Located on the shore of the Arabian Sea
, Dona Paula is in the western part of North Goa District
. It is named after Dona Paula de Menezes, the daughter of a viceroy who is believed to have committed suicide when refused permission to marry a local fisherman. This charming locale is roughly 1 km from Caranzalem
and 10 km from Bambolim
. About 10 km away is Panaji
, the state capital.
The Zuari and the Mandovi rivers merge with the Arabian sea here. Dona Paula Beach is one of the popular beaches in Goa. There are ample opportunities for water sports like water-scooter rides and motor-boat rides. Cabo Palace, the official residence of the Governor of Goa, is at the western tip of the place. Janmashtami and the Feast of St Lawrence are the main festivals celebrated here. Dona Paula is a very popular tourist point providing a good view of Mormugao harbor and during summer, there is a service by boat from Dona Paula to Vasco da Gama across the bay.
The whitewashed statue sculpted by Baroness Von Leister by the ferry jetty, named "Image of India" is an important landmark. The sculpture is that of a couple facing in opposite directions, the man towards the nation's past and the woman towards the future.
Dona Paula is a shopping destination too. A variety of items ranging from eatables to clothes can be bought from the beachside shops. Indian Arts Emporium in Dona Paula offers an array of handicrafts and jewelry.
Bambolim Beach, Vainguinim Beach, and Miramar Beach are some other nearest tourist destinations. National Oceanography Institute, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (9 km), Reis Magos church (10 km) are major attractions. Dona Paula Beach Resort and Prainha Cottages By The Sea offer comfortable lodging facilities.
The main access points are Goa Airport and Karmali Railway Station. A number of buses run from Panaji to Dona Paula. The nearest interstate bus station is Panaji KTC bus station at Patto.