Even once you’ve decided where to stay in Goa and that you’d prefer the more relaxing south over north, there are still quite a lot of beaches to choose from! With the help of our local expert, Jules, we’re going to look at the best ones to visit. Here we have this little guide to Palolem Beach, Goa!
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I, Jules, only discovered this beach a few years ago and was pretty much sworn to secrecy about it. And here I am spilling the beans, being naughty but mainly wanting to help keep the very few businesses on Galgibaga alive!
This is definitely the most peaceful beach in Goa that has just a teeny tiny bit of civilization. Here you will find a full length beach without one single beach shack, a beach without any rubbish or litter overpowering the beauty and a beach that should only be visited if you can help maintain this beauty. A beach that is only for the simple beachgoers, the ones who pack their own umbrella, their own beach towel and enjoy the sound of the waves rather than some (terrible) EDM which can be found further up North.
So please only read on if you can promise to pick up your litter, promise to only share the secret of Galgibaga with other likeminded travelers and promise to help keep this beach as pristine as it is.
The reason behind the beauty and emptiness of the beach is because it is a conserved turtle site where turtles hatch every year! Yay! No beach shacks, no sunbeds, no loud music, none of that is allowed to help keep the turtles safe when they are ready to come and lay their eggs.
Another difference between Galgibaga and the rest of the Goan beaches is the lack of palm trees. Here you will find a pine tree forest that lines the back of the beach.
To get to this very secluded sweet spot you need to drive all the way down South, past Agonda, past Palolem, past Patnem and through a few very cute small villages. You then get to a small and quite stressful blue bridge that can only fit one car at a time.. Big cars won’t get through and bikes definitely cause less drama. I have a memory of my Dad driving way too fast in our Suzuki Swift, me trying to observe the absolute beauty seen on either side but shouting in distress as our tyres literally scraped the sides!
Do note, same as all other beaches in the South, Galgibaga usually opens for tourists from November through to April. Between May and October the beach is usually deserted with all beach huts dismantled and the monsoon season setting in.
A Guide to Galgibaga Beach in South Goa
Places to Eat in Galgibaga
There are no beach shacks on Galgibaga so the choices of where to eat are slim. They are all located a bit further back from the beach, still giving you a beach view but not as close up as other beaches. I have had some super delicious meals and some average ones. If you are there for a few days, split your business around, it is nice to give to everybody.
One thing to know is that Galgibaga is known for their fresh oysters straight from the river. You don’t usually find oysters around Goa, it’s rare to see them on a menu in North Goa so if these are your thing then definitely have a try! I’m not even sure I need to tell you to splash out as the price of them compared to the US or Europe will be unbelievable!
The Drunken Clam
This is a newbie on the scene, first opening at the end of 2019. It is a very much welcomed newcomer with an amazing menu curated by a group of friends using delicious fresh ingredients and lots of freshly caught seafood. This may be the place you end up eating at more than once.
I really like Surya’s. I have eaten here quite a few times and love the Chilli Paneer and Surya’s Special Chips. I believe Gordon Ramsey made a documentary once and recommended this place or maybe visited it so you will see on all menu’s ‘Recommended by Gordon Ramsey’. I wouldn’t question it, the fresh fish, prawns, oysters, mussels are all delicious. They can all be served Goan style, Rawa fried, butter garlic and if you want a bit of a kick ask for the Goan Recheado masala.
Santosh is the neighboring shack of Surya. I am not sure if they are friends, enemies or brothers. They must fight for customers but strangely Santosh says he is recommended by Jamie Oliver. No idea if this is made up but it’s a nice little celebrity endorsement feud going on between the two. I would suggest sticking to Indian food and trying the same as recommended above – fresh fish, prawns, oysters and mussels.
Cassoi’s – The Veggie Turtle
This restaurant has a few nicer tables than the above shacks but I am not sure I have ever been completely taken by the food. It is part of one of the few places you can stay that has lovely rooms. There is special vegetarian menu and if you are not in the mood for Indian or Goan food then here you will find dishes to suit European cravings. Quiche, bruschetta, pasta, corn cutlets and veggie pate.
