Wednesday, November 18, 2009

World Best WaterFalls

=-=Yosemite Falls:
Yosemite National Park is located in the central Sierra Nevada of California and lies 150 miles east of San Francisco and only a six-hour drive from Los Angeles. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity. The 750,000-acre, 1,200 square-mile park contains thousands of lakes and ponds, 1600 miles of streams, 800 miles of hiking trails, and 350 miles of roads. Two federally designated wild and scenic rivers, the Merced and Tuolumne, begin within Yosemite’s borders and flow west into California's Central Valley.
Yosemite Valley Waterfalls
Waterfalls are a Yosemite hallmark, drawing visitors from around the globe year after year. Because many of Yosemite’s waterfalls are fed by snowmelt, the amount of water rushing over each waterfall can vary widely throughout the year. In addition to those below, numerous other falls can be seen during the spring run-off or after a heavy rainstorm.

  • Yosemite Falls (Upper, 1,430 ft.; Middle, 675 ft.; Lower, 320 ft.) is one of the tallest in North America and fifth highest in the world with a total drop of 2,425 feet.

  • Bridalveil Fall (620 ft.) called "Pohono" or "spirit of the puffing wind" by the Ahwahneechee Indians. The wind often blows the falls sideways giving it the appearance of a "bride's veil".

  • Vernal Fall (317 ft.) and Nevada Fall (594 ft.) are visible from the Mist Trail. and rewards hikers with a refreshing, rainbow-filled shower on hot spring days.
  • World Best Waterfalls

    =-=Dettifoss WaterFalls:
    *Dettifoss is Iceland's greatest and most majestic waterfall. It is also rated as Europe's most powerful waterfall, based on its magnitude. Dettifoss is 45 metres in height and 100 metres wide and its force is such that the bedrock trembles when hit by the weight of an immense column of white-foaming water. The average flow is 193 cubic metres per second but during floods it reaches up to 600 m3/s.

    *Dettifoss is in the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which emerges from beneath Vatnajökull glacier and runs into Öxarfjörður bay. It is part of Vatnajökull National Park. Dettifoss is the centre fall in a unique series of waterfalls; about one km up river is Selfoss, and two km down river is Hafragilsfoss.

    *Dettifoss cuts the river at an angle so the scenic experience is quite different depending on which side the waterfall is viewed from.

    *The East Bank Of Dettifoss:
    On the east side of Jökulsá river, road 864 runs between road 85 in Öxarfjörður region and main road 1 in the Mývatn area. Despite being a gravel road, it has usually been better than the road on the on the west side, so this is where most visitors come to Dettifoss.

    *The West Bank Of Dettifoss:
    Road F862 runs between road 85 and road 1 on the west side of Jökulsá river. Between road 85 and Dettifoss it is a gravel road, but between Dettifoss and Road 1 it is more of a mountain track and conditions can vary greatly. A new road is under construction, scheduled to be completed in 2010

    World Best Waterfalls

    =-=Lower Falls of Grand CanyOn:

    *How to get there?

    The Lower Falls area is located just to the east of Canyon Village. A one-way loop drive takes you to the brink of the Grand Canyon and offers four views, with the last stop at the trail that leads to the top of the Falls.

    *Lower Falls:
    Lower Falls, the biggest waterfall in Yellowstone, is the most famous in the Park, hands down. In fact, the 308-foot tall waterfall it is most likely the second most photographed spot in Yellowstone, with Old Faithful Geyser being the first. There are numerous views of the Falls from both the east (Inspiration Point, Grandview Point and Lookout Point) and west (Artists Point) sides of the Grand Canyon, most of which require only a short walk or virtually no walk to see. The trail to the top of the Falls (3/4 of a mile roundtrip, but steep with many switchbacks) is a must, as the experience of standing atop the Falls is one of the most breath-taking experiences in the entire Park.

    The canyon's colors were created by hot water acting on volcanic rock. It was not these colors, but the river's yellow banks at its distant confluence with the Missouri River, that occasioned the Minnetaree Indian name which French trappers translated as roche jaune, yellow stone. The canyon has been rapidly downcut more than once, perhaps by great glacial outburst floods. Little deepening takes place today.

