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Goa ~ Getting Around

Goa's international airport is 29 km from Panjim at Dabolim. Mumbai-Goa is a 45-minute flight and one has the option to fly on Indian Airlines or Jet Airways. Regular flights also link Goa with Delhi, Pune, Cochin, Bangalore and Chennai. Some charter companies fly into Goa directly from Europe.

The 760 km long Konkan Railway project between Mangalore (Karnataka) and Mumbai has given a major boost to train travel to Goa. There are trains run between Margao and Mangalore and a direct train from Delhi to Goa. Goa has two main stations at Margao and Vasco da Gama.

There are interstate bus services to Mumbai (16 hrs), Mangalore, Bangalore, Pune, Londa, Hubli, Hampi and Hospet. Buses of state roadways corporations of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa operate services out of Kadamba bus stand at Panjim. Private air conditioned buses to major destinations operate from a separate bus stand near Madovi bridge.

Getting Around within Goa
Before independence, the many rivers that drain Goa made getting around a problem. Nowadays, however, thanks to a network of road bridges life is a lot easier. As elsewhere in India, cars and taxis can be rented by the hour, or by the kilometre, for excursions.

More on Goa
North Goa Beaches
South Goa Beaches

Another   Ambience
Reason to Return

SCUBA Diving
An Introduction

Buses are by far the cheapest way to travel in Goa. They are usually overcrowded, and often seem to follow their own schedule. For short trips however, they are well recommended. The Goan transport corporation, Kadamba, runs long-distance services throughout the state from their main stands at Panjim, Mapusa and Margao. Private buses, serving everywhere else including the coastal resorts, are cheap, frequent but slow due to the numerous stops they make en route.

Car Rental
Self-driven car rental is available in Goa from car companies like Hertz and Budget, though the option is a little expensive.

Ferry's, generally painted blue, provide an essential service, crossing the coastal backwaters where bridges have not yet been built. They're also incredibly cheap, and run from dawn to dusk.

The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across the Mandovi, Old Goa to Divar Island, Siolim to Chopdem, across the Chapora River for Arambol and Pernem, Querim to Terekol, over the Terekol River and Cavelossim, in the far south of Salcete taluka, to Assolna. Frequent services are available on these routes.


Motorcycle taxis
Goa's unique pillion-passenger motorcycle taxis, are ideal for small trips to beaches or into town from the resorts. These pillion taxis are relatively economical and conveneient.

Rented Motorcycles
Renting a motorcycle in Goa gives a lot of freedom but can be unsafe. Every season, an average of one person a day dies on the roads; many are tourists on two-wheelers. While renting, ensure that the lights and brakes are in good shape. Many Goan roads are pot-holed and unlit, and stray cows and bullock carts can appear from nowhere.

Rates vary according to the season, the vehicle, and how long you rent it for; most owners also insist on a hefty deposit and/or passport as security. The range of available machines includes a 50cc moped, fine for buzzing to the beach and back, the popular Enfield Bullet 350cc and the smaller but more reliable Honda Kinetic 100cc, which has automatic gears and is a good first-time choice or the best all-rounder, the Yamaha RX 100cc light, fast, reliable and with manual gears.

Officially, you need an international driver's licence to rent anything more powerful than a 25cc moped. Owners and rental companies rarely enforce this, but some local police use the rule to extract exorbitant baksheesh from tourists. Always make sure you rent a vehicle from the right sources and carry the necessary papers. Some unlicensed operators attempt to rent out machines to unwary visitors; always make sure you get some evidence of rental and insurance.

Compiled by Puneet Sachdeva

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.