All About the Beautiful Divar Island in Goa | Solo Travel Guide
Do you want to start your Goa trip on a peaceful susegad note? If so, head to the beautiful Divar Island. It is one of the few places in Goa that has not been commercialised.
The first time I explored Divar Island, I was quite surprised after knowing the history of this place. Although it is now a predominantly Catholic neighbourhood, it was once a heavily Hindu-populated area before the epidemic and Portuguese intervention. With such varied influence throughout the ages, Divar Island has become one of Goa’s most sought-after offbeat destinations.
In this blog, I have shared every bit and piece of knowledge I have gathered after my solo venture to the serene Divar Island. You’ll find everything you need to know to plan this island trip, like how to reach, what to do, where to stay, what to eat, etc., here. I hope this travel guide makes it easier for you to travel solo to Divar Island like a pro!
1. Solo travel to Divar Island
From different villages to ruins of the Hindu temples and churches to gripping historical tales, Divar Island is not just limited to one thing. You get to laze around, soak in the greenery, walk through history, be a part of the old charm of Goa, and meet some amazing people. All these make it an ideal atmosphere for solo travel on Divar Island.
2. How to reach Divar Island
Divar Island is only 9 kilometres from Goa’s capital, Panjim. However, no direct road or bridge connects the island to the mainland. To reach Divar Island, you must use the government ferry service. Technically, there are four ferry terminals. Three connect to different parts of Goa, and one connects to the adjacent island.
The ferry runs at regular intervals between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The ferry ride to the island is a blissful 30-minute journey. Furthermore, if you’re riding a bike, you can hop on the ferry with it for free! Isn’t that cool? I can’t tell you how happy I was to learn that I wouldn’t have to pay a dime to get to the island. Only a four-wheeler has to buy a ticket worth Rs.10 to board the ferry. Take a look below to see the ferry timings from all the terminals:
Connects Divar Island to
Piedade/ Goltim terminal
Old Goa – Panjim
Navelim/ St. Pedro terminal
Ribandar – North Goa
Narve – North Goa
3. Places to visit on Divar Island
Divar Island is mainly segregated into three villages– Piedade, Malar, and Naroa. Within the confines of these villages, you will have quite a few things to do or rather places to explore. I have jotted down the list of must-do in Divar Island below:
Our Lady of Piety Church
Our Lady of Piety Church, also known as Our Lady of Compassion, sits at the top of the hill in the Piedade village. Not only that, you will still find the ruins of the Kadamba dynasty to the south of this church.
The location of this church is indeed a bonus! You’ll be able to see the vast vistas of Old Goa from the top. The church also has a lot of space for you to unwind away from the hustle-bustle of the commercialised parts of Goa.
Koti Tirth Tali
This one is for all the history buffs. Koti Tirth Tali will take you back to the 12th century. This site was once the house of the holiest shrine of the Kadamba Dynasty – the Saptakoteshwar temple in the Naroa village. However, it was destroyed twice by Muslim rulers and Portuguese invaders in the 14th century. Therefore, this is now an archaeological site, preserving history in the form of ruins.
This 400-year-old church, located in Malar village, is named after the Apostle of Jesus, Mathias. You will fall in love with the white and blue facades of the architecture. Besides that, what caught my attention was the unique carving on the walls. If you notice carefully, you will find this particular feature in the many churches of Divar Island.
Visit the neighbouring islands.
Another activity that I thoroughly enjoyed during my stay at Divar Island was exploring the neighbouring island. Did you know that Goa has not one but several islands? And of all of them, you can reach two of them directly from Divar Island: Vanxim and Chorao.
If you want to live life like the locals and try your hand at fishing, go to Vanxim. But if you’re a bird lover, you must visit the Salim Bird Sanctuary at Chorao Island by any means. Cruise your way through the Mandovi River and experience the never-explored sight of Goa as I have.
Bicycle tour to wander off into the unknown
Do you love riding a bicycle? Or a two-wheeler? If yes, then we are on the same team. And, without a doubt, I can say from my experience – a Divar Island tour on a bicycle is the best way to get in touch with the culture and heritage of this place. You can explore the old Portuguese houses, prominent temples, hidden gems, and so on. The narrow roads are in good condition to ride your rented vehicle. In case you mess up with directions, ask the locals. They are always more than happy to help the visitors. So be free and feel secure to wander off into the unknown at Divar Island.
4. What is the best time to visit Divar Island?
The monsoon season is ideal for visiting Divar Island. The greenery is at its peak at this time of year. Furthermore, if you enjoy participating in different cultural festivals, you should visit during the two prominent festivals, Bonderam – celebrated in August – and Potekar – celebrated in February.
5. Where to stay at Divar Island
So if you want to stay at Divar Island (highly recommended), there are quite a few options to browse through. If you want to feel the authentic Goan vibe, opt for homestays. Otherwise, few resorts and Airbnb stays are available on the island.
Name of the stay
Price per night
Moradias dos Quadros
Casa Dos Silveiras
Portuguese Styled Villa
Mercure Goa Devaaya Retreat
6. Places to eat on Divar Island
I have to say, Divar Island might not have a lot of places to eat, but what they have don’t compromise on quality and taste. Rock Inn and Dilkhush Restaurant are my top picks to try the delectable Goan cuisine and varieties of feni (a local drink).
7. One-day itinerary
In case you plan a one-day trip from Goa, here’s a brief overview to help you cover all the places to visit on Divar Island.
8. Is Divar Island worth visiting?
Do I have to say that separately? If you’re still reading this blog, by now, you must have understood it is worth every second of your time to visit this wonderland. Simply soak in the simple life of Goan people and attain tranquillity amidst greenery.
Honestly, I am blessed to explore these one-of-a-kind places. The raw and unaltered places like Divar Island must be explored but without vandalising any part of it.
If you’re yet to pack your bags, take a quick look at my 5-days solo travel guide to Goa for a better experience in the tropical state. Until next time, travel responsibly!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.