Crowded beaches dotted with beach shacks, rave parties and night markets selling over-priced goods might not be everyone’s idea of having fun. Imagine going to white sandy beaches and spending a night lying under the clear, starry sky. Diu is just the place you should plan your next vacation to. The smallest Indian territory, that lies sandwiched between Maharashtra and Gujarat, is promoting the destination through its campaign ‘Ila de calma’, Portuguese for the ‘Isle of calm’. Both Daman & Diu formed part of the Portuguese possessions in colonial India, along with Goa and retain several aspects of Portuguese culture, lifestyle and architecture, nearly 55 years after their departure. Diu also exudes a certain peacefulness and calm, which most beach places lack in India.
The former Portuguese colony, which wallows under the coast of Kathiawar, Diu is much more laidback than India’s favourite holiday destination, Goa despite having the same colonial rulers. As you stroll around the winding lanes of the island town, you will find strong influence of Portuguese architecture. The massive forts, magnificent cathedrals, and other impressive monuments of Diu exude the subtle old-world charm of its colonial era.
The northern part of the island, facing Gujarat, is mostly a tidal marshland and also has salt pans, while the southern coast alternates between limestone cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches. It is one of the safest places in India to ride a scooty, with minimum traffic and excellent roads. You can zip along the coast with the wind in your hair!
The most beautiful and famous beach of Diu is Nagoa Beach. Famous for its pristine beauty and swaying palm trees, it is an ideal and most recommended place for tourists all over the world. The place has many resorts, where you can have a relaxed stay. The beach is located in the Nagoa hamlet of Bucharwada village and serves an attraction for its Hoka trees, which produces a unique kind of fruit. It is also known for its water sports activities along with camel or pony riding. Another popular beach is the Ghoghla beach. Located in the north of Diu, this beach is rather secluded and is the best place if you want to avoid the crowd. Clean and safe it’s a great spot for those who want to enjoy privacy and at the same time indulge in some water sports like parasailing, surfing and banana boat.
Do take time out to visit the Diu Fort. It is a magnificient structure that occupies a prominent place on every tourist’s list. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after a defence alliance, concluded by the Bahadurshah, Sultan of Gujarat, and the Portuguese when Humayun, the Mughal Emperor undertook war to annex this territory. The lighthouse here is Diu’s highest point, with a beam that spreads over 32 km. The Naida Caves is one of the most underrated tourist attractions of Diu and is a photographer’s paradise. Located outside the Diu fort, the caves have an intricate network of tunnels and huge step-like structures that make the caves a must- visit. The island town also has a number of museums, churches and a few old temples as well.
Pack your bags and get going to this lesser-explored holiday destination!
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