Where to Stay in Galgibaga Beach
When I used to go to Galgibaga there was literally only one place to stay. Now another option has popped up on the scene but as you can imagine this can mean places do get full very quickly. This is the one beach I would recommend booking your accommodation in advance. There is no walking up and down the beach to haggle for rooms as the competition and the options are minimal. So have a look online for the below options and confirm this part of your trip beforehand.
This place is open all year round as it is located about 1 minute walk away from the beach but is not directly beach facing, saving it from what can be terrible monsoon conditions. It is a beautiful Portuguese house with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room and a kitchen. When you rent it, you get all of this rather than just one room. It feels more like a home. It is a great place to stay for a couple of nights, a week, a month or even a few if you are looking for a peaceful state of mind. Message to book here
Cassoi by Ciarans
This is the other main option located a bit closer to the beach than the above. They have a few different room options of tents, huts and concrete rooms. I have stayed in the tent which is definitely more luxury than not with a big bed inside and a proper bathroom. Think glamping more than festival tent. I love the peace and quiet of this place and having the restaurant attached makes your morning masala chai with a beautiful view, possible. Book here
Talpona or Patnem Beach
If the above options are full then stay on the nearby Talpona or Patnem Beach and visit Galgibaga for a day trip. Try out the restaurants, enjoy the peace and quiet you won’t find anywhere else and head back along the coast to your room.
Talpona is the beach closest to Galgibaga and Patnem and is a little further away.
Things to Do in Galgibaga Beach
There really isn’t that much to do in Galgibaga and I believe that is the beauty of it. You go here to do absolutely nothing except read, listen to the waves, take a dip, eat, nap and eat some more. Don’t come here in search of a party because you definitely won’t find one.
Speak to the owner of where you are staying and ask them to help organize a boat trip with a local from the village. You will need to take a short drive to get to the river where you can embark on the most beautiful and peaceful boat trip up the river and under the tiny blue bridge you would have crossed to get to Galgibaga. The palm trees are infinite, the reflections breathtaking and if you are lucky like me, you may see a herd of buffalo taking a little dip to cool off. This is best done in the morning before the afternoon heat sets in.
Best Sunset View
I have seen many many sunsets in my time but I think one of the best ones I have ever and will ever see was from Galgibaga beach. One of those ones where the clouds are all kinds of pink and purple and orange and it seems to get better and better as time goes on! Enjoy an unspolit sunset view with what will probably be a very small number of other people around.
(My picture does not do it justice!)
Yep this beach is perfect for a beach run when the tide is out. There is never a shelf or a steep slope so your ankles won’t be completely destroyed and if you are lucky you may see a few dolphins along the way if you are up and out early in the morning.
Swim Across the River
If you walk to the far South side of the beach the sea joins up to the river which is where the fresh oysters you may have had for lunch are fished. There is now an unfortunate and very ugly highway to your left which definitely does spoil the picturesque view and silence from this corner but the river gives you a nice shallow spot to cool off. You can swim across the river to a teeny tiny section of beach which really is like something from a paradise island.
There really isn’t that much to explore as Galgibaga really is tiny. But take a little walk back into the village and have a look at some of the architecture, the very random and sometimes terrible choices of house color and the cool church they have.
Read a book. Make a sandcastle. Count clouds. Do some yoga. Have a snooze. Meditate. Do all the peaceful things that are good for you. Galgibaga is the perfect scene for all of these ‘activities’.
Beaches and Towns Nearby Galgibaga
The nearest beach is Talpona which is a short drive away. There are some accommodation options on here and I am sure it probably is as peaceful as Galgibaga but I have never actually stayed here. Patnem is a bit further away and is still one of the more peaceful beaches of the South but definitely has a lot more going on than Galgibaga.
Once on the stretch of Patnem beach you can find the busier beaches of Agonda and Palolem.
And there you have it! A little guide to the very tranquil Galgibaga Beach in South Goa. Have you been? What did you think? Let us know!
For More Goa Travel Planning Guides:
Check out some of these posts to help you continue planning your trip to India:
For More South Goan Beaches
- Goa Beaches Explained: Which Beach is Best For You?
- Patnem Beach
- Agonda Beach
- Morjim Beach
- Ashwem and Mandrem Beach
- Calangute Beach
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