Palolem Beach, Goa, India

Palolem beach is Goa’s
most idyllic beach.  A beautiful sweeping bay of white sand,
fringed with palms with an island (Green Island) accessible at low tide. 
Palolem’s once pristine beach is now compromised by the endless restaurants and
beach huts that are tucked in the palms.  But, all of the beach buildings are of bamboo construction; if only they didn’t
use blue plastic on the roofs!  There are lots of
facilities on hand, no party scene, but with several restaurants playing music, some of it
live.

Despite the continuing development on the beach, and
on the road leading down to the beach, Palolem remains a popular and beautiful
place to visit.  Popular with 20 and 30-something travellers and
backpackers

,and
a few others, there are no real resorts here like on some of Goa’s other
beaches. 

At Christmas time
Palolem
is packed and accommodation prices can triple.  Yet it remains a laid
back and fun place.  There are quieter beaches within easy reach of
Palolem; north is Agonda, south is Patnem

.  Just over the rocks on the southern
edge of Palolem is Colomb beach

, and then a 10 minute walk onto Patnem
beach.

Facilities in Palolem

There is no ATM in Palolem, the nearest is in Canacona, 3kms
away.  So bring plenty with you, or just rent a mountain bike to Canacona
when you run out.  Several travel agents do cash advances, but you’ll pay
for the privilege.  There are various travel agents on the beach and
further back on the beach road.  Motorbikes, mopeds and mountain bikes can
be rented at various places.  Internet access is readily available.

Activities at Palolem beach

  • Endless massage
    options are available on the beach.

  • Dolphin spotting and fishing
    trips are easily available by boat

  • Motorbikes, mopeds
    and bicycles can be hired cheaply.

  • Visit Butterfly Beach
    by boat.

  • Contigao Wildlife Sanctuary

    is 9kms southeast of Palolem.

  • There is a tiny wave, surfable with a high volume board, but
    you’ll need to bring equipment, as only cheap bodyboards can be rented. 
    The wave at Palolem is much the same as Patnem.

Accommodation in Palolem

Don’t believe your guide book prices – India’s inflation
is on overdrive, and Palolem’s is even higher.  Prices here are for
Christmas, you’ll pay half outside of the holidays.  Palolem has the typical Goan selection of beach huts
(INR700+) and cheaper guesthouses away from the beach (INR500+).  For
something quieter there are beach huts at either end of the beach.  For top
end accommodation there are a couple of hotels on the road behind the
beach.  To save money or for better chances of staying at Christmas bring a
tent and ask at some of the beach hut camps that have shared
bathrooms.  You should only need to pay INR100 per tent. 

Note: some places double or triple these prices over the Christmas week!

Beach huts

To find a beach hut just walk around looking for signs
and ask.  You should find something fairly quickly.  Check the prices
over Christmas week though.

Ciaran’s Camp
t: 2643477
e: [email protected]
Just about
the most luxurious place you can stay on Palolem beach.  Each year the
owner, John Coutinhou, makes it better. The excellent huts have private
bathrooms, one of the best restaurants and bars on the beach
and a stylish boutique.  Rooms in the house have AC and
TV.  INR1,000 – INR3,000.

Cozy Nook
t: 2643550

An excellent place in a great location at the far north
end of the beach.  The owners create a friendly atmosphere and
the huts – some with private bathrooms – are better than
most.  INR500 – INR1,000.

Bhakti Kutir
t: 2643472
www.bhaktikutir.com

An eco friendly place set within
a coconut grove between Palolem and Patnem beaches.  It is well
designed and very peaceful.  The predominantly vegetarian restaurant is excellent.  They
also provide yoga and meditation workshops.  Huts are INR750 – INR2,000. 
Stone houses are INR3,000.

Dylans
Reasonable beach
huts towards the southern end of the beach.  Has a popular
restaurant. INR800 at Christmas.

Dourado Cocohuts
t: 9923149671
A reasonable set of beach huts with
wood walls, rather than thatch.  A quiet spot set amongst palms with a few
pigs running around.  The private bathrooms have been added on, but are
fine.  The showers
are cold water, but are often luke warm with the sun warming the
water tank.  There is power, fans, mosquito nets and balconies with chairs
and hammocks.  They have a laundry service and of course a beach front
restaurant.  It’s not very well advertised, look for a small sign on the beach,
half way between the taxi stand and the most southerly point,
near Deena cottages. Or, access from the main road, behind the Brown Bread shop. 
Some music can be heard at night from the nearby restaurants, and people often walk
through the camp as there is a path to the road.   Run by owner
Tomas Durado.  The huts are generally overpriced.  INR1,000 around Christmas,
INR3,000 over the Christmas week.

Colomb

beach

Colomb is a small beach just over the rocks at the southerly end of Palolem beach.  Colomb has
it’s own little beach.  The water around the rocks has a fair bit of seaweed, but it
is fine for swimming.  Quieter than Palolem, but it’s just a
2 minute walk from the main action.  There
are numerous camps of beach huts and restaurants.  Most have great views.  The Green Garden
restaurant, in the middle offers great food, friendly Nepali waiters and a great atmosphere. 

Update :
Apparently someone has bought Colomb beach and intends to build a
5 star resort after the 2007 season, turning Colomb into a resort location 🙁

Bridge & Tunnel Sea View
Cottages
t: 9822177450
e: [email protected]
Various beach huts with or without AC.  The huts have solid walls, tile roofs, private bathroom, ceiling
fans, power and balconies with table and chairs.  Towels and mosquito
nets are provided.  All have see views.  Has a restaurant and
Internet
access. The huts are overpriced.  Some huts have a rodent problem. 
INR1,500 over the Christmas period, overpriced.

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