When visitors come to Goa, they generally descend on the popular tourist attractions. However, if you want to get away from the crowds and still enjoy some peace and quiet, then you should head for Goa's islands. The state has a number of secluded islands, which are rarely visited.
Here are 5 islands where you can escape the chaos and enjoy nature.
1. Divar Island
The name divar comes from the Konkani word dipavati, which means 'small island'. Divar is situated 10 km from Panjim. It is like a piece of heaven, tucked away amidst the splendour of nature, and is dotted with vintage houses built in the Portuguese style. As a result of its isolation from city life, the area remains untouched and unexploited by tourists or commercialization.
Things to do: Visit Divar during Bonderam and Potekar festivals, dine and enjoy sunset views
Getting there: You can only reach Divar via three ferry services, but the most common one is from Old Goa, near Basilica of Bom Jesus
2. Conco Island
Conco Island, also known as 'Monkey' Island, is one of the most popular islands in South Goa, located near Agonda Beach. Conco Island is a lush green 5-acre island in Palolem Beach's bay. It's known as Monkey Island since the wooded island was formerly home to monkeys from the adjacent forests.
This island is a lovely spot for a picnic and is well worth a visit if you're in the area. During low tide, visitors can easily swim to the island.
Things to do: Have a picnic, go boating, watch dolphins
Getting there: It takes roughly 20 minutes to reach there via ferry from Palolem Beach
3. Chorao Island
Chorao Island, also known as 'Chodan' or 'Choddnnem', boasts a lush mangrove forest and a diversified biodiversity. It is located 5 km south of Panjim. Aside from that, the island is historically noteworthy with its ancient white churches, graveyards and Portuguese-era mansions. The well-known Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is the highlight of Chorao Island, and it is responsible for a significant increase in tourism in the area.
Things to do: Cycling, boating, bird watching
Getting there: It can only be reached via ferry from Ribandar
4. Butterfly Island
Butterfly island, also known as butterfly beach, is named because the surrounding trees occasionally attract a diverse variety of butterflies and also beacuse the beach is shaped like a butterfly. The beach has a distinctive, scenic setting, as is flanked by a thick forest on one side, and leads to the open sea on the other. As the beach is secluded, be sure to take essentials, such as food and water, along with you as there are no shops or vendors on the beach. Avoid staying on the island for too long after dark.
Things to do: Go boating, spot dolphins early in the morning, view the sunset, photography
Getting there: You can reach Butterfly island by boat from Palolem beach
5. São Jacinto Island
São Jacinto is a tiny island in South Goa's. This green island dates back to the early twentieth century. Residents of the island pledged to defend and maintain the island by never leasing it to any firm or government, or allowing them to harm its ecosystem. The panoramic and natural views from the Portuguese lighthouse are the most well-known features of the island.
Things to do: Walk around the old village, go hiking
Getting there: You can take the ferry from Bogmalo beach or take the bridge, which connects the island with the NH-66 (Maharashtra) highway.