Palolem

Palolem is undoubtedly one of Goa’s most postcard-perfect beaches: a gentle curve of palm-fringed sand facing a calm bay. But in season the beachfront is transformed into a toy town of colourful and increasingly sophisticated timber and bamboo huts fronted by palm-thatch restaurants. It’s still a great place to be and is popular with backpackers, long-stayers and families. The protected bay is one of the safest swimming spots in Goa and you can comfortably kayak and paddleboard for hours here.

Just around the headland at the southern end of the beach, Colomb Bay – reached by foot or by road – is another little hideaway with several low-key resorts and restaurants.

Away from the beach you can learn to cook, drop in to yoga classes or hire a motorbike and cruise to surrounding beaches, waterfalls and wildlife parks.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Palolem.