TOP 63 THINGS TO DO IN OFFBEAT PALOLEM AND PATNEM BEACH, SOUTH GOA – SOLO BUDGET BACKPACKING TRIP
This travel bog is based upon my 11 trips to the tiniest Indian state Goa. I have been to Palolem and Patnem beaches in South Goa many times. This blog will answer all your frequently asked questions on Palolem Beach, Patnem Beach and South Goa along with some perennial questions like – How to reach Palolem Beach, weather conditions, where to stay in Palolem beach, Best Time to visit Palolem beach and of course the top 63 places to see and things to do in Palolem Beach and Patnem Beach. This mega guide list includes many touristy and offbeat places to visit in not only South Goa but also in the bordering Indian state Karnataka.
How Is Palolem Beach – Guide To Top 60 Places To Visit In South Goa
The crescent-shaped Palolem Beach is my all time favourite beach in Goa. The 1.5 kilometer long Palolem Beach is the Top Place To Visit In South Goa for a valid reason. The beautiful beach is one of its kind, identifiable by its colorful huts, rows of palm trees and small hills on either end of the beach. The entire beach stretch is lined with trendy cafes, dining shacks and beach facing colorful huts. Do go bar hopping here for a fun experience. You can also get boat services for sightseeing in different parts of Goa. Dolphin safaris and water sports also happen here. You will find a range of accommodation here, right from humble home stays to luxurious huts right on the beach.
There are many trained lifeguards manning throughout the Palolem Beach. I even saw a lifeguard rescuing a swimmer successfully on Palolem Beach.
The cleanliness squad also makes sure they regularly clean the Palolem beach from dog poop, any plastic, thermocol etc. I actually saw them cleaning in teams and was super impressed.
Though 1 day stay or even a day visit to Palolem from North Goan places like Candolim, Baga and Calangute is possible but I suggest that you spend at least 3-4 days in Palolem and Patnem beach, the gems of South Goa.
What is there to do in Palolem Beach – Top activities!
There is never a dull moment anywhere in Goa. Though you will want to surrender to Goan Susegad and take it slow, but the myriad activities on offer in Goa will have the better of you. The Top Activities to do in Palolem and Patnem Beach, South Goa are listed below. Let us start with adventure activities to do in Goa.
Top Adventure activities to do in Palolem Beach, South Goa.
1. Water Sports – Must Do Goan activity!
You can try many water sports such as jet ski, snorkeling, bumper ride in Palolem Beach at reasonable prices. And bargains do happen!
2. Trek – For adventure enthusiasts.
You can trek to the butterfly island and the monkey island during low tide. Folks at Casa Fiesta or local tour operators can arrange the treks for you.
3. Kayaking – Solo Budget Trip Guide to Palolem and Patnem beach
My friend from Netherlands did go Kayaking. I am still not confident to attempt it on my own! Contact Samson’s Kiosk. The kiosk is located near the Nest Hotel. The kayaks are safe and well maintained. Samson also provides the bag for keeping your electronics like camera, mobile phone dry.
Charges: Approximately Rs. 200 per person per hour.
Phone: 078758 76383
4. Dolphin Safari on Boat – Backpacking South Goa in 1 day!
You can take an early morning boat to see dolphins in Arabian sea, their natural habitat. I did see many of them. It was magical to say the least. Dolphin watching is one of the top things to do in Palolem Beach.
Species of dolphins found in Palolem Beach – Finless porpoises and Indo pacific Humpback dolphins.
Best Time for dolphin safari – The dolphin safaris last anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dolphins can be spotted only during early morning.
Price of dolphin safari – Expect to spend Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 for spotting dolphin on a private boat. If you are a solo traveler, ask the local service provider if you can join a group. Most of them allow at a low cost.
Contact – You can try Goa Tours Planner. Phone – +91-7030486418
You can also join last minute. Many boats offer the dolphin safari services right at Palolem Beach.
Soul Window Tip – There are no washrooms in the boat. So empty your bladder before hopping on.
If you have absurd questions like:
“Can you swim with dolphins in Goa?”
“Where can you kiss a dolphin?”
My reply would be – Do not be stupid. Leave the dolphins alone and in their natural habitat.
5. Parasailing : Affordable Adventure sports of South Goa.
Goa is known for cheap parasailing options. Bargaining also happens. Rates vary as per season. Contact the service providers roaming at the beach. They might ask you before you approach them.
6. Canyoning – An offbeat adventure experience.
It is a fun adventure sports gaining popularity amongst the adventure freaks over the years. Try asking at Casa Fiesta in Palolem Beach. The sport requires you to be moderately fit as it involves walking in forest, jumping off a waterfall, rappelling, climbing, swimming, scrambling and abseiling. It is also known as kloofing in South Africa. It is thrilling and must do activity when in South Goa.
