Navigating Diu Islands

Hello Fellow Travellers! Here's our second post on Diu after our Discovers in Diu where we shared our experience of trekking through the Islands on Day 1 of our journey. However, Diu being such a beautiful place, not everything could be covered in a single blog post! Here we share our experiences regarding navigating Diu and a few other aspects as promised in our previous post!. 

How to Reach Diu?

The easiest way to Diu if coming from Ahmedabad is to take the overnight bus from Ahmedabad which departs at around 11:30 pm from the Paldi Bus depot and reaches Diu around 8:30 am in the morning, just in time for a slight early check-in. Most of the buses are non A.C. However a couple of A.C. buses are available for around 500 Rs/person. There are no Volvo options. We highly recommend to choose the sleeper A.C bus for a comfortable ride. Our onward bus was of Patel Tours and Travels. The bus condition wasn't great and one may describe the ride as everything except comfortable. The only good part was that it reached us Diu on time which was a breather!

The return A.C. buses leave Diu at 7.30 pm (Non A.C buses leave at 7:00pm). Our return journey bus operator was  "Shri Jalaram Viral". The bus was highly comfortable and we could hardly feel our journey as we dozed off early after a tiring travel day. The bus also reached us Ahmedabad as early as 5:15 AM. In short, it was an effortlessly comfortable ride.

The roads from Ahmedabad to Diu are quite ordinary and we only hope the highways are upgraded to make this destination even more popular amongst tourists. Alternatively, travellers can choose to Ahmedabad - Somnath - Diu if enough time is on hand, as that route has good roads. This way one can also visit the famous Somnath temple pilgrimage. The distance between Somnath and Diu is around 80 kms and the route may take more than 2 hours.

Nagoa Beach in Diu - The Commercial Tourist Hotspot

Nagoa Beach post sunset
Water Sport activities viewed at a distance at Nagoa Beach

In our last post on Diu we had promised to reveal where we found the majority of tourists flocking in Diu? - The Nagoa Beach! The Nagoa Beach has undoubtedly turned in a commercial beach destination. The moment we reached the beach it reminded us of the famous Calangute beach of Goa. Although the beach itself is not that great - there are green patches in some places and cleanlinesss may well be an issue for some cleanliness-cravings souls - but it is the people and activities that makes this beach quite interesting. There are recreational options like Para-Sailing, banana boat ride, bumpy ride among others. There aren't any great beach bed options but one can find beach shacks to grab a quick bite or to satiate the masala corn taste buds. The nearby beach resorts have converted this otherwise ordinary beach into a great beach party destination. In fact the famous "Festa De Diu" Diu beach festival is located extremely near to this beach. 

As a side note, don't get surprised to find highly inebriated men caressing the beach sand sitting clueless on the beach in shorts with visible lack of clarity in thought and balance! Quite amusing. It speaks volumes of the role played by this Island to quench the thirst for liquor of people from the Dry State (Gujarat)!

A few QuickTips:

1. It is highly suggested to get a scooter on rent to visit Nagoa Beach if one staying at any place near the Diu Bus Stand. (We stayed at Hotel Khushi International - a stone's throw from the bus stand) Enjoy the beautiful and scenic ride from bus stand to Nagoa beach (around 8 kms) where one can even witness the cycle lanes on the sides of the main road. Catch a glimpse of the same in our short Youtube video ( Link: )

2. Laid-back tourists desirous of enjoying a purely relaxing beach holiday can opt to stay at any of the beach resorts either at Nagoa beach or Goghla Beach. However there's a catch. The Goghla beach is not actually on Diu Island. It is a beach on the coast of Gujarat arriving before crossing the Diu beach and reaching Diu Island. However, the Goghla Beach area currently falls under the Diu administration and not Gujarat State although outside the Island which is commoner's term means the nearest beach with no restriction on booze!

3. Don't miss the Naida Caves, The Diu Fort, Diu Museum and Chakratirth Beach. Read our Discoveries in Diu to know more!

Diu Fort - Walk Through the Entrance
Diu Fort Entrance Gate
Diu Random Park
The historic St.Paul's Church Side view
Beach at the Diu Fort

Our Discoveries in Diu

The fact that Diu is a tiny beach island is known to all. The fact that it is a run-for-a-quick-booze destination with Gujaratis, Gujarat being a dry state, is not clandestine. But on our short weekend trip to Diu we discovered some hidden gems, few enchanting secrets and a few historic tales of the forbidden islands which was once a strategic point of contact between the Indian princely states and the Portugese!

