Palolem is a must-visit part of Goa as it has a huge and wonderful beach with super-colourful beach huts that are perfect for The ‘Gram. There’s a nice mix of beach activities, clubs and bars to keep you entertained too. I had a great time here… read on to find out what to do, eat and see in Palolem.
WHERE TO STAY
I stayed in a really crappy hostel called The Roadhouse – don’t stay there. But do stay in a hostel if you’re travelling alone as they really are the best places to make friends. If I were you I’d walk along Palolem beach and get a sea-view beach hut. There are literally hundreds. I did stay one night in one for 1000IR.
GET A BOAT
For the small sum of 1800IR between 3 people you can hire a boat (with driver) to take you around some islands and to spot the dolphins that play around them. We saw a pod of about 10 dolphins, all jumping and doing dolphin-y things and after speaking to other people, I think you’re pretty much guaranteed to see some. After that we went to Butterfly Island whish is a teeny, tiny private beach – the kind you imagine buying if you won the lottery. It’s probably best to do your boat trip in the morning as it’s too hot in the afternoon.
My travel pal Hannah and I were walking back to our hostel after having a quiet drink, when a mad German woman literally bundled us into a tuk tuk and took us into the middle of the jungle! It’s not as bad as it sounds because we ended up at Leopard Valley, which is 10mins and 300IR away from Palolem beach. It’s kind of like a low rent version of the Jungle Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand, but fun nonetheless. It’s made to look like a kind of tiki thing, or like the Wu Tang Clan’s Gravel Pit video. There’s a pool, passable dance music and a nice mix of locals and travellers. Avoid the spirits here at all costs and stick to beer, the gin was like drain cleaner. Oh and entry is 500-600IR.
This is a bar on the furthest right side of Palolem beach and, as the name suggests, is a great place to watch the sun set. It’s set into the side of a sort of small cliff and the drinks are cheap. Arrive around 5pm to grab the best spot (sunset in India is well early, around 6.15pm). Please note, the tide will come in while you’re there, rendering your path back to the main strip of the beach gone. You’ll have to get a boat back, which takes about 10 minutes and shouldn’t be more than 100IR per person.
ART RESORT BEACH HUTS
If you’re feeling spenny then you should totally stay here, the rooms looked divine. If you’re poor like me then simply hang out here on their delightful swinging benches. The food here is awesome too, their masala papad is on point and the fish tikka is huge and only 400IR with a nice salad.
FAR LEFT SIDE OF THE BEACH
This is a secluded, quiet part of the beach which is almost like it’s own private resort. Make sure you take a little stroll down here because it’s so cute. There is also a café that overlooks the whole beach and is a perfect place to have brekkie. I had a really cheap lemon and sugar pancake (for some reason they do these everywhere in Goa).