Galgibag Beach

Galgibag Beach Guide (2021) : A hidden Treasure of South Goa

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Quick Facts About Galgibaga Beach

  • The beach is located around 84 kilometers away from Panaji.
  • It is famous for conserving and protecting turtles.
  • Galgibaga Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in India
  • If you want to witness turtle nesting season, make sure to go between January and February. 

About Galgibag Beach in Goa

Galgibaga Beach is one of the cleanest beaches in Goa with silver sands and lush green backdrop. It is dotted with palm trees and connected to a river at one end, making it a beautiful landscape. A beguiling, untainted sea shore in South Goa, Galgibag is often considered to be one of the most beautiful and relatively unspoiled beaches in India.

Aerial view of Galgibaga

The vibrant colors of the lush vegetation on Galgibaga Beach in Goa are breathtaking. The coastline is about a kilometer long and curves around to form a natural swimming spot with views overlooking the Arabian Sea! At night you can see stars shining brightly overhead as there’s no light pollution close by like some other beaches have these days.

Besides, Galgibaga Beach is also one of the few places in Goa where you can spot the endangered Olive Ridley turtles nests. Presence of these species make the area ecologically sensitive, and as a result, the authorities safeguard the beach. In fact to ensure the undisturbed nesting of these sea turtles, and to locate and save the baby turtles, the State Government have taken many effective steps. Unlike some popular beaches in North Goa, Galgibaga stays relatively remote even during the season time. Less tourist footfall makes this place a tranquil retreat for peace-seekers and turtles alike.

Sea Turtles at Galgibag Beach

Green turtles and olive ridleys are known to nest in Goa and Maharashtra in small numbers. Goa has reported records of three species of sea turtles: olive riddles, leatherbacks and green turtles. Galgibag is one of the few places in India where these species have found a favorable habitat for breeding.

The beaches of Goa are prime tourist destinations and are usually highly populated. The tourist season lasts from October to May, which coincides with the sea turtle nesting season.  According to seaturtlesofindia.org, researchers gathered data from local communities, fisher folks, trawler owners, fisheries and forest department personnel to identify the nesting behavior of sea turtles.  Based on information received from over 60 localities along the five coastal districts of Goa and Maharashtra, there are confirmed reports of the nesting of olive riddleys, green turtles, leatherbacks and hawksbills on the shores. The olive ridley is the most common species among all, and Galgibag happens to be a frequent hatching ground for the eggs.

Apart from the undisturbed beaches of Galgibagh, sightings for Olive Ridley are commonly reported by trawler-workers along the Maharashtra coastline, who say that the turtles are found near rocky areas where they feed on algae. According to some fisher folks, these turtles are sometimes caught in traditional nets like rampan and gills.

Poaching of Turtle Eggs and conservation efforts at Galgibag Beach

Poaching of eggs of Olive Ridley is a major problem in all the localities surveyed in the non-protected beaches of Goa. In areas where large numbers of turtles once nested, people moved in groups along the beach to collect the eggs at dawn. A tradition in some localities in Maharashtra spoke of leaving five eggs in each nest after the collection of eggs, but this tradition has now changed (only one egg is kept in the nest), and in some places it has completely died out. While most sea turtles are immediately released if caught in fishing nets, some fish-landing sites, live turtles are sold for Rs 200 to 500 bucks each, depending on their size.  In Goa, several fisher folks have stated that sea turtles were killed for their meat. In some places, there were even reports of nesting turtles being killed.

Incidental catch in fishing nets is a major threat to sea turtles like Olive Ridleys. According to information obtained from locals in different areas, on average five turtles are caught in fishing nets, per trawler per year. The turtles caught accidentally in in some places are said to be either consumed as food or sold.

