With a thin budget, we kick-started our planning to visit Palolem beach in Goa. The reason we chose Palolem is that it is a comparatively less crowded and comparatively more beautiful(in my humble opinion) beach among the Goan beaches. Palolem beach is located in the southern region of Canacona in Goa. You honestly don’t need too much money to stay, enjoy and chill in peace at Palolem. It’s a beautiful beach where you get budget beach huts, delicious food and friendly people.
There are lot of beach huts available at Palolem with affordable rates. We did not want to pre-book the huts without having a look what they offer. So we booked a hut called ‘Chattai’ for a night and decided to spend first few hours of our day 1 in searching for a perfect beach hut for our liking and budget.
We stayed at Palolem for 3 nights-4 days. I’ll try to pen down our Palolem experience along with our spending and itinerary to give you an idea about what Palolem offers you and how cheap it is.
We booked sleeper class railway tickets from Mumbai to Madgaon, it costs around INR 700 for an overnight journey. If your city is around 8–12 hours away from Goa, better choose overnight journey so that you can breath-in fresh Goan air in the morning. Palolem is around 40 kms(1 hour by cab or 1 and half hour by bus) from Madgaon. We reached Madgaon at morning 9 and reached Palolem at around 11.
There are very very few trains that have a halt at Canacona railway station which is mere 10 minutes away from Palolem beach. You can opt for one of those trains according to your feasibility and train availability.
With some efforts, we finally reached Chattai and ordered the famous Goan ‘Kings Beer’. Unfortunately he didn’t have it so we had to settle for Kingfisher. Chattai costed us INR 1200 per night and it is located at the southern tip of Palolem beach. The people in the hotel were friendly and helpful. It was good but a bit away from beach(5 mins walk). As planned, we freshened up and reached Palolem beach.
Our fatigue was instantly was instantly washed away by soothing sound of waves and gentle flow of sea-wind. We roamed from the south palolem to north palolem, having a look at the various beach huts. There are more than enough choices of beach huts and you can have a look at them all and then finalize. You’ll get a good deal if you’re a good bargainer. We finally got a room at INR 700 per night in ‘Leela Cottages’.
Then we decided to have lunch at a shack named ‘Draupadi’. I haven’t yet found a restaurant that serves better fish n’ chips than Draupadi. We finally had our first and second Kings there and went back to Chattai to have some rest.
Evening was pure chilling at Palolem. It feels so good to just roam around or sit on the beach with no worries. Having a pint, watching the sunset is the experience you must take at Palolem. We had a quiet dinner at ‘Cafe RockIt’ before going to bed.
Day 2 started shifting from Chattai to Leela’s. Our beach hut had a perfect location. You can go for a swim and come back to have a bath anytime. After shifting, we decided to have breakfast at Presley’s shack. Like all other shacks, Presley’s offers all types of breakfasts including English, Swiss, Israeli, American etc. We chose Presley because it was just besides our beach hut. Presley’s offers delicious breakfast and it became our breakfast place for remaining 3 days.
Post breakfast we finally went for a swim which lasted for more than 2 hours. Then for lunch, we went to a shack named ‘Palolem Beach Shack’. They served us amazing butter chicken which tasted heavenly with paratha. On average, lunch or dinner will cost you around INR 600–800 depending on where and how much you eat.
We spent the remaining day chilling across Palolem beach. This included a motorboat ride which costs around INR 600 for two. They take you out in the sea till some distance and then take a U-turn to come back. I managed to convince the motorboat driver if I can jump in the sea at a suitable distance since I know swimming. With his permission, I took the jump and swam till the shore. Amazing feeling!
There’s a small island called ‘Monkey Island’ nearby which is reachable by walking at the time of low tide. There was nothing much there when we went but it’s a nice and secluded place to go and have a seat for some time, observing the beauty of Palolem.
Then we sat down at Presley’s in a candle light setting, watching the beautiful sunset in front of us. A picture perfect. Our friend had told us about a place in Palolem where we get pure Italian type pizza. The name of the place is ‘Magic Italy Authentic Italian Restaurant & Pizzaria’. The restaurant has table-chair sitting as well as floor sitting. We preferred floor sitting. The pizza at this place is simply amazing, something that I’ve never had before. You get the true Italian feel while having the pizza. We had delicious pizza and wine to finish our memorable day.
Our Day 3 began with a mandatory breakfast at Presley’s followed by a boat ride. This boat ride costs around 1000–1200. The boat has capacity of 6 members but if you are ready to pay 1200, then you can make it a private boat ride. The boat ride is primarily to see dolphins. We were lucky enough that we got to see dolphins jumping out of sea for a good amount of time. Other places they take you is butterfly island. The name comes because the shape of the island is like a butterfly if you see it from Google maps. There’s nothing much to see there, just photos and you can have a beer there if you want to.
After coming back from ride, we hired 2 scooters and set on a journey to few places that we had in mind. The fare for the scooter is a humble INR 200 plus whatever you need for petrol. We first visited Agonda beach first. We were starving and we immediately entered a shack to have our lunch. We had delicious steamy steak and then decided to roam around on scooter before heading back to Palolem. Roaming in Goa on scooter has it’s own bliss. Good roads with beautiful surroundings and less traffic makes it a good ride. I learnt and mastered scooter driving in Goa and so did my she. After roaming around, we went back to Palolem by the evening.
Then again chilling at Palolem, last time before we leave the next day morning. This time we decided to have roadside tapri food after eating at various shacks for past days. This change of food location and choice turned out good as we finished eating our first plate of fried rice, wanting one more.
We did some mandatory shopping in the shops along the street that leads to the beach. You get all types of stuff there, including tea, antiques, jewelry, cloths, tattoos, masks etc. We decided to have a walk around beach that’ll help us digest the food that we’ve had for past few days and will also give us time to revisit the memories of past 3 days.
Start of day 4 was again our mandatory breakfast at Presley’s, one last time before leaving for Baga. By the time we finished breakfast, we had tried almost every type of breakfast available there.
We bid goodbye to Palolem with a lot of memories and with a promise to visit again and again…