South is where THE HEART IS!

Canacona, situated in the extreme southern beach belt of Goa, possesses a rather unique character – one that is in stark contrast with the buzzing and noisier northern part of Goa known for its neon-coloured parties that go on till the wee hours. The Agonda –

Palolem –Patnem belt, though cut-off from the hustle and bustles of life, is a tranquil region frequented by people seeking to spend a quiet yet fulfilling time with themselves or with their loved ones. The area is home to a few distinctive properties that offer interesting places to stay, dine and play at, thereby providing an experience that is anything but ordinary. While a majority of the tourists are busy doing run-of-the-mill touristy stuff in Baga and Calangute, Planet Goa gives you insider access to the paradise that the South is and tells you exactly where to go for your next mini vacation or a mid-week getaway. You’re welcome!

PALOLEM 

may be one of Goa’s small beaches, but it has a big personality. It was perhaps one of the early ones from the extreme southern part of the state to gain popularity internationally of being a surreal piece of paradise, decades before the domestic tourists got a whiff of it.

Known for its crescent shape and swaying palm trees, this curved stretch of white sand dotted with fishing boats is barely a secret anymore but still has far fewer tourists scrambling for their share of sun and sand at the beach as compared with the beaches in North Goa. Thanks to the diverse experiences that it offers to the traveller, Palolem has cemented its position as one of the finest beaches in Goa. Agonda, situated barely about 10 kms away from Palolem, used to be (and to a large extent it still is) one of Goa’s best kept secrets. With its white sand and azure waters, in 2018, Agonda Beach topped the Asia list of the annual Travellers’ Choice awards for beaches, and also featured at number 18 on the top 25 beaches in the world! We can go on and on in its praise but simply put, Agonda is one of the very few virgin beaches in the country that is ideal for spending a quiet time with friends, family, and most importantly, yourself! Patnem, the newest kid on the block to taste global fame, is situated in close proximity with Palolem. What was until a few years ago a quiet little beach stretch known only to the locals in the vicinity, is now a rather busy shore populated by bamboo huts and shacks, and frequented by families and backpackers alike. 

Agonda is our personal preferred place to stay in this belt; one can opt for a beach-hut or one of the many tastefully designed riverfront cottages situated along the estuary at the far end of the beach stretch. The Bay Agonda Goa, a reasonably priced resort located at the extreme right end of the beach and along the estuary, offers a variety of adventure tours including bird-watching, kayaking, and visits to secluded islands and natural pools. Our most favourite recommendation, however, would be the beachfront luxury cottages. Owned and managed by James (UK) and Mick (Australia), Indah Desa is a relatively new property with five luxury beach cottages nestled under the palm trees, and two directly facing the gorgeous expanse of the beach – all featuring open air bathroom and a view of the sky. The cottages are beautiful with rustic touches to it and are ideal for couples looking to spend some romantic time together. The relatively large sit-out area is perfect to leisurely sit and dry yourself after a swim, sipping on a cocktail. A bunch of friendly local boys keep the restaurant buzzing with their casual banter and add to the overall pleasant experience at the property. We have been told the restaurant makes its own bread, pasta and ice- cream on a daily basis. The in-house mixologist too takes his craft seriously and ‘stirs up’ some interesting and unique concoctions. Do not forget to try the Porn Star Martini. It’s wicked!

In terms of things to do in the region, Leopard Valley has some interesting gigs happening on Fridays. The Silent Noise headphone party has resurrected too, after being dormant for a few years. But if raves and loud music is not your scene (we like you already),

Canacona’s breathtaking water bodies make it a perfect playground for kayaking. After securing a kayak from Patnem (Indrakant Pagi at the tiny salon adjacent to Shiva’s Place beach shack is our man), the idea is to access Palolem, via the sea route of course. It is a highly underrated activity that is immensely satisfying, fun and exhilarating. Imagine carefully maneuvering rocks with minimal skills and effort, in the middle of the sea with no humans in sight, with seagulls flying in perfect formation engulfing the overhead sky. It’s breathtaking! Pamper the post-kayaking hunger pangs at Jaali Boutique and Cafe, a cute little garden café in Patnem that serves some delectable Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern fare. We were completely sold on this unique dish – a (crunchy) prawn preparation in tangy tamarind sauce that was oh-so-yummy! 

For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.



Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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