The state of Goa is the most sought-after holiday haven in India. There are numerous bucket lists and ToDos that one can find on the internet on what to do when in Goa. Most of the lists include a boat ride to the Grand Island near Goa’s Vasco da Gama. Located about 4km from the coast of mainland Goa, the Grand Island or sometimes also referred to as Grande Island is a magical treat for anyone looking for adventure in the seas in Goa.
The trip to Grand Island Goa is usually accompanied by a lot of exciting water sports and other activities that make this trip worth getting etched in our minds forever.
If you have not heard of the island till now then there is all the more reason to visit Goa once and for all and set sail on this adventurous island trip.
Why Is Grand Island Goa so Famous?
Tucked in the Arabian sea, very close to the shores of Goa’s Vasco da Gama is the island of Ilha Grao or Ilha Grande which is popularly known as Grand Island Goa. It also goes by the name of Bat Island, Goa. This island is not just famous in Goa and India but also internationally. Thousands of tourists throng this island every year seeking wholesome beach and sports adventure.
So, what makes this island so special and famous? Let us find out.
Water Sports Activities
When in Goa, we can experience thrilling water sports activities on almost all its beaches but there are a few activities that can be done exclusively on the Grand Island Goa. There are water sports activities that you can do depending upon your tour operator. Below is the list of cool water sports that you will get to experience at the Grand Island:
Scuba diving is deep sea diving where you will go to the bottom of the sea-bed with the help of scuba apparatus and gear. You can enjoy marine life down below with clarity using underwater goggles that come as part of the scuba gear. Scuba diving is indeed the most magical experience which you can experience at Grand Island Goa and it will be the highlight of your trip for sure.
You will be able to swim down under with fishes, jellyfish, turtles and sea urchins, and whatnot. Before you dive, you will be given a short training on board, and after you wear your scuba suit as well. The scuba training is mandatory and will be helpful for an uninterrupted experience underwater. The usual time allowed underwater is about 10 to 15 minutes as there are so many tourists. You will dive in pairs and will have to wait your turn.
Snorkeling is like a light version of scuba diving where you float near the surface of seawater. You can look underwater and see marine life around you.
On the way to the Grand Island Goa you will pass through a dolphin sighting point where if you are lucky you will get to see pods of Indian humpback dolphins which magnificently splash and dive in the azure waters of the Arabian sea. It is a sight to be captured by both our eyes and the lenses of our cameras.
At the sea and not fishing? Take a fishing rod and bait provided by your guides and start fishing fresh from the Arabian Sea.
As part of your trip after you return from the island to the shore, you may get to do other activities like jet skiing, banana ride, parasailing, and bumper and speedboat ride if it is included in your package.
On the island, there are a few places you should visit:
This is a very peaceful beach as it is away from the bustling city life. You can relax at the tents or mats available for rent or just lie down and get yourself a tan underneath the sun.
There is a Holy Cross situated in the western-most part of the Grand Island Goa. You can pay your visit and click a picture here.
One interesting part of the boat ride to the Grand Island is the sightseeing of a few famous Goan places which all tour operators show to ward off boredom during the 90 minutes en route. These include:
The Millionaire’s Palace:
It is a huge mansion/bunglow which was built in 1998.
It should have been named Palacio Aguada (Portuguese for The Ocean Palace). Its owner used to be Parsi businessman Jimmy Gazdar. As you will be seeing it from a distance you might think it is a little overrated but this palace will make you dream about owning a bungalow by the sea.
Aguada Central Jail of Goa:
A prison built by the Portuguese,
It can be saw lying beautifully near the sea next to Millionaire’s Palace.
This fort is located at the top of the hill of the central jail. It is barely visible from afar.
Now that you know the several reasons and why Grand Island Goa is famous. Book your tickets and get a good package deal with the many tour agencies available and make sure to experience each and every activity on the list. Visiting Goa is incomplete without a trip to the. Grand Island and the joy is multifold beacause when you have friends and family with you.