa where you can spend the entire day sipping on your favourite drink and eating delicious seafood, heading out to take a dip as and when you want. December is the best time to visit as the atmosphere is buzzing.
- Address: There are shacks on most beaches
17. Go On A Cruise
Watch the sunset or have a meal in the moonlight on a cruise of the Mandovi River. On board, you will be entertained by music, live entertainment and some delicious food as you take in the beautiful views the river has to offer.
- Address: Book online or at a tour operator in Panjim
18. Ride a bike across Goa
Check out the different beaches and shacks in the most convenient and enjoyable way – on two wheels. Depending on your preference, you can rent geared or non-geared bikes. As private taxis can get expensive and public transport can be time consuming, this is the easiest way to explore Goa, not limiting yourself to one spot.
- Address: There are signs up on the road or you can ask your hotel manager
19. Stay On The Beach
Beachside accommodation may cost a bomb in any part of the world – not in Goa. Here you can rent simple shacks on the beach for a few thousands a night in December. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from the ocean and can hear the waves crashing against the shore from your room.
- Address: Multiple beaches across Goa
So for your next trip in December, head to the sunshine state and enjoy a host of activities and experiences to ensure a fabulous holiday. Have you been to Goa in December? Tell us your favourite things to do in the comments below