By Marlon Moraes
The next time your friend calls you up to say, “Let’s go to Goa for a holiday”, and you hesitate whether to say yes or no because of the tight budget you are on. Think again! We bring to you a decent and affordable holiday itinerary for your next visit to Goa.
North v/s. South?
The reason why I would recommend you to stay in South Goa is due to the commercialization in the North, the prices of things like stay, food and travel are relatively higher as compared to South. Also the fact that the beaches along the south coastline receive a lesser amount of tourists, will give you the peace you need when you come on a holiday. The sandy delights of the south are known for their picturesque views and serene beauty, offering you a holiday to remember. Mind you a day trip to the North is definitely worth the effort.
Get off at the Canacona railway station. From there proceed towards the exit and you will find auto-rickshaws lined up. Catch an auto and ask him to drop you off at Palolem beach. Incidentally, Palolem was voted the 8th best beach in Asia last year, according to a survey. The auto ride will be approximately 10 minutes and would cost you anything between RS. 30-50, depending on the driver or your bargaining power.
Where to stay?
After getting off the ride, walk directly on to the beach. From there on you will find 500+ beach huts waiting for you to come and stay. Most of the beach huts possess basic facilities like a bathroom, bed, fan, etc. So there is definitely no need to hesitate or think twice about staying in one. The cottages will cost you anywhere between Rs. 300-500, however if you’re lucky enough or determined enough you will find cheaper cottages with the same facilities. Although this isn’t guaranteed, it’s worth a shot if you want to save an extra Rs. 100 per night. The cottages are a 1 to 5 minute walk from the shore.
Where to eat?
Once you’ve settled yourself in, it will soon be approaching lunch time. Do not get tempted by the delicacies or restaurants by the beach, as you will generally be paying a high amount. You can get similar food if you just take a walk outside.
You should find a good fish thali for about Rs. 60-90, not too far away from the beach. There are also food stalls in the parking area which serve fried rice and other stuff which will hardly cost you about Rs.70. There are plenty of fresh fruit vendors around the beach in case you want the munchies in between.
What to do?
Swimming in Palolem is an awesome experience, as the serene blue waters makes swimming in the sea totally different.The best way to enjoy your experience in Palolem, is to stack all your belongings in the room and go on and rent a kayak. This way you can watch the magical sunset as the sun melts into the ocean.
Later, after a long tiring day, grab a few drinks from a local wine store, come by the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves and the lighting of lanterns all over.
If you plan on renting a scooter it will cost you around Rs. 200 a day, without petrol of course. If you intend on exploring a few other places, neighbouring beaches such as Agonda, Cola, Columb, Patnem are few places you shouldn’t miss out on.
So stop reading, start packing your bags and catch the next train to Goa!