Falling asleep to the sound of waves coming right through your little balcony facing a beautiful strip of white sand and coconut trees. If this is the ideal form of relaxation to you, then Palolem Beach is perfect for your needs. Palolem Beach, situated in Concana is in the Southern part of Goa. It is largely unspoiled, and not so commercial in many ways. But in recent times, it has started gaining popularity among tourists via word of mouth. With a majority of foreigners inhabiting this very clean beach, you will hardly feel like you are in India. I would strongly urge you to visit this piece of Heaven before humans destroy it.
-a ride in the public bus from Madgoan to Palolem.
Now getting to this part of Goa is a little tedious but it’s worth all the trouble. The drive is long (2 hours from Madgoan) but the road is beautiful with mountains and greenery all around. The taxi / rickshaw drivers will fleece you to drop you here, they charge nothing less than 1500- 2000 rupees (23-29 $). I would totally abolish the idea of spending an exorbitant amount on travel when they are much cheaper options. The best way to travel is to take a bus from Mudgaon Bus Depot. It takes merely 40 rupees (50 Cents) and the bus drops you right outside the beach. The bus takes around 30 minutes longer as it stops at various other stops before getting to Palolem.
– beach huts.
The accomodation varies from small huts right on the sea shore to hotel rooms, home stays, dorms scattered very close to the beach. You can find huts for as cheap as 500 rupees a night ( 7 $ ) at a 2 minute distance from the beach. The small little huts right on the beach with combined bathrooms cost 1500 rupees(23$). They are a tad bit expensive because of their proximity to the beach. The rooms are small but they are very clean with good mattresses and hygienic bathrooms. You will also find rooms with combined kitchens, so you can cook your own meals.
Link for Beach Huts in Palolem:
– seafood is a speciality. Prices vary according to season.
The beach itself has around 50 odd shacks, with many many options for food in season time. These shacks cater to the tourists mainly, so they are more expensive than the restaurants that are NOT on the beach. A dish at a shack will cost you approximately 400 rupees(6$). Also, I noticed that the waiters are a little racist at these shacks. They behave rudely with Indians and are polite with the foreigners. I find that funny, because all of them are Indians. I mainly noticed this behaviour at a shack called Droupadi which is right at the start of Palolem Beach. The quantity of each dish is very good and the quality of ingredients is also better in comparison to many shacks at other beaches of Goa. So a meal for two, would cost you around 900 rupees(13$) if you called for two separate dishes. But you can totally share something because the quantity is good or you can look at other options of restaurants that are not on the beach. Some of them serve an entire thali for 100 rupees(1.50 $), which is incredibly delicious. If you plan on staying for a long time, then I would suggest you get a room with a kitchen or look for inexpensive restaurants where the locals eat around the area. A few inexpensive restaurants would be Sai Shiv Restaurant and Chinatown.
– grabbing a beer at a beach shack in Palolem.
Now if you are someone who loves to party and go to clubs, maybe this is not the right beach for you. Palolem is more chilled out and relaxed. You can sit at a shack, listen to music , read a book, meet other tourists, have a few drinks and indulge in a deep conversation. That is the kind of nightlife, you will witness at Palolem. There is a beach front shack called, Havana Cuba Bar and Restaurant which you might like to visit in the evening. The Beer Pints at shacks like these cost around 100 rupees(1.50 $) and all the other alcohol is also pretty cheap. Cocktails cost around 300 rupees(4.50$)which is a little on the high side but a whiskey or vodka peg should not cost you more than 100 rupees (1.50$). If you want, you could totally buy some alcohol from a local wine shop and drink at the beach or in your room before heading out. That turns out to be way cheaper, if you are in a mood to have more than just a few drinks.
– boat ride for island hopping and dolphin spotting.
Things to Do:
Now frankly, there is not a lot of things to do in Palolem. You won’t see a swarm of locals trying to sell you stuff the minute you seat yourself on one of the sun bathing seats under the umbrellas. In fact, unlike other beaches, sitting under these umbrella seats outside shacks is completely free of cost. I hope that doesn’t change until you read my blog and decide to visit Palolem. You can take a swim in the sea about two times a day, play frisbee, read a book on the hammock or just nap at the beach to get yourself a sun tan. You can take a boat ride to the islands nearby. They have an island hopping tour with many locals offering you a boat ride which costs around 1000-1500 rupees (15-23 $)but you can totally bargain the price. They take you to butterfly island, monkey island, honeymoon island and for dolphin spotting. They guarantee to show you dolphins and will refund your money if that’s not the case. I am not sure how true that is, as I never took up the offer to go on a boat trip.
– overview of my view of the entire beach and it’s people !
This is one of the best islands to connect with people. Every one here is on a journey of their own. It’s not just a 3 day vacation for them, most of them are here since months, some have retired here, some have moved here and taken up small jobs. The people are fun and laid back. Most of them are trying to embark on a journey to discover themselves.It’s a good place to make new friends and have long conversations from people of different cultures. You also have to be careful at the same time, as some of them might try to take you for a ride thinking you are new to the place.
All in all Palolem Beach is magical and peaceful.You can be one with nature and at the same time have people around you. So you are not in a secluded place but at the same time you are not at a commercial place either. The balance is perfect! You will discover things about yourself that you never knew of. Palolem Beach is by far the most romantic beach in India that I have ever traveled to. It has a hippie vibe to it and is very laid back. It is also reasonable if you plan on living there for a month or more.
I surely plan to stay there for a few months, once in my life!