goa

8 places like Goa where you can unwind

Love the sun, sand and spices of Goa? Here are eight exotic places just like it but with less tourists.

Your beach holiday should be lazy, chilled-out and relaxed. You deserve a getaway that lets you unwind without the crowds and tourist traps. If you are looking to get away from it all – the people and commercialised shops – check out these tranquil, picture-worthy alternative destinations that offer low-key value for money but equally breathtaking experiences synonymous with Goa.

With geographical wonders, beach parties, local culture and historical architecture on the menu, we promise that you won’t miss that Goan holiday. What's more, we are sweetening the deal with travel deals and flight discounts.

You are welcome.

Bentota

1. Bentota, Sri Lanka

This popular beach destination on the coastal belt of Sri Lanka boasts wide sandy beaches and calm waters – perfect for diving and watersports.

  • Top three spas: Sahana Spa (Ayurveda Resort), Jiva Spa (Vivanta by Taj), Avani Bentota Resort Spa
  • Must do/see: Induruwa Beach, Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, Paradise Island, Bentota Lagoon
  • Venture out to visit: Aluthgama for the fish markets and beaches along the Induruwa coast

Search flights to Colombo

koh_phangan_shutterstock_144993886

2. Koh Phangan, Thailand

Famed to be the home of the world’s biggest beach party, tourists flock to this sanctuary for its tranquil beaches that don’t get too overcrowded.

  • Venture out to visit: Ang Thong National Park, Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan

Search flights to Koh Phangan (via Koh Samui)

Phuket

3. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket Island, located south of Bangkok, is blessed with some of Thailand’s best beaches and diving sites.

  • Venture out to visit: Patong for its nightlife scene, Old Phuket for heritage buildings and Khao Rang Hill for stunning views of the town

Search flights to Phuket

bali.shutterstock_311917175

4. Bali, Indonesia

Bali captivates with its iconic rice fields, beaches and achingly beautiful sceneries everywhere you turn. The island is also famed for its religious sites and swanky resort hotels.

  • Top three spas: Mandara Spa, Karma Spa (Karma Kandara), Spa Alila (Alila Soori).
  • Must do/see: Rice paddies, diving, Balinese cuisine and seafood, Ubud Monkey Forest.
  • Venture out to visit: Ubud for art galleries and museums, Denpasar for city vibes and shopping, Kuta for its beaches, bars and funky nightlife.

Search flights to Bali

sri-lanka

5. Tangalle, Sri Lanka

If isolated beaches and hidden bays are on your travel itinerary, Tangalle offers some of southern Sri Lanka’s most stunning coastlines without the crowds.

Search flights to Colombo


Three Indian beaches that’ll remind you of Goa (only without the tourists)

kerala.shutterstock_408038542

6. Kerala, India

When it comes to paradise, Kerala has it all: enviable geographical features, temperate climate, wildlife, spas and health holidays, tranquil backwaters and cultural monuments.

  • Top three spas: Surya Samudra, Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, Neeleshwar Hermitage
  • Must do/see: Cruise the backwaters in a houseboat, Ayurvedic spas, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, National Parks, spice markets.
  • Venture out to visit: Kochi to photograph the iconic fishing nets, Thiruvananthapuram for British colonial architecture and art galleries, and Kozhikode for temples and mosques.

Search flights to Kerala

verkala-shutterstock

7. Varkala, India

The coastal town of Varkala is perched on a cliff and is a popular pilgrimage centre for Hindus. Its ancient temples and tucked-away beaches are the main tourist attractions.

Search flights to Trivandrum

Tarkarli-shutterstock_413925496

8. Tarkarli, India

The gorgeous village of Tarkarli is a haven for beach lovers with its long coastline and clear waters teeming with coral reefs. Dolphin sighting is a regular event here.