You can do canyoning in Upper Sauri Canyon near Palolem Beach.
Timings – Canyoning starts at around 9:30 am from Palolem Beach. It is a full day activity which ends at around 5:30 p.m.
7. Explore Palolem Beach’s Backwaters – Top offbeat thing to do in Palolem Beach
The backwaters around Palolem Beach are a sight to behold. There are gorgeous canals and waterways behind the Palolem Beach. Not many know about it. It is the top offbeat thing to do in Palolem beach. You can hire an entire boat for yourself for the trip to the backwaters. In case you are a solo traveler, then you can request the boat wala to fit you in a group. That ways, it also is cheaper at Rs. 200 per head.
Contact details – Ask any boat service provider at the beach.
8. Go Birdwatching – For Goan Wildlife!
Goa, being a pristine and largely undisturbed area is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers. Especially in the month of winters, lots of migratory birds along-with the native birds can be seen in and around the Palolem Beach. It is one of the best things to do around Palolem Beach for nature lovers.
9. Visit a spice farm – Top things to do in Goa
Goa is known for its spice garden much like Sri Lanka and South India. You must visit a nearby spice garden when in South Goa. You can even buy spices, oils and condiments at a reasonable price. The guide can also give you a tour explaining the facts about some medicinal plants and spices, fruits etc. Please do not indulge in any activity involved with elephants. They have programs like bathe the elephants, feed the elephants. IT IS SLAVERY. Please be an educated traveler.
10. Do Yoga – Let Palolem Beach heal you!
There already are many Yoga classes which go on in Palolem and Patnem beach. I would suggest go for an Indian teacher. They will do a better job as Yoga has its origins in India. A western Yoga Teacher might be good, but an Indian Yoga Teacher will be more authentic. Check out
a) Aranya Yoga Classes. Address – It is located on the Gaitonde Road, behind cafe coffee day outlet, Palolem, Canacona 403702 India
b) Dreamcatcher Yoga Class. Address- It located towards northern end of the Palolem beach, on the riverbank, Palolem, Canacona 403702 India
11. Meditation – Feel inner peace at Palolem Beach.
The quiet atmosphere of Palolem is apt for deep meditation. You find many spots with little to no human presence. I saw some European travelers meditating shirtless right on the Palolem Beach. Some therapy, this! Deep Meditation, when done right helps in enhancing clarity of thought, reducing stress, increasing clarity, improving productivity & efficiency. Go for an Indian and not western teacher.
12. Do nothing – Susegad of Goa!
Yes. That’s what I planned on my 3rd visit to Palolem Beach. And that’s what I did. It is a pleasure to just sit idle on the beach, soaking in the milieu and allowing the tropical sun to tan you a little. The maximum action I indulged on one of my trip was taking long walks by the beach and goofing around with the waves.
13. Take Cooking Classes – Learn to cook local vegan food
I personally hate cooking. Being a vegetarian, I do like to try new dishes but I hate to cook. If you enjoy cooking you can learn the same at some of the places which offer cooking classes in Palolem Beach.
14. Indulge in an Ayurvedic Kerala Massage –
There are many massage parlours in and around Palolem Beach. From high end massages in luxury hotel and spas to the budget friendly massages for Rs. 500 for 60 minutes massage, there is something for every pocket here. Some locals also offer massage on beach for an even lower price. My recommendation – Ayurvedic Kerala Massage. Thank me later!
15. Get A Tattoo – Goan Experiences!
There are many tattoo outlets at most of the popular Goan beaches. All the tattoo outlets have plethora of designs to choose from in their catalogue. You can choose to get a real tattoo at your face, neck, arms, chest, legs or even on the unmentionables. Some of their tattoo designs on the catalogues are a shocker. Yes, you can read that again! There is one tattoo shop near the main gate (walk towards the beach) of the market area.
16. Pose With A Cow – Or Not!
Much like the Gokarna beach (which literally means Cow’s ear) in Karnataka, Palolem Beach is also full of cows in all colors and sizes. All of them are harmless and friendly. Many Europeans can be seen amused by the sight of a free cow. Indians are amused of those foreigners! Never mind!
17. Play with a stray dog on beach – Just Goan Things!
The happiest stray dogs I have ever seen are in the beaches of South Goa. The stray dogs here are over friendly, well fed and love to say hello to the strangers. You have great company if you are a solo traveler to Goa.
