Why February is the best time to visit Goa?

Posted on January 30, 2019 by

For someone who loves the very thought of Goa, I don’t need a season or a reason to visit this quaint little coastal state. But having said that, of all the different times of the year that I have visited Goa, I find the month of February the perfect time to travel to this exotic destination. And I have my reasons.

With the New Year parties taking a backseat, I find a much lesser crowd at this time, yet the party mood lingers on. This makes it neither too loud nor too quiet, giving you the perfect balance of fun and relaxation. But most importantly, as I experienced last year, February is the time to see Goa in its true colors.

Here are a few aspects of this Konkan state that I discovered last February on my post-New Year trip to Goa.

Lower travel costs
The effects of the season started showing from the very step of my travel when I was booking my tickets. Starting from the airfare to hotel rates and even local car rentals had dropped their prices, making my entire vacation affordable. Although it was not as cheap as the summer months, it was
definitely better than the holiday season (November to January). I even found a seamless and easy car hire in Goa for my local travel. Otherwise, as I had experienced earlier, finding a rental at a reasonable rate is a challenge in December and January.

The perfect weather
Every season of Goa feels fine to me. But to be honest, then summers are indeed harsh. And hence, when I landed in February, I was greeted with the perfect weather. The days were warm and sunny, but not too hot so I could stay on the beach and swim throughout the day, without getting sunburned. The nights were cooler with a mild breeze. The temperatures would range from 30 degrees (Celsius) to 18 degrees with an average of something around 24 degrees. The clear skies, calmer seas, and the quiet beaches made it ideal for me.

Fewer crowds, better company
With the party season just over, I found much lesser touristy crowd making the beaches emptier than what I had found earlier in my winter trips. I could easily find a quiet corner on the beach to put up my parasol, yoga mat, and laze in the late winter sun, read a book, or go swimming at any time. Thankfully, the beach shacks all worked round the clock, just like the previous months, only with a better crowd and fresher food this time. With fewer customers to serve, they would customize my food and drinks, which just enhanced by experience.

Unique festivals
I always knew that Goa is not only about New Year parties or rave parties. And I experienced that first hand once the party season was over. In February, Goa celebrates the Wine Festival and the Monte Music Festival.

The Wine Festival, also called the Grape Escapade, was interesting. It had started since 2005 and celebrated in Panjim, where people would enjoy grape stomping, sampling different kinds of wines, some of which were grown locally, and some sourced from other places, along with haute cuisine and local flavors, making it a lifestyle extravaganza.

The Monte Music Festival, on the other hand, was a cultural gala. I barely managed to be there on the last day of the event. Organized by the Fundação Oriente and Cidade de Goa, in association with the Kala Academy, the music fest was held on the courtyard of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Old Goa. The event saw numerous indie artists and musicians from India and abroad. Last year particularly, this musical event celebrated its 30 years and had its biggest celebrations with famous singers and musicians from the East and West, each of whom added their own touch to Goa’s culture.

The Goa Carnival
Now, this is the real highlight of Goa for the month of February and I was saving this for the last. It was precisely one of the reasons I visited Goa in this particular month. The biggest celebration of Goa and its culture usually happens around this time of the year. Last year, the Carvinal started on February 10 and lasted for four days. A smaller celebration of the worldwide Carnival, on the occasion of Mardi Gras, this
vibrant Christian festival marks the last day of merriment before the abstinence period of Lent starts. It was my first ever Carnival experience in Goa and I was awestruck by the number of floats, the colorful costumes, and the overall ambiance. I even joined a parade through the city, dancing away with the locals and realized how right I was to travel at that time. If you plan to travel in and around Goa on a 4- wheeler, always rent a car with a local vendor who has good knowledge of the roads.

And thus, I wrapped up my Goa holiday, feeling fulfilled and glad that I could see my favorite destination in its own essence.

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