Where is Dona Paula?
The Dona Paula beach is located in the state of Goa in India. The beach lies on the southern side of the rocky headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. It is seven kilometres west of the Goan capital Panjim.
How will you gain access?
Dabolim (29 km from Panaji) is the closest airport from Dona Paula. The nearest railway station lies at Karmali which is 15 km from the beach. By train, Goa is linked with places like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.
The Kadamba Transport Corporation and Maharashtra and Karnataka State Road Transport ply regular buses connecting the state with other key destination of the country. From Panjim’sKadamba stand, buses to Dona Paula leave every fifteen minutes.
Places to visit Dona Paula
1. National Oceanography Institute
Established in the 1960s, the National Oceanography Institute digs into almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The Marine Biology Museum and the Taxonomy Reference Centre are the key attractions of the institute.
2. Cabo Raj Niwas
Half a kilometre away from the National Oceanography Institute is the Cabo Raj Niwas or the Governer’s House. The Niwas houses the tomb of Dona Paula de Menezes in the Cabo Chapel. Impressive views of the nearby coastline and the Aguada Fort can be had from here.
3. Reis Magos Church
At a distance of 10 km from the beach lies the Reis Magos Church, one of the oldest churches in the state of Goa. Dedicated to the three Magi (The Wise Men from the East), the church was once the residence of all the dignitaries and a mission centre of the Franciscan order.
4. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located on the western tip of the island of Choro, along the Mandovi river. Spreading over an area of 2m sq km, the sanctuary is home to a large number of native and migratory birds. Visitors require permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden.
What are the beach sports in store?
While at Dona Paula, adventure-lovers and visitors need not worry a bit, as there are ample options to keep them involved all day. The Dona Paula Sports Club offers water-scooter, cycle and motorboat rides.
There are a number of other water sports options like windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, sports fishing, snorkelling, harpoon fishing, kayaking etc. The beach also organises the famous Annual Water Sports Festival in the month of November.
Which are the nearby hotels?
Dona Paula Beach Resort (26 km from the airport) is a 2-star offering money exchange, doctor on call, travel assistance, safe deposit, telephone, TV, balcony or terrace, multi-cuisine restaurant, bar etc. There are a number of guesthouses available.
The Zuari View is a popular guest house providing facilities like an entrance hall, living area, dining area, large balcony overlooking the bay, cable TV etc. The Baywatch Guest House is another guest house at Dona Paula.
What is the best time?
To speak the truth, there is no bad time to pay a visit to the beach. However, the ideal time is to arrive between the months of November and March.