Set off the southern tip of Saurashtra is the tiny island of Diu, just 12km long and 3km wide. Under Portuguese control for more than four hundred years, until 1961, it is now governed as a Union Territory from Delhi along with its sister city of Daman. The combination of relaxed atmosphere, historic charm, broad beaches and lack of alcohol restrictions makes Diu one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. While its beaches are admittedly not as idyllic as Goa’s, most visitors stay longer than intended.
Diu Town in the east is the island’s main focus. A maze of alleys lined with distinctive Portuguese buildings form the hub of the old town, while the fort stands on the island’s easternmost tip, staring defiantly out at the Gulf of Cambay. Along the northern coast, the island’s main road runs past salt pans that give way to mudflats sheltering flocks of waterbirds, including flamingos that stop to feed in early spring. The route skirting the south coast passes rocky cliffs and beaches, the most popular of which is Nagoa Beach, before reaching the tiny fishing village of Vanakbara in the very west of the island.