Around two or three dead turtles are reported every year in all the localities visited, most of which are likely to have died as incidental catch. In Goa, incidental catch in fishing nets poses a great risk for the turtles. In two months, the fishing nets of four trawlers trapped six turtles. During the surveys, dead turtles or their carapaces were encountered at various sites. While interacting with the trawler owners during the surveys, the researchers found that very few are interested in using turtle excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets. Due to such hazards, nesting of turtles has not been seen for a line at most sites in Goa. Late-night parties on the beach affect nesting, as loud music and glaring lights scare away the turtles. The lack of such disturbances at Galgiabag has been the prime reason why the turtles come here. Recently an effort was made by the electricity department to illuminate the road near the beach in Morjim, which is a protected olive ridley nesting site but was not carried through, due to strong opposition by conservationists. It is fortunate thing that Galgibag has protection from government, and let us hope that it stays protected.

Signboards at Galgibag Beach

  • Galgibag beach
  • GALGIBAG BEACH
  • Galgibag Beach
  • Galgibag beach
  • Galgibag Beach

How to Reach Galgibag Beach

The easiest way to reach Galgibag Beach is by driving along the NH17 highway. However, there are other options for those who prefer a more challenging route like crossing the small river bridge.

After you pass Chaudi Market in Cancona District, turn right down a parallel road in few kilometers. There is railroad crossing here and once passed it keep left to find Talpona River – which can be difficult as there are no markings. The bridge with log access that will take you over to the other side of river was built by locals who have been helpful up until now so ask them for help!

You can cross Galgibaga River also on a ferryboat, but avoid doing this during the monsoon season as the seas can get rough.

Things To Do at Galgibag Beach

Galgibaga Beach  offers an enchanting sight for visitors who come here in search of tranquility and beautiful landscapes. If you want to explore the hidden, pristine beaches of Old Goa, this is definitely the best place to consider. You can spend a day by the seaside and experience the joy of walking along the silver shores. The tranquility of the beach attracts many people for its solitude. One can take a long walk on the shore, go out to sea in a ferry boat, and enjoy scenic sunsets and sunrises from every angle, as you walk on the shores with your toes kneading the mushy sand beneath.

Since Galgibag Beach remains less crowded, it offers perfect opportunity to enjoy a holiday with your partner or friends. You can also visit this place as a solo traveler.

There is a parking area at the entrance where you can park your four wheeler or two wheeler and head out to the beach. The stretch of the coastline is pretty big and it is not very wise to walk the entire stretch on your own during monsoon. Also the since place is a habitat for Olive Ridley turtles, the wildlife department has declared some areas as protected. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to see any turtles. All I could find was plenty of sign boards with interesting infographics describing the life of turtles in great detail. 

Perhaps if you are a turtle enthusiast you will enjoy browsing through the boards and reading interesting information about how these turtles nest. If you visit Galgibag during the nesting season you are likely to spot turtle eggs and baby turtles making their way to the sea. One of the reason why this beach is very remote is because the wildlife conservation department considers this place to be ecologically sensitive. There are certainly some rules that you need to follow when you are heading out to see the turtles. There is a tourist information center which gets operational during season time to help you understand the turtle seeing guidelines in detail.

Best time to Visit Galgibaga Beach

 While you can visit the Galgibaga Beach anytime of the year, it is more favorable to come here during the months between December and February. It is because if you are lucky, you get to see the nests or eggs of the turtles, and even adult turtles crossing their way along the shores. I have visited Galgibag beach during the monsoon and had quite a different experience. I did not spot any turtles but the landscapes were breathtaking!

Watersports at Galgibaga Beach

If you are looking for a beach to enjoy water sports, Galgibaga Beach is not your best bet. However, if you’re in Goa and want something unique to do on the beach besides swimming or sunbathing, then there are many places here to satisfy your craving for adventure! Goa is becoming popular for watersports, and the number of people who come here to try watersports has risen significantly since the tourism authorities started promoting it. But let us hope that Galgibag Beach remains the way it is. We should let the turtles have fun !

Nightlife at Galgibaga Beach

A quiet stretch of sand, Galgibaga Beach manages to be the best place for people looking to escape from their daily noise. It’s also a great choice for those who want an intimate experience with nature as it is home to some rare and endangered turtle. The serene surroundings make this beach one that offers peace; but there isn’t much nightlife around here! But don’t worry if you’re on your own, because at Galgibaga Beach you’ll find unique experiences and a chance to meet fellow nature enthusiasts like yourself.

