Palolem has been ranked by TripAdvisor as the 20th best beach in Asia and it’s easy to see why. South Goa hosts some of the state’s prettiest beaches and while Palolem’s has bars and restaurants lining the shore, it’s still unspoiled. While it’s mainly a place to relax, there are things to do in Palolem, including yoga classes, dolphin-spotting boat trips and more around the local area. Here’s what I discovered.
Indulge in a beauty treatment
There are plenty of places around where you can treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage or a manicure. I opted for the latter and also had a beautiful henna tattoo painted onto my hand.
Take a yoga class
Secluded among the trees 200 metres above the south end of the beach is a well-being centre called Bhakti Kutir. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for yoga in Palolem, as a renowned Swami visits every year to teach daily drop-in yoga classes. With its easy, serene atmosphere, relaxed staff and great WiFi connection, Bhakti Kutir is an ideal hideaway of choice for catching up on emails and writing.
Explore your surroundings
The surrounding countryside, beaches and villages are fun to explore. On foot, you can reach the neighbouring Patnem beach, which is a bit quiter. If you take a motorbike or taxi, you can explore further afield, such as the stunning Agonda beach. The adventure is really in the journey.
Discover the wildlife
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is close to Palolem. The guidebook says that, if you’re lucky, you can spot creatures including vipers, antelope, flying lizards and the slender loris. In our case, we just got chased down the road by an angry bull!
If you prefer sea-life, there are boat operators at the north end of the beach who will take you on dolphin-spotting trips. Otherwise, if you’re not feeling adventurous, you can just sit and watch the cows lazing on Palolem beach.
Head to the disco
One of my favourite things about Palolem is its silent discos. There are three that take place during the week in open air bars, with the biggest on a Saturday night at Neptune’s Point, a cliff top venue overlooking the bay.
These silent discos were devised as a way to get around a post-11pm noise curfew that was imposed on the area – there are DJs and decks but no speakers: everyone wears headphones and selects their choice of music. However in reality they are not always that quiet.
When I arrived, the majority of people on the dance floor were singing their heads off to the Cranberries’ Zombie and then the Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire.
It’s good fun to watch people bobbing around with no music playing. Even better, put on your headphones, select your favourite tunes and join in the silent party.
Things to do in Palolem and beyond
There are plenty more things to do in Palolem, including kayak rental and cooking courses. Palolem is a lovely laid-back place to hang out. If you feel like going further afield, why not take a trip up to North Goa. Find out why people are raving about Arambol, the sunset beach parties, workshops and hippie markets.
Intrigued? Read my comprehensive guide to how to be a solo female traveller in Goa.