India Beaches

Palolem Beach


Starfish Rating of 4.5

Claim to Fame

Lined with towering palm trees, this beach is famous for its collection of beach bamboo-hut accommodations that are dismantled at the end of tourism season each year and re-erected at the start of the next one.

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of Sue Hutchins
  • Where is it?in Canacona on the west coast of India, 200 iles (321 kilometers) south of Mumbai on the Arabian Sea (Indian Ocean)
  • Coordinates: latitude» 15.0109°
    longitude» 74.0216°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical, with monsoon season in July and August
  • Development: developed areas; resort town
  • Length of Beach:
  • Type: beige sand
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Also known as “Paradise Beach” Palolem Beach has a split personality. The northern end of the beach is more quiet and relaxed, with gentler waves; it is oriented towards families. The southern end has a much steeper drop in the ocean floor and draws party-goers and back-packers. This laid-back, safe beach is sufficiently long to accommodate both factions.

Because the tiny state of Goa has long been a beach-goers haven, there is enough development along the beach to provide visitors with everything they need. Restaurants, from pizza joints to curry kiosks to finer dining, line the edge of the beach. Unlike some Indian states, Goa allows alcohol consumption; be sure to try the local Kingfisher Beer with Tandoori-style red snapper.

Peak season hits over Christmas and New Year’s, and the place pretty much closes down in April, with the beach huts removed until tourism reignites in October. Locals and tourists alike enjoy Palolem each and all it has to offer, which is more than just swimming and sunbathing.

Popular pastimes here include boat trips to watch dolphins, yoga at sunset (when the day has cooled, beneath the palm trees), fishing, kayaking and sailing, hiking on the area trails and visiting the small village market for treasures to take home.

The day-trip to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary affords a fine view of the off-beach scenery and exposure to the remarkable animals of India. Another interesting journey is the short walk to Butterfly Beach, which is, at high tide, an island; just don’t get caught there when the tide comes in! In the evening, there is plenty happening at Palolem Beach’s nightlife scene, with an emphasis on music at the 24-hour bars and clubs. This is a beach within the exotic world of India and yet with an easy-going, at-home feel.

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