An island in Goa?! I was equally shocked to hear the same. I zoomed in 5x in Google Maps to figure out where is it geographically placed! It had to be zoomed because Divar Island falls under offbeat north Goa.
I could finally locate this little gem and was thrilled to be able to visit it that too with a storyteller along!
Formally known at Devgad was later renamed ‘Divar’ by the Portuguese, this off-beat Goan destination will draw you towards its quaint lifestyle of ‘susegad’!
Where is Divar Island?
Nestled in between water bodies, across Mandovi River in North Goa, this 6km long and 3km wide island is just 10km and a ferry away from Panjim!
Panjim is 15-20 km away from the touristy places of Baga, Calangute, etc.
This beautiful Divar Island is where the otters, numerous birds, and alligators reside. Fret not, because you will not have an encounter with them. But, can you imagine the beauty of nature where these beautiful animals are still found?!
Things to do in this offbeat north Goa – Divar Island
Once you enter the countryside of Goa, you will be drawn towards the quaint lifestyle and would envy the Goan’s susegad!
Apart from learning about our history, here are a handful of things to do in offbeat north Goa- Divar Island in a day or two!
Breakfast in a 200-year-old Indo-Portuguese house
Learn about local fishing techniques
Sluice and rod fishing are the two main forms of fishing practiced in Goa. It was an interesting 10-15 minutes where we spotted where sluice fishing is practiced.
Time travel with a temple submerged in a natural spring
This Saptakoteshwar temple sheltered the family deity of the Kadamba dynasty (10-14 Century).
The Vijaynagar Empire helped protect the temple against the Mughal’s rule, and unfortunately, was later destroyed by the Portuguese during their reign in 1540.
The Goud Saraswat Brahmins took the idols and shifted them to the Narve Island (the neighboring island) to keep the legacy moving.
Learn about the Baroq churches
We reached Divar Island’s highest point at Piedade Church where we could oversee the entire island! Father Antonio who but this church is said to have learned architecture from Portugal and practice here in Goa.
It was a norm back then to travel to Europe for further studies and to return to the country to practice the same!
How to distinguish a Baroq Church? Triangles on wide windows, large pillars and bell towers! Viola – a baroque church!
How to reach Divar Island?
There are only 4 ferries (INR 10 one way) that operate to and from Divar Island in a day from Panjim.
After getting on the island you will either need a car or you can get an E-bike with B:live. Cars do get on the ferries and E-bikes are already on the island ready for you to get on it and explore the island!
Make It Happen arranged for a car for us and our storyteller which helped us explore the island with ease and without wasting time.
We are contemplating another tour at the island next time with E-bikes now 😉
Why a guided tour?
Goa always has a reputation of partying, alcohol and rave. There are innumerable places in Goa that are beyond these stereotype places!
- Google doesn’t have all the stories of the Kadamba Dynasty, local livelihood activities, baroque churches, fishing methods, and a brief history about the battles of the Hindus, the Mughals, and the Portuguese!
- Having a local narrate and explain these folklores and history in person to you makes you time travel instantly!
- Having a local who is passionate to curate experiences for you helps to explore places that are mentioned in NO blogs, videos or Google!
How much time does the tour take?
You are in for a treat if you are on a short stay in Goa because this guided tour takes only 3-4 hours! Also, to suit your timings – the tours have options of 8 am, 1 am and 3 pm – pick your timings at your convenience!
And in case you are on a long holiday, maybe you can consider staying at Divar Island to soak in the tranquility of the Goan countryside!
Where to stay?
- We stayed at the White Balcao, Panjim (INR 500-700) since we were in Goa only for a weekend. However, you can consider staying at other hostels in Panjim – The Old Quarter, The Alfonso on San Sebastian street, etc.
- Alternatively, you can also stay at The Island House, Wow – A Villa in Divar Island itself if you’d like to soak in the countryside of Goa.
How much does it cost?
- Make It Happen charges ~INR 1500-3500 per person depending upon the number of people in a group. Do ask for Ameez (he reaches before time) if you are planning to take this tour.
- You can check more details here
This trip was a collaboration with Make It Happen but as always the views, photos, and opinions are all mine!
Other blogs you might enjoy reading:
- Visit this offbeat place in north Goa called Olaulim. Read here.
- The Ultimate Guide to Panjim. Read here.
- Pondicherry- things to do in 3 days. Read here.
I hope this blog helps you plan your travel easily, making it possible to share it with your travel companions!