18. Nightlife in South Goa – Must Do!
Palolem Beach is a quiet beach unlike the Baga and Calangute beaches where people party right at the beach till wee hours. That said, you can still party hard near Palolem Beach. Check out these places –
a) Leopard Valley – Dance your worries away at this dance club which is also the biggest of its kind in South Goa. Expect 3D laser light shows, sleek sound system and pyrotechnics. If you visit on a Friday, be ready to strut your stuff to the tunes of local and international DJs.
b) Neptunes – Great for Silent Disco. You can wear the headphone, play any one of the 3 available DJ channels and dance the night away. It is one of its kind experiences. Neptunes is located towards the Southern end of Palolem Beach.
c) Lost Paradise – Another dance venue. Expect Disco/Funk/Techno.
19. Go Boozing – Drink local liquors of Goa
Do try these Goan special boozes – King’s beer, Goan Feni (I prefer Cashew over Coconut) and Goan Port Wine. I do not drink much these days but I make sure I indulge in all of these every time I visit anywhere in Goa. Booze is very cheap in Goa. Cabo White Rum is also a must try. It comes in various Goan flavours such as cashew, coconut, coffee etc. It can cost you Rs. 1000 a bottle. You will enjoy this tropical and balmy drink.
Soul Window Tip – Alcoholic drinks are cheaper when you buy from retail shops than when you order a drink in a shack or restaurant. Some places allow drinks from outside. But discuss this with the management before you start your little party!
20. Shopping Guide of Palolem Beach and Patnem Beach– Must Do!
From the main market near the Palolem Beach, you can pick fridge magnets (Rs. 50 onwards), Quirky miniature autorickshaws, cashew and coconut Feni bottles, Zantey’s cashews, spices, souvenirs, T Shirts, Goan delicacies, Clothes, kitschy bags, books, artefacts and what not. Avoid Kashmiri shops though. They don’t belong in Goa. They are omnipresent in India and thus boring. I personally prefer to buy local stuff! Imagine buying quirky African Shirts in Vietnam.
The nearby Patnem Beach also has a small shopping strip near the beach. Similar items are on sale but on a lower scale.
21. Catch Sun set at Palolem Beach – Top Thing To Do in South Goa!
The lyrical sun set of Palolem beach is world famous. I remember, even on my last trip, I and my friends had locked away our DSLR cameras so that we could enjoy the sun set without any pressure to take good pictures. Even on this trip, I had clicked just some random mobile pictures as I really wanted to have a light vacation and not another blogging assignment. Much to my delight, people still loved the pictures of Palolem beach and Patnem Beach when I shared it on social media.
What’s the best vantage point for sun set in Palolem Beach: Photography tips
Well, if you are facing the beach, you should move slightly towards the right side of the beach for the better view of the sunset. Do not go to the other end. You can halt at the entrance of the main market area for breathtaking views of sun set against the two huge mountains. Expect clicking breathtaking shots. You can also click creative silhouettes.
22. Discover the Secret Rock Formations at Palolem Beach – Offbeat Goa
This quick guide will take you to a Secret Place at Palolem Beach. It is a great place to tear away from the crowds and also for some fun photo shoots. If all else fails to impress you, just sit silently here for few hours or even practice meditation or Yoga here. Follow the instructions mentioned below in order to reach this Secret Rock Formation at Palolem Beach in South Goa. It is one of the offbeat things to do in Palolem Beach.
- If you face towards the beach, move towards the extreme left of the beach on the left.
- A makeshift wooden bridge will take you to a restaurant perched on a rocky structure.
- Ignore it (Or have a coffee) and take the upwards stairs.
- You can halt here for sweeping views of Palolem Beach from a height.
- After the pause, take downwards steps
- You will come across some beautiful beach facing hotels
- Across the hotels, the lovely beach has several rocky outcrops which make for a stunning landscape.
- It is also a great place for photo shoots or better still just for silently soaking in the views away from the crowds.
- Do not forget to come over to this side of the Palolem Beach. It is the best kept open secret of Palolem Beach.
23. Stand up paddle boarding – Adventure activities in Palolem Beach
Also known as Stand up paddle surfing, paddle boarders stand on the surfing boards unlike the regular surfing. Also, a paddle is used to manoeuvre your way through the sea waves. It originated in the Hawaii. However, you can do Stand up paddle boarding in Palolem Beach as well. Contact Samson’s Kiosk as they are the only service provider of Stand up paddle boarding. Phone: 078758 76383
24. Surfing in Palolem Beach for adventure freaks.
Surfing is quite popular in Palolem Beach. The surfing scene in Palolem Beach is not as big as Bondi Beach as I saw in Australia but you can still find an Indian dude or two surfing in the waters of Palolem Beach.