It was perplexing to know that Diu became a part of India only in 1961 after 450 years of Portugese rule! In fact India had to conquer the Islands to win it and the Instrument of Surrender was signed on 19th December 1961.

Diu Museum
The key fact here is the 450 years long Portugese Rule! A logical mind will be quick to imagine the extent of cultural transitions in this tiny island over the span of these 450 years. And doesn't this place reflect the same! In fact the extent of Portugalization - if that was even a word! - of this place is mesmerizing. 

St Paul's Church 
St Paul's Church Diu
With a population of just around 40,000 odd, it is a welcome change from the over-populous tourist destinations across India. In fact when we walked down the empty lanes in the interiors of Diu on our weekend winter afternoon, we could hardly trace a walking soul, it almost felt like a sleeping city. It was a walk down the memory lane as if we were walking through generations of history through the centuries-old churches and churches converted to museums and houses of intense Portugese architecture and finally leading to the vacant beaches - Oh! that feeling of sanctity and peace - is priceless! The intricate designs of doors and windows and gates and aisles of independent bungalows take us back to the Roman, Gothic and Neoclassicism architecture. Only an expert in that field may make accurate revelation of the type of architecture so a naive couple like us can only name it as Portugese architecture.

The distinguishing architecture
The beautifully crafted streetlamps 
The deserted lanes on Saturday afternoon
In fact, subtle things like the design of street lamps make this place feel special. We stayed at Hotel Khushi International and spent our first day just trekking through the old Diu city which is still very much inhabited by locals but has a mystic feel of being a secluded city.

After spending a few moments at the Diu Fort and Jallandhar Beach we walked across the several seemingly residential lanes going through the Fort road, and we found St. Paul's Church on one of those lanes. Just a few hundred meters from St. Paul's Church there is a small museum housing statues which are centuries old. The life-like sculptures was enough to give us goosebumps as we were the only spectators in the otherwise empty musuem. All during these times we were like -Is the city dead? Where are all the tourists? 

But we didn't mind what felt like a private Island tour!

Sun, sand, empty roads and coconut trees
Quite colorful homes they were!
Finally we could spot an Autorickshaw just when we were out of the museum, but wait, this guy was in a lot of hurry. A bit of convincing and extra money did the trick and he finally agreed to drop us to our favourite "Naida Caves". The Naida Caves was the best thing to happen that afternoon. We reached there around 4:30 pm and it seemed like walking into a archeological excavation camp and witnessing history first-hand. It was jaw dropping the view the natural beauty of this place through the glitters of sun light gleaming inside through the natural openings of the caves. We couldn't resist but take lots and lots of photographs of the banyans, the caves, the sunrays and us! This place was pure bliss and I instantly felt that the entire trip was worth right on the first afternoon!

The enchanting Naida Caves

It took us some efforts to find another auto back to our hotel because they were far and few. Luckily, by evening we got our scooter-on-rent that we had requested a few shops in the morning. We immediately knew now that we wont be leaving much of Diu unexplored! And only when we started exploring on our two-wheeler we finally got the answer to our question : "Where are all the tourists ?" Find it in our next post! Till then enjoy the captivating photos below. Plus, there are two surprise short videos below too! Cheers! Happy Travelling!

A Few QuickTips: 
1. There are only about 48 licensed two-wheeler vehicles available on rent in Diu. On winter weekends, due to rush it is hard to get hold of one so make sure to make the first effort to book your scooter.
2. One can easily visit Diu Fort, St. Paul's Church, Diu Museum, Jallandhar Beach and Naida caves trekking through the day if your hotel is around Diu fort. So when one does not get access to scooter, don't bother! Keep other places for the next day when there's a scooter available.
3. If you love photography, this place is a paradise - No entrance fees anywhere, no camera fees anywhere, no photography restrictions anywhere!
4. Of course, winter is the best time to visit as the weather is just perfect to roam around the entire day.
The Diu Bridge connecting Gujarat with Diu Island
Visualization of a relaxing holiday!
The secluded beaches
The landscape of the vintage town
Entrance of Diu Fort
Spell-binding landscapes - ample of them!
The intricate artwork takes us two centuries back

The view of Pani Kotha (Sea Fort-Cellular Jail)

Diu QuickTour through Two Short Videos!