Off-season {read: Essentially the monsoon}, is when Goa cuts the bandying-about-for-drugs-and-selfies tourists loose, and unwinds with some quiet-time. The city is greener than the grass on the other side, and rife with the smell of rain-riddled earth. It’s absolutely delicious…if you have a taste for that sort of thing.

Don’t Go If

  • You’re looking for a series of happening shacks and clubs to drink at
  • You’re hoping to find a rave, a ‘silent noise’ party, or an Avicii concert
  • You’re hoping to be able to eat/drink on the beach
  • You’re keen on driving around Goa a lot
  • You’re looking for a fun holiday with a group of buddies

Go If

  • Getting away from most people and things is paramount to you
  • You’d prefer an incredibly quiet time over a more ‘active’ holiday
  • You’re okay with eating and drinking at smaller, sweeter places tucked away in nooks and crannies
  • You’ve either no trouble with {or actually enjoy} torrential downpours
  • You’re looking for a relaxing holiday either by yourself, with your SO, or friends who are comfortable in your silence

If you’ve decided it does sound like your jam, then your next step is deciding which part of town to park yourself for a good, solid week {or more, if you have a life that allows for it}. Even deserted-and-rainy has its variants, depending how isolated and solitary you’d like your vacation to be.

If you’d like to be right on the beach, and are willing to compromise on the quality of the place you’re staying at, try…


110816_PalolemBeach-ParikshitRao Visit South Goa During Off-Season, For A Serene Beachy Time

Photo: Parikshit Rao

Palolem, while pulsating with silent-noise parties and uber-cool, hippie-swathed shacks in season, is a pretty different picture altogether when the showers hit. The beach stays functional, but essentially has one-tenth of the people it ordinarily would—it doesn’t however turn into quite as much of a ghost-town as various other south Goa beaches at this time.

You’ll actually find a couple of beach shacks operating despite the downpour, the most reliable one being a shack called Cocktails & Dreams, smack-dab in the middle of the beach. 

If you’re game for eating at a restaurant on the road, try a gorgeous little place called Cheeky Chapati, that seems almost carved out of wood, is always doused in fairy lights, and does miraculous things with blue cheese.

The market in the hood is very stripped-down-to-basics; think all-purpose grocers that stock everything from sun-block to Dairy Milk. For the couple of weeks that you’re here, throw brand-consciousness right out the window, and you’ll survive just fine.

No matter what time of year, you can always stay at a little place called Zappia Cove, run by a jolly man called Eusabio, his family and a little litter of kittens. I’d give you his number, but it changes frequently. It is, however, incredibly visible, so you’ll find it easy-pease.


This one’s for those of you who are keen on being near a biggish beach, and a marketplace where you can shop, and possibly buy things to cook for yourself. So, this area is peppered with darling little quintessentially ‘Goa’ shops, selling you everything from floaty caftans to vindaloo masalas, to rum in tetra packs. The beach is cleaner than you would expect, and definitely one of the larger ones.

A nice little restaurant to try is Goodmann’s, a place on the road that makes a Shephard’s Pie and cheese pakora to die for. However, a lot of the nicer places to stay at aren’t exactly in the vicinity, so I’d say make a day trip out of Colva, but plan your vacation elsewhere.


If you’re okay with being a short walk from a quieter, lonelier {but cleaner} beach, with zero shopping options, try Betalbatim.

The beach itself is incredibly small and simple, purged fully of shacks in the monsoon. You’ll find less human and more canine life on these shores, so if you’re a dog-lover, carry some extra biscuits and settle down for a beach picnic.

It has some great hidden gems of restaurants, though. A small, tucked away joint called Sam’s dishes serves up a butter garlic calamari that you’ll come back for over and over. The nearby Nanu’s Resort has a lovely, poolside restaurant that makes a stroganoff that’ll knock your socks off, and, if you’re good-to-go when it comes to sausages and spice, try the Goan sausage starter. The guards may tell you you can’t eat there if you’re not a guest, but that’s just not true.

And lastly, Martin’s Corner—this one’s pretty famous already {you’ll find a wall that boasts a number of Bolly celebrities that frequent the place on their forays down}. This place is the ultimate go-to for Goan food—definitely try the Pork Vindaloo, the prawn curry, and the rough-textured Goan bread to go with it.

The place I stayed at, a little resort called The Villagio, was a lovely one—cool, lemon walls, a nice pool, and a general very old-Goa feel to it. Also, it looks beautiful when it’s rained on—and that’s important since it’s pretty much 90 per cent downpour at this time.

#LBBTip: The best things to pack are lots of shorts, loose flowy shirts {that don’t get transparent when doused with liberal rainfall}, and hardy slippers that can navigate slippery stone and syrupy mud with equal flair.

Also, make sure you come armed with a good book, good food, and a phone chock-full of videos to deal with any delays at Goa airport.

Featured photo: Parikshit Rao

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