Shacks at Galgibag Beach 

The offbeat and secluded beach is a hidden gem, with some of the most mouthwatering seafood you’ll find in India. It doesn’t have many resorts or lodging options but there are one or two restaurants that serve delicious curries to go along with your meal. The beach shacks are closed during the monsoon due to cyclone.

Things to Carry at Galgibaga Beach 

You can carry swimsuit and flip flops, towel, an extra pair of clothes, sunscreen and hat. Also bring cash so you can buy food as there are only two restaurants on the beach and they may not accept online payment! Pack some snacks too in case you get hungry while out exploring.

My experience at Galgibag Beach

I have visited South Goa countless times, but never really thought about visiting Galgibaga beach. But then one day, I had an intense urge to explore some of the unknown beaches of Goa. Galgibag Beach seemed like a good start. Interestingly enough, I visited Galgibag beach during covid times. They had just lifted the lockdown restrictions in Goa, and I was feeling like a free bird. So I took my scooter one fine day and headed to the so-called turtle paradise. 

Imagine the thrill of visiting a remote beach during unordinary times. Not only was there a lockdown hangover, but it also happen to be the monsoon season. I remember my journey when I was driving in heavy rain. All I had with me was a raincoat, and the thrilling part was that I did not know the directions. This was the first time I was visiting Galgibag and I was on my own. The next time I did take my friends there and the experience was a little different but I will keep that story for some other blog post. : )

So here I was completely alone, partially drenched, and without a map, ready to explore a beach very few people know about in the tourist circle. I was at the mercy of my intuition and the directions provided by the locals. I had to stop multiple times to ask for directions, and I am sure people must be thinking what craziness is that. Who would visit such a remote beach when it is raining heavily. But taking the directions from the helpful locals and following my intuition, I finally reached Galgibag Beach

It looked like a pretty normal beach at first. It was nothing like the 3D drone videos that I saw on YouTube about this place. Probably because I visited in monsoon, the place did not look that vibrant. But again beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Isn’t it? I did find the place very beautiful. The dark clouds above the hills in distance made the entire landscape look surreal. There were hardly any people in view and it looked quite remote. 

Closing Remarks on Galgibag Beach

I would definitely love to visit this place during season time as well. And I am sure it will look very different from what I saw it as during the monsoon. If you have ever been near a beach during monsoons, you know what I am talking about . Monsoons are not very beach friendly. The water has some really dangerous undercurrents and it is not advisable for inexperienced swimmers to venture out in the sea. I have seen beaches of Goa during peak monsoon. It is a very scary experience. The cyclonic winds batters the sea water frenziedly, creating angry waves. You will find uprooted trees and a heap of debris scattered on the beach. These debris consists of fishing nets, plastics, and glass bottles. There is also a lot of sea grasses, leaves and twigs all mixed up together. It’s an ugly mess. One great thing that I saw in Goa was that there’s always people employed to keep the beaches clean. But that is not an excuse to litter the beautiful beaches. : ) Monsoon is a time when the sea rejuvenates by cleaning itself naturally, tossing out the debris and laying it on the shores. 

I found Galgibaga beach relatively clean but still you will find debris in some spots. Debris is everywhere. Where there is a human, there is a debris. : (

I hope you enjoyed reading my experiences of visiting Galgibag beach in monsoon, and found the information on this page helpful. This is definitely a place that you should visit. Season time is a better option because the beaches look more vibrant and the ocean looks blue. Also during season time you have more options of accommodation nearby and also more restaurants open. This is not to say that you should never visit Galgibag beach during monsoon. But if you do, kindly ensure to check the weather report before heading out to such remote areas. I have heard that cyclones are frequent and unpredictable in such places during monsoon. Last but not the least, it’s very important to respect the decorum of this unspoiled paradise. It is your duty to respect the habitat of olive ridley turtles. Avoid littering the place with human waste and encourage others to follow the same. 🙂

Places to stay near Galgibag Beach

Palolem is a good option to stay near Galgibag beach. Some of the resorts here are open through out the year. Check out the deals below from Booking.com if you are planning to visit South Goa.

