Around the headland south from Palolem is a small, rocky bay named Colomb, connected to the southern end of Palolem beach by pathways including one over the rocky beach-hut-filled headland itself. Here rustic restaurants and local homes shelter among a peaceful clump of coconut trees. The rocky bay is probably better suited to paddling than swimming (wear rubber shoes of some description to avoid laceration), but the short walk to Palolem to the north and Patnem to the south makes this a good low-key choice. It’s a good place for long-stayers to seek out simple village homes, available for rent by the month or season, or anyone looking for a more tranquil alternative to the Palolem bustle.
Worth a Trip: Tanshikar Spice Farm
One of the best day trips you can make away from the coast in Goa’s far south is the winding 35km drive to the village of Netravali in search of an excellent spice farm, the mysterious bubble lake and jungle treks to hidden waterfalls. The ride out from Palolem alone makes this trip worthwhile, passing farms then the hilly forest of the Netravali Protected Area.
Tanshikar Spice Farm is a working, family-run organic spice farm with crops including vanilla, cashews, pepper, nutmeg and chillies, as well as beekeeping. There are no tour buses out here and the amiable young owners give you personalised tours of the plantation and nearby bubble lake. They can also offer guided jungle treks to nearby waterfalls. If you really want to feel the serenity, book into one of the excellent mud-walled eco-cottages (₹1500) with bamboo sit-outs, a lovely elevated stilt tree house (₹3000) or a room in the Hindu-style house.
Near the spice farm (about 500m before the T-junction), the Netravali Bubble Lake is actually the bathing tank of the small Hindu Gopinath temple. Tiny streams of bubbles constantly bob up to the lake’s surface, appearing to get faster if you clap your hands close to the water. The cause is trapped methane gas escaping from the sandy bottom. Eyeing the temple and tank as a tourist attraction, the local authorities brought the bulldozers in and built a parking lot around it.
The other highlight of a day trip out here is the series of waterfalls that can be reached by jungle hikes. Treks to the falls vary from 45 minute to three hours. Ask for directions or a guide at Tanshikar Spice Farm.
From Palolem or Chaudi on the NH66, turn off at the Forest Checkpoint on the left-hand side (before Cotiago Sanctuary) and follow the road for about 30km to the T-junction, turn right and look out for the signs to Tanshikar.