Diu is often compared with Goa but it has a very different feel and people who make it a very different experience. I have been to both the beaches in off season and the difference is amazing. While some activities might be closed in Goa during off season Diu becomes even more lazy and quiet. It is the weekends which infuse life in the otherwise solitary streets and beaches. Diu gets a lot of alcohol/liquor tourists from dry state of Gujarat. Though many hotels and guest houses close kitchens, the smaller bars are always open and never without patrons.
A small island territory, Diu has beaches and forests to offer a visitor, along with many churches, temples and some Zoroastrian structures.
While researching for our trip I was quite surprised by lack of information on the city. Maybe I did not look at the right place, maybe there is actually a lag. I decided to do a series on Diu and finally compile it as a eBook available for download (maybe). Before I go to the specifics here are some of the tips I wanted to give out.
Take that auto
|We weren’t smiling by the end and do not have a single photo to prove our bad state|
If you are flying and plan on staying in the city and not near the Nagoa beach I would suggest you take an auto and not try to wing it walking like we did. We have walked 6-7 km at many places but for the first time we were beat walking the 7 km stretch. Not only was it very hot no auto or phatphat stopped to take us when we decided to give up until we were 2 km short of our destination. From the st. Paul church to our guest house felt like a mountainous climb instead of the few 100 m of gently climbing road. Take the auto at the airport.
Same hold good for getting down at the bus stand and living near Nagoa.
Forget the AC
|This is afternoon in our room|
If you can survive slight hot weather I would recommend you skip AC and revel in the winds of Diu. Even though the sun is bright and beating down hard winds are cool and almost always flowing. All of our afternoons were spent indoors as we waited for the hottest part of the day to go past. Nights get cool and you will need a light cover to keep you comfortable.
Carry a mosquito repellent
If you love open widow and sea breeze mosquitoes will be your biggest woes come evening. We did not take any repellents and paid for it one night. It would be best to carry a plug-in repellent or the coil though I would recommend plugins as they are not smoky and smell less.
Get a transport
|Our ride along with the owner’s these are everywhere in Diu|
There is no public transport except for auto rickshaws but they are too few and may be absent when you want to come back from the secluded beach. Cycles are definitely the best option and will cost you about 100 a day for a new one and around 50 for a old pair of wheels. We opted for a scooter, not the greenest way but we had taxed our legs and cycling scared us. It cost us 300 a day but usual costs are 350 we were told. with petrol for 150 filled in we roamed around all corners of Diu clocking around 100 Km.
If you are eating at any of the local places and not a resort your best bet is Kathiawari food. It is about half the price of other fares and is delicious. A plate of Kathiyawari subzi or curry will cost you 60Rs while a thali should be around 100-140 Rs. Even if the complex mix of Indian spices scare you this one should be fine. It has a good balance of spices and is not hot like most local food choices around India. With a small amount of sweetness added it is both satisfying and delicious. Among all the food we had we are a big fan of Gujrati thali and undhiyu.
Visit the INS Kukri memorial
|View from the Kukri Memorial|
There are many beaches in Diu being an island it is blessed with sand and sea. Most famous is the Nagoa beach which is 2 km from the airport. Another beach and perhaps my favorite is the Chandrikamata beach on the Kukri memorial side. Like most other beaches there is a temple at this beach too and you can witness evening prayers with floating lamps. But when you move towards the memorial you are met with a hillock and a backwater beach. This one is also one of the cleanest beaches. The backwater pool has rocks on the sea side which make for beautiful breaking waves and result in huge amounts if broken shells which litter the beach. If you like shells take a small walk on the rocks behind the beach opposite to the memorial. Here small crevices are home to numerous small developing shells and some full grown ones.
Diu is a lazy city with its charming beaches and historical structures. It might not be the place where the party is but it is the best place to take a break from hectic travelling and life.