India, Goa, yoga on Patnem Beach

Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

Patnem Beach

South Goa

Smaller and less crowded than Palolem to the north, Patnem makes a quiet and friendly alternative. It’s backed by relaxed beach shacks and has a lively surf, making it great for swimming some days and impossible on others, when an equally lively undertow is present. Its main beach road hosts a string of stalls selling the usual variety of clothes, Kashmiri jewellery and trinkets, without the attendant hard-sell of Palolem.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Goa attractions

1. Rajbag Beach

0.49 MILES

Quiet little Rajbag is dominated by the Lalit Golf & Spa Resort, but it's worth a wander over from Patnem Beach to the north.

2. Butterfly Beach

2.29 MILES

Hire a local boatman from Palolem Beach to ferry you up to Butterfly Beach and back (₹2000 for the boat), relishing the views of untouched coastline along…

3. Galgibag Beach

2.38 MILES

Almost-deserted Galgibag is known locally as Turtle Beach as it's one of the last preserves of Goa’s endangered olive ridley sea turtle. It's a beautiful…

4. Agonda Beach

4.24 MILES

Agonda’s beach is wide, quiet and picturesque, with a forestry department–staffed turtle centre at the northern end protecting precious olive ridley sea…

5. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

5.06 MILES

About 9km southeast of Palolem, and a good day trip, is the beautiful, remote-feeling Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa’s second-largest sanctuary and…

6. Polem Beach

6.89 MILES

Polem is Goa’s southernmost beach, set around a small bay on the seafront of the village of Polem. There's some very low-key accommodation and a shack…

7. Cabo da Rama Fort


A fort has occupied this bluff guarding the mouth of the Sal River for centuries, and came into Portuguese hands in 1763. There’s not much to see of the…

8. Usgalimal Petroglyphs


One of Goa’s least visited but most fascinating sights is deep in the countryside at Usgalimal: a series of prehistoric petroglyphs (rock art), carved…