Diu island, this wasn't even in my travel or bucket list this year. But still happened to be my first trip of this year, and I am so glad of the decision to cover Diu. I was planning something for 26th Jan weekend with my two close friends; After multiple change of plans, Diu was finalized. We read few blogs online, and it seemed promising, but was still not sure as some writers transform boring places to heaven with words. But Diu seriously is a coastal heaven, an underrated one. Most of the people don't even know that Daman & Diu are different places ! (There is a distance of 684 km by road).
Diu is easily connected via roadways in spite of being an island. There is good connectivity from Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Baroda. There are flights as well except on Saturdays, but they are usually expensive. There are no direct trains to Diu from Mumbai.
As we already had booked our tickets to Mount Abu via Ahmedabad ( one of the cancelled plans), we decided to take an overnight bus from Ahmedabad, and return by direct bus to Mumbai from Diu.
The Chill Vibes:
As soon as you get down from the bus, you can feel the chill vibes. Quite literally, as it was very cold and we had only bag full of beach wear ???? but very soon we got acclimatized. We had no plans, hence first we took an auto to hotel from the bus stop. The auto fares are clearly mentioned at the Jethibai Bus Station. The rates will always be around that, hence it is better to keep a copy of it.
First things first, we were fairly impressed by the roads and cleanliness of the island town. Even though had read about the cleanliness, it's always a surprise to see clean, well managed roads in India. Being a Union Territory, the roads are excellent and it's vert safe to ride a scooter here.
The atmosphere is very laid back, more laid back than Goa or Gokarna for that matter. People have breakfast here till around 11 am. Everything is closed in mid-afternoon, people enjoy their afternoon naps. The beaches are serene, almost virgin; There were times when there were only we three girls on beach.
The best part about Diu is it can be covered in a day. The top attractions can be visited and enjoyed in one single day and you won't even feel tired, that's the magic of Diu. One can either rent a scooty for sight seeing or take an auto package. For us, as we were 3 people, taking auto package was a better option.
Diu Fort & Fortress of Pani Kotha:
This was first in our sight-seeing list. Personally, I have an inclination towards forts, partly because of the history attached, and also for the architecture. The Diu Fort, known as 'Prace De Diu' is gives is spectacular view of the sea. If you love Portuguese architecture, you would love exploring the fort. In an opinion poll conducted in Portugal to list the New Seven wonders of Portugal built during their colonial rule, Diu Fort was chosen as one wonder from India. Personally, the structure is quite impressive, and top highlight of the island.
One can see the fortress of Pani Kotha as well from the fort. Pani Kotha was a prison formerly, now features a lighthouse, we couldn't go there by boat, the locals said they have discontinued tourist visits there. We were just amazed that even the jail seems so beautiful. ????
Diu Museum was once a church. The St Thomas Church was converted into a museum in 1992. Photography is not allowed in the museum. It has ancient, antique wooden artifacts from 16th Century. Get lost in peace and history here for sometime.
St. Paul's Church:
St Paul's Church is one of top attraction of Diu. Apparently it is the only functional church till now from the colonial times. This can be considered as a part of the Diu Fort itself as it's almost in the extended area of the fort. This monument of ancient heritage is an architectural and art marvel.
The Naida Caves are not in every tourist's list, but they should be. The Naida Caves are uniquely picturesque with magnificent rock formations. The sunlight filtering through the canyons is a sight to behold. Exploring the Naida Caves was too much fun and we underestimated the beauty and area of the caves initially.
This wasn't even in our sightseeing plan, but we anyway had to cross the beach so asked our auto cum DJ to halt there. A very quaint little beach, with bridges and beautiful benches. A dreamy beach with hardly any humans around. I was tempted to go for a swim, but was warned by our local friend & auto-DJ that it is unsafe to swim there as the sand is very uneven.
From Jalandhar beach, we hopped to Chakratirth. Chakratirth beach is another dreamy place, and can be said as "almost-virgin". One should look out for solitude and the Portuguese vibes here. This is a very picturesque beach with a small Shiva temple on one end of the shore.
Well Nagao Beach is the most commercial beach of Diu, yet very clean and one can find their own perfect spot to chill, enjoy nature and have a swim. We were lucky to find a good spot, with very less humans around. ( such anti-human days ???? ) There's a small hillock from where one can see the beautiful sunset, that was one of the most beautiful sunset of our lives. More than the sunset, maybe the moment made it more memorable and mesmerizing.
The Beach & Chill Life:
You need to soak in the beach and chill life to experience the essence of Diu. Though sightseeing gave us an idea about the history and major attractions, the highlight of the trip will definitely be the beach moments. The next day we decided to just experience the laid back nature, and I am glad we did.
Had read about Apana Foodland on Natgeo Travel blog, and also other reviews hence this was on our list. We started our day with good food, sea view and amazing hospitality. The manager welcomed us and took our pictures as well, without us asking him ???? Apana Foodland is a must try if you are looking for good food with a view.
It was here we concluded that we underestimated Diu. Ghoghla beach is a very serene beach with clean, long stretch of sand and hooka trees all around. With very less people around, this was the best place to swim, relax and forget the world. There are some decent restaurants on the beach, where you can grab some snacks and drinks before getting lost in the tranquility of the beach.
Do the Diu ?
Diu is not in many people's list, as was the case with us. But we loved the place so much that we many plan another trip soon. You should Do the Diu if you are looking for a perfect beach and chill holiday, Portuguese architecture, good food and views. I hope it remains the same always though, maintaining the tranquility and beauty of the place.
Straight From My Heart,
Prakriti Singh (https://prakritisingh.com/)