- May 3, 2023
- Posted by: Planet Goa Team
- Category: EXPEREINCE GOA, SPIRIT OF GOA
Enjoy the scenic beauty of Goa’s waterways from the charming ferries that ply between its islands
A ferry across to Goa’s islands unveils a life beyond the scripted image flashed in the media. Bird songs fill the fresh island air as you immerse yourself in the surrounding tranquillity. As the ferry glides through the still waters, the expansive views mesmerize. An interesting conversation with a local reveals nuggets from the past unwritten in history books. It’s encounters like these that create memorable experiences.
A birder’s haven, Chorao is one of the larger islands in Goa. The Ribandar ferry is one of the easiest and most scenic ways to get there. The trip to Choddennem, as it is known locally, takes half a day to explore the many sites. The first stop is the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary which is advisable to visit in the morning before 9 am. The pleasurable drive around the beautiful neighbourhoods brings you to magnificent monuments like the Our Lady of Grace Church and Chapel of St Jerome.
Across the Ribandar village are the islands of Chorao and Divar. Located 10 km from Panjim, the island is accessible via a ferry from Old Goa too. Divar shot to fame for the famed banyan tree scene in the movie Finding Fanny. The scenic drive takes you through paddy fields on both sides, and sights of the historical Old Goa monuments in the distance dot the horizon. The serpentine path with eye-catching heritage architecture at every bend are sights to behold. The villages of Piedade and Malar celebrate the Bonderam or the flag festival in August. The Church of Our Lady of Compassion on a hillock in Piedade village overlooks a stunning landscape. Malar is close to the tiny island of Vanxim. The ruins of the Saptakoteshwar temple are still visible.
Located enroute to the port city of Vasco-da Gama, this little island is easily accessible by bridge. There’s not much to explore on the island because of its size. The abandoned lighthouse and chapel on the top of the hill are inaccessible these days. You can admire the many hues of a spectacular sunset from your seaside perch.
Did you know the island of St Estevam is also called Juvem or the island of lady’s fingers? The small fort opens out to a mesmerizing horizon. There is a little chapel dedicated to St Francis as well. Enjoy a panoramic view from the hilltop with the statue of Christ the King brought in 1926 in the vicinity. The island has old sluice gates still in use to control the tides and prevent flooding. It’s amazing how these old mechanisms still work after centuries.