Travel challenge: A winter break in Goa

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The Independent Travel

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a two-week holiday in Goa, departing in the first week of December. Prices are for two people travelling together and include 14 nights' accommodation and transfers.


£1,998: Cicade de Goa, Dona Paula. Departs East Midlands 3 December and includes Thomson Airways flights and B&B accommodation. "Goa is a laid-back, affordable luxury destination," says Rob Ansell of Thomson. "The Cicade de Goa is a peaceful and friendly hotel which offers great service. Set on a secluded beach, it has two swimming pools, plenty of space to sunbathe and there is a shuttle bus that takes guests to the nearby town of Panjim. The B&B basis keeps the general price low and also allows for customers to go and explore the very inexpensive and highly regarded local cuisine." (0871 231 3253; )

Olympic Holidays

£4,138: Devaaya Ayurveda Retreat on the island of Divar. Departs Gatwick 5 December and includes Monarch flights and full-board accommodation. "This is one of Goa's hidden gems – a four-star authentic holistic retreat, perfect for recharging the batteries before Christmas, with a superb range of optional Ayurvedic treatments," says Photis Lambrianides of Olympic Holidays.

"There are five acres of beautiful gardens with coconut palms, soothing water features and rooms in traditional Goan-style buildings. It's a low-key hotel with yoga, meditation, fishing, cycling and a relaxed atmosphere. (0844 576 2386; )


£898: Colonia de Braganza Resort, Calangute. Departs Gatwick 3 December or Manchester 4 December and includes Monarch flights and B&B accommodation. "Goaway is a small, specialist tour operator with many of its staff born in Goa, so we have local contacts and can therefore get the keenest prices," says Ravi Khurana of Goaway. "A breakdown of the holiday of just £37 per day per person includes a flight to somewhere warm in December – a staycation costing £32 per day couldn't offer anything as comparable. Eating out in the region is also very good value." (020-7258 7800; )