One mention of the name Goa sends “Vacation” or “Vacay” chants amongst friends and family. Indeed the state of Goa is India’s very own beach haven where there is plenty available for everyone. Goa offer’s several exciting beaches, exquisite cuisine, rich culture, amazing places, trekking trails, and even islands to explore. As if the land wasn’t enough, Goa has beautiful nearby islands that are well connected! One of its many famous islands is the Grand Island. Sometimes it is also referred to as Grande Island Goa. There are lots of water sports activities tied with the trip to the island. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Goa, do plan a visit to the Grande Island Goa as it lives up to its name. Let us find out how.
All About Grand Island Goa
The Grande Island Goa is actually an island named Ilha Grao or Ilha Grande and is about 4km in distance from mainland Goa. The trip to this island is about half a day long and is considered very popular by many.
The main attraction of the Grand Island Goa trip is snorkeling and scuba diving. It is fascinating to see the vibrant life underwater including beautiful fishes, corals, turtles, and many more sea creatures. To date, there are only limited snorkeling experiences in India, and the Grand Island Goa provides one of the most thrilling and affordable experiences. There is also the occasional dolphin spotting along with petting them too.
How To Reach
The only way to reach Grand Island Goa is through the sea route, that is, via boat. There are many boat operators available from the shore of Vasco da Gama. Most operator providers pick and drop services from various areas of Goa like Calangute, Candolim, Baga, Sinquem, and Arpora among others.
Best Time To Visit
October to March is the time when the visit to the Grand Island will be the most fruitful. This is due to two reasons: summers are intense and humid in Goa and the sea is too rough to travel to the island during Monsoon.
Snorkeling involves simply floating underwater but very near to its surface. Most boat operators provide the option of snorkeling and that too at affordable prices. Even non-swimmers can snorkel with the help of floating equipment that is provided there. Snorkeling at Grande Island Goa will give you an opportunity to look at the aquatic life below. It is quite an experience that calms you instantly.
Scuba diving is an activity involving deep-sea diving with proper equipment meant for bearing underwater pressure.
There are only a handful of places and states in India which provide Scuba diving experiences. Grande Island Goa is one of the best options available in India. So, when in Goa, do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Aquatic dolphins are a rare site but these intelligent sea creatures often can be found swimming around the island’s sea and sometimes very near to your boats. Your boat operators will take you near to the sights where you can see dolphins up close and even pet them if the opportunity arises as dolphins are known to be friendly with humans.
This is not a guaranteed experience because these dolphins are not tamed and come at their own free will around the islands. So, you will lucky if you get to experience dolphin sightings and even more lucky if you get to pet them.
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Though not part of the island, your boat will take you near famous places and you can watch them peacefully from a distance. You will be shown Aguada Fort, Central Jail and a mansion called the “Millionaire’s Palace”. All these are a part of your trip to Grande Island.
Buffet Lunch at Monkey or Hansa Beach
Depending upon your trip planner your boat ride will then move to either Monkey beach or Hansa Beach away from the island where you will be having your lunch. Both beaches have shimmery sand and clear waters. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch with Goan delicacies like sea food along with vegetarian meals and barbeque.
The Grand Island Goa boat tickets which include snorkeling are as cheap as ₹1200 and go upward as you add experiences.
It is worth noting that snorkeling and scuba diving are quite different types of swimming activities. Scuba diving will involve a brief training of about 20 minutes, especially for beginners. You should also make sure that there is a gap of about 18 hours before you board any flight due to safety reasons.