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But if you delve deeper you will find plenty of culture and history, and some seductively accessible nature.
Conquered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century and returned to Indian rule only in 1961, the state has a Lusitanian air in everything from the architectural relics to the names of businesses.
While Goa's reputation as one of the most liberal Indian states means that sunbathing in a bikini is entirely accepted, it is important to remember that topless sunbathing is illegal and wearing flimsy shorts or a bikini anywhere other than the beach is extremely disrespectful.
The image of loose Western women has been circulated by the Indian media and as a result foreigners can sometimes experience pestering from local men asking for a photo or simply staring.
The resumption of Indian rule coincided with the development of the image of Goa as a hippy haven in the 1960s, and its allure has continued. Most visitors – including those on charter flights from Britain – arrive at the busy and confusing airport of Dabolim.
The nearest town is Vasco da Gama, named after the Portuguese explorer.
It was built to house the remains of St Francis Xavier. Take your pick from about 30 beaches strung out along the coastline.
The only evidence of the palace of Adil Shah, who ruled Goa before the Portuguese arrived, comprises a lonely arch propped up in the churchyard.Take in the vision from the original church of Our Lady of the Mount.Dotted in the thick woodland below are some spectacular relics of the empire.Here you will find hawkers selling jewellery, fabrics and trinkets from all over India, their wares spread out under the shade of palm trees.Head north and you'll find peace again on the beaches of Mandrem, Asvem and Arambol – broad sweeps of fawn sand, backed by thickets of palm trees and casuarina pines.