Goa over Ibiza anyday.
Cause if Ibiza is an island, we have 17 islands here. Of which we at GoaBL handpicked 5 best ones for when you’re done with the beach-hopping
1. Chorao Island
The largest island in Goa.
Catch the Pomburpa/Ribandar free ferry near Panjim to get here. An idyllic village you can load your vehicles on the ferry and make a cycling day exploring ancient churches, villas, and temples.
Or you can go bird-watching at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, get muddy boots wading through mangroves, water splashing you on the motorboat, blu-jays jeering at your clumsiness. Maybe you’ll spot a crocodile. Go to the Sanctuary in the morning or you’ll see no birds. Afterwards eat sausage biryani at Lafayette’s bar and restaurant.
2. Divar Island
The Goa that time forgot.
With it’s single lane roads, smattering of quaint buildings, hidden caves, paddy fields and wide banyan trees, Divar Island is a sleepy, pretty place.Roam Piedade village, see the Our Lady of Compassion Church, and ruins of Hindu temples with wall carvings. Take another ferry to the sacred temple of Saptkoteshwar in the Bicholim taluka.
Go to Divar in August to see Bonderam, the colourful festival of flags,or before Ash Wednesday to see Potekar, a sort of Goan Halloween.
3. Grand Island
Water babies ahoy!
Scuba diver paradise, here you see people diving off sunken British vessels such as Suzy’s Wreck and Davy Jones Locker or the Umma Gumma Reef or Bounty Bay, into waters that conceal hidden treasures, shipwreck remains, sea cucumbers and dolphins. Instructors available for the beginners. Snorkelling, fishing, diving, thrillin’. Also there’s barbecue at monkey beach.
4. Estevam Island
Also called Ilha de Jua or the Island of vegetables, the lady fingers of St.Estevam are a famed delicacy. The villagers here are the richest in Goa and the secret to that could perhaps lie within their peculiar age-old tradition of marrying only within the village. The fort here is a majestic stairway-ed structure from the top of which you can see barges floating on the Mandovi river and iron ores.
5. Jacinto Island
The most exotic place in South Goa.
This one’s a green mound in the sea, with the usual charm of Goan architecture. What’s unique here though is the hidden uphill trail to an abandoned church in front of which lies a barren football field.
Move inwards and you see a run down light-house keeper’s house and a lighthouse with a rusty ladder at the top of which there’s a 360 degree view of all of Goa. The bridge to Sao Jacinto lights up beautifully at night with yellow lap-posts reflecting off the sea. Do eat seafood at Sheela’s after!