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9 January 2021

Mesmerizing Islands of Goa

When one hears the name of Goa, the things that come to mind are the beautiful landscape, popular water activities in the huge Arabian Sea, delicious Goan cuisines and of course the golden islands. This tiny pearl of the Orient is divine. There is just too much to explore…

Goa is an enclave of 17 islands, which are extremely attractive for nature lovers and those who like tranquil places with ample natural endowments. In this section, we will explore some of the best islands of North Goa, which cannot be missed and should find the topmost spot in your itinerary.

Ilha Grande Island

Your Goan holiday won’t be complete if you don’t visit Ilha Grande island. It is one of the best islands in Goa for snorkelling and scuba diving. This is one of the most splendid beaches here that are still untouched by the human atrocities. The only way to reach Grand Island Goa is by sailing on a boat. On the beach, you have the opportunity to a sunbathe, swim, play football, volleyball, dart games and many other activities can be availed.

The trip over here should not only be limited to the island to visit, but you should also try various refreshing activities over here like fishing, dolphin sighting, etc. You can live your dream life over here, lazing on the beach chair around the picturesque beaches of the island.

Location: Grand Island, Goa
How to Reach: The best way to reach here is by boat because of its midwater location.
Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing.

Divar Island

This is one of the most beautiful Goa islands located on the Mandovi river and offers a sneak peek of the great history of Goa as it is home to the ruins of Kadamba dynasty. Several beautiful villas are flushed over here that are ideal for a night stay. The island is easy to approach with a ferry ride. There are not too many eating points, so the schedule must be carefully planned. This island is perfect for all those who’re looking to engage in some adrenaline rushing water activities like scuba diving and snorkelling.

Location: Near Mandoli River, Panjim, Goa
How to Reach: You can reach here only by ferry service that runs from Old Goa to the Southern side of this island.
Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving.

Chorão Island

Chorão, also known as Choddnnem or Chodan, is an island along the Mandovi river near Ilhas, Goa It is the largest among other 17 islands of Goa. It is located 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) away from the state capital, the city of Panaji and 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) away from the city of Mapusa. Even today, one can visit this area and see the distinct churches, graveyards and buildings all with a Portuguese air. Chorão is accessible by the ferry from Ribandar, and if you are a wildlife enthusiast, then the visit to Chorão Island can be an ultimate treat for you as it is also the home for the famous Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It attracts around 500 species of beautiful migratory birds, and you can even spot the deadly crocodiles over here.

The rest of the island has colonial villas, Portuguese churches and Hindu Temples.

Location: Near Mandoli River, North Goa
How to Reach: You can take a ferry from Ribandar, and it will easily connect you to Chorão Island.
Things to do: Canoe tour to spot exotic birds and crocodiles.

Vanxim Island

Vanxim or Capão is an island of Goa situated in the Ilhas region. One can reach here by taking a ferry from Divar The colonial name for Vanxim was Capão.

Vanxim Island, situated in the taluka of Tiswadi, is also known as one of the exotic Goa islands of fisher-men. It is a deserted island with Portuguese architecture and lush green surroundings. From beautiful churches to breath-taking cemeteries, there are lots of things to witness here.

It is a tiny island surrounded by lush mangroves on the side. You can also find a church built over here named Church of Santo Cristo. The island breathes of purity and nature.

Location: Capao, taluka Tiswadi, Goa
How to Reach: You can take a ferry from Divar to reach over here.
Things to do: Walking tour of the island, watching the sunset ferries

São Jacinto Island

São Jacinto is an island in the estuary of the Zuari river in Goa. It is one of the few inhabited islands of this tiny state on the west coast of the Indian peninsula and also an exotic island with breath-taking natural beauty. Its southwestern coast is flooded with old houses and a beautiful old church. An old spring is situated in the middle of the island, which is still used by the locals for drinking water. The island is closest to the southern banks of the estuary and is connected to the mainland via a causeway, but the causeway has now been replaced with a bridge with a motor-able road.

The island houses an abandoned lighthouse that is fiercely protected by the islanders. A church dedicated to St. Hyacinth overlooks the waters of the river towards the east.

This island is worth exploring during your trip to Goa.

Location: Panaji Vasco Highway, Panjim, India
How to Reach: You can hire a motorbike or taxi from any location of Goa to reach here
Things to do: Walking tour of the island

Pequeno Island

Pequeno Island is famous for snorkelling and is considered a perfect destination for the snorkelers. For snorkelling, the training and types of equipment are provided by the tour organizers and operators. Also known as the Bat island it is one of the most serene and beautiful Goa islands located close to the Barina beach.

It is one of the most striking islands in Goa where a range of colourful shoals reside. It is an amazing spot for snorkellers and divers and one of the best spot for fishing in entire Goa.

Location: Panaji Vasco Highway, Panjim, India
How to Reach: Hire a boat from Vasco to reach here
Things to do: Snorkelling, diving and fishing.

Conco Island (canacona)

This is one of the most breath-taking Goa islands located in the Canacona region. The Arabian sea surrounds this island, and you can enjoy some adrenaline rushing water sports over here like snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. It is also known as Monkey Island because of the large number of monkeys residing in the forest of the island. You can see some shiny dolphins while taking a boat ride from Palolem beach over here. A quiet and serene place to relax and spent a day, away from the hustles of the city.

Location: Headland Sada, Vasco da Gama, Goa
Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking
How to Reach:  You can take a boat from Vasco da Gama to reach over here

Butterfly Island

When we are discussing the Islands of Goa, we just cannot miss the Butterfly Island. Though the island is in South Goa but is worth mentioning here as Butterfly beach is also popularly known as Honeymoon Beach as a lot of honeymooners and couples come here for a secluded vacation. You can spend your day with your partner by enjoying a picnic with wine. You can also wait for the low tide period to witness wandering Sea urchins, redfish, goldfish, and sea cucumbers here. This is a unique sight that you will not get to explore anywhere else in entire Goa. You can find millions of butterflies dancing and harbouring over this beach.

This is a hidden gem located in South Goa is known for its calmness and tranquillity. The stretch of golden beach sand is surrounded with high rocks, and from the shore, the entire island resembles the shape of the wings of a butterfly.

Location: North of Palolem beach, Goa
Things to do: Canoe riding and Boat riding
How to Reach:  The place can be reached by a cab as well as from small boat ride.

Cumbarjua Island

Cumbarjua, also spelled as Cumbharjua and Kumbharjua, is an island town on the banks of the Mandovi river in Goa. It is situated to the east of Goa’s capital Panjim at a distance of 20 kilometres. The Cumbharjua canal is well known as a habitat of the Indian mugger crocodile.It was a popular fort of the Portuguese king in the 15th century, but now it has become an offbeat destination. It has a very fresh and unexplored environment, and the visitors can go fishing in the alluring backwaters.

Location: East of Panjim, Goa
Things to do: Fishing, Crocodile sighting
How to Reach:  You can take a boat from the Cumbarjua canal to reach here.

Islands of Goa are the gateway for utmost solitude and enjoyment. Be it the exotic yacht parties, or indulging into crazy cruising at São Jacinto Island or observing the deserted structures in Pequeno island or simply adoring the absolute chasteness of the Butterfly Island, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life and the memories, which would be inked forever on the pleasant part of your heart and mind.

It is rightly said, “Memories never fade, Memories are cherished for the rest of life.”

For more information, please visit our website www.visit-goa.com

Category: North Goa
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