In the very far south of the state, just a hop, skip and a jump to Karnataka, lies Goa’s southernmost beach, set around a small bay on the seafront of the village of Polem. Though the village itself seems to have been lumbered with an unsavoury reputation – due to its secretive, lucrative line in interstate liquor smuggling – it’s actually a fine spot for a seaside stroll or a picnic on the pristine sands, with a beautiful view of a cluster of rocky islands out towards the horizon. Tourist development thankfully hasn’t yet made it as far as Polem, and the beach retains a local feel, with a few fishermen bringing in their catch to the northern end and nothing much else to keep you company except scuttling crabs and circling seabirds.
For a fishy lunch so fresh it’s still quivering, stop off at the Kamaxi Hotel in among the palms, run by the eccentric local, Laxaman Raikar. He stocks Kingfisher, if you’re in need of something cold and frothy, and also has three exceedingly basic, somewhat grim and grotty rooms for rent – in case you get seriously stranded – for ₹200 apiece.
To get to Polem, take a bus from Chaudi (₹12, 50 minutes) and get off at the bus stop, around 3km after the petrol station. The stop is directly opposite the turn-off to the beach. Then it’s a 1km walk to the village and beach.