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.
A chopper fight is available from Daman to Diu from Mon-Sat. Please confirm with Pawan Hans Ltd before planning as the fight may not operate regularly.
- Diu Daman Heliride, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Sat, 9:30AM from Daman, reaches at 10:40AM. ₹2900 (please confirm).
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. 7AM-6PM. The Portuguese built the fort in 1535 and maintained an active garrison within it until 1960. Constructed on cliffs which breaks water and gives fantastic seaview. Every bastion of the fort is named after a saint. There is an old church, a chapel and a lighthouse inside the fort. Free.
- 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 (St Thomas Church). 8AM-10PM, Daily. St Thomas Church was built in 1598 by an order of Bishop D. Aleixo Menezes. Following desecration, it was used an orphanage, old age home, museum, police station and a headquarter of the Angolan Battalion. The church converted into museum in 1992 containing ancient statues, wood carvings, Hindu and Jain idols and temple relics as well as stone inscriptions of the former rulers.
- 4 Naida Caves. Natural caves with beautiful lighting. It has tunnels with rock-cut steps.
- 5 Sea Shell Museum. A must visit at Sea shell museum near by airport, you will surprise to see the shells around the world. ₹10.
- 6 Zampa Gateway. The main entrance to Diu covered in red paint.
- 7 St. Paul's Church. dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. It displays Gothic architecture with large three storey facade. It was built in 1610 by Portuguese. The carved wood panels in church are carved by artists from Goa. It is illuminated at night. Services are held on Sundays and there is a Catholic school on upper floor.
- Makata Lane (near Zampa Gateway). has mansions owned by wealthy Portuguese and Indian merchants of the past featuring different architecture styles from European to local Indian bunglows. The Nagarsheth Haveli has mixed Indo-European architecture. It has three floors with well carved entrance and the balconies.
- 8 INS Khukri Memorial. Memorial park dedicated to the crew of the sunken warship INS Khukri. The frigate was torpedoed by a Pakistani submarine in 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War.
- 9 Gomtimata beach (Vanakbara beach). This virgin beach is located on the western edge of the island in Vanakbara village, about 13 km from Diu. It is the most serene and beautiful beaches of all.
- 10 Gangeshwar Temple. A seafront temple with five Shivalingas washed by the tidal waves.
- 11 Tower of Silence. and 12 Parsi Bangli. A Zoroastrian bunglow and the funerary monument. The monuments are testament to Parsi's residence in Diu before moving to Gujarat.
- 13 Solar Plant. The island is powered by solar energy in day meeting about 25% of its peak demand. To go inside, special permission required.
- 14 Fudam Bird Sanctuary (Behind Diu Police Headquarters). 8AM-6PM. Nice view of creek and mangroves with many birds visible in early morning. Two watchtowers are there.
- 15 St. Francis of Assisi Church (Near St. Paul Church). No entry.. Built in 1593 during the tenure of Portuguese Governor Pero de Naya, it was the Friary of the Franciscans. The church is built on a high platform and has very high tower. The dome of the church is made of stones. The main altar is decorated with large fresco. The church an be seen only from outside.
- 16 Chakratirth Beach (Sunset Point). A small beach near Diu town good for sunset view. INS Khukri Memorial is located nearby.
- 17 Ghoghla Beach. The best and the largest beach of the Diu at the entrance t the island. It has golden sand touched by gentle waves round the year. The huge flat tidal zone provides clean water in safe swimming zone. The beach is developed with all public amenities and recreation facilities for tourists. The water sports and swimming zone with rescue teams are here.
- 18 Khodidhar Beach. Calm beach for sunset view.
- 19 Jumma Masjid.
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. There are plenty Hokka Trees (branching palm trees) along the coastline which has red ball-like fruits used to make a local drink. These trees provides unique canvas for photography. These trees are found in limited locations along the Indian coast and were probably introduced by Portuguese.
- Night stroll. The night market near post office is popular for it. Bars remain open till 9:30PM.
- Evening Cruises. from Bandar Chowk jetty are filled with loud music.
- Water sports at Nagoa Beach and Ghoghla beach. 9:30AM - 1PM, 4PM - 6:30PM. offers various water sports activities such as parasailing, wind surfing, water roller, water zorbing ball, scooba diving, water scooter, banana boating, speed boating, jet skiing etc. October to May is best period for it due to clean waters and open skies. The departments of Port and Tourism operate Ferry Boat rides. Depends on activities.
- 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 all available. You will mostly get non-vegetarian food over here, but if you are pure vegetarian don't worry. There are some hotels serving pure vegetarian food near the 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.
- 1 Tourist Information Centre, Tourism Department, Behind OIDC Housing Complex, Gandhipara, ☏ , email@example.com. has maps and information about the places.
- 2 State Bank of India, ☏ . 10AM-4PM.
- 3 Diu Sub Post Office.
- 4 Ghoghla Post Office.
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 temples — on Shatrunjaya holy mountain with marble temples and breath-taking views.