Havelock Island or Swaraj Dweep Island is one of the most popular and biggest islands in Andaman and Nicobar, India. The island is spread over a large area not less than 113.93 square kilometres. The island is situated 57km north-east from Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar. Havelock Island is recognised as a paradise filled with silky white sand beach, verdant forest, rich corals and crystal-clear seawater. Radhanagar and Vijaynagar are the most loved and reputed beaches in the island situated on the southern shores. Havelock Island is loved by those seeking to engage in scuba diving, deep-sea diving, water activities and snorkelling. The pristine shores of the island are spread across every expanse of Havelock Island. Kalpather and Elephant are two beaches where sunshine and sunset look quite picturesque. The island named after a British General has Ritchie’s Archipelago along with a collection of five villages.
When to visit Havelock island
Although Andaman and Nicobar Island have rainy season starting from May till September, it experiences hot summers and mild winters. This makes this place a year-round destination to visit. You can enjoy a moderate temperature from between 30-35 degrees Celsius from October to March. This is also an idle time when you can enjoy many water sports as well as relax in idyllic beaches.
How to reach Havelock Island?
You can take daily flights to Port Blair which departs from cities such as Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai. If you book a round trip in advance, the agencies may charge you less. As Port Blair does not have an international terminal, most of the people visiting Havelock Island make sure that they spend some quality time in India as well. When you visit Port Bair, you can hire a vessel or a boat to go to Havelock Island. Government ferry rides are also available which runs throughout the day at regular intervals. The ferry rides are cheaper and take 2.5 hours to reach the destination. If you prefer a luxurious and quicker option, go for a private ferry which takes just 90 minutes from Port Blair.
Getting Around Havelock island
Being one of the favourite tourist destinations in India, Havelock island has numerous transportation options. The roads are developed and are laid straight which makes very easy for first-time travellers to visit desired places easily. The following few options will surely help when you visit havelock island:
- Rented bikes- Renting a scooter is one of the easiest options to travel across Havelock Island. You can hire a scooter or a bike on an hourly or per-day basis. Since the fuel stations are shut down before 5 pm. Make sure you have enough fuel to travel back.
- Tourist taxi- You can hire a tourist cab or a taxi from Havelock jetty. Here, many drivers can be seen waiting for passengers therefore, be aware to not to pay overprice.
- Public transport– If you have a limited budget for travelling, go for public buses and jeeps which commute within Havelock islands.
- Auto rickshaw– To go for a short ride, auto-rickshaws can prove to be the best and budget-friendly too.
Best places to stay in Havelock island
Although Havelock Island has many good places and hotels where you can choose from, we have shortlisted 6 best places to choose from.
- Havelock Island Beach Resort- This resort is very near to the Havelock beach and thus is liked the most by people visiting Havelock island to relax in the beachside. Apart from it, this resort has beautiful décor and a room in it comes within a mild budget.
- The Flying Elephant- This yoga stay is inspired by Indian décor and culture. One can experience an open and ventilated bamboo cottage along with open air-shower area with positive vibes.
- Jalakara- This is a boutique hotel placed amidst the rainforest of Havelock Island. The place is decorated beautifully and comes equipped with modern amenities in its well-designed rooms and villas attached to the personal pool.
- Taj Exotica- This hotel is located on Radhanagar beach of Havelock island and is the most popular among regular visitors. Many luxurious rooms provide customers with beautiful views. The restaurants available in the property serves exotic food which will make you feel pampered.
- Barefoot- Located near Radhanagar beach, barefoot is considered as a luxurious jungle stay. This place is famous for arranging activities for family and friends.
- Seashell resort– This is yet another blissful destination which is preferred by high-end-luxury travellers. The resorts offer candlelight dinners, spa and infinity pool.
Attractive beaches in Havelock island
- Radhanagar Beach: This is the most beautiful beach on Havelock island and is famous for its crystal-clear waters. The Radhanagar beach has a very serene view due to which it has been regarded as the best beach in Asia as mentioned by TIME Magazine in 2004. The transparent blue-coloured water makes the place look amazing as you can see coral reefs in the seabed. Head for blue-lagoon if you seek to spend some time or remain in a beach area during sunset.
- Elephant Beach: This beach is popular worldwide for its coral views. Although the Elephant beach was impacted due to the 2004 Tsunami, it did not impact the popularity it holds worldwide. In Elephant beach, you can choose to participate in various sports available like scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming. After sports and water activities, you can fill your empty stomachs in various stalls available nearby which sells Indian snacks and food.
- Kalapathar Beach– Kala in the Hindi language means black colour and as the name states, this beach is bordered with black coloured stones. There is a dense forest on one side of the beach and while you cross the beach, you can enjoy life away from the city. This beach is a popular spot for recreational activities like campaigning and picnics with friends and family.
- Vijaynagar Beach– This beach is covered with white sand. Once you are near the seashore, you can hear the soft sound of the waves which makes this beach full of tranquillity and peace. Vijaynagar beach is also known as Lone Mangrove beach and is regarded as one of the best places where people can relax their mind and body.
Adventurous activities on Havelock island
Let the daring sensation in you come out amidst various adventurous activities available in Havelock Island for the travellers to indulge in.
Sea walking is one of the best activities available in Elephant beach. Anyone aged between 7 to 70 years can enjoy sea walking which is among new tourist attraction gaining much popularity these days. The underwater sea walk in Havelock island is a unique experience and proves to be a life-time opportunity for non-divers visiting the island. You can enjoy the exciting yet safe underwater walk in sea bed about 6 to 7 meters in depth. Just like the magnificent marine life of Mauritius, Havelock Island has wonderful coral, a wide range of fish and fauna. Many certified and experienced guides can be hired who will accompany you after providing a one-day course of Underwater Sea Walk to ensure maximum protection.
Scuba diving in Havelock is all about swimming across beautiful coral reefs, fishes and seabed garden in silent water. This is one of the best experience Havelock offers to dive enthusiasts worldwide. As many as 15 prime locations offer scuba diving activity among which Barefoot resort is considered as the best. The cluster of islands where silver shores embrace playful ocean waves will dare you to go deeper to explore another world in the ocean. An enriched scuba will leave you bedazzled and amazed!
Snorkeling is for those who seek to explore coral reefs. Do visit Elephant beach virgin shores where the water is crystal clear and an idle place for snorkeling. If you are lucky enough; you can see a school of fishes especially in the morning hours which may even beat scuba diving experience due to the presence of dense coral reef in the beach.
If you love trekking, Elephant beach will offer one! This beach can be best reached by boat. Unlike believed by boat operators that trekking at Elephant beach is dangerous, people have experienced quite safe trekking. It is available at a simple walk of around 2 kilometres. You can hire a guide at the starting point which is located just before Radhanagar beach.
To do Kayaking on Havelock island, you do not need to have prