Dense mangroves, still waters, sprawling lawns, a clear pool and rustic decor – what more could you want from a holiday in Goa? If the thought of this beckons, then a stay in the quiet village of Olaulim, in Bardez, just might be what you’re looking for.
The little village of Olaulim is located approx 12 km from Panjim, and has just around 100 houses, of which Olaulim Backyards is a popular homestay option. But, this is a homestay with a difference.
Olaulim Backyards is set in a coconut grove with a beautiful view. The brainchild of Savio and Pirkko, it is a homestay with only 3 cabins so as to keep things very personal. Holiday-makers can choose to laze around in the swimming pool or go kayaking, bird watching or cycling.
The Backyard also has a number of resident pets – four dogs (Max, Shibu, Laku and Athena), Mantra the donkey, and Scarlet the pony. Richard Parker, Fluffy and Silke are the cats, while Lilly is the goat.
The property is on the Mandovi backwaters, with amazing views of green fields along the river bank, and the river curving in the distance.
The cottages are rustic and unique in size and decor. Named after local birds – Sun Bird, Horn Bill and Golden Oriole – each can accommodate a different number of people. All rooms overlook the backwaters, and have an enclosed outdoor shower (with just the sky above for company). Cottages are made using ample amounts of local, natural elements such as bamboo, stones, wood and palm leaves, while coconut trees and wild vegetation envelope them on the outside.
FACILITIES AT THE HOMESTAY
The homestay has an open-air dining lounge, as well as puzzles and toys for children. Outdoor activities include kayaking, boating on the river, and bird-watching. Fishing rods are available, and there’s also a bar that’s open round the clock.
There’s no A/C, Wi-Fi or TV, which means that you can truly connect with nature. However, rooms are equipped with a fan, mosquito net, and hot water powered by solar panels. The most interesting feature about each room is the see-through roof, through which you can see the moon and the stars at night. At night, you can also hear the sound of frogs. Every cottage has a seating area outside with lovely views of the river.
An electric kettle, with an assortment of teas and coffee are available. Breakfast includes fresh fruit, local bread, Goan bhaji, homemade jam and eggs.
A little tree-house near the dining area is perfect for bird-watching (several species, including peacocks, hornbills and kingfishers). On the river, one can spot otters and the occasional flying fish.
LOCATION: Olaulim, Bardez
RATES: ₹ 4,000 for single occupancy (includes breakfast and all in-house activities)
FAMILY FRIENDLY: Yes
CONTACT: + 91 9326017731