10 Best Islands in Goa That are Too Mesmerizing to Skip!
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If you wish to enjoy the verdant beauty of nature, then the Goa Islands will offer you a memorable escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Goa is known for its laid back life with its beautiful sandy beaches, thrilling watersports and scrumptious Goan cuisine. But what often seeks the attention of people is the beautiful islands in Goa that are best for beach parties, long walks and rejuvenation. The sun-kissed islands in Goa not only soothe your eyes but also present to you the delightful views that will create a trance in your mind. 

These are an intimate gateway for utmost seclusion and fun. You can have an exotic yacht party at the Divar Islands or indulge into exotic cruising at São Jacinto Island. Curious travellers can even have a great time observing the deserted structure in Pequeno island or can admire the absolute virginity of the picturesque landscape at Butterfly Island.

Here are some of the best islands in Goa:

Latest Information on Travelling to GOA?
  • A negative COVID-19 test result is required to enter Goa, which must not be older than 72 hours. 
  • All public places in Goa are open for the tourists while maintaining basic COVID-19 guidelines. 
  • However, places like the villages of Calangute, Candolim and Arpora-Nagoa will remain under strict lockdown.
  • In case the tourist is carrying a COVID-19 negative certificate, they will be allowed to move to booked accommodations. 
  • In case a tourist is not carrying a valid COVID-19 negative certificate, he/she will be directed to undergo testing for COVID-19 at designated testing centers / hospitals. Thereafter, they will have to go into self isolation till the test results are received. 
  • The isolation facilities will be provided by the accommodation units themselves, where the tourist made a pre-booking. 
  • Once results are received, only and if found COVID-19 negative, the tourist shall be allowed to travel outside the isolation facility. 
  • In case any tourist is found COVID-19 positive, the accommodation unit will act as per the extant protocol issued by the State Health Department. 
  • All costs for COVID-19 tests including the stay at the isolation / quarantine facilities shall be borne by the tourist themselves.
Flights

Goa is well connected by airline services to most major cities in India. All flights, national and international, to and from Goa, operate from the Goa Airport at Dabolim near the port town of Vasco-da-Gama.

Trains

All major trains are functional to and from various parts of India.

Local Transport

Public transport like cab, taxi and bus services are operational.

Thrillophilia recommends you to follow all government guidelines to stay safe. We also recommend you practice good personal hygiene to stay safe as you travel.

Goa is now open for tourists with some restrictions Updated: 14 Jul 2021

Goa is welcoming tourists now, however people will be required to take cautions of the lockdown situation in several cities.

COVId-19 report is mandatory for visitors Updated: 14 Jul 2021

 Inter-state movement of persons will be prohibited, except for persons carrying Covid negative report (RT-PCR/ TruNaat/ CBNAAT/ Antigen Test or any other test as approved by ICMR) from the test conducted within 72 hours from the date of arrival, or those having a medical emergency (on the production of proof).

Goa will not open for tourists until all the locals have taken the first jab of vaccine Updated: 19 Jun 2021

In a major policy announcement, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the state will not open for tourism until it fully administers the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine to its entire population.

Negative RT-PCR certificate required to enter Goa Updated: 03 Jun 2021

Only if a is carrying a negative RT-PCR certificate, they will be allowed to move to booked accommodations.

Goa to undergo strict lockdown till further notice Updated: 03 Jun 2021

The council in Goa told, "We are going to continue a strict lockdown in the villages of Calangute, Candolim and Arpora-Nagoa". This is because these are tourist hotspots and remain crowded throughout the day.

All tourists will have to undergo a basic screening at the entry point Updated: 03 May 2021

Any tourist exhibiting sickness or COVID-19 related symptoms upon arrival will be subjected to a COVID-19 test at designated testing centers or hospitals at the tourist's cost

Pre-booking of accommodation has been made mandatory to vacate in Goa Updated: 03 May 2021

Proof of pre-booking of accommodations (registered with the Department of Tourism) for the entire duration of the stay will be checked at the entry points

01

Ilha Grande

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Your Goan holiday won’t be complete if you don’t visit Ilha Grande island. It is one of the best islands in Goa for snorkelling and scuba diving. There are some of the most splendid beaches here that are still untouched by the human atrocities.

The trip over here should not only be limited to the island to visit, but you should also try various refreshing activities over here like fishing, dolphin sighting, etc. You can live your dream life over here, lazing on the beach chair around the picturesque beaches of the island.

Location: Grand Island, Goa

How to Reach: The best way to reach here is by boat because of its midwater location.

Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing.

