If you are driven by wanderlust and a bag packer by nature, Havelock Island is the place for you. Snow white sand beaches, teal and emerald shallows replete with a coast that is crammed with a colorful array of rich aquatic life, palm trees as well as dense forests in the interiors Ah! It’s a paradise. One should make this trip once in your lifetime for sure.
This picturesque island is rated as the seventh most beautiful island in the world. Havelock Island is the largest of islands which comprise the Archipelago, a chain of islands to the east of the Great Andaman in the Andaman group of islands. Havelock Island derives its name from Maj Gen Sir Henry Havelock, a prominent British Army official during colonial times. It is also one of the fewest of the places for which the local administration has been advocating the development of “eco-tourism”
Government ferries operated by Directorate of Shipping Services connects Havelock to Portblair twice daily. These ferries can be booked in advance from the STARS counter run by DSS and the counter at Phoenix Bay Jetty.
Alternatively, there is also an air-conditioned catamaran ferry from Port Blair to Havelock called M.V. Makruzz. This ferry is more expensive it is less likely to be full, and its schedule meets incoming flights. The other option is to fly in Pawan Hans, an amphibious 8-seater Cessna seaplane from Port Blair to Havelock which flies everyday excepts on Sundays.
1. Radhanagar Beach is the most picturesque and the most popular beach on the island. It was rated as the best in Asia by Time in 2004. Smooth and silky white sand backed by lush green forests that overlook sparkling blue hues. Sunsets here are spectacular,something you just cannot miss. It’s the place to be in to capture the best photographs. The hero of the beach is Rajan, the world’s last ocean swimming elephant. Water for Elephants indeed eh? Also, there is a lagoon here also called the Blue Lagoon.
2. Elephant Beacha.k.aHathiTapu is further north from Radhanagar and is popular among the Indian tourists. The coralreef here is probably the best on the island, making this a perfect hub for snorkeling. And yes you can even touch the corals with your feet.Remember to pack food and water, as there are very limited options like Tender Coconut and BhelPuri topped off by lemon. Talk about feeling lime and lemony by the beach!
3. Kalapathar Beacha.k.ais situated on one of the corners of the island. You have to travel along the road from Beach No#3 and Beach No#5. The beach gets its name from the surrounding village called Kalapathar Village and the black rocks called Kalapathar Rocks that adorn the coastline. The emerald sea, the tropical forests on one side of the coastline and silken silver sands on the other make it a great place to lay back and chill.
4. Vijaynagar Beach fringed with the tall Mahua trees, stretches along the east coast of the island. These trees mark their presence on the entire beach allowing the visitors to rest under their welcoming shade. It lets the tourists enjoy the dance of the waves against the suns. Oh what a sight indeed! Most of the hotels and resorts are situated around this beach.
5. Neils Cove Beach is an amazing spot for snorkeling, the best being on the right side along the rocks. The waters here have a very calming and soothing effect on the onlooker. The farther in you go, the better the experience, turtles and fishes as big as five feet long can also be spotted. The best time to snorkel is between low and high tides.
Things to do in Havelock
- Scuba diving
- Beach combing
- Mangrove Safari
- Elephant safaris
- Fishing at Captain’s Hook
- Swimming with elephants
- Bird Watching
- Splurging on Ayurvedic massages
Unfortunately, Havelock does not have an extravagant shopping scenario. Goving Nagar has a few basic shops where the tourists can purchase bracelets, earrings and necklaces made from shells. Corals of different colors are available in souvenir shops along with bowls, trays, walking sticks, Nicobari mats and coconut shell lamp shades. You can pick up one of the ubiquitous Andaman & Nicobar T-shirts sold everywhere for Rs.50 as a souvenir too!
Places to binge
The tiny dhabhasnear the junction at Beach #3 serve sumptuous seafood and basic Indian food, and are the cheapest way to eat on the island. There are also mini snack bars near there selling samosas, sweets and the like. Many more such dhabhascan be found near Radhanagar beach.
If you are willing to dine in exotic restaurants, you have a plethora of options. There are restaurants like B3, Barefoot Bar and Brasserie,Venom(Bar) and Charcoal(Restaurant),RedSnapper, Emerald Gecko, Clown Fish Cafe, White Sand, Sea shell and the like.
Havelock Island is marked by the presence of a number of shacks, huts and villas. It’s a dream destination indeed. Some of the famous resorts to choose from are dolphin resort, Cafe del Mar, Orient Legend Resort, Sunrise Beach Resort and Andamans Bubbles.
If you are willing to shell out some more money you can choose from these resorts: Eco Villa Palm Beach Resort, Emerald Gecko,Dolphin Beach Resort, Sea Shell resort, Symphony Palms Beach Resort, Wild Orchid Resort, Barefoot Resort, and Munjoh Ocean Resort