    =-=Kaieteur Waterfalls:

    *Kaieteur Falls is one of the most spectular waterfalls in the world.

    *It has a free fall height of over 700 feet

    *It is one of the few places in the world where endangered species are easily observed. Our specially designed on-site nature walk places you face-to-face with the many and varied exotic plant and animal species.

    *Kaieteur can be admired close-up or filmed at varying distances and from numerous camera angles; aerial views of the Falls are truly spectacular.

    *Kaieteur National Park is situated on the Guiana Shield, a plateau that is one of the world's oldest and remotest geological formations.

    *The entire Kaieteur National Park area is located within one of the largest and most biodiverse rainforests in the world.

    *The Falls are accessible both by air and by land. By air, it is an hour's flight from Georgetown, the Capital of Guyana. By land there is a popular adventurous wilderness trek that requires 3 to 5 days to complete.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    World Best Waterfalls

    =-=Sutherland Falls,NewZealand:

    Physical Descripition Information:



    Total Height:

    1904 feet

    580 meters

    Tallest Single Drop:

    885 feet

    270 meters

    Number of Drops:


    Waterfall Type:


    Average Width:

    90 feet

    27 meters

    Average Volume:

    400 cubic feet / sec.

    11 cubic meters / sec.

    Maximum Recorded Volume:

    5,000 cubic feet / sec.

    142 cubic meters / sec.


    Arthur River



    Seasons of Best Flow:

    Year Long


    Location, Directions & Maps:




    New Zealand

    State / Province:

    South Island



    Specific Location:

    Milford Track

    Latitude / Longitude:

    -44.8019 / 167.7308

    Falls is one of the most well known waterfalls in New Zealand, and definitely has a reputation around the world. The falls drop directly out of Lake Quill, which is in turn fed by several glaciers producing their own waterfalls, then drops down three steps in very quick sucession, dropping 751 feet, 815 feet, and 338 feet respectively. The falls can be seen either from the air, or by hiking two miles to the base of the falls from the Milford Track.
    Sutherland FallsThe high Sutherland Falls is the most impressive of the numerous falls encountered on the Milford Track. It is actually about a 45 minute side hike from the main trail each way, but is worth it. You can walk right up to the base of the falls and feel the power of the wind rushing down, driving the mists outward around the base. It sounds like an airplane, almost, it is so loud.

    World Of Waterfalls

    =-=DamajaguaWaterfalls: This inspiring activity for nature lovers takes you beyond the gold-sand beaches of Puerto Plata and into the silver-capped mountains for the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua, a fairytale-like labyrinth of tunnels and caves set against a backdrop of rural mountain scenery.
    Trek through jungle and scale rock mounds as high as 40 feet before cascading into crystal-clear natural swimming pools. The most intrepid explorers hike the hour required to reach the highest waterfall before descending a three-hour-long track. A shorter but no less challenging trail scrambles up and down the first seven falls with plenty of swimming breaks in between.

    =-=The WaterFall At Langfoss,Norway:
    Langfoss or Langfossen as it is sometimes called is possibly one of the more beautiful cascade waterfalls in the world. A width of 250 feet, the river spills over the side of a mountain slope for a length of 2000 feet before it joins the waters of the Åkra Fjord. The mountain is green with flora in the summers and a slippery slope in the cold season. Langfoss is the 5th highest waterfall in Norway and is among the tallest waterfalls in the world. Though some dismiss it as a true waterfall because it is a cascade rather than a true plunge waterfall that loses contact with the rock face as it plunges to the water below. However many visitors to the sight care less for the dispute and more for the awe inspiring sight.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Kabba in Saudi Arabia

    =-=Kabba in Saudi Arabia:

    The Kaaba (a square building) is the 'House of God', where the divine touches the mundane and it is toward the Kaaba that Muslims face during their prayers. The Kaaba is located in the courtyard of the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. According to the Koran, the cubic-shaped structure was built by Adam according to a divine plan. When Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) was ordered by Allah to build a Shrine for worship he uncovered the original foundation of the Kaaba built by Adam. Ibrahim with the help of his son Ismael (also known as Ishmael) erected the new shrine on the original foundation. When the Prophet Muhammad began to preach to the people of Mecca the Kaaba was a shrine for the pagan deities of the Arabs. After the Prophet established control of Mecca, the shrine was rededicated to Allah. Around the Kaaba is a restricted area, haram, extending in some directions as far as 12 miles (19.3 kilometers), into which only Muslims may enter.

