An erstwhile Portuguese colony sandwiched between Gujarat and Maharashtra, Diu is a tiny island with gregarious locals who live life by one size – Large.
Gorgeous beaches, narrow roads, blissful breeze and super chilled beer to take all your troubles away. The best part, its not Goa. Not even close. So no loud Chandigarh-boys-on-the-prowl crowd or touristy packed ganja shacks. And no ‘rave parties’. But what I can assure you’ll find, is peace. The kind that is derived from sleeping at 9 pm, cause that’s pretty much when Diu shuts down.
And if you follow my 24 hour Diu itinerary, you won’t really feel the early night pinch. Instead you’ll find your Zen. And some serious sand in your toes. I can’t think of a better free pedicure.
No seriously. You KNOW I’d never advise waking up early on vacay time. But believe me when I say, sunrise over the Diu beach has serious potential to alter your life. Its worth making this memory. Trust me.
Little pools of water on the Nagoa beach are so pleasing, I could watch them all day.
Take off your shoes and head out for a leisurely stroll. Soak in the sunshine and feel the wind in your hair.
This piece of beautiful Portuguese history is a window into the stunning architecture and defense acumen that existed in the 1500s.
The fort offers spectacular views of the town and is littered with cannonballs and several small chapels. Interestingly, one part of the fort also serves as a city jail. My advise would be to avoid stealing those cannonballs, I mean jail’s right next door!
The sheer variety of seafood in Diu is mind boggling. I checked out the local fish market for some fresh-off-the-boat produce and was surprised to find only women sellers.
Each of them had only a limited portion to sell and I was told that the produce usually finished off by mid-day. I picked up fresh prawns and pomfret and got a local shack to prepare spicy fried prawns and fish curry. Lunch is served!
Take a Hike
Its time for a leisurely afternoon walk to digest all the delicious food you’ve been wolfing down. Enjoy the palm shaded narrow roads that line the city while taking in the houses painted in pinks and blues.
Don’t get too lost cause though, cause its time for the best part of the day – dessert. Let me repeat again, Dessert!
I Scream Sundae
Quite naturally, all roads lead to this tiny, family run ice cream parlour called Shri Ram Vijay. Good ol’fashioned handmade treats since 1933. You can expect ice cream, milkshakes and even sodas in seasonal flavours.
Pictured above is guava, mango, tender coconut and pistachio.
Bring out your Indiana Jones
The stunning Naida Caves are an explorer’s dream come true.The caves are believed to be a result of Portuguese hacking rocks for building material during their reign.
The caves have an amazing network of tunnels and steps, not to mention trees growing out of literally every nook and cranny! Just look at the sun streaming in, doesn’t it feel like you’re standing in heaven?
Take a break
Early evenings in Diu are a great time to hit the sea and simply laze around by the beach. I had a refreshing swim and some of the sweetest coconut water I’ve ever tasted. You could also catch a nap. After all, daytime siesta is the real Diu way.
One of the biggest highlights of visiting Diu is the three month long festival called ‘Festa De Diu’ which features music, dance and theater. I managed to catch Benny Dayal at night from a vantage point overlooking the sea. It as my moment of Zen with silver moonlight and a mug of super chilled beer.
Authentic Portuguese Dinner
You simply can’t leave Diu without sampling some good old Portuguese fare. The adorable garden cafe of O’Coqueiro is just the place. Run by a husband-wife duo, the food is made after you order. While there might be some wait, the food is fresh, light and absolutely delicious.
I decided to walk back to my hotel and was joined by revelers enjoying the moonlight night. I couldn’t resist this spicy corn on the cob on my way. Yes, I can eat a lot. And no, there is no such thing as a single dinner.
Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the beach by night. After all, you started your day on the beach and it is only fitting to end it here.
I hope you enjoyed this happy journey to a simple land where being lost is best way to find yourself. xo