My Ultimate Solo Travel Guide to Chorao Island in Goa

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Did you know Goa is home to 17 islands? Surprising, isn’t it? Well, I, too, was surprised when I first learned about these mini clusters of land on the Konkani coastline. Away from the jam-packed beaches in Goa, these islands are like a mini world on their own. Of all the islands, Chorao Island is the largest and stands out the most (for all the right reasons)!

Chorao Island in North Goa, or the “Island of Noblemen” (as called by the Portuguese nobility), will provide insight into the true susegad way of life. The island is home to one of Goa’s six wildlife sanctuaries, temples, churches, and Old Portuguese houses. But, aside from all of this, do you know what will catch your eye first? It is the uncomplicated existence of Portuguese and Brahmin culture.

To know all the offbeat/hidden locations in North Goa, check out my article, Exploring North Goa on Solo Travel Journey.

For these reasons, Chorao Island has been on my bucket list for quite some time. And finally, on my most recent solo trip to Goa, I had the opportunity to explore the island. As a result of my experience, I’ve decided to share my ultimate solo travel guide to Chorao Island in this blog. So if you’re willing to discover this vintage and lesser-known part of Goa, continue reading this blog.

How to reach Chorao Island

Chorao Island is located at a distance of 5 kilometres from the capital city, Panjim. To start a solo venture on Chorao Island, you must first reach the place. And the preferred way to reach the island is via ferry rides from Ribandar. The 20-minute ferry ride is one of the most enjoyable Mandovi River experiences. I enjoyed every minute of it, and the icing on the cake was that it was free. When travelling in a four-wheeler, you will only have to pay (Rs.10).

Another ferry terminal connects Chorao Island and Pomburpa. If you enjoy road trips, you can rent a car and drive through the breathtaking road that connects Mapusa to the island.

Name

Timings

Ribandar ferry jetty

06.00 AM to 02.00 AM

Pomburpa jetty

06.00 AM to 12.00 AM

Six things to do at Chorao Island

This tiny little island is diverse and full of stories to tell. Whether a history buff or a nature lover, you’ll want to explore it all.

Shree Devki Krishna Temple

This temple was one of the earliest built by the Saraswat Brahmins. It is also the only temple where people worship Lord Krishna and his mother, Devki. Be all ears when your guide narrates the stories that surround this establishment. 

Although it is open all year (9 am to 10 pm), the best time to visit this temple is from October to April. If you enjoy cultural festivals as much as I do, go to the temple between January and February. Malani Purnima, the island’s major festival, is celebrated with great zeal during this time.

A trip to Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

This is, without a doubt, the highlight of Chorao Island. A tour of the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, located on the island’s western tip, is a must-see on Chorao Island. Many people learn about this island after visiting the sanctuary. The sanctuary has a total area of 1.8 square kilometres and is home to over 400 bird species. Isn’t this every ornithologist’s fantasy?

You can explore the sanctuary on foot or on a bicycle. But make sure to stay quiet to spot rare species. Besides exploring the sanctuary, you can also hike to Christ Hill. It is one of my favourite places to catch a sunset from.

So, if you’re planning to visit this sanctuary, do not forget to take permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department at Panjim.

Entry Fee

Indians

Rs.10

Foreigners

Rs.100

Still Camera

Rs.25

Video Camera

Rs.150

Boat ride through the densely packed mangroves of the Mandovi River

How about a relaxing cruise amidst nature? Ah, the boat ride through the densely packed mangroves of the Mandovi River cannot be justified in words. All I can say is I am glad I did not skip it.!

You can sit on the canoe in silence and immerse yourself in nature. This one-hour boat ride will alleviate all of your fatigue.

Bartholomew’s Church

Do you love to spend time in silence? If yes, visit St. Bartholomew’s Church on Chorao Island. The baroque architectural style of this church takes you back to the 16th century. What strikes me the most is the church’s façade and location. It lets you be on your own! 

On August 24, a feast is held at the church every year. So, if this date coincides with your vacation schedule, don’t pass up the chance to fill your stomach with delicious and hearty meals!

Chapel of St. Jerome

This Roman Catholic chapel is located on Madel’s hilltop. It is a branch of the renowned Chorao Seminary. Unfortunately, it was abandoned during the epidemic. However, the chapel has been resurrected, and the Archaeological Survey of India has designated it as a state-protected site.

Feni and Urrack tasting

Now, let’s get to the exciting part of this island. Feni (a fermented drink made from cashew apples) and Urrack (a cousin of Feni) tasting have to be the best thing to do on Chorao Island. If you speak with your guide before, he can show you the entire process of making this fruity alcoholic drink. I enjoyed tasting the classic Urrack cocktail more than Feni because of its taste!

Where to eat at Chorao Island

chorao island in goa

Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can indulge yourself in a lip-smacking meal at everyone’s favourite Lafayette on Chorao Island. It remains open from 11 am to 11 pm except on Sundays (10 am – 1:30 pm and 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm). 

Accommodations at Chorao Island

Name

Price for a night (approx.)

Seclude Falling Cashews

Rs.6000 ($75)

The Island Pool Villa

Rs.15000 ($188)

The Island Sanctuary

Rs.5000 ($62)

Is solo female travel to Chorao Island safe?

Whenever we travel to an unknown land, safety remains our first concern (sadly). Chorao Island in Goa is certainly not where you must worry about your safety. The people of this picturesque village greet all visitors with such warmth that you’ll quickly become one of them. You’re good to go if you keep the basic safety tips in mind. 

Is Chorao Island in Goa worth visiting?

Honestly, you might think I’m exaggerating the island’s beauty and aura, but that’s not the case. And you will only realise this after visiting Chorao Island. Chorao Island is slowly becoming popular among tourists. So, without further ado, book a Chorao Island tour. It will be well worth your time and money.

As we near the end of this blog, I am confident that this Goan hidden gem has made its way onto your itinerary. And I hope this blog gives you all the information you need to travel solo like a boss lady on the island! If you’re looking for a more secluded experience, check out my post on private islands in Goa.  

If you have any questions about what to do in Goa or where to go in Goa, you can leave them in the comments section. I will be happy to assist you in fulfilling your solo travel dream. Until next time, travel safely and happily!

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Swagachi

An introverted solo female traveller on an adventure around the world.

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