The silver, virgin beaches, turquoise water and coral reefs; Andaman Islands is the Shangri-la of India. Imagine sailing on a boat, amidst blue-green waters and looking at the majestic cliffs and bodacious jungles – the landscape, here, is straight out of a storybook. This paragon of beauty also offers unworldly views, lush green forests, varied wildlife, tribal tours, and it holds a unique identity, unlike any other place in India.
If you are a beach bum, the Andamans should be next on your travel bucket list, and when it comes to exploring the underwater life, there is no place like this. Whatâs better? The islands are easily accessible as the capital town, Port Blair, is connected to all major cities by air. To help you plan your trip better, hereâs a detailed 5-day itinerary:
Day 1: Stay at Port Blair Â
Port Blair is known for its dynamic history. While you are here, donât forget to visit the Cellular Jail â a reminiscence of the sacrifices that our heroes of the National Freedom Movement made, and the confinement that they suffered over the years during the colonial rule. Do watch the evening sound and light show, which encapsulates nerve-wracking stories from the past.
End your day by relaxing at a sea-facing lounge or cafÃ©. We recommend Amaya at the Sea Shell Hotel or Alto Espirito at the Sinclairs Bayview Resort.
There are only 2-3 ferries that sail every day from Port Blair to Havelock or Ross Islands and if you are not sure about the timings, we recommend a one-day stay at Port Blair.
Day 2: Explore the Ross Island and North Bay
Sail away to the fascinating Ross Island, which is just a few miles from Port Blair. This place would take you back in time when this was an administrative settlement for the British. An earthquake rocked the Island in 1941; since then the Island could never recover from the decay, but you can still spot some of the old buildings, and if you canât wait to explore the fringing coral reefs, head to the North Bay Island.
North Bay Island is the closest snorkelling spot to Port Blair, and the view of the pristine archipelago lagoons, palm-covered land, and stretch of white sand, are breathtaking. There are many ferries that ply to North Bay and Ross Island from Port Blair. The entire duration of the tour would be around 3-4 hours.
Day 3: Havelock Island
The gorgeous views at the Ross Island and North Bay will leave you overwhelmed and give you a sense of fulfilment, but wait! You have seen nothing yet! Itâs time to sail to paradise. Take an early morning ferry to Havelock Island. We recommend Macruz Gold to enjoy the cruise in luxury.
At Havelock, spend your day at the pristine Radhanagar Beach, which featured as the most beautiful beach in Asia, in the Time Magazine. This silver, virgin beach is a sight to behold, and the sunset at Radhanagar is as mesmerising as it gets. In spite of increasing tourism, at Havelock, you will experience island life at its best and live like a local. Though Havelock doesn’t really have a buzzing nightlife, there are plenty of places to relax. Spend your evening at the Moon CafÃ© on Vijay Nagar Beach to enjoy a sense of peace amidst nature.
Note: Book your ferry from Port Blair to Havelock or Neil Island in advance as there are only 2-3 ferries sailing in a day.Â
Day 4: Havelock Island
Havelock is one of the most serene diving destinations in the world, so, why not start your day by exploring the beautiful underwater life! The best time to go diving is in the wee morning hours when the visibility is better. Ensure that you register for your dive the night before. Your dive at Havelock would be an experience of a lifetime, and the colourful marine life, here, would leave you enthralled and give you a sense of fulfilment.
After your dive, head to the Elephant Beach for a day full of adventure and indulge in snorkelling, sea walking and other water sports in the deep blue waters.
Day 5: Neil Island
Well, your time at Havelock might have ended but itâs not time to go back yet. Andaman has a lot more to offer! Head to the Neil Island and spend the day at the amazing Laxmanpur Beach and Bharatpur Beach, and snorkel with tropical fish.
You can either stay back at Neil Island to explore more of this incredible place, or take the last ferry of the day to Port Blair, depending on your flight timing.
So, head to Andamans this summer and experience the beauty that this destination is!Â
Best time to visit: November to mid-July