  • Top two spas: MTDC Tarkarli Resort, Blue Ocean Resort and Spa
  • Must do/see: Sindhudurg Fort, adventure sports, scuba diving, beaches, dolphin-spotting and temples
  • Venture out to visit: Melvan for cashew nuts and seafood, Dajipur for its National Park, and the backwaters of Karli River

Search flights to Dabolim Airport (Goa)


Ready to fly? Book using these travel coupons and deals:

Travel Talk Travel Talk

2-for-1 tours worldwide

Valid for travel on select dates and destinations. Includes free return flights from London when you book any Europe Overland tour. Destinations include Turkey, the Balkans, Croatia, Nepal, Jordan, Egypt, Spain, India, Morocco, Russia and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Hilton Hotels Hilton Hotels

Up to 25% off stays at 200+ Hilton hotels

Save on stays until 30 September at more than 200 Hilton hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Maldives, Fiji, Japan, Bali, India, China, Malaysia and more.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Budget Direct Travel Insurance Deals Budget Direct Travel Insurance Deals

15% off travel insurance + chance to win $10,000

Save on your policy to destinations worldwide, including Bali, Thailand, the US, UK, New Zealand and more when purchased online. Plus, have a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize.

Last verified

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 25% off 2019 trips

Valid for travel until 30 April 2019. Destinations include Thailand, Philippines, Kerala, Cuba, Norway, Colombia, Costa Rica and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 25% off last-minute tours worldwide

Book a range of last-minute Contiki tours, from week-long jaunts to month-long journeys, to destinations including Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, Canada and more.

Last verified

Columbus Direct Columbus Direct
Exclusive

Get 5% off your next travel insurance policy

Use our exclusive code to get 5% off any Columbus Direct travel insurance policy, domestic or worldwide. Destinations would include Thailand, Bali, Fiji, USA, UK, Italy, France, Japan and more.

Last verified

Flight Finder Flight Finder

India flights from $189 return

Valid for travel until 28 March 2020. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Trivandrum. Destinations include Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and more.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

India flights from $189 return

Valid for travel until 28 March 2020. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Trivandrum. Destinations include Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and more.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to $410 off Indonesia tours

Valid for travel from 23 February - 12 April 2019. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 58% off Asia tours

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Jordan and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Cudo Cudo

Up to 53% off 8-night Thailand getaway

Valid for travel from 11 January - 31 October 2019. Includes daily breakfast, multi-course dinner, 45-minute massage, transfers and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Tick Travel Insurance Tick Travel Insurance
Exclusive

Get 5% off all Tick travel insurance policies

Want to save more on your Tick travel insurance policy? Just enter this code to receive a 5% discount on your cover to destinations like Bali, New Zealand, USA, Europe, Thailand, Fiji, Vietnam and more.

Last verified

Compass Hospitality Compass Hospitality

25% off Thailand and Malaysia hotels

Valid for stays until 31 March 2019 at participating hotels in Thailand and Malaysia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

20% off stays + free breakfast

Valid for stays on select dates across all participating Millennium Hotels and Resorts in Asia. Check-in must be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Destinations include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Wendy Wu Tours Wendy Wu Tours

$100 off tours for senior card holders

Valid on 2018 dates depending on the destinations. Destinations include China, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific

Premium economy flights from $1,905 return

Valid for travel until 30 June 2019. Sample fare is Perth-Tokyo. Booking must be made 50 days in advance. Destinations include New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Toronto, China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Amsterdam, Barcelona and more.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Contiki Contiki

Up to 30% off last-minute Asia tours

Valid on select tours departing until 26 December, including Asian Adventure and Eternal India.

Last verified

Scoopon Scoopon

Up to 75% off luxury Indonesia stay

Valid for travel on select dates. Sample savings is for Imaj Private Villas, Lombok, Indonesia. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Scoopon Scoopon

Up to 83% off 8-night luxury Thailand stay

Valid for travel on select dates until 31 October 2019. Includes accommodation in The Sands, daily buffet breakfast and dinner, late check-out perks, airport transfers and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest Travel Offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site