THE LITTLE ISLAND of Diu covers an area of just 39 sq km (15 sc miles). Once known as the “Gibraltar of the East”, it was a flourishing Portuguese colony from the 16th century onwards. It was ceded to India in 1961 and is today a Union Territory administered by the Central Government. The majestic Diu Fort on the eastern end of the island dominates the town. Built in 1535 when the Portuguese took control of Diu, it is worth a visit for its impressive double moat, its old cannons and for the superb views of the sunset it offers. Diu town, sandwiched between the fort to the east and the city wall to the west, retains a distinctly Portuguese atmosphere in its churches and its many mansions. The Nagar Seth Havei is particularly outstanding, with carved balconies and stone lions. The Church of St Paul (built in 1610) has a lovely, carved wooden altar, statues of the saints and a sonorous old organ. Its impressive Gothic facades was rebuilt in 1807. Nearby, the St Thomas Church (built in 1598) houses a museum of religious artifacts and stone inscriptions linked to the island’s history. The beach at Nagoa, 7 km (4 miles) from the town, has a long stretch of sand fringed with palm trees. Other beaches within easy reach of Diu are J]allandhar and Chakratirth which has a sunset viewpoint. As a Union Territory, Diu is not subject to Gujarat’s prohibition laws. This explains the profusion of bars in the town, and the invasion, on weekends, by thirsty Gujaratis.