Popular attractions near island: Aguada Fort, Central Jail, Merchants bungalow. 
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02

Divar Island

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This is one of the most beautiful Goa islands located on the Mandovi river and offers a sneak peek of the great history of Goa as it is home to the ruins of Kadamba dynasty. Several beautiful villas are flushed over here that are ideal for a night stay.

A famous festival is celebrated over here on the last Saturday of August known as the Bonderam festival that gives you a chance to know about a new side of Goa. This island is perfect for all those who’re looking to engage in some adrenaline rushing water activities like scuba diving and snorkelling.

Location: Near Mandoli River, Panjim, Goa

How to Reach: You can reach here only by ferry service that runs from Old Goa to the Southern side of this island.

Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving.

Popular attractions near island: The Ghost Town Of Naroa, Sao Mathias, Malar village.
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03

Chorão Island

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If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then the visit to Chorão Island can be an ultimate treat for you as it houses the famous Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It attracts around 500 species of beautiful migratory birds, and you can even spot the deadly crocodiles over here.

The rest of the island has colonial villas, Portuguese churches and Hindu Temples. You can also have unfussy Goan cuisines at the handful of low key eateries.  

Location: Near Mandoli River, North Goa

How to Reach: You can take a ferry from Ribandar, and it will easily connect you to Chorão Island.

Things to do: Canoe tour to spot exotic birds and crocodiles.

Popular attractions near island: Bicholim town, Mayem lake. 

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04

Vanxim Island

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Vanxim Island, situated in the taluka of Tiswadi, is also known as one of the exotic Goa islands of fishermen. It is a deserted island with Portuguese architecture and lush green surroundings. From beautiful churches to breathtaking cemeteries, there are lots of things to witness here.

It is a tiny island surrounded by lush mangroves on the side. You can also find a church built over here named Church of Santo Cristo. The island breathes purity and nature. 

Location: Capao, taluka Tiswadi, Goa

How to Reach: You can take a ferry from Divar to reach over here.

Things to do: Walking tour of the island, watching the sunset ferries 

Popular attractions near island: Chapel of Miraculous Cross
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05

São Jacinto Island

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São Jacinto is an exotic island near Goa blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. It is believed that the natives of this place took the pledge in the 20th century not to sell or lease any part of this island. Its southwestern coast is flooded with old houses and a beautiful old church.

You can also find an old Portuguese lighthouse here from the top of which you can enjoy the breathtaking views of Goa coast and the Indian Ocean. An old spring is situated in the middle of the island, which is still used by the locals for drinking water. You should definitely explore this lesser-known Goan gem while you’re on a trip to Goa. 

Location: Panaji Vasco Highway, Panjim, India

How to Reach: You can hire a motorbike or taxi from any location ofGoa to reach here

Things to do: Walking tour of the island

Popular attractions near island: Chapel of St Catherine, Vainguinim beach, Fontainhas
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06

Pequeno island

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Also known as the Bat Island it is one of the most serene and beautiful Goa islands located close to the Barina beach. It consists of patches of green mangroves and rocky beaches. Earlier it belonged to the Indian Navy, and their officers stayed over here, but now the houses have been abandoned.

It is one of the most striking islands in Goa where a range of colourful shoals reside. It’s an amazing spot for snorkelers and divers. 

Location: Panaji Vasco Highway, Panjim, India

How to Reach: You can hire a  vessel from the boatmen of Vasco to reach here

Things to do: Snorkelling, diving
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07

Raneache Zuem

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This island is a quaint haven for travellers who are on the lookout for the much-needed solace. Located on river Chapora, it is just 1.5 km in length and half a kilometre in breadth. You can also find a haunted house over here which looks quite scary. A bridge connects this tiny island to the mainland.

The island is dotted with coconut trees and mangroves that make it a breathtaking scenic beauty for the travellers.  Dear Zindagi's famous song “ Love You Zindagi” was shot on this island near Goa.

Location: Panaji Vasco Highway, Panjim, India

Things to do: Sightseeing, fishing

Popular attractions near island: Goa’s local watering holes
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08

Conco Island (canacona)

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This is one of the most breathtaking Goa islands located in the Canacona region. The Arabian sea surrounds this island, and you can enjoy some adrenaline rushing watersports over here like snorkelling and scuba diving.

It is also known as Monkey Island because a large number of monkeys reside in the forest of the island. You can see some shiny dolphins while taking a boat ride from Palolem beach over here. 

