Dona Paula Bay is where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea. Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, it's also called the Lovers Paradise.
Dona Paula Beach is 7 km from Panaji. The beach is named after Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias. The myth says that Dona Paula is entombed in the Cabo Chapel of the Raj Bhawan and is supposed to be seen emerging from the moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace. With the romance and myth attached to it—haunted by Dona Paula de Menzes—tourists throng the Dona Paula Beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters.
The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and buy cheap seaside goods from local vendors.
This beach has also been the location for many Indian movies, the most famous being Ek Duje Ke Liye. Given this dual attraction, Dona Paula Beach has become a popular tourist spot.
Dona Paula Beach – Tourist Attractions
Water Sports The most important attraction of this beach is the water sport facilities available here. The Dona Paula Sports Club offers water-scooter, cycle, and motorboat rides. Other water sports include windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting.
National Oceanography Institute Set up in the 1960s, the National Oceanography Institute delves not only upon marine biology, but incorporates almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.
Cabo Raj Niwas The Cabo Raj Niwas (the Governor’s House) is half a kilometer away from the National Oceanography Institute. It houses the tomb of Dona Paula de Menzes in the Cabo Chapel. The Raj Bhawan offers an excellent view of the nearby coastline and the Aguada Fort.
DONA PAULA BEACH – LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Location Seven kilometers west of the Indian state of Goa’s capital Panajim (Panaji), Dona Paula Beach is nestled on the southern side of the rocky hammer-shaped headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. Providing a good view of the Mormugao harbor, this beach is fringed by palm trees and casuarina groves. The proximity of the beach to the capital city makes it a popular tourist sight.
DONA PAULA BEACH – EXCURSIONS The main attractions near Dona Paula Beach are Reis Magos Church and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Approximately 10 km from the beach is one of the oldest churches built in Goa, the Reis Magos Church.
It is dedicated to the three Magi (the wise men of the East)—Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar who, according to a legend, were guided by a star to Bethlehem to greet the newborn Jesus. This church was once the residence of all dignitaries and a mission center of the Franciscan order.
Two other beaches are also within the proximity of the Dona Paula Beach. These are the Miramar beach, which lies 4 km north of Dona Paula, and the Vainguinim Beach, which is situated 1 km west.
DONA PAULA BEACH – FAIRS AND FESTIVALS The festivals of Janmashtami and the Feast of St. Lawrence are particular to the Dona Paula Beach. In addition, the beach also has a colorful water sports festival in November. The highlights of this festival are the water scooter and cycle races and surfing competitions.
DONA PAULA BEACH - ACCOMMODATION There are a host of hotels, guesthouses, and beachside huts available at the beach that cater to the budgets of different tourists.
DONA PAULA BEACH - TRANSPORTATION
By Air The nearest airport is at Dabolim, which is 29 km away from Panaji and 36 km from Anjuna.
An interesting mode of conveyance in Goa is the motorcycle taxi. Unique to this state, these “taxis” carry only one passenger. However motorcycles can also be hired for personal use, on the basis of financial guarantee.
A picturesque spot, commanding a fine view of the Zuari river and Mormugao Harbour.
Dona Paula is an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scooter facilities are also available here.
Dona Paula is very close to the Capital city Panaji. Therefore a Tourist or a Business Traveller who is on a official visit to the sate of Goa can stay here and also be very close to the hustle bustle life of the Panaji city. Many 5 star resorts along with budget hotels are located in Dona Paula. One can stay in 5 star resorts like Vainguinim Valley Casino Resort Goa and Cidade de Goa for a luxurious stay in Goa. Besides there are many budget hotels like Swimsea Beach Resort, Prainha Cottage, O Pescador etc.