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Attributions

https://www.seaturtlesofindia.org/
http://irgu.unigoa.ac.in/drs/handle/unigoa/5320
https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g816969-d4138937-Reviews-Galgibaga_Beach-Agonda_South_Goa_District_Goa.html

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Dream holiday destination for your next Dream Vacation

India is a beautiful country. Endowed with mighty mountains, deserts, valleys, beaches, jungles, and every other type of landscape you can think of, India truly delights the senses of travelers. If you are planning a dream vacation in India, below are some great recommendations.

Dream Vacation #1: Goa

Goa offers a great opportunity to unwind from a busy life that we are all trapped in. The place can be visited during any time of the year, although it is much popular during the season time, which starts from October and lasts until march. December to Feb is particular sought after months when the sun is balmy and the beaches are filled with visitors from around the world. Prices can be quite high during this time, so make sure to book in advance.

Best for solo, couple or family travelers, backpackers, flashpackers, and honeymoon goers.

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Photo by Kishlay Singh

Also Check out Top 100 Places to visit in India

Dream Vacation #2: Andaman

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Ah, the Andamans ! It is truly a gem in the Ritchie Archipelago. A perfect destination for your dream vacation, Andamans offer picturesque beaches, lush forests, and exotic culture to fill your senses with wonder. The place is relatively remote, and some of the islands of the Andaman Group either need permit or are not accessible. One of the island called sentinel Island is the home for the Sentinelese – hunter gatherer tribe that still remains uncontacted and shoots arrows at everything that approaches them. While sentinel island is not a dream vacation spot, you can definitely visit places like Havelock, Neil, Port Blair, and more. You will likely face internet connectivity issues in many places so be prepared for it.

Dream Vacation #3: Himachal

Himachal Pradesh is located in the Indian Himalayas. If you are not familiar with Himalayas, here is a brief description. Himalayas are young fold mountains that were formed through continental collision processes. They spread across multiple countries and the highest peak is called Mount Everest in Nepal. Because of the wide expanse, horizontally and vertically, you can find a wide variety of terrains in Himachal . Lush green foothills, barren highlands, conifer forests, and peaks covered permanently with snow, there are countless places to give you a adrenaline rush. It is always advisable to start your journey at relatively low altitude places like Shimla or Manali and get acclimatized for a day or two before visiting the high mountains. Also, if you are planning to visit remote Himalayan areas, always consult your doctor and get a health report. Some of these places can feel quite hostile to urban dwellers who are habituated (handicapped) to the comfort of city life. Lack of oxygen is a real concern at higher altitude. Been there. : )

dream holiday destination at himachal

Dream Vacation #4: Laddakh

Laddakh has been though a lot ! Recently, it got a separate identity as a union territory after the Indian government passes some laws to bolster national security. Reason? well, it shares borders with China, and if you share borders with China, you know things are a bit intense. But don’t worry because Laddakh, despite entangled in a border dispute, is still a great place for vacation. Avoid the areas that says “Trespassers will be shot dead”.

Dream Vacation #5: Meghalaya

Of the best places I have ever visited is Meghalaya. It is located in the north east India, and is popular for its lush green landscapes. There are countless trekking destinations here, some of the most popular ones being the living root bridge trek.

If you want some real jungle adventure, I recommend visiting Sohra (earlier known as cherapunjii). This place was once known for being the wettest place on earth, but now that that title is held by Mawsynram, which is also in Meghalaya. By the way, do you know Meghalaya literally means “abode of clouds”? Couldn’t be a better name for a place that receives the most intense rainfall spell in the country.

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Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. India is a vast country and it cannot be summed up in a blog post. The above recommendations are based on my own personal experience of visiting these places. And I am not ashamed to admit that there are countless other places in India that I have not visited yet, and they score equally well as dream destinations. If you are interested in learning more about places to visit in India, below is a good kindle book. The preview is free, but if you like the book and decide to make a purchase on Amazon, I will earn some pennies as commission for doing the hard work of selecting and displaying it for you (sorry !).