    The actual structure of the Kaaba has been demolished and rebuilt several times in the course of its history and was originally four walls without a roof. The Kaaba is now a cubed shaped one room structure that is about 60 feet high (18.3 meters), 60 feet wide from east to west and 60 feet from north to south. A door is fixed about 7 feet (2.1 meters) above ground level facing north east.

    The Black Stone, or the Kaaba Stone, is set on the outside of the eastern corner of the Kaaba and is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground. The stone is a dark reddish brown color and its diameter is about 12 inches (30.5 centimeters). The Black Stone is now in pieces, three large parts and smaller fragments, which are now encased in a massive silver band. It is presumed to be of pre-Islamic origin, possibly meteoric and has always been the dark color it is because it was burned as it fell through the atmosphere. Some Muslims believe that this stone fell from the sky during the time of Adam and has the power to cleanse worshippers of their sins by absorbing them into itself. For these, the Black Stone is believed to have originally been colored white, but it turned black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years. Others believe the stone was given to Ismael by the angel Gabriel in order to provide the cornerstone for the Kaaba. The Black Stone is kissed by all who can gain access to it but is not considered idol worship. The single most important reason for kissing the stone is that Prophet Muhammad did so. No devotional significance whatsoever is attached to the stone.

    Friday, September 25, 2009


    =-=Saudi Arabia:-The Land Of Culture And Peace:
    A visit to the attractions of Saudi Arabia is a lifetime opportunity for all Muslims across the world. Home to Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest cities in Islam, Saudi Arabia is a country drenched in prayers and religious monotones.

    =-=Top Attractions In Suadi Arabia:
    Tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia are more about Arabic traditionalism than about modernity. Although the country has witnessed immense growth and has even adopted some of the aspects of Western sumptuousness, it remains deep-rooted in its culture.

    *Al-Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia:

    Al-Masjid al-Haram, also known as the 'Sacred Mosque', is undoubtedly the biggest attraction of Saudi Arabia. The largest mosque in Islamic world, Al-Masjid al-Haram, Mecca is a must-visit religious center for all Muslims.
    Situated in the holy city of Mecca, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia, Al-Masjid al-Haram is simply matchless in magnificence. Sprawling across an area of 356,800 square meters, the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is capable of accommodating more than 820,000 pilgrims .

    As per the Five Pillars of Islam, all Muslims are expected to make a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, given that they are in good health and can afford the same. The Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is the mosque where Hajjis end their pilgrimage and pay respects to the almighty.
    The Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca surrounds the Kaaba and Black Stone, the place to which all Muslims turn to during prayer time. In Islam, the Kaaba is also regarded as the holiest place on earth. Thus, the Al-Masjid al-Haram is the most important structure for Muslims around the world.

    The Al-Masjid al-Haram is believed to have been built by angels even before mankind existed on earth. The mosque was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. According to legends, Allah had ordered Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismael to build the mosque and Kaaba for the final time. The present structure of Al-Masjid al-Haram was refurbished after an extension in the year 1982.
    Focal point of the Hajj pilgrimage, Al-Masjid al-Haram hosts more than three million visitors every year. Non-Muslims are not permitted entry into the mosque as well as the city of Mecca. In fact, non-Muslims caught in the city have the risk of being executed in public.

