Location : 7 kilometres west of Panaji in North Goa district
Ideal Time to Visit : November to February
Highlights : Facilities for water sports, featured in some Bollywood movies
The most popular among all the beaches of Goa is the Dona Paula beach. The picturesque landscape of the beach has palm trees and casuarina groves in abundance. It is one of the most visited beaches of Goa. It is believed that the beach derived its name from Dona Paula de Menzes, the daughter of a viceroy during the colonial rule. When Dona was not permitted to marry Gasper Dias, a local fisherman, the lady ended her life by jumping from the cliff.
Apart from legends and a number of tourists, Dona Paula boasts of its popularity as a favoured destination for shooting of Bollywood movies. Bigshots of Bollywood come to this beach while searching for picturesque locales. Not only this, the beach is no less than a haven for the adventure sports buffs. The facilities for water sports offered by this beach are actually very good. Water-scooter, yachting, windsurfing, snorkelling, water-skiing, parasailing, motorboat rides and kayaking are some water sports you can indulge in. The water sports festival that falls in November every year is a great puller.
Those who are adventurous can enjoy a great time in the high seas, while the quiet souls can enjoy strolling around or shopping for souvenirs. Lace handkerchiefs, spices and straw hats that the local vendors sell in the shops nearby are must-buys. If you still want to pep up your holidays in Goa, sip Feni and port wine, two liquor specialities of Goa.
How to ReachDabolim Airport is the closest, only 29 kilometres off Panaji. Regular buses ply from Kadamba Bus Terminal in the town. Taxis are available in Panaji to reach upto the beach.
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