Thanks to the Romeo and Juliet-style legend that surrounds Dona Paula’s beautiful Beach, Dona Paula holidays tend to attract couples and honeymooners, as well as families who want to enjoy some quality time together. Nicknamed ‘Lovers’ Paradise’, the resort itself is incredibly peaceful and the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing break, overlooked by statue of the doomed Dona Paula and her lover.
However, this also has a reputation for being one of the best centres for water sports in the area. If you’re looking to add a bit of adrenaline to your time in Dona Paula, you’ll find everything from windsurfing and water-skiing to diving and spear-fishing. Located in the heart of green and vibrant North Goa, holidays to Dona Paula India also put you within easy reach of tropical jungle landscapes, which are just waiting to be explored.
Things to do
Although the white-sanded beach will probably occupy most of your time, there’s plenty to see and do, if you can bear to tear yourself away from the sun lounger. Drive 20 minutes and you’ll come across the Salim Ali Nature Reserve, where you’ll be able to spot a kaleidoscope of colourful birds such as hornbills, eagles and kingfishers. Alternatively, if you want to take a peek into Goa’s past, take a stroll up to Cabo de Rama Fort and soak up the impressive view: a superb spot for watching the sun set.
The Dona Paula Watersports Festival takes place in November and the waters are awash with competitors pitting their skills against each other. You don’t have to be a bystander: spectators are encouraged to take the plunge and have a go too. If the beach has too much pull, browse for trinkets in the stalls along the bustling waterfront. In the evening, sit down to an authentic curry, or hit a local bar for some drinks and live music.
Dona Paula has beautiful beaches with powdery white sands and clear, calm waters. It’s most popular is called Lovers Paradise and is lined with tropical coconut palm trees. The perfect sea conditions means there are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling and water sports, enjoy whirling across the water on jet skis and boats or taking to the skies paragliding. There are several nearby beach stalls selling cold drinks, fresh food and souvenirs, which are perfect for taking a refreshing break from the water.
History and culture
Originally a former fishing village, Dona Paula can be found along the coast of North Goa and is only 7km away from the state capital, Panaji. The resort is named after Dona Paula de Menezes and is surrounded by a number of different legends. The most popular is that Dona Paula de Menezes threw herself off a cliff when her father, a General, refused her permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias. Stories say that Dona Paula emerges from her tomb in the Cabo Chapel of the Raj Bhawan at night wearing only a pearl necklace. With the dramatic tales attached to this beautiful resort, it’s no wonder it has been nicknamed Lovers’ Paradise.
Laid back nightlife
Dona Paula has a sociable nightlife with a great choice of restaurants, bars and casinos. Enjoy a delicious meal by the coast and watch as the sun sets behind the Arabian Sea. Spend your evening sipping cocktails in one of the laid back bars where you can dance til the early hours to a DJ or live band. Dona Paula is close to the state capital, Panaji, which means that even more night time activities are just a stone through away.