Of around 600 small and big islands which compose the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar islands, only a few are open for tourism. Havelock island is the most famous tourist destination of Andaman but I must say, its worth all the hype. There can be no itinerary to Andaman without Havelock Island on it.
With flocking tourists mainly comprising of honeymoon couples and families, I still fell in love with the turquoise color of water, white sand beaches, mesmerizing landscape all around the island. The relaxed and laid back vibe of the island makes it for a perfect beach vacation.
How to reach Havelock Island?
We had booked the government ferry to Havelock island in advance from the Phoenix jetty point. It’s suggested to book the tickets a day or two in advance due to limited availability of seats in govt. ferry which is quite inexpensive as compared to the private ones. We reached in time at the Phoenix Jetty point from where the government and private ferries ply.
I was extremely excited for the ride more for the expanse view of the ocean throughout the journey. We hardly sat in our chair cabin and hopped on to the deck as soon as the ferry left the port. The orchestrated tunes of the waves hitting the ship, the wind in my hair and the soothing blues of the ocean kept my will strong to bear the harsh sun and cherish the time on the deck.
While we were having a good time at the deck, a crew member of the ship who was standing next to us explained how a ship follows a particular channel. We also had him talking about the earthquake that had hit the area the previous day which led to the harsh waves of the sea. Such enriching conversations make journeys memorable.
Also read – A trip to Andaman Islands under INR 25K
Our time in Havelock Island
The jetty for Havelock island was seen after 2.5 hours of ride which is almost the Beach number 1 and a lot of speed boats were parked by the jetty point. We also saw a bustling small local market towards the left of the jetty. After some deliberation of hiring a taxi and shelling out a bomb or hopping on to the local government bus, we opted for the latter and were in for a rustic ride and travelling the way locals do.
Bus ride in Havelock Island
It’s during the bus ride I realized that Havelock is not only about pristine beaches but it has small villages which are blessed with lush greenery and forests. The paddy crop outlined the entire route till Radhanagar beach with sequence of tall coconut and palm trees. It was almost evening, I could see the setting sun during the ride and hoped to catch the sunset at the beach which is so talked about.
Luxury Dinner at Barefoot at Havelock Island
We had booked our stay very close to Radhanagar beach and by the time we reached the hotel Blue ocean resort, the sun had already bid goodbye for the day. Only people like me who are suckers of watching sun go down by the beach can sense the pain of missing the splendid sight. Nevertheless, we hired a scooty in INR 500 to roam around the island. To compensate for the sunset, we decided to treat ourselves at the luxurious restaurant of Barefoot at Havelock. They were celebrating Valentine’s day, hence the restaurant was decked up in color of love. There was a cover charge of INR 500 per person but the food was absolutely lip smacking. The sky was lit with many stars which was a sight to behold for a city dweller like me. We decided to go for a stroll on the beach to cherish the star studded sky and listen to the roaring waves hitting the shore. We had the entire beach to ourselves where we spent some great time before retiring for the day.
Hike to Elephant beach, Havelock Island
Next day began early for us as we had planned for a trek to elephant beach and then snorkelling in the serene waters of the beach. We drove till the starting point of the trek, parked our scooty and headed for the trek without a guide. It appeared that we were the first ones to go on that trail that day. The hike was an easy one but amidst the dense and marshy forest. Although the trail was more or less clear, but walking in a thick forest with creepy sounds was quite an experience. After around an hour’s walk, we crossed the marshy land to reach the mangroves and swamps just before the beach.The fish looking small insects were hopping from one hole to another and we dodged them to finally hit the beach. The broken trees on the coastline of the beach added the raw element to it making it all the more beautiful.
It was obvious that we were the first ones at the beach that day. Even the sports activity operators were behind us on the trail. The empty beach looked gorgeous and the shades of blue were immensely pretty to be true. A tour operator asked us if we would like to try snorkelling. Then, after a lot of deliberation because of my water fear, we finally tried our hands at snorkelling. I was bowled over by the beautiful marine life which indeed took my breath away. My snorkelling experience deserves another detailed post which will follow soon.
As we were leaving the elephant beach, tourists started pouring in numbers as the jetty would have started plying for elephant beach. Taking a ferry from the Havelock jetty point for elephant beach is another convenient way of reaching the beach but of course costs much as compared to the hike to the beach.
We headed to the jetty point to book tickets for govt. ferry for Neil island for the next day and in 30 minutes we had the tickets in hand. Also, it’s mandatory to book tickets of Neil Island to Port blair first, then only Havelock to Neil tickets are given.
Victory Lunch at Something Different, Havelock Island
After victory of snorkeling session and successfully procuring the tickets for Neil island, we thought it’s time to celebrate. We celebrated with beer and local coastal food at a restaurant called Something different where the manager not only treated us very well but also told us about the concept of having the beaches numbered. He told that when the refugees from Bangladesh had started coming to Andaman, then they were allocated the villages as per their arrival. So, when first group of refugees came, they were settled at Beach Number 1 and so on.
Also read – Things to do in Port Blair, Andaman
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island
Having missed the sunset last evening, I was on my toes to rush to the Radhanagar Beach and appreciate the hues of the setting sun. The white sand sparkled with the sunrays, the turquoise water gleamed with the many shades of sun and the sky was loaded with the most gorgeous hues of the sunset that evening. We spent a good time by the beach which is ranked number one beach of Asia. The mangroves , the huge palm trees sequenced the beach throughout to make it all the more mesmerizing. We retired for the day after having dinner at another near by resort.
We hadn’t got enough of Radhanagar beach, hence we decided to take a dip in waters next morning. Although it’s not the sunrise beach, but we immersed ourselves in the calmness of the beach early in the morning. The water was silvery and taking a dip in it made me richest at the moment. We got back to the hotel just in time to freshen up and catch our local bus to Havelock jetty.
It was time for lunch, with some beer and snacks, we stuffed ourselves at B3 restaurant by Barefoot almost at jetty point. The view from the restaurant was amazing and we couldn’t have asked anything better to end the Havelock island trip. But this was not all for lunch when we decided to try some food at Port canteen too. It’s quite a popular and inexpensive place to eat in Havelock. We ended up eating only maggie due to the unavailability of the most food items on the menu. We noticed availability is quite a concern on the entire island.
We walked towards the ferry at the scheduled time and settled ourselves in our respective seats. A soon as the ferry departed, we also headed to the deck of the ship. I hesitantly knocked the captain’s cabin to see around the controls of the ship and he was happy to show it all. We almost had the view of the ocean from the front of the ship making it a memorable experience of my trip. I was on top of the world to have the private deck to capture the sail and enjoy the ride thoroughly.
Other beaches to see in Havelock Island
Beach Number 2 – If you want to indulge in snorkelling or scuba diving, this beach is perfect for water sports. It is also off the tourist radar, hence you should head to this beach only for water adventure. A lot of diving schools conduct their initial training at this beach.
Beach Number 3 – Govindnagar beach – Not many tourists visit this beach but for the people who are staying in the resorts alongside the beach. This beach is ideal fr sunbathing and swimming.
Kalapathar beach – It is situated towards the bottom of the island and is ideal to watch sunrise. It is also visited for snorkelling. It’s another gorgeous beach in Havelock. Few kms south, there is a lovely village called Kalapathar which should be visited to know more about the local life, culture and plantations.
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