Daman and Diu, tourist destination so undersold that I, almost, feel guilty of not knowing of this offbeat Indian destination before. With beaches that are every solitude lover’s dreams, lush greenery, little crowd, the Portuguese connection, wildlife, museums and a whole lot of activities, Diu has a charm that’s alluring yet never done justice to.
Thus, to pull the cat out of the bag, I landed at Diu and was surprisingly taken aback with the many wonders it has for a traveller. Read further to know the best of things to do and offbeat places at Diu.
Cycling at Diu
The first tip that I have for a fun trip to Diu is to get a bicycle from any of the bicycle rental points here. A 14 km stretch of land by the Arabian Sea, Diu is best explored at a leisurely pace, cycling down the roads that run by the beach side. For just INR 50 a day, it’s perhaps the best mode of transport that you can have to roam around this quaint place.
Visiting the Shell Museum at Diu
A little building in green on your way to Nagoa Beach, the Sea Shell Museum can easily pass for an old, fisherman house. But you cannot drive past it without taking a peek inside, for this quaint building houses one of the most amazing varieties of sea shells. Quite off the tourists’ itinerary, it is a must visit for everyone in love with the sea. The jolly fellow who takes care of the property will show you around, giving you more details on the various types of shells. The only flip side is that visitors are not allowed to take photographs. But then, such beautiful memories get etched in time for ever, right?
Driving by Hoka Plantations
Diu’s roads are classic. Anyone who has ever touched a steering wheel would know what the word classic refers to when it’s used for roads. As smooth as silk, roads at Diu make for some great evenings and scenes like the one in the photograph. Most of the stretches are lined with hoka plantations in Diu putting an artists’ touch to the sidewalks. While some plantation owners will happily take you in for a cup of coffee, scenes like this are not to be missed. An interesting variety of birds often nestle in these plantations to add to the lure.
Leaning more about Portuguese architecture
Apart from the Diu Fort that’s a classic example of Portuguese architecture, the whole town is a museum for anyone who says yay to architecture. Interesting works of art, frescoes, churches, museums, libraries and even the hospital, it’s all Portuguese to the core. A walk in the bylanes will bring you to huge deserted houses that look eerie but at the same time are great specimens of Portuguese school of architecture. Diu is a photographers’ delight, with “Free Art” for its tagline.
Walking down the walkaways
As I said, Diu is a great place to unwind, doing nothing to kill time. If you too have cultivated a similar craving for solitude, leisurely walks at Diu make for the best of all options. While Diu tourism calls these cobbled, beautifully made and well lit walkways as Heritage Walks, I’ll best call them as walking trails. Taking you to some verdant greenery and hoka plantations right from the middle of the town, these walking trails run for some miles. A great way to start your morning at Diu.
Gorging over Portuguese food
Diu is like a nicely kept secret for the lovers of Portuguese food, especially for the non vegetarians. Though the town lacks a huge number of food joints for Portuguese food, the few that it has like Heranca Goesa and O’Coqueiro, are some of the best. Look out for a good meal at O’Coqueiro Music Garden Restaurant at Diu if you are craving for a good spread of Portuguese food. Quaint like most of the town, this place is one of the remaining few joints for Portuguese fare and serves it good too. Also on the menu are some irresistible pancakes and lemon rice.
Parasailing at Ghogla Beach
If the more adventurous of you are thinking that Diu is just a place to laze around and you’ll have to skip all sudden surges of adrenalin, this is for you. Drive off towards Ghogla Beach for some action, as it’s the hub of water sports at Diu. Go for a simple boat ride here or try something more fun like parasailing. For around INR 500 for a minute long ride, it’s a great way to get an aerial view of the Arabian Sea. Don’t miss it!
Turning Columbus at Naida Caves
Again not very famous with tourists, Naida Caves are an explorer’s paradise. A series of caves that look like a classic example of wind erosion, Naida Caves are right on the road opposite Jallandhar Beach. Brilliant rock formations and fascinatingly deserted, these caves find a mention on the Diu tourism guide but are still not touristy. You can easily spend an hour or so exploring the many caves. There are plenty of exit and entry points to the caves to make it fun and more interesting. I, somehow, managed coming out of the caves in the center of a meadow. Beat that if you can?
Bird watching at Diu
Do not forget a pair of binoculars when you leave for Diu. With the quite alluring Bird Watching Tower and an expansive green belt, Diu is a haven for bird watchers. Throw in the green stretches of Vanakbara and the lakeside surroundings near Hare Krishna Mandir, where you have 200 different type of bird species to call it a heyday for ornithologists. You can also set a camp by the lakeside if more serious sessions of bird watching are on your mind.
While Diu has a good number of hotels near the harbour, homestays make for a good experience. All the homestays like Heranca Goesa do only on the spot bookings, and thus, cannot be reserved in advance.
Another popular way of sightseeing at Diu is to hop aboard a Diu Tourism bus which plies quite frequently.
Once you are at Diu, do not skip a visit to Somnath Temple, which is just at a drive of around 2 hours away. Book a car for this visit, as the road to Somnath is in a bad shape and a two wheeler journey is not advisable.
Now, leaving you with this story on the best things to do at Diu, I’ll be off to pack my bags for another trip. Do leave any suggestions, comments and your views in the comments section below. We’ll be happy to get back to you.
Till then, happy travelling.
About the Author
Shikha Gautam loves to play with steering wheels, roads, words, flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order!