goa

8 places like Goa to unwind in

Love the sun, sand and spices of Goa? Here are 8 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 3 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

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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 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

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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 3 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.

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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.

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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 3 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.

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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 not a rare event here.

  • Top 2 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:

Store Discount Expiration Description Last verified Redeem
20% off select Southeast Asia tours

Deal expires

Valid on select dates. Destinations include Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and more. T&C's apply.

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15% off India & Sri Lanka

Deal expires

Valid on select dates from 11 December 2017 - 27 February 2018. T&C's apply.

Last verified

53% off luxe Thailand stay

Deal expires

Valid for stays from 17 November 2017 - 31 October 2018 at Natai Beach, Phuket, Thailand. Includes breakfast, massage and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Phuket flights from $363 return

Deal expires

Valid select dates 10 May 2018 - 20 June 2018. Sample fare is from Perth-Phuket, Thailand.

Last verified

Up to 40% off bookings

Deal expires

Valid for stays until 22 December 2017 at select hotels in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Maldives and more. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Up to 40% off Thailand resort with code

Coupon code expires

Valid for stays until 31 March 2018 at Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, Thailand. Includes breakfast and transfers. T&C's apply.

Last verified

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Up to 15% off Asia hotels with code

Coupon code expires

Valid for stays until 31 March 2018 at select hotels in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Show code MC****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

7-night Thailand resort stay + massages for two: $199

Deal expires

Valid for stays until 19 December and from 11 January 2018 - 31 March 2018 in Phuket. Package includes seven nights accommodation, a 30-minute passage for two people, Wi-Fi access and shuttle service. Note: Mangosteen is an adults-only resort for guests 30+.

Last verified

Up to 30% off select Ganges riverboat cruises

Deal expires

Valid for travel from 21 December 2017 - 11 January 2018, including select tours over the Christmas holidays. Destinations include Delhi, India, Kolkota and more. Also valid for Christmas and New Year cruise. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Up to 15% off Asia hotels

Deal expires

Valid on select dates and hotels across Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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