25. Watch turtles nesting at Galgibaga Beach –
The Olive Ridley turtles come to Galgibaga beach between October to March every year to lay eggs. The other two Goan beaches where sea turtles come to lay eggs are Agonda beach in South Goa and Morjim Beach in North Goa. It is also known as the Turtle beach. The North of the beach is turtles nesting
Expect golden brown sand, zero crowds, coconut palms and a resort.
A request: Though the place is guarded, but even if some-one offers you to touch the sea turtles or their babies, please refrain. It is a crime.
Soul Window Tip – The Galgibaga beach is rough and not very safe for a swim.
26. Stay in a home-stay – Local Experience
I had a lovely stay at a local’s home for as low as Rs. 500. Please see the ‘where to stay’ section for details.
27. Go Cycling – Take it slow in Goa
The empty roads, absence of a traffic, nice weather, green soothing places are apt for a cycle ride. Cycles can be hired from the local taxi providers. You can also check at some home-stays and hotels regarding the same.
28. Go Diving – Goan Experiences
Not many know that you can also dive and do snorkeling in Goa. Address – Neptune Point Beach Resort, Palolem Beach, Palolem, Canacona 403702 India
29. Go Biking – Top things to do in Palolem Beach
Biking is a must if you want to explore the nearby excursions in South Goa from Palolem Beach. Not only is it inexpensive, but it also gives you an opportunity to stop at any random place at your own whims and fancies. Bikes can be hired from the main market near Palolem Beach.
30. Go On a Temple Trail – Top Offbeat thing to do in South Goa
It is another lesser known fact that Goa was majorly Hindu before the shrewd Portuguese invaders started converting locals by force and offers. You can still see many ancient and 20th century Hindu temples not only in South Goa but all of Goa.
31. Go On a Church Trail – Must do in South Goa.
It is possible that you come across a 500 year old Church without realising how old it is. The Churches of Goa are in a very good condition. Do take out sometime to explore some of the old Churches of South Goa. It is best explored on a bike.
32. Eat – Vegetarian and Vegan Food Guide in Palolem and Patnem beach
Much of Indian food is naturally vegan and vegetarian. And even the foreign food is adapted as vegan and vegetarian easily in India. Goa is no different. It is easy to find out good vegan and vegetarian food in Goa. Most of the South Indian food (Idli, Mendu Vada, Masala Dosa, Utthapam) is vegan except coconut chutney (which has dairy). You can also have vegan Indian food such as samosa, aalu ka paratha, poori bhaji, pav bhaji etc. Watch out for the spice though. Vegans should avoid paneer as it’s a dairy product.
Some restaurants also make good European vegan food. Do check out my blog on best Vegetarian and Vegan Food Guide in Palolem and Patnem beach. Link at the end of this blog.
Excursions from Palolem and Patnem Beach, South Goa– Nearby Attractions
33. Columb Bay –
Columb Bay is located just 1.8 kilometers and 6 minutes away from Palolem Beach. You can also stay at eco-friendly accommodation here.
34. Butterfly Beach –
How do I get from Palolem beach to Butterfly Beach?
It is located towards the north of Palolem and is accessed by a quick boat ride. You can club a visit along with Dolphin safari early morning. That’s what I did. You can even stay overnight on this remote secluded beach as well as Honey Moon Beach, both of which are accessible only by boat. Drinks, food and sleeping tents are available on request. Ask around the boatmen. On a rainy day, expect no boat rides.
35. Agonda Beach
Agonda is 9 kilometers and 17 minutes away from Palolem Beach
36. Cabo De Rama Fort
It is located 23 kilometers and 41 minutes away from Palolem Beach
37. Cola Beach
Cola Beach is 15 kilometers and 30 minutes away from Palolem Beach via picturesque route.
38. Talpona Beach
Talpona beach is 10 kilometers and 21 minutes away from Palolem Beach.
39. Rajbagh Beach
It is 4.5 kilometers and 12 minutes away from Palolem Beach. It is a very beautiful beach. Luxury properties are also located at Rajbagh Beach. Do also pay a visit to the interesting local market en route Rajbagh Beach.
40. Polem Beach
Polem beach is 17 kilometer and 26 minutes away from Palolem Beach. It is also one of the southern most beaches of South Goa.
Colva is 40 kilometers and 1 hour 15 minutes away from Palolem Beach via NH 66.
Benaulim is 36 kilometers and 1 hour away from Palolem Beach via NH 66.
Cavelossim is 30 kilometers and 50 minutes away from Palolem Beach via NH66.
Mobor is 34 kilometers and 1 hour away from Palolem Beach via NH 66. All the above 4 beaches can be visited at one go.
45. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary –
Spread across an area of 211.05 km2, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is home to bison (Bos gaurus) and other wild mammals apart from many species of birds. Bison is the official state animal of Goa. Other animals and birds found in Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary are black sloth bear leopard (Panthera pardus), Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), four-horned antelope or chousingha (Tetracerus quadricornis), great pied hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and the rare Malayan night heron (Gorsachius melanolophus). It is located in South eastern Goa; 34 kilometers and 1 hour away from Palolem Beach.
46. Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve –
It is located right next to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located in Karnataka.
47. Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary –
It is located near Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
48. Mollem National Park –
It is also located close to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
49. Madei Wildlife Sanctuary –
It is located near Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary
50. Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary –
It is located near Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located in Karnataka.
51. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is 23 kilometers and 38 minutes away from Palolem Beach. Reaching Cotigao is not easy via public transport. So it is better to hire your own bike or taxi to reach Cotigao from Palolem Beach. Apart from wildlife spotting, you can also embark upon many hiking trails. You can even stay at the forest department cottages within Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
52. Trek to Dudhsagar Waterfalls –
Dudhsagar Waterfalls is counted as one of the top 100 highest waterfalls of the world! Dudhsagar Waterfalls gained popularity after the Bollywood film Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer Chennai Express featured it. You can trek on railway tracks to arrive at Dudhsagar Waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife as it is bio diversity hot spot. There atre many pleasant home stays and hotels to stay in Dudhsagar Waterfalls. They also serve soul satisfying organic food. Distance between Dudhsagar waterfall to Palolem beach is 70 kilometers via NH 66 and it takes around 2 hours, 11 minutes to cover the journey.
53. Parthagal Math –
You can also visit the Parthagal Math monastery and Vedic center near Palolem beach. Also called Partagali Jivottama, it is located near Kushavati river.
54. Gokarna –
Located in Indian state Karnataka, Gokarna is known for its pristine beaches, treks, ancient Hindu temples, Hanuman Janam Bhumi and religious places. Gokarna is just 88 kilometers away from Palolem Beach on NH 66 and it takes around 2 hours to cover the distance. Shree Mohini Devi Temple which is located in Canacona can be visited. It is 16 minutes and 7 kilometers away from Palolem Beach. Saraswati temple is also nearby.
55. Karwar –
Karwar, another beautiful beach destination in Karnataka. Karwar is located just 32 kilometers away from Palolem Beach on NH66. It takes 45 minutes to cover the distance. I saw many buses going to Karwar from Margaon bus stand. Distance between Margao to Karwar is 65 kilometers and it takes around 2 hours to cover the journey. The route is picturesque. Do stop at the Kali Bridge for sweeping views of Karwar Beach.
56. Murdeshwar –
Located in Uttara Kannada or North Karnataka, Murdeshwar is 146 kilometers on NH 66 and 3 hours 30 minutes away from Palolem Beach.
57. Tarkarli –
Located in the Indian state Maharashtra, Tarkarli is 4 hours 30 minutes and 175 kilometers away from Palolem Beach. It has beautiful Tarkarli beach, Tsunami Island and impressive Sindhudurg Fort located in the middle of the sea. It is also the only place in Maharashtra where you can do scuba diving. It was my first scuba diving experience.
Belgaum in Karnataka is 145 kilometers away (on NH 748) from Palolem Beach and it takes around 3 hours and 37 minutes to cover the distance.
Dandeli in Karnataka is 122 kilometers away from Palolem Beach and it takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to cover the distance on Ramnagar-Karwar road. Dandeli is known for its dense population of hornbills. You can take a guided bird-watching tour here. Hubli is also located nearby. Distance between Hubli and Dandeli is 75 kilometers and it takes around 2 hours to cover the distance.
60. Hampi –
Hampi is a top heritage sight in not only India but all of the world. The ruins of the ancient Vijaynagar empire will transport you in a time warp. Hampi can be easily reached via a train. It takes around 8 hours 33 minutes to cover 357 kilometers between Hampi and Palolem Beach via NH52 or NH67. It is located in Karnataka, South India.
61. Belur –
The 12th century Chennakeshava Hindu Temple is still one of the most impressive buildings I have ever seen. The sheer intricate carving on stone is mind boggling. It takes around 8 hours 40 minutes to cover 400 kilometers between Belur and Palolem Beach via NH66 and NH69. You can also take SH 57. It is located in Karnataka, South India.
62. Halebidu –
You can still see the remains of the capital of Hoysala Empire during 12th The impressive Hoysaleswara Temple is the main place to see in Halebidu. It takes around 8 hours 40 minutes to cover 400 kilometers between Halebidu and Palolem Beach via NH66 and NH69. You can also take SH 57. It is located in Karnataka, South India.
