Palolem beach is in Canacona, the southernmost town of Goa. The market town of Canacona is also known as Chaudi. This mile-long beach is very picturesque, with shady palm trees and silvery sand. At the far end is an island-like promontory and you can walk to it during low tide.
During evenings, the beach is beautifully lit. There are colourful lampshades in shacks made of rice straw, jute, bamboo, papier mache or plain cloth. The shacks lend colour to the coastline at night.
How to get there
Palolem Beach is in the centre of coastal Canacona in South Goa. You can take a taxi from Dabolim Airport (67km), Margao Station (43km) and Panaji (76km). You can also commute by bus. Buses operate every hour from Margao to Palolem.
Apart from guest houses, there a few good hotels to stay in. However, the best places to stay are the hundreds of beautiful coco huts that are put up only during tourist season and dismantled afterwards.
What to experience
In the southern end of the beach is a stream and near it is a large cup-shaped rock called the Pandava's Drum. Tourist throw stones on top of the rock to hear the sound that emanates from it. Provided they hit the right spot.
A little further on is the Figueiredo House, built by the Figueiredo family in the early 20th century, but this was later vandalised. Today, this is a part of the Neptune Point Hotel.
At the northern end of the Palolem beach is the island. You can spend your time watching mussels, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. You can also take a trip to spot dolphins.
Patnem and Colomb Beach
Located to the south of Palolem beach is the Patnem and Colomb Beach. Patnem beach is a one-kilometre-long beach and is safe for swimming. The tourists are advised to avoid the little coves of Colomb. You will not find any lifeguard here. Colomb is very quiet and desolate, giving you an idea of how Goa must have once looked like.
Being here gives you an opportunity to enjoy a beach that is uncluttered and peaceful in. In Colomb, the accommodation ranges from cottages made of eco-friendly material to huts.
South of Patnem, Rajbag is a quiet beach. It stretches all the way to the place where the mouth of the Talpona River emerges.
It is one of the famed sites in Goa where the giant Olive Ridley turtles make their yearly visit. Between November and March, the hatchlings emerge from their nests and head for the sea. This is the best time to spot them. However, this is a protected area.
The visitors can go on trips to spot dolphins or on canoe rides. These trips are organized by fishermen. You can also visit the Butterfly Beach that lies between the Palolem and Agonda Beaches. But tourists ought to be cautious while swimming or wading, as the water gets deep here.
Palolem beach is a safe beach for swimming. But you have to be careful and keep a safe distance from the stream near the island specially when the tide is receding. A lifeguard is present here.
There are a few eating places in Palolem beach which offer Goan and Italian food.
There are a few bars and clubs that organise parties for those who like to dance the night away.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore Beaches in India page.