Diu was a Portuguese colony from 1539 to 1961, when the Indian government used military action to retake all the Portuguese enclaves. Apart from Diu, also Daman, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were "captured" in this conflict. This area used to be a part of a larger union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu before Goa became a state by itself. Diu is directly administered by Delhi as part of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Diu has fine but not so spectacular beaches, Diu town, some villages and all in all very relaxed atmosphere compared to most of India. Diu is not anything like Goa for example and those expecting to find a similar place on a smaller scale might be disappointed.
Gujarati, Hindi and English are mostly understood and spoken. Some older residents might still speak Portuguese.
Diu lacks a railway station. The nearest junction is at Veraval, 90 km from Diu. A direct train connects Verval to Ahmedabad. The nearest railway station from Diu is Una, which is 12 km from Diu.
State-run buses as well as some private companies serve Diu from Ahmedabad. Trips take around ten hours and both regular and nocturnal sleeper buses exist.
A 20+ hour trip by bus from/or to Mumbai is also possible.
Diu has an underdeveloped road system, leading to traffic jams during rush hours.
Like elsewhere in India, driving is "exciting" in Diu. You find cycles, motor cycles, rickshaws, hand carts, autos, share autos, mini trucks, buses, vestibule buses, and double deckers jostling along. There are long stretches of roads passing through thickly populated areas that have no median breaks, so vehicles, including motorbikes and cars, simply drive on the wrong side of the road. Several modern flyovers now link the arterial roads.
Autorickshaws, rent a bike or a scooter.
The old Portuguese churches and fort, local Hindu temples, the old Portuguese architecture in the town, beaches and sea shore.
- 1 Diu Fort. The Portuguese built the fort in 1535 and maintained an active garrison within it until 1960.
- 2 Pani Kotha (Diu Jail). It is in the middle of the jetty near the main town of Diu, which was in use since the Portuguese times. A sight to see during the night.
- 3 Diu Museum.
- 6 St. Paul's Church.
- 7 Sea Shell Museum. A must visit at Sea shell museum near by airport, you will surprise to see the shells around the world. ticket is just 10/- but worth to pay.
- Zampa Gateway. The main entrance to Diu.
Relax, go sightseeing, explore the island with a motorbike, work on your tan on a beach.
- Drive/Ride/Cycle. Start by visiting the fort (which is located near the island jail). Proceed a few meters in the direction of the jetty, turn left to visit St. Paul's church and Diu museum (a sign post will indicate the left turn). From here, you might want to criss-cross your way through narrow alleys with Portuguese architecture-influenced houses to reach the Diu government hospital (formerly St. Francis of Assis, founded in 1593). Travel further down the road to reach Jalandar beach. A breathtaking view lies stretched on your left, as you get to Gangeshwar Mahadev temple. Now weave through Fudam to get to Malala. The road connects to Bunder road. Turn left and travel about 4 km to reach Nagoa beach. You can turn around and stay on Bunder road to return to the city which is about 8 km away. Or you can back-track your steps and relive the experience.
The city has many beaches which one may choose as per their tastes.
- 1 Jalandhar Beach. A very quiet, least crowded and isolated beach, apt for bathing and sun-bathing. No commercial establishments are insight at the beach, so you might want to carry something, just in case you go hungry!
- 2 Nagoa Beach (Nagao Beach). Most commercial beach, complete with water-sports and lined with restaurants offering variety of seafood.
- 1 Fish Market, Fish Market Rd, Diu. 7AM-2PM.
- 2 New Vegetable and Fish Market (Near the Bus Stand Garden at Diu-Una Rd). 8AM-2PM.
- 3 Vanakbara Fish Market, Jalaram Housing Society, Bunder Rd, Vanakbara.
Fresh seafood, Gujarati food, and standard North and South Indian food are available. Mostly you will get the Non-veg Food over here, but if you are Pure Vegetarian don't get tense, there are some Pure Vegetarian hotel near by Tourism office.
Alcohol is legal in Diu, unlike in neighbouring Gujarat, so a lot of people come to Diu especially for drinking. Indian and foreign beer and spirits are widely available.
- 1 Deepee Bar, Fort Rd, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu 362520, ☏ . 9AM-2PM in Wednesday, 9AM-10PM in Thursday-Tuesday.
Cheap accommodation as well as some mid range hotels are abundant and are mostly located in Diu town. Resorts and the like can be found for example near Nagoa Beach.
- 1 Magico Do Mar (Ghoghla Beach Diu), Ghoghla Beach Diu, ☏ , , . resort on a beach, lots of greenery $50-70.
- 2 The Hoka Island Villa, Nagoa Beach Diu, ☏ . chic boutique budget hotel, probably the best stay and food in Diu $30-50.
Wear a helmet (if you manage to rent one) when riding a motorbike or scooter.
If you have come by road this far than it becomes imperative that you would be looking for few more destinations. Some of them you can plan on your way to Diu and few of them while returning.
- Veraval - Popular for Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple.
- Gir Forest National Park - Only place on earth to have Asiatic Lions.
- Tulsishyam - Drive through forest and Hot water spring.
- Blackbuck National Park - Grassland which has blackbucks and birds.
- Porbandar - Birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Also has a vast wetland which attracts lot of migratory birds in winter.
- Lothal — Well planned Harappan (Indus) Civilization Port.
- Palitana Temple — on Shatrunjaya holy mountain with marble temples and breath-taking views.