63. Shravanabelagola –
Shravanabelagola is world famous for being home to the ancient 58 foot tall granite statue of Gommateshwara built atop the Vindyagiri Hill. The monolithic statue was built in 12th It is located in Karnataka, South India. It takes around 9 hours 28 minutes to cover 450 kilometers between Shravanabelagola and Palolem Beach via NH66 and NH69. I visited Shravanabelagola, Halebidu and Belur at one go via public transport as all these places are located very close to each other. Hampi is also located nearby. Nearest railway station is Hassan.
Frequently asked questions about Palolem and Patnem beach
Mentioned below are some of the most frequently asked questions or FAQs about Palolem and Patnem beach
Is Palolem Beach safe?
Yes, Palolem Beach is 100% safe. You can even roam around late in night without any fear. I am talking from a brown male’s perspective. But even the female friends of mine who have traveled to Palolem solo have confirmed the same with me. I even saw many solo female travelers venturing out late in the night alone.
Is Palolem Beach Open in September?
Yes and no. Septembr is officially the off season for Palolem. However, some homestays and shacks might still be running. Most of the shacks are being assembled on the Palolem Beach even in all of October and beginning of November. That said, you can still enjoy palolem Beach in the off season. Be cautious about the monsoon though. At times, it can rain daily for many hours at end. And it always pours very heavily in Goa.
How far Is Palolem Beach From Calangute Beach?
Distance between Palolem Beach and Calangute is 80 kilometers. It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach Calangute from Palolem Beach via cab. I changes buses and I took around 4 hours. I took this route –
- I took bus from Palolem Beach main market to Madgaon bus stand via Canacona Bus Stand for Rs. 30.
- From Madgaon Bus Stand, I took a shuttle bus to Panaji for Rs. 45
- From Panaji, I took a straight bus to Calangute for Rs. 30
Distance and Time taken:
- Distance between Palolem Beach to Madgaon Bus Stand – 38 kilometes; time taken is 1 hour.
- Distance between Madgaon Bus Stand to Panaji – 31 kilometer via NH 66; time taken is 1 hour
- Panaji bus stand to Calangute – 14 kilometer via Chogm Road; time taken is 30 minutes.
I started from Palolem Beach at 11 a.m. and reached Calangute at 3 p.m. The extra time was spent in food breaks and toilet breaks at bus stands. Time also went in waiting for buses and buying tickets to Panaji in Madgaon.
Soul Window Tips:
- For shuttle buses to Panaji from Madgaon, you need to buy tickets in advance at a counter in Madgaon
- Shuttle Bus from Madgaon to Panaji is bigger in size compared to regular buses of Goa.
- The Shuttle Bus from Madgaon to Panaji passes though many hotels in the Candolim area such as Hyatt, Le Meridian etc.
How To Reach Palolem Beach From Other cities and countries?
Goa is well connected by road, air, railways, public transport and even ferry (for internal transport). Below guide will help you choose a suitable mode of transport to travel to Goa from your home city.
Reach South Goa By Train –
Canacona railway station is the nearest railway station from Palolem and Patnem Beach. Its Station code is CNO. However, not many trains stop here. Madgaon Junction railway station (Station code: MAO) is better connected with other cities of India. It is the main railway station of Goa. From here you can easily get buses to different parts of Goa as it is one of the main cities of Goa.
Reach South Goa By Bus –
a) Bus To Goa From Mumbai –
When I used to live in Navi Mumbai for 7 years, I used to take an overnight bus most of the time. Buses are easily available from Vashi Plaza, Dadar etc. You can get non AC bus, AC bus, Volvo, luxury buses or even sleeper buses depending on budgets. The bus fare may increase during high season, long weekends and public holidays. Most buses heading to Goa stop at Mapusa. Mapusa has cheap buses to different parts of Goa. Baga and Calangute beaches in North Goa are located close to Mapusa.
b) Bus To Goa From Bengaluru –
Bengaluru is another metro city located close to Goa. Buses to Goa are easily available from Bengaluru.
Reach South Goa By Air –
Goa has only one airport as of now. It is well connected to many Indian cities as well as many international destinations. It is a simple airport with basic facilities and good but overpriced food. You can easily get buses (Rs. 10) to Vasco Da Gama right outside the Dabolim airport. There are not much places to eat outside the Dabolim Airport. Eat at Vasco Da Gama. Recently, I was impressed to see a full flight from Lucknow to Goa in the month of October. Who would have thought!