    Apart from the Kaaba, the Al-Masjid al-Haram has a colossal courtyard wherein worshippers perform their prayers. The main mosque has been time and again renovated to suit the needs of pilgrims who come from faraway lands. The Al-Masjid al-Haram, Mecca has been provided with facilities like air conditioners, escalators and rest rooms.
    A visit to the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is the most spellbinding experience for all Muslims around the globe.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=St. Martin, Caribbean:

    With an area of only 37 square miles, the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be divided between two governments. Its dual owners are the Dutch and the French, who have shared the tiny and paradisical island more or less peacefully for almost 350 years. This understated absence of conflict testifies to one of the island's most precious and attractive characteristics--its unusual serenitySituated about 150 miles east of Puerto Rico, Dutch St. Maarten (the French spell it St. Martin) covers 16 square miles of the southern part of the island, an area marked by verdant, rolling hills that languidly rest above mile after mile of beach, salt pond, and lagoon.

    Although the region falls under the government of Netherlands Antilles and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its diversity and the strong influence of West-Indian traditions make its culture anything but exclusively Dutch. St. Maarten's atmosphere is a winning blend of Caribbean hospitality and European sophistication.

    Philipsburg, the Dutch capital since 1768, is widely known for its colonial architecture. The town began as a Dutch trading center, and the forts around Philipsburg are haunting reminders of its one-time strategic importance. Traders from throughout the empire once sailed through the protective arms of its Great Bay, establishing the town as a lively center of international commerce. Although most of the vessels that arrive in the harbor today are cruise ships, international trade still thrives in St. Maarten thanks to its status as a leading duty-free port. To put it simply, St. Maarten is a shopper's dream.

    St. Maarten is also known throughout the Caribbean for its eclectic nightlife. The evening ritually begins at sunset, when cafes and night clubs open their doors and the music of steel drum bands floats along the beaches. The island's festive spirit peaks during carnival, a vibrant, two-week festival of feasting, street dancing, parties, and parades. St. Maarten's dependable trade winds free the island from oppressive heat or prolonged leaden skies, and its temperate climate is consistently graced by the sun.
    The island's sugary-white beaches are spiritually restive and abundant, and walkers who encounter them are often struck by their splendid seclusion. Off-shore, St. Maarten's life-rich waters provide superb boating and fishing, as well as excellent diving areas. The inland region, with its gentle valleys and hills, is ideal for biking, horseback riding, and exploration. All these offerings have made St. Maarten a famous tropical destination, and the island is dotted with world-class resorts. Private guest houses are also an increasingly popular form of lodging, catering to visitors seeking traditional Caribbean hospitality.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=Mazatlan, Mexico:

    Location: on Mexico's Gold Coast, Mazatlan is the closest Mexican resort to the United States, and it's been a favorite destination for those looking to soak up the relaxed pace of life along the Pacific Coast for decades.
    Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Pacific," Mazatlan offers everything from full-service all-inclusive resort life to intimate villas, hotels and private residences available for short- or long-term rental. It is in every respect a top-notch vacation getaway, but without the relentless push to go, see and do present in so many places. Mazatlan embraces tourists, but is a full, rich city in its own right above and beyond its attractiveness

    For golfers, courses designed by Lee Trevino and Robert Trent Jones, Jr., one of the world's foremost course designers, will challenge and delight with fantastic layouts and stunning ocean views.

    If romance is in the air and you're in the market for a fantastic wedding destination or honeymoon, you can't go wrong with Mazatlan. With 10 miles of stunning Pacific beachfront and many picturesque churches and other historic buildings, you'll certainly find just the right spot to start life as a couple

    For beer lovers, one of the largest breweries in Mexico, Pacifico, will give you plenty of reasons to smile with brewery tours and chances to sample brews that never make it north of the border. All the traditional amusements and diversions are here including some of the finest sport fishing on the Pacific coast, whether your desire is deep-water big game or the challenge of shallow-water predators.

    Mazatlan is also a great family vacation destination! Visit Stone Island, with its horseback riding, boogie boarding and snorkeling. Go whale or dolphin watching. And don't forget the Aquarium, with hundreds of species of marine life and stunning sea lion shows!

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=Phuket and Pattaya, Thailand:

    White shores and the most stunning aqua blue waters you'll ever see, Thailand and other coast-side spots in Southeast Asia such as Penang, Malaysia, are popular holiday destinations. They bring together cultural heritage, mountain views, elephant camps, ancient temples and palaces, stunning beaches, water sports, resorts, restaurants and nightclubs -- all in one place. Popular Phuket destinations include Karon, Patong and Kata Beaches. Hotels, resorts, B&Bs, or half/full board accommodation are all available.

