Five Goa Islands for Every Traveler

Another synonym for peace is Goa. When you are seriously looking for some change, just get a one-way ticket to Goa and things are sorted. Goa Islands are famous for having a homely charm that binds the people with its beauty. The places are lovely and the excitement is real, you can never deny that the islands in Goa are not mesmerizing. It receives people from all over the world because they are attracted to the delicious Goan food, jazzy nightlife, exciting water sports in the gigantic Arabian Sea and vibrant people.

To simplify things a little bit for you, take a look at five popular and incredible beaches that you shouldn’t miss when you are in Goa.

1. Sao Jacinto Island

If you are in love with nature and photography, then this is one of the beautiful Goa islands, and it won’t let you down. The place is truly nature’s creation and got its name derived from the St. Jacinto’s Church. Even though the place is located in south Goa, it receives a vibrant crowd during festivals.

Visiting this island will give you enough attractions to explore. Some of the surrounding places are stunning along with the church being its main attraction. The picturesque location and the age-old Portuguese houses reflect a very vintage look.

How to reach?

This island is around 22 km (13 miles) from Panjim and 7 km (4.3 miles) from Bogmalo Beach, which summarizes the fact that transportation won’t be a problem.

One can take a car from Panjim to reach the destination. The fastest route is through NH 66, and takes around 40 minutes to complete the trip. Cab fare is usually on the higher side, approximately INR 1,200, but prices are subjected to change.

The busses from the Panaji KTC Bus Stand leave every 20 minutes for Sao Jacinto Island. The direct bus, operated by Kadamba Bus Operators, runs on the Panaji - Vasco Market via Cortalim route. Trip by bus would take around 50 minutes based on the road conditions and traffic. Bus fare is approximately INR 100 to 120.


2. Divar Island

Divar Island was once well known for housing the majority of Hindus. It is located around 10km (6.2 miles) away from Panjim. This Goa island can be easily reached with the help of a ferry and you will find this mode of transport available throughout the day. This island celebrates two major festivals which are more like Halloween and it attracts countless tourists at this particular time.

Divar Island is very famous for celebrating the Bonderam Festival; the place receives a large number of people during this time. The celebration starts by locals knocking down the flags of another person after keeping their ancestors in their memory. This island looks beautiful, especially, because of the unique blend of Portuguese and Indian style of architecture. You won’t find any luxurious hotel on the island but there are many small food joints where you can enjoy the snacks, chilled beer, and some chai.

How to reach?

Only ferries are the sole mode of transport between the main lands and the island. These are the three ferry points that you will find in different parts of Goa and are operational from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

• Ferry from Old Goa will take you to the southern side of the island. From the Old Goa Ferry Terminal, take the Piedade - Old Goa ferry. The trip takes around 10 minutes to commence and the roundabout trip costs around INR 100.  

• Ferry from Naroa in the Bicholim district will take you to the eastern side of the island. Board the Naroa Island Ferry - Old Goa ferry from the Naroa Ferry Terminal to reach Divar Island. The trip would be of 6 minutes, and cost around INR 50 per passenger.

• Ribandar is the third ferry point that will take you to the southwest side of Divar Island. Get on to the ferry at Ribandar Ferry Terminal and get down at Diwar Ferry Terminal. Take the St. Pedro – Diwar ferry for the trip. The journey would take almost 1 hour to complete. Tickets cost around INR 60 to 80.

3. Chorao Island

Chances are, you are slowly murmuring to yourself ‘I never heard of this island in Goa’. Well, fair enough, it’s a hidden island and some people are not aware of this beautiful place. Your journey to Chorao Island can only be covered with the help of a ferry. Panjim is around 5km (3.1 miles) away from Ribandar, you easily take a ferry to reach Chorao Island.

This place has a famous attraction called the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. If you love bird watching, then don’t miss out on visiting this incredible sanctuary because it houses approximately 400 migratory and Indian birds with the number growing every year. You can also take a walk in the small village exploring the small churches and pretty looking houses.

How to reach?

You will only have two options to reach this Goa island, either take a ferry or get on a Canoe to reach the shore. From Panjim, if you are planning on making the trip on a cab, take Ponte de Linhares Causeway. At Charao Ribandar Ferry Terminal, board ferry to reach the island. The trip would take around one hour to complete. The entire trip would cost around INR 1,200 (approx.) including the ferry fare.

You will not regret deciding on visiting this island because it is beautifully surrounded by mangrove trees. However, be careful because while you are on a ferry or a canoe for the water has deadly crocodiles.

4. Conco Island

This Island is mostly preferred and visited by foreigners, and is also known as the monkey island among the tourists. There are greenery and scenic surrounding where you can explore and do sightseeing.

Beach there has brilliant sight scenes, you will love to take a walk along the beach and enjoy the chilled beer. The beach also offers delicious seafood, and beautiful spots to explore. Conco Island is also very close to Agonda and Palolem beach where you can enjoy numerous water sports.

How to reach?

This island is found at the bay of Palolem Beach, located in the Cacacona region. You will love the Arabian Sea that will surround you, and it can be reached to take a boat from Palolem beach. When you take the boat to reach Monkey Island, you will come across a lot of dolphins in the water.

From the Palolem Beach, visitors can walk over the nearby island. The trip would take around 10 minutes max.


5. Butterfly Island

Butterfly Island is pretty well known to most of the travelers. The idea behind the name of this Goa island is because the island looks like a butterfly, and it is also a famous location for a honeymoon. This place has many dolphins and you will be able to spot many on your way to the island. Since this is quite isolated, you will find a beautiful sunset view from this island. Take a walk along the Butterfly Beach, or you can also enjoy some activities like rock climbing and trekking.

How to reach?

Like it is mentioned earlier, it’s a known island and you will also find it on many tour packages. You can easily get to the island with the help of a boat, plus it’s very close to many surrounding beaches like Palolem, Agonda, etc. The semi-circle shaped island looks stunning and is very peaceful as compared to other beaches. To simplify the travel for you, this beach is around 80km (49 miles) from Panjim and 44km (27 miles) from Margao.

These Goa islands have a very different vibe from the rest of the island in Goa and this is why you are reading about them. If you are visiting Goa for a very limited time and want to explore the must-visit islands, then make sure you have plans to visit some of these islands. You won’t regret the effort. 

Further Reading:

Four Stunning Honeymoon Beaches in Goa

Best Places for Trekking in Goa