Reach South Goa via a scenic Road Trip –
You can even drive down to Goa from Bengaluru and Mumbai. The Mumbai Pune Expressway is very narrow and gets a bit risky as one reaches the winding roads of ghat sections. So drive carefully.
a) Road trip to Mapusa, North Goa from Mumbai –
Distance between Mumbai and Goa is 555 kilometers via NH48. It takes around 11 to 12 hours to cover the journey between Goa and Mumbai. If you start from Kharghar or Vashi in Navi Mumbai (which is what I used to do), you will save 1-2 hours.
b) Road trip to Mapusa, Goa from Pune –
It takes around 8 hour to 9 hours to cover 411 kilometer between Goa and Pune via NH 48.
c) Road trip to Mapusa, Goa from Bengaluru –
It takes around 11 hour 45 minutes to cover 596.9 kilometer between Goa and Bengaluru via NH 48.
How to reach Palolem Beach via bus and other public transport from Dabolim Airport?
The transport system in Goa is bad as compared to other places in India. That said, it is still good that you can catch a cheap bus from the Dabolim Airport itself. Such services are great for backpackers like myself.
I arrived late night at Dabolim Airport. So I did this:
- Took a bus from Dabolim airport to Vasco Da Gama city (Rs. 10)
- Stayed overnight at Vasco Da Gama at Meghdoot hotel (Rs. 300)
- Took bus to Madgaon from Vasco Da Gama – Rs. 40. Buses are available opposite the huge heritage building of Municipal High School and Mukhya Dak Ghar of Vasco Da Gama (Main Post Office). Pin code – 403802
- Took bus to Canacona from Madgaon
- Took bus to Palolem Beach from Canacona.
Soul Window Tip –
Where to stay as a backpacker in Vasco Da Gama –
I arrived late night at Vasco Da Gama. Finding a public bus to Margao or Palolem Beach was not possible in night. So I spent one night in Vasco Da Gama. Local bike wala said you won’t get a room for less than Rs. 700 in Vasco Da Gama. But then, ‘I know the rules but the rules do not know me.’ After walking for 1 hour (I had time), I found this room (see picture) at Meghdoot hotel opposite the house of Bandekar Clock Tower near the Vasco Da Gama Railway Station for just Rs. 300. I also spent Rs.150 on Veg Kolhapuri because I was salivating the moment I saw it in the menu. Reliving old Mumbai days though food is always good for the soul.
Distance and Time Taken
- Distance between Dabolim airport to Vasco Da Gama city – 3.5 kilometers via NH566; time taken 7 minutes.
- Distance between Margaon and Vasco Da Gama – 25 kilometers via NH 66 and NH566; time taken is 35 minutes.
- Distance between Margaon to Canacona – 38 kilometers via NH 66; time taken is 1 hour.
- Distance between Canacona bus stand to Palolem Beach – 2.5 kilometers via NH 66; time taken is 6 minutes.
- Distance between Palolem Beach to Dabolim Airport in Goa is 70 kilometers and it takes around 1.5 hours to cover the distance via cab.
Please note: Madgaon is also written and pronounced as Margaon. Madgaon is also the cultural capital of Goa.
Soul Window Tip:
Stroll by at the charming town Vasco Da Gama for sometimes. Visit the huge 400 years old Saint Andrew Church. Also notice the old mansions and buildings and a nearby port before leaving for Palolem (If you are following my route).You will easily find cheap Idli and Vadas (Both vegan minus the accompanied coconut chutney) at most places for breakfast in Vasco Da Gama.
Best Time to Visit Patnem and Palolem Beaches of South Goa – Quick Weather Report!
Weather Conditions of Palolem Beach, South Goa in October –
I visited both Patnem and Palolem beaches in South Goa in the last week of October. It was a pleasant time to be in South Goa. The beach huts were being assembled. Most of the beach huts were already running. The crowds were sparse. It was the onset of tourist season and as a result I got rooms at a very low rate of Rs. 500 a day.
November to February in Goa– High Season:
That said, the official good time to be in South Goa is from November to February. This is when the weather is very cool and pleasant. It is also the high season for Goa.
Avoid late December/early January in Goa:
However, avoid visiting South Goa and even North Goa around New Years and Christmas. The prices at this time are very high and the crowds unbearable.
April to May in Goa–
As per my previous experience, avoid Goa in April and May. These are very hot and humid months.
June to July in Goa –
Most rainy months so avoid it even if travel magazines and newspaper articles and other blogs and V logs are waxing eloquent about it. The rains will simply frustrate you.
August to October in Goa –
It may rain sporadically. Sometimes, it pours heavily in these months for hours on end. You need to take chances!