    Pattaya and Phuket are the most developed beach resorts in Thailand, and both receive millions of tourists every year. Phuket has some very nice beaches, but every year it is getting more and more crowded and is very expensive compared to almost anywhere else in Thailand. Pattaya is much cheaper, but has a mediocre beach and dirty water. Most visitors here come for the bars, discos and prostitutes for which Pattaya is internationally famous/infamous. Phuket's Patong beach seems to be rapidly developing into a mini Pattaya. Due to the amount of tourists there, both have developed into very good areas for all kind of watersports.

    Pattaya is only 133 kms from Bangkok so it is easy to get to. Pattaya is best known for its bars and night life but as you say beaches aren't of much interest to you so that doesn't matter. There are many things to do during the day like go to Nong Nooch, the Tiger Zoo, Big Buddha up on the Hill, Koh larn (island) a 45 minute ferry ride away...etc etc... There is one big benefit of Pattaya over Phuket, it is less expensive and the entertainment offered is of high quality, there is literally 1000's of venues to choose from. Pattaya is not or prudes though, if you are offended by looking at bar girls working in open air bars then perhaps it may not be for you. It shouldn't affect you if you and your partner are broad minded.

    Phuket is about 900 kms south. Will take you all night to get there by bus or you can fly in an hour. Phuket is a beautiful place with everything on offer for the tourist, trouble is it is expensive. The beaches are better but that does not concern you anyway but it is very beautiful. I always hire a motorbike and Phuket is an ideal place for riding around on. Plenty of bars and venues there too but just more expensive hope that helps.

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=BALI — THE "ULTIMATE ISLAND"(Indonesia): *In spite of many changes caused by the rapid development of Bali's economy, local and international tourism, and communications (television, fax, pagers, GSM hand phones, Internet), the influx of people from other Indonesian islands, and the strong influence of the government and "big business" in Jakarta, the island of Bali in Indonesia is year after year voted by the readers of all major travel magazines the most enchanting travel and holiday destination in the whole world.

    *Bali's wide variety of attractions, the physical beauty of the island, and the year-round pleasant climate make Bali a place regarded by many visitors as the "Ultimate Island.
    *The friendly people and the absence of any serious criminal activities guarantee visitors a totally relaxing stay – which is a very pleasant surprise for guests who repeatedly felt threatened in Barbados, Jamaica, and other "dream islands" in the Caribbean.

    *Stay for a month in Bali to get the best of enchanting Indonesian culture, cuisine, and beautiful beaches. Popular spots in Bali include Benoa Beach, Legian and Sanur Beach. This region is known for water sports enthusiasts including honeymooners, scuba divers and surfers.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=Canary Islands, Grand Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura:

    Gran Canaria, sometimes called Grand Canary (older name) or even Grand Canaria is one of and is the second largest island in the Canary Islands, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean 210 km from the northwest coast of Africa and belonging to Spain. It is located southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin.

    The island was populated by the Canarios from 3000 BC, who called it Tamarán, but was claimed by Spain in the 15th century.
    Gran Canaria's surface is 1,560 km2 and its maximum altitude is 1,949 meters (Pico de Las Nieves). It has a round shape, having a diameter of just about 50 km.Gran Canaria is divided into twenty-one municipalities:Agaete Agüimes Artenara Arucas Firgas Gáldar Ingenio Mogán Moya Las Palmas San Bartolomé de Tirajana San Nicolás de Tolentino Sta. Brígida Sta. Lucía de Tirajana Santa María de Guía Tejeda Telde Teror Valleseco Valsequillo Vega de San Mateo.

    The island has a population of 789,908 with 377,600 (year 2003) of those in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also the capital of the province of Las Palmas, and also the capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.

    Grand Canaria is called a "Miniature Continent" due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found.

    Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north. There is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, in the south of the island, as well as many beach resort communities. The resort communities start in the central eastern part of the southern coast in the Maspalomas area which includes the towns of San Agustín, Playa del Inglés, and Maspalomas where most tourists visit. The Dunes of Maspalomas, supplied by sands from the Sahara, are located between Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. Another tourist attraction is the Lighthouse at Maspalomas.

