In & Around Palolem
Palolem beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand, approximately 2km long with rocky outcrops at either end. At the north end of the beach is Monkey Island, accessible at low tide with a path you can follow taking you over the top of the island and bringing you out on the other side where there are amazing views looking back over Palolem.
Also at the north end of the beach there’s a river which flows into the sea. I highly recommend taking a boat trip along this river; it’s so peaceful and quiet. The wildlife is great with loads of different bird species and sometimes even monkeys to be spotted. At the southern end of the beach you can walk over the rocks round to Columb then onto Patnem. It takes about 20 minutes or so and gives you the chance to see a couple of other quieter beaches. The sea at Palolem is calm, clear and warm which makes for great swimming. From the beach you can take a boat trip to spot dolphins or try some fishing. The best times to see dolphins are early morning or at sunset. There are a couple of small coves 20 minutes or so to the north of Palolem; Butterfly Beach and Honeymoon Beach which the boatmen are happy to take you to see. Alternatively you can hire kayaks and boogie boards by the hour and just mess about in the surf.
Palolem is a small fishing village which expands during the season time with visitors. There are plenty of small shops to buy shampoo, suntan lotion etc and lots of places selling handicrafts such as clothes, sarongs, jewellery, ornaments and suchlike. These are mainly on the main street though there are a few shops on the beach. You’ll be spoilt for choice if you fancy a massage, reiki or yoga. You can get a cash advance at any of the travel agents in Palolem or if you need an ATM there are several in Chaudi, about a 20 minute walk or 5 minutes in a rickshaw. There are also chemists, a supermarket and a post office in Chaudi. There’s a good hospital 5 minutes from Palolem open 24 hours and a dental surgery in Palolem.
There are some lovely beaches around Palolem which you can explore by renting bicycles or scooters for the day. Patnem is to the south and beyond that Rajbaga where you’ll find the Lalit Hotel; you can pay to use their swimming pool and golf course. A few kms to the north of Palolem is Agonda Beach and then Capo de Rama, an old fort. The drive takes you through the hills with beautiful views. Other places worthy of a visit are Cotigoa Wildlife Sanctuary, Sahakari Spice Plantation and Anjuna market. You can easily spend a day wandering round Panjim and Old Goa and visiting the temples around Ponda. Dudhsagar Waterfalls are also worth a visit, they’re a bit further away but still reachable in a day.