GITM 2019 –
I was invited by the Government of Goa to attend Goa International Travel Mart 2019. It was a grand B2B event hosted at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukerjee Stadium at Taleigao near Panaji. The dates of GITM were October 23rd to 25th 2019. I met some of the 125 international buyers from countries as diverse as Australia, Bulgaria, UAE, Russia, Denmark, Jordan etc. The vibrant Goa Pavilion gave us a glimpse in to the salient features and characters of Goa such as its night life, UNESCO World Heritage sites, Old Hindu Temples of Goa, wildlife and of course the pristine beaches of Goa. A total of 35 domestic and 25 international media personnel were invited.
The Travel Mart which was a grand event, was inaugurated by the Honorable Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant and Shri Manohar Ajgaonkar, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister & Minister of Tourism, Goa. Goa is close to my heart. So, I was delighted to see the government taking proactive steps to further boost tourism in Goa.
Clean Loo Guide –
There is a well maintained Pay and use (Rs. 2 per leak) toilet aka Sulabh Shauchalay at the main market. It is located at the main gate of market towards the Palolem Beach. Ask anyone in the market. Most of the restaurants and shacks also have well maintained toilets. You can also change clothes in these toilets. Ask before you do.
Where to Stay in Palolem Beach?
There is a wide variety of stay options in Palolem beach, South Goa. The prices of room suit all pockets whether you are a backpacker or a luxury snob. The dorms/hostels in Palolem Beach are around 500 and a private room with beach view is 4500 in the month of October. You can get a nice luxurious beach house for anything under Rs. 3000. Prices rise during high season. Most of the hotels/beach huts are located right at the beach or are located at 1-5 minutes walking distance away from Palolem Beach.
Budget hotels in Palolem –
Moon Light Restaurant – Homestay near Palolem beach.
They are known by the name of their restaurant. You could not find them online. Until now, that is! Check out my instagrammable homestay(Pls see picture). I stayed with a local family for Rs. 500 only. Their home-stay was just 1 minute walking or 30 seconds running (choose upon your urgency) distance away from Palolem Beach. They even have a ground floor balcony. It is located amidst lots of greenery. The last time I came here the beach huts aka coco huts were available for just Rs. 300. With time the locals got smart and the beach huts are now available between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 6000 per night. Rs. 500 is the least you can find here, I learned after sweating it out for more than an hour to find the ‘cheap and best’ hotel. It is OK! I am not complaining! Times have changed! They have only 2 rooms. The rooms are basic, airy, spacious and have attached bathroom and balcony. Prices may rise during high season. I visited in last week of October. There is also a restaurant at the home-stay. There are many home-stays located near this one. Ask around. This was the cheapest deal I got.
They also arrange bike and taxis.
Contact Person – Vency Pereira
Phone number – 9923172631
Address – Near Palolem Beach, Ourem, Canacona, Goa.
Gunu Paradise – Stay for Backpackers
AC and Non AC rooms are available in this budget hotel located right on Palolem Beach. T.V., Refrigirator, hot shower and fastest Wi Fi (Their words, not mine) are available here. It is a cemented building – one of the few of its kind on the Palolem Beach. Prices of rooms may vary as per season and demand.
Phone – 7798133717
Mid Range Hotels in Palolem Beach
Bridge N Tunnel hotel – I highly recommend Bridge N Tunnel hotel. It is located right opposite the secret rock formations at Palolem Beach. Great food, breathtaking views, silence, live music are some of the added bonus of staying here.
Hostels in Palolem Beach
My friend stayed at Rainbow Lines Hostel which is located at walking distance from Palolem Beach. It costs just Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 a night, depending upon the season!
Luxury Stay Options in Palolem:
Royal Touch Beach Huts & Restaurant:
It is a 3 star property located close to the Palolem Beach. The process at this luxury beach huts or coco hut starts at Rs. 2,800 per night. Prices may vary as per season and demand.
Address: 117/10, Ourem Rd, Palolem, Canacona, Goa 403702
Phone – 099235 54347
Don’t forget to check out my You Tube video on palolem Beach for a better understanding of the place. Please click below video link –
LAST THOUGHT ON TOP PLACES TO SEE IN OFFBEAT PALOLEM BEACH, SOUTH GOA
Palolem is great for a solo backpacking trip. As you have seen above there are many things to do in and around Palolem Beach and South Goa. It is also a great destination for digital nomads, thanks to good wi-fi, nice weather, pollution free environment and quietude. Whether you are seeking wellness, parties, adventure, wildlife, spirituality, good vegan and vegetarian food, yoga or just a relaxed beach vacation, nothing beats Palolem and Patnem beach in South Goa. This guide on 63 top places to see and things to do in Palolem Beach in South Goa, India will answer all your questions.
The view from my Soul Window is rejuvenating!
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