Palolem is undoubtedly one of Goa’s most postcard-perfect beaches: a gentle curve of palm-fringed sand facing a calm bay.Picturesque Palolem Beach, enclosed by a thick forest of coconut palms in far south Goa, is arguably the state's most beautiful beach. This mile long, shady, semi-circle shaped beach continues to grow in popularity every year, and it's become very lively with the diverse crowd that it attracts.The atmosphere is vibrant and there’s plenty to do. Palolem is one of the safest swimming spots in Goa and you can comfortably kayak and paddleboard for hours here.Palolem lulls you into a sense of peace but keeps you active and excited. This is Goa’s best beach, so find your hut, order a Kingfisher or cocktail, and enjoy.
Palolem Beach is located at 15°00′36″N 74°01′24″E, within 2.5 kilometres of the market town of Chaudi in South Goa, and about 40 minutes from Margao, the district headquarters of South Goa.
Everyone, from long term travelers to package tourists, seems to have found an appropriate place for themselves on Palolem Beach. As a result, there are completely different atmospheres from one end of the beach to the other. The quieter and laid back north tends to attract families, while backpackers congregate in the center and south where the party scene is.The sea here is usually shallow and swimmable, and you’ll sometimes spot dolphins cavorting in the bay. Beware, however, the weekends, which see scores of local daytrippers descend with their cameras a-clickin’.The centre of Palolem beach, where the main entrance is, is very busy and often overcrowded, but to the northern and southern ends it is possible to find pockets of peace and calm and some very beautiful beach hut resorts. The northern end has a lovely tidal river which joins the Arabian sea, on which one can enjoy charming bird-watching boat rides, ideally suited to small children.
There is a great lookout point on the rocks on that end of the beach from which to catch a glorious Goa sunset. The southern end of Palolem beach ends in the famous Neptune's Point, a rocky outcrop that forms a divider between Palolem beach and Colomb Bay. Neptune's Point is also home to Silent Noise, the famous weekly headphone party, where throngs of tourist flock to get a taste of party.
Palolem offers both relaxation and adventure. Those who've had enough of lounging on the beach can go dolphin spotting or fishing in a boat, or take an inexpensive boat trip along the backwater canals during high tide. Hiring a kayak is also a good way to explore the surroundings. During low tide, it's possible to walk to Butterfly Beach (which becomes an island when the tide is in) where there are hiking trails and striking sunsets to be enjoyed. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary makes a pleasant day trip from Palolem.Away from the beach you can learn to cook, drop in to yoga classes or hire a motorbike and cruise to surrounding beaches, waterfalls and wildlife parks.
Nightlife and Parties
The nightlife at Palolem is as eclectic as the people that the beach attracts. Dance music, live music, reggae, and rock -- it pumps until the early hours of the morning, if not through speakers at least though headphones at the unique Silent Noise Parties. Silent Noise parties are held every Saturday at Neptune Point, the rocky peninsula on the southern side of the beach. Cafe Del Mar and Cocktails & Dreams (yes, it is based on the movie starring Tom Cruise) have 24 hour licenses, so are the places to be for other late night or early morning action.
what to Buy
The main Palolem road is the best place for shopping in south Goa, with a variety of clothing and jewellery stores to choose from. Bargains are easily had, and there are also plenty of good restaurants and even an ice cream parlour or two, to choose from.For those who like to shop, Palolem also has a market just behind the beach that sells jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs.
Many people wonder whether they should book their accommodation in advance at Palolem, or just turn up and hope they find a beach hut. If you're not too fussy about where you stay, it's possible to do the latter. However, the good places do fill up quickly during peak season in December and January, so booking ahead can be wise. Make sure you bring a flashlight and mosquito repellent. A sweater can also come in handy during the cooler months.