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GOA BEACH TOUR  >

PALOLEM  BEACH TOUR


Location: 2-km West Of Chaudi, Canacona District, South Goa
Nearby Attraction: Agonda, Chaudi
Best Time To Visit: November To March

Palolem, 2-km west of Chaudi, pops up more often in glossy holiday brochures than any other beach in Goa; because not only the village is a major package tour destination, but its crescent shaped bay lined with a swaying curtain of coconut palms, is irresistibly photogenic. Hemmed in by a pair of wooded headlands, a perfect curve of golden sand arcs north from a pile of boulders to the spur of Sahyadri Ghat, which tapers into the sea draped in thick forest. For those foreigners who find there way here before the mid -1990s,however Palolem is most definitely a paradise lost these days.Goa is the beach-break destination of independent travellers,and the numbers can feel overwhelming in the peak season ,when literally thousands of people spill across the beach.  

Souvenir stalls have also sprung up, catering mainly for the mini-van and boat parties of charter tourists on day trips from resorts further north. In spite of these encroachments, Palolem remains a resolutely traditional village, where the easy pace of life is dictated more by the three daily rounds of Todi (also spelt as Toddy) tapping than the exigencies of tourism. 

EATING OUT

The beach now lined along its entire length with brightly lit shack cafes, finding someplace to eat in Palolem is not a problem, although the locals have to buy in most of their fish from Margao and Karwar. The one outstanding place is the Classic Restaurant, where one can tuck into delicious, freshly baked Western whole food and cakes.

More popular among budget travellers, though, is Sun 'n' Moon, behind the middle of the beach; when it closes, the die-hard drinkers head through the palm trees to nearby Dylan's Bar, which stays open until the last customer has staggered home. For optimum sunset views of the bay, head for the obscurely named Found Things bar and restaurant, at the far southern end of Palolem beach, which faces west. Travellers on tight budgets should also note the row of tiny Bhaji stalls outside the Beach Resort, where one can order tasty and filling breakfasts of Pao Bhaji, fluffy bread rolls, Omelettes and Chai (tea) for next to nothing.

HOW TO GET THERE

Road: Buses run between Margao and Karwar via Chaudi where one can pick up an auto rickshaw or taxi to Palolem. Alternatively, get off at the Char Rostay cross roads, 1.5-km before Chaudi, and walk the remaining kilometre or so to the village. A couple of buses each day also goes all the way to Palolem from Margao; these stop at the end of the lane leading from the main street to the beachfront. The last bus from Palolem to Chaudi/ Margao leaves at 4.30pm; check with the local for the time, which change seasonally.

PLACES TO STAY

With the exception of the beach resort's tent camp and a handful or recently built guesthouses, most of Palolem's accommodation consists of simple rooms in family homes, with basic washing and toilet facilities shared by visitors and members of the household. The budget places, however are to be found in Colom, around the headland south of Palolem village, where Hindu fishing families rent rooms and occasionally small houses for long- staying foreigners.


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