    Playa del Inglés is a popular destination for European gays with bars, restaurants and businesses centered primarily in the Yumbo Centrum shopping center. A gay beach is found near the Maspalomas Dunes.
    Heading west along the southern coast is the fishing city of Arguineguin in the Municipality of Mogán. The market, which is held on Tuesdays, is the largest on the island.

    Still further to the west along the southern shore, also in the Municipality of Mogán are the communities of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán, a pictoresque village referred to as "Little Venice" on account on its many canals.

    The capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the north of the island, has a vibrant city life and the beach Las Canteras is located in the heart of the city. Las Palmas is also known for its annual Carnaval.

    The number of annual visitors is 2.2 million (2,200,000). Most of the tourists visit the southern part of the island.

    Other attractions includes Banana Park. Roque Nublo (an 80m monolith), Dedo de Dios in Puerto de las Nieves, Cenebio de Valerón with about 290 caves, the botanical garden Jardin Canario in Tafira Alta and many more.

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday


    The author Budd Schulberg once quipped about Florida, "
    ...It's a melting pot, a frontier, a place to improve your health or your luck."

    Florida, meaning "Land of Flowers." Florida has undergone many transformations since that time and is now one of the most popular vacation and retirement destinations in the world. This tourist magnet is known worldwide as the land of sunshine, orange groves, Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and the Kennedy Space Center. Florida is home to the electric city of Miami, stylish beach communities such as South Beach and West Palm, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and so much more to fill a lifetime of Florida vacations.

    While Florida may not be the most exotic destination on the list, Florida is home to hundreds of thousands Canadian snowbirds each year. Stay in the Florida Panhandle area, which is less crowded, or the attraction-filled Orlando. Perfect your "Captiva Crouch" on Captiva Island or your golf game at the hundreds of golf courses throughout the Sunshine State. Many condo rentals, airlines and tour operators offer great deals.

    *Florida Attractions, Vacations & Living:
    The living is easy, scuba diving is spectacular, and it all feels good in Key West Florida, Southern most point of the nation and home of the most brilliant sunsets on the East Coast. The Tampa attraction page, as with all our city pages, features a map pinpointing the locale of all the activities discussed, including the world famous Busch Gardens Tampa.

    Florida is the most popular retirement destination on the planet, so if you're searching for Ponce de Leon's legendary Fountain of Youth, Florida will surely end that search. For seniors or kids of all ages who want to play, live, and feel young, a Florida lifestyle has a whole lot to offer.

    10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

    =-=Goa India:

    Those who haven’t visited Goa tend to imagine it as some kind of Indian Costa Brava but with more cosmic karma and, thanks to this image, many people vow never to set foot there. However, Goa, like everywhere in India, is never quite what you expect. In places the infamous hash-fuelled days of Goa’s golden hippy years are still alive and kicking, especially around Vagator & Chopora, while in others, like Calangute & Baga, the all-inclusive package holiday is king. But these are two very narrow sides of the Goan experience and anyone who spends much time here will discover that Goa contains more variety and vitality than almost anywhere else in India. Head into Panaji (Panjim), one of India’s smallest and most likeable state capitals, and, instead of self-contained tourist resorts and trinket-selling dreadlocks, you’ll discover a Portuguese pantry of flaking architectural delicacies spiced up with Indian exuberance. Inland, you can stand in greener-than-green fields picking vanilla pods, bathe with elephants or visit market towns like Mapusa.

    The main draws of Goa are the beaches, such as Anjuna, which are every bit as cliché-beautiful as they’re supposed to be, but just as much of an attraction is its intriguing fusion of colonial Portugal and modern India. There is almost nowhere else in India where the influence of the former colonial overlords remains as strong as it does in Goa and it’s not at all unusual to find crucifixes hanging on walls next to posters of Shiva and groups of elderly Goan men conversing in Portuguese. Wander the majestic, time-worn cathedrals and basilicas of Old Goa, for a fascinating insight into this colonial legacy. Goa may not be as cool as it once was but it’s certainly just as magical.