Grand Island activities or visit to the island is itself closed once the monsoon sets in. Monsoon starts in June and continues till September end in Goa. Therefore as per orders issued by the State Tourism Department, all water sports involving venturing into the Sea stand cancelled during the intermittent period and tour operators shut down sea activities from June to October, after which the activities commence in winter. Bad weather means that monsoon is in full flow in Goa and also high wind speeds make the ocean choppy and hence even the fishermen do not venture out into the seas in June/July. Therefore, there is no way one can travel to Grand Island during such period.
Once the monsoon recedes and winter sets in from October 2019 onwards the waters become clearer, calmer and travel-friendly for boat operators to venture out into the sea and ferry tourists to Grand Island for various activities. In the recent past, naval authorities in Goa have proposed to the State Government to acquire the Grande Island and land at Bimbel beach citing threat to aviation from terrorists. But the government had quashed such plans. However, reports had surfaced that the villagers of Chicolna-Bogmalo were denied access to Grande Island by the Navy, to have their annual litany at the Cross located on the island as this location is also being used by traditional fishermen to rest, during their fishing trips into the sea. During rough weather, fishermen take shelter here to protect themselves. However, the government in the past has accepted the fact that naval base is occupying one part of Island with an area of 1.36 lakh sq-m of village Sao Jorge Island, where the Cross is located. However, confusion prevails whether tour operators prefer the Bat Island or the Grand Island while prioritizing their tour schedule.
Activities at Grand Island
Goa is a popular global destination known for its spectacular sun-kissed beaches. Boat rides into the Arabian Sea will take you to islands that will lure you with their sheer beauty and ecstasy. It won’t be incorrect to say that without a trip to Goa’s islands, the vacation shall remain incomplete. Therefore, it is highly advisable that the island visit is a must while on a Goa vacation.
There are various island locations in Goa but a trip to Grand Island also known as Ilha Grande or Grande Island off the Vasco coast tops the charts. Bat Island is also listed on the travel planner while Divar, Choaro, St Jacinto, Conco and Butterfly are also some popular islands in the Goan waters.
However, the bat island and Grand Island are quite popular for their trips from the Sinquerim jetty in the north where tourists make a beeline to experience Suba Diving and Snorkeling activities in the Arabian Sea. This island also happens to be the best diving location in Goa as it has different dive spots. While others love to spot Dolphins, most enjoy their ride with a beer or two as they keep munching on the spicy and delightful barbeques lined up for afternoon buffets on the nearby Monkey Beach.
Why people head to Grand Island?
- This island has multiple diving locations off its shores that are not only ideal for beginners but also for expert divers who want to make the trip a life time experience.
- Learners’ courses are also on offer.
- Divers get to dive from depths ranging between 3 to 15m to unravel the beauty of the coral world and a wide species of marine life.
- The St George’s Island located nearby is also a diver’s delight as there are a list of diving locations which are to be explored.
- Other surrounding areas known for the presence of shipwrecks and huge boulders underneath also catch the attention of divers.
- The beauty of all this is water adventure comes with variety and an affordable package.