Friday, March 27, 2009

Goan Beaches - Palolem Beach, a sweeping beauty of Goa

Palolem is a semi-circle shaped beach located at the southern tip of Goa in Canacona, and is a long picturesque strip with silvery silken sand and  many shady palm trees dotting its coastline. As you near the farthest end of the beach, there is an island which can be reached by foot during the low tides.

About Palolem Beach
Tourists love the Palolem beach as they are also able to reside closest to the beach during every season because  bamboo-hut resorts and restaurants are erected along the beach allowing tourists to stay right on the sand, only a few meters away from a swim in the alluring Sea.Thus it does seem that when you are in  Palolem, life seems to be just like living on the edge of the sea.

palolem beach

The evening is a delight to be on the beach as it is wonderfully lit up with the shacks providing the beautifully lit lampshades made out of rice straw, jute, bamboo, papier mache or plain cloth which light up the coastline.

In Palolem, there is a beach hut for everyone from very basic to to the relatively luxurious and exquisite with good amenities of modern times, with tariffs varying throughout the season and the festive season of Christmas and New year commanding the highest rates.

Backpackers find this place a paradise because accommodation is available in plenty  but if you are traveling with a family and want confirmation in advance of your booking it may be better to try and book in advance especially during the months of December and January.

The beach may often be crowded on the weekends. However, weekdays are much better and one can also hire a boat and implore the fishermen to take you to the small islands located on the northern part of the beach.PALOLEM beach view

In spite of the commercialization, Palolem retains its charm of a Goan village. Palolem is also ideal for young families as the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and safe.

Where is Palolem Beach
Situated at a distance  of around 70 kms from the capital city of Panjim and over 40 kms from the commercial city of Margao,the Palolem beach is a paradise between two magnificent headlands and is a must visit for the Goan tourist. If you travel from Karnataka, Palolem is the first beach that you encounter.

A crescent shaped bay, white sand peacefully merging into the sea, swaying coconut palms - Palolem is picture perfect

How to get to Palolem Beach
Palolem Beach is  in the centre of coastal Canacona in South Goa. You can hire a cab from Dabolim Airport which is around  65 km away , railway stations close to Palolem are Margao and Canacona. The Margao Railway Station is 37 kms away and a taxi service as well as bus services are available. Panjim city is around 70km away from this southern beach of Goa. Commuting by bus is cheaper with buses plying from Margao to Palolem every hour.

Palolem Beach Accommodation  
You can either stay in the guest houses or the beach huts . There are also very few hotels to choose from. For options contact, Goa Living styles.

Swimming and safety in Palolem
Palolem offers you the serenity and the silence sought of a picturesque beach . While swimming is safe, it is always sensible to pay heed to the advice of the life guards

Sight seeing in Palolem

Pandava's drum
At the southern end of the beach you find a stream and near this stream is a large cup-shaped rock called the Pandava's Drum. Tourists who learn about the Pandava legends come here and often throw stones on top of the rock to hear the resonating sound that echoes from it.

Figueredo House
Up ahead a bit further is the famous Figueiredo House which was actually a heritage building built in the early part of the twentieth century by Figueiredo family. However it was later vandalised and now houses a hotel called Neptune point.

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.

Dolphin trips in Palolem
Fishermen from the area organise lovely Dolphin trips in Palolem on canoe rides and  Dolphin spotting trips are available at reasonable prices. While on this trip, stop by Butterfly beach between Palolem and Agonda beaches where you will feel as if you have the entire beach to yourself. However the water is quite deep here and tourists need to take extra precaution

Eating out
While the eating places in Palolem are plenty, try the Goan thali which is a plate of a Goan meal with Goan fish curry.There is also ample fresh fish available with various fish delicacies ruling the kitchens here.

Nightlife in Palolem
The nightlife at Palolem is quite electric among the many beach venues in the south of Goa. Dance music, live pop music, reggae, and rock -- it is all there and does pump until the early hours of the morning. The Butterfly Beach is also a popular place for parties.

Adventure sport in Palolem
There are a few things to explore at Palolem. At the northern end of the beach there is a stream and across the stream lies a small island. One can swim across in low tide or take a ferry or a canoe to go across. The rocky terrain over there is fun to explore.

Once at the island, apart from the frolic one can also consider  snorkelling. If you are lucky it is possible to spot some sea urchins, sea missiles, sea cucumbers and some groupers.

And if you love the sunset and its scenic beauty hold back and then wait till sunset, the view from the island is too stunning to put in words. palolem beach sunset

Shopping in Palolem

For those who like to shop, Palolem also has a small market that sells jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs. You can also go to the Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary  which is a a pleasant day trip from Palolem.

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