If you drove in from the southern state of Karnataka and wanted
to discover the nearest, reasonably well-known Goan beach,
the chances are that you’d be directed to Palolem. It’s
a beach of white sand facing a blue bay between two headlands.
The little wooded islands on the northern headland look interesting
but as we’ve never ventured onto any of them we don’t
know what landing on them would be like. If you’re interested,
try to persuade one of the fishermen - this is also a fishing
beach - to ferry you across. They do offer to take you out
to spot dolphins. Tourists have discovered Palolem and so
there are a few shacks selling seafood snacks, souvenirs and
clothes of the shapeless, bright, informal kind. Panaji, the
capital, is more than 70 km away.
Things to see and do
At the southern end of the beach is a stream, turn left here
and continue along the path till you see a large cup shaped
rock. This is the pandava’s drum. Peopple throw stones
on top of the rock. If you hit a particular place, it gives
a resonant sound. This area is full of Pandava’s legends.
Go a little further along the path and you come to some small
coves. Ahead is a house, built in early 20th century as a
beach house by the figueiredo family. It was damaged by vandal’s
so its now a part of Neptune point hotel.
At the extreme northern end of the beach is the island. You
have to wade across the stream at the north end of the beach
to reach there. Then walk pass the funny shaped rocks till
you see a rock like bridge across. Avoid that, its tricky.
Instead wade across a low tide and just before this
Bridge. There are paths to follow, and it can be fun exploring.
Apart from canoe rides and dolphin spotting cruises , there
is a little other water sport here. The fisherman on the beach
organize these trips. Typical charges are 1000 /- per boat
and each boat can carry about 6 people. Trip takes about an
Palolem Beach - Transportation
Palolem is just 3 km away from Canacona Railway Junction,
now on the Konkan Railway. You can hire taxis and auto-rickshaws
to reach Palolem beach from Margao, 40 km away. There are
regular buses from Margao to Palolem that would drop you at
Palolem Beach - Accomodation
There are beautiful beach huts and family room to choose
from in Palolem. Try to avoid the weekends, as there is a
big crowd of picnickers who throng the beach on weekends
Palolem Beach Resort: tel: 0832-2643054, 2644094. Has rooms
and tents, motorcycles and bicycles on hire, trips and hammocks.
Hi-Tide Coco huts: (tel: 2643104) Has 24 romantic huts on
coconut palm stilts.