Strolling on the golden sand with warm breeze rustling through my hair, I collected the broken sea shells that lied on my path. The sea clumsily kissed my feet before it drifted to come back vigorously.
In all the years of my countless Goa trips, Palolem is always a favourite. Not on the tourist map a few years back, it is now on the list of many travellers. I once almost had the entire beach to myself any given time of the day. I walked, took a dip, went for a swim or just relaxed with a book in hand intermittently staring out to the sea.
This is the place where I can catch up on the much required ‘me’ time. An annual ritual, Palolem is in a state of metamorphosis. As its popularity grew, the locals welcomed the tourism boost. In case you haven’t heard or been to Palolem Beach, here is a lowdown for you to start planning.
I don’t know why anyone would want to really do anything on the beach other than sunbathe and read books, but just in case you are in the mood to explore, hire a boat and go dolphin watching. The locals will take you far enough in the sea to give you a glimpse. Keep your camera ready as they are easy to miss.
Carry your picnic basket and a rug and ask the boatmen to take you to Butterfly beach, a secluded beach accessible only by boat from Palolem.
Unfortunately, water sport activities are not available/allowed on the beach
Palolem is known for the beach huts. The locals set up seasonal beach huts and restaurants to cater the influx. The huts right on the beach will cost you more than the ones set up inside. They are fuss free and include a bed, a round table, a mosquito net and a fan. Bargaining is the key here as your skills will get you a stay at Rs. 500-600 a night. The huts are hygienic and safe.
If you prefer luxury and comfort, a little away from the beach, there are villas for rent suiting every budget.
During the peak season, countless restaurants mushroom in the area. Sea food is prepared fresh and depends on the ‘catch of the day’. There is no dearth of options with speciality and multi cuisine restaurants along the beach. Most of them display their menu outside so its easy to decide and walk in. Alcohol is easily available through out Goa.
Situated at southernmost tip of Goa, Margao is the main connector to reach Palolem. A 45-min drive away, there is a regular bus service from Margao station with a drop near the beach. The road is in good condition and the route passes through some stunning landscape.
The nearest railway station is Canacona, 30 mins from Margao.
The Dabolim Airport is further away and it is necessary to come to Margao. Direct cabs are available from the airport but they might cost anything above Rs. 2500/-
Best Time to Go:
The tourist season begins post the monsoon season. September to February witnesses maximum crowd. March onward sees a drop due to humidity. The beach shacks are shut during monsoon.
Have you explored South Goa? Tell me your favourite places.