Palolem Beach Resort picture

Beach facing resorts in Palolem goa: Cuba Palolem beach resort review

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South Goa has some of the most spectacular beach facing resorts in India, and Cuba Palolem beach resort always comes at the top of a visitor’s list.

The Beach

Palolem Beach is about a mile (about 1.61 km) long, crescent-shaped beach with white sand with jutting rocks on both ends, overlooking the blue bay between two estuaries.  The depth of the sea increases gradually and is shallowest at the northernmost end which makes it safe for casual swimmers. The currents are not very strong here.

There are beautiful beach huts and cottages in Palolem, most of which are given the permission to operate only during the season time. But if you are looking for an all season operating resort just by the beach, the options are plenty. One of the popular choices among tourists is Cuba Palolem Beach Resort.

How to reach Cuba Palolem Beach Resort ?

Palolem Beach Resort is 3 km from the Canacona train station. You can hire taxis to reach here easily. For a more affordable option, there are regular buses from Margao to Palolem. If you are a solo traveller with a light backpack, you can even consider hiring a bike taxi. They usually charge less than the regular taxis, but make sure to shop around for the best quote. Especially if you are not an Indian, you will likely be presented with a price 20 to 500  times more than the regular fare. So be careful and be bold enough to bargain for a good price. (Haggling is a common practice in India)

About Cuba Palolem Beach Resort

Palolem Beach resort is located on the outskirts of the Palolem beach, and offer a variety of accommodations. They have fully air-conditioned seafront cottages, fully air-conditioned garden view cottages, non a/c concrete rooms, and family Rooms. There is a rooftop setting which offers a mesmerizing view of sea and the lush green gardens around the property. I really appreciate the efforts they have put into maintaining that. There is an in-house bar that serves its Happy Hour and has wide assortment of drinks. The resort offers facilities such as hot water, room service, generator backup, laundry service, car parking, on-site Ayurvedic spa and complimentary Continental Breakfast.

My Experience at Cuba Palolem Beach Resort

beach facing resorts in palolem goa

I stayed at Palolem beach resort during monsoon. It was a time when only vaccinated tourists were allowed in the state. Overall, my stay was pleasant. The only thing that I did not like about the Palolem Beach Resort is the behavior of some the staffs employed at the property. They lacked hospitality skills and professionalism.

There was a partial lockdown in Goa during that time and the in-house restaurant was not operational. One of the staff gave me a phone number of a restaurant called Sai Family Restaurant from where I could order food. The menu was overpriced, the food tasted average, and they did not give me a GST invoice! Also, they charged 45 bucks extra for not paying in cash ! That’s criminal, and I think Cuba Palolem Beach Resort should not associate themselves with such tax evading establishments.

On yet another occasion, I booked Cuba Palolem Beach Resort again though an online website. Even though they had the option of checking in online (which I did), yet I had to spend a long time at the reception to complete the check-in process offline. I had also requested early check-in but they did not entertain my request even though it was pandemic time and most of the cottages were empty. There are some resorts in Palolem that are more humane in such matters, but every place has its pros and cons. I wouldn’t ask you not to book Cuba Palolem Beach Resort when you are here just because they denied me early check-in. But definitely, look around for good deals from other hotels as well.

The bottom line is that Palolem Beach Resort is a good choice if you are looking for a calm stay amidst gardens and close access to beach. You might find some of the staff unprofessional, and it could be because many of them are ignorant of what good hospitality is (they are not trained professionals). But that definitely is not a reason for not visiting this place. Amidst few shortcomings, you will also find a plenty of things to appreciate. 🙂

Palolem beach shacks booking

Booking.com

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Skin complexion and sunscreen

According to American Academy of Dermatology, one should wear sunscreen regardless of their skin tone. It is said that dark skin people are naturally protected by sun due to excess melanin in their skin, but there isn’t too much data on this. Sunscreen is especially important for Indian skin tones because uneven exposure to Sun rays can lead to unsightly tan lines that are difficult to get rid of. Sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancer for all skin types and skin complexion.

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