Dona Paula is a secluded bay only 7 km from Panaji with a magnificent view of the Mormugao harbor. This idyllic rocky tourist attraction lies at the spot where the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea. There is a romantic legend behind the name Dona Paula. Dona Paula is the village where the lady of that name Dona Paula de Menezes is believed to have loved, lived and died - a gory death in the second half of the 18th century. The Dona Paula monument is located on a small islet, linked to the mainland by a small bridge and a quay.
The Dona Paula-Mormugao Harbour Ferry takes passengers across the bay, every day of the week between the months of October and May. Water scootering facilities are also available over here. Other water sports like boating, para-sailing, water scooters, yachting, swimming, wind surfing and fishing are available in the area.
The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa. The National Oceanography Institute (NIO) where research is conducted on almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography is also nearby on the road to Cabo Raj Niwas. The major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.