Nicknamed Paradise Beach, Palolem is among the most popular South Goa beaches, and for good reason. Its beautiful, clear waters and pale sand appeal to those searching for relaxation. Though there are certainly plenty of beach shacks, a few minutes' walk down the shore will bring you to quiet, uncrowded stretches of sand and sea.
Palolem features a crescent-shaped cove offering shade palms, shacks, and restaurants, plus clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling and swimming, and a more peaceful social scene than you’ll find on the beaches farther north. Instead of sound systems blaring trance music, you might spot beachgoers wearing headphones and dancing quietly to the beats of a silent disco. Visit Palolem independently or with a guide, as part of a snorkeling day trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- This beach is great for families and couples who want to avoid the party scene up north.
- Wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, as the sun here can be powerful.
- Palolem is generally safe for swimming, but stay out of the water if you see red warning flags on the beach
- Bikinis are fine on the beach, but men and women should dress more modestly before going into town.
How to Get There
Palolem Beach is located in South Goa, about 90 minutes’ drive south from the airport near Vasco da Gama, where there are regular departures to most major Indian cities and a few international destinations. Palolem is about an hour and 45 minutes from Panaji, the state capital, and a 2-hour drive from Calangute and the busier stretch of beaches to the north.
When to Get There
Palolem’s high season runs from November through February, with crowds peaking around Christmas and New Year’s. Travelers visiting Goa during the holidays may want to choose South Goa over the north to avoid the constant parties and loud music, though there still will be plenty of festivities in Palolem. The monsoon season (June through August) is a pleasantly quiet time to visit, but unsuitable for swimming or sunbathing due to constant rains.
North vs. South Goa
In many ways, North and South Goa feel like two different states. Both have beautiful beaches, lush jungles and farmland, and strong cultural and culinary traditions. However, North Goa is best for those who want action: parties, museums, bars and restaurants, and shopping galore. South Goa appeals to those who want relaxation; there are still lovely places to eat, sleep, and spend your money, but the vibe is quieter and the beaches, prettier.