Diu was a Portuguese colony from 1539 to 1961, when the Indian government used military action to retake all the Portuguese enclaves. Apart from Diu, also Daman, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were "captured" in this conflict. This area used to be a part of a larger union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu before Goa became a state by itself. Union territory of Daman and Diu is still administrated from Delhi.
Diu has fine but not so spectacular beaches, Diu town, some villages and all in all very relaxed atmosphere compared to most of India. Diu is not anything like Goa for example and those expecting to find a similar place on a smaller scale might be disappointed.
Gujarati, Hindi and English are mostly understood and spoken. Some older residents might still speak Portuguese.
Diu does not have a railway station. The nearest broad gauge railway junction is Veraval, which is 90 km from Diu. three daily, and several weekly trains connect Ahmedabad and Veraval.
The nearest railway station from Diu is Delwada, which is 8 km from Diu. It is on a metre gauge line where only two trains come daily from Junagadh and Veraval.
Another rail head is the town of Kodinar, which is also on a metre gauge line, and has a single daily service to Veraval.
Diu is an easy one-hour flight from Mumbai with Air India. (around $200-$300 for a return trip). Other nearby airports include Bhavnagar (215 kilometres away), Rajkot (235 km), Jamnagar (310 km), and Ahmedabad (380 km). Rajkot is the nearest major airport, while Ahmedabad is connected to several cities in the country and abroad, and one can get inexpensive flights to this city if booked in advance.
State run buses as well as some private companies serve Diu from Ahmedabad. Trips take around 10 hours, and both regular and night time sleeper buses exist.
A long trip (over 20 hours) by bus from/or to Mumbai is also possible.
Buses for Diu could be less. In that case, take a bus to nearest town Una. You can find many buses to Una from various places of Gujarat. From Una, you can take private autos or buses to Diu.
The route is Via Ahmedabad - Rajkot - Gondal - Junagadh - Veraval - Una - Diu. Absolute nice and Safe Road. A bit longer but restaurants, petrol pumps and restrooms are ample on the route.
You can get around Diu in autos , which are readily available. Diu transport operates mini-buses across the union territory, but they're not very frequent. Taxis are available for rent at the town center and bus stand. Most hotel staff have the contact numbers of the taxis. The best way to get around is to rent a motorcycle. Cost varies from Rs 150 to 300 per day depending on the season and type of bike. But make sure that you have a drivers licence with you (international license or European is also fine). Diu is probably the only Indian state which insists on seeing a driver's licence before you get a scooter (since the attackers in Mumbai on the Taj hotel started from Diu).
Amongst the historic buildings in Diu, the old Portuguese Fort is the most impressive. There is no entrance charge. There are great views over the sea from the walls and from the lighthouse. There is also a good view of the little Fortim do Mar in the strait between Diu and the mainland. Some of the fort is off-limits as it is used as a sub-jail. From the fort it is possible to walk along the cliffs by the sea.
The old city gate is also worth seeing. A walkway along the restored walls (the "heritage wall") leads down to Jalandhar beach. There are several old Portuguese churches in Diu. St. Paul's seems to be the only one still functioning as a church. The church of St. Thomas is now the Diu Museum, but only has a modest collection of religious objects. Another disused church is also the disused old government hospital.
The Naida caves are well worth seeing. They are a short walk or drive from the town. The interplay of the light and shade makes the caves a great place for photography. Note that the caves are not natural caves. They are an abandoned Portuguese stone quarry. Free entry.
The local Hindu temples, the old Portuguese architecture in the town, beaches and sea shore are all worth seeing.
Ghoghla beach: It's a calm beach on the mainland. One can see this beach as soon as we enter Diu. Various water sports could be explored here and, compared to Nagoa beach, it's less crowded, hence for someone who needs peace and a serene environment, it's a perfect getaway.
Nagoa Beach: Perhaps the most famous and talked around place in Diu. It's 8 km from Diu bus stand. It's famous for water sports, swimming and relaxing. One could witness many families there and it's mostly a picnic spot, however facilities like restrooms are not up to the mark. Someone depending on public transport may get disappointed. It's better to have private vehicle.
Diu market: Its just 100 meters from main bus stand and it's lively during the night time. You can enjoy a drink and/or seafood( prawns, pomphret,surmai) in benches facing sea. It's awesome and relaxing with cool breezes blowing.
Relax, go sightseeing, explore the island with a motorbike, work on your tan on a beach.
The city has many beaches which one may choose as per their tastes.
Nagoa Beach : Most commercial beach, complete with water-sports and lined with restaurants offering a variety of seafood.
Jalandhar Beach : A very quiet, uncrowded and isolated beach, appropriate for bathing and sun-bathing. No commercial establishments are at the beach, so you might want to carry something, just in case you get hungry!
Diu Jail : It is in the middle of the jetty near the main city of Diu and has been in use since the Portuguese times. A sight to see during the night.
Sea Shell Museum : You must visit the Sea Shell Museum near the airport; you will surprised to see shells from around the world. A ticket is just 10/- , but worth it.
Drive/Ride/Cycle: Start by visiting the fort (which is located near the island jail). Proceed a few meters in the direction of the jetty, turn left to visit St. Paul's church and Diu museum (a sign post will indicate the left turn). From here, you might want to criss-cross your way through narrow alleys with Portuguese architecture-influenced houses to reach the Diu government hospital (formerly St. Francis of Assis, founded in 1593). Travel further down the road to reach Jalandar beach. A breathtaking view lies stretched on your left, as you get to Gangeshwar Mahadev temple. Now weave through Fudam to get to Malala. The road connects to Bunder road. Turn left and travel about 4 km to reach Nagoa beach. You can turn around and stay on Bunder road to return to the city which is about 8 km away. Or you can back-track your steps and relive the experience.
Fresh seafood, Gujarati food, and standard North and South Indian food are available. Mostly you will get the Non-veg Food over here, but if you are Pure Vegetarian don't get tense, there are some Pure Vegetarian hotel near by Tourism office. one place that's special in the generic Indian restaurant scene is O'Coqueiro - a chef restaurant of fresh fish and seafood and Indian-Portuguese cuisine.
Alcohol is legal in Diu, unlike in neighbouring Gujarat, so a lot of people come to Diu especially for drinking. Indian and foreign beer and spirits are widely available. Be aware that most of the vehicles leaving Diu are being checked right after the bridge to avoid illegal alcohol smuggling into Gujarat.
Alcohol can be enjoyed in front of the sea shore on the beaches where no one will bother you. Wine shops are plenty and no price tag is written over bottles which is quite surprising.
Cheap accommodation as well as some mid-range hotels are abundant and are mostly located in Diu town. Resorts and the like can be found for example near Nagoa Beach.
Hotels are mostly available near bus stand but timing of the visit is important. During peak season such as diwali, ordinary non-ac rooms costs as much as 3000inr. Resorts costs around 5000inr per day. Better to plan and book hotel in advance.
A hotel in diu gives u a fine experience of getting in touch with a "Sea and Sand" atmosphere named sea village resort.It is located opposite to sunset point and has a private beach named Chakratirth beach.
Wear a helmet if or when riding a motorbike or scooter.