Location: Headland Sada, Vasco da Gama, Goa

Things to do: Snorkelling and scuba diving

How to Reach:  You can take a boat from Vasco da Gama to reach over here

Popular attractions near island: Mormugao Fort, Japenese Garden, Bogmalo beach
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09

Butterfly Island

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This is a hidden gem located in South Goa is known for its calmness and tranquillity. The stretch of golden beach sand is surrounded with high rocks, and from the shore, the entire island resembles the shape of the wings of a butterfly.

It is one of the most beautiful islands in Goa that has become a buzzing spot for the tourists lately. You can spot tons of butterflies flying on the top of the hilltop blossoms over here. 

Location: North of Palolem beach, Goa

Things to do: Canoe riding and Boat riding 

How to Reach:  You can hire a cab from Panaji to Palolem beach. From the beach, you can take a short boat ride, and you’ll reach here.

Popular attractions near island: Palolem beach, Agonda beach, Samson’s Kiosk
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10

Cumbarjua Island

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It is located on the bank of Mandovi river and is quite renowned as a habitat of a crocodile. It was a popular fort of the Portuguese king in the 15th century, but now it has become an offbeat destination. It has a very fresh and unexplored environment, and the visitors can go fishing in the alluring backwaters.

This serene island near Goa is flooded with the galore of beautiful beaches and water beauties. 

Location: East of Panjim, Goa

Things to do: Fishing,  Crocodile sighting

How to Reach:  You can take a boat from the Cumbarjua canal to reach here.
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Sightseeing in Goa

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Places To Visit In Goa
Simply WOW!! Quite a thrillophilic journey with immensely warm hospitality, perfect planned schedules and of course amazing travel. As planned we were picked up @7 in the morning and were taken to the falls which happens to be around 100 kms. Bus they provide are very comfortable and AC will also be sufficient to beat the heat of sultry Goa. We also covered a landmark church of Goa enroute. They will give you around 15 20 mins to get that holy feel. Once we reached the venue we were given time to have breakfast, meanwhile the guide arranged tickets for the whole group and settled us up in the bolero which takes you from there further. It was again a Splendid journey of 45 mins through mahavir national park where you will cross several streams also. Pure off roading and adventurous experience. From the parking u have to walk for 5 mins to finally reach the destination which, you undoubtedly will feel deserving enough to have travelled for. Such a sublime scene and cool clear water with fishes around you will quench all the tiredness you might have had after traveelinh to several beaches. You get around 1.5 hours in total after final parking out of which for bathing you will get around 45 mins. Caution : please travel with good non slippery shoes as the rocks are too slippery and carelessness might get fatal. No worries though, you wont drown as they will provide you with life jackets so a good news for non swimmers. Post bath again you will be taken back and be served with complimentary lunch in goan style which is quite palatable. Then a short spice plantation tour followed by a return drop to the reapective pick up points. The trip will end in North Goa around 6 evening. ps : If you have time on your goa trip, do visit this place and thrillophilia is definitely a good option to consider coz it will wave off your trip organisational headache.
03 February 2020
Excellent
Superb cycling experience, it was just the 3 of us including the guide and we were able to complete the trip real fast. The bird sanctuary is where we took most of the pics. We went off road through the forest area as well and we could find the railway lines located there. Couple of steep ups and downs which made cycling challenging. The total distance would be 30 kms. Best I've ever cycled
An unforgettable experience for me. For the first time got a chance to get into snorkeling and see the marine life. Thanks alot guys for an amazing experience.
12 December 2015
Excellent
A well planned and executed sightseeing trip. Good for family tourists like us. We visited some of the famous beaches and churches of Goa. It was nice experience overall.
06 December 2019
Excellent
Goa is famous for its beaches and its parties but amid all the chaos of Goa, this is one soul-soothing experience. This a must-do activity and should be part of any goa itinerary. A 01-hour long cruise journey will give you immense memories.
07 March 2021
Very Good
Overall experience was good Ambience was Owesome 10/10 Location was good 6/10 Fod was ok 4/10
06 March 2021
Very Good
Overall experience was good. Ambience was great and romantic 10/10 Location was good 7/10 Food was ok ok 4/10
18 February 2021
Abeer Arsiwala Cycling at Chorao Island
Excellent
Had an amazing morning with the best people! Rohan and his team are amazing hosts and if you are looking to cycle along scenic views and connect with some good folks- you should definitely try this!
"good trip....dudhsagar was good, lunch provided was too good, spice plantation was not that good as I come from kerala all are same spices what i see at home, so was not that great for me.... overall its a good experience.. "
"here's the review of scuba diving \nhttps://youtu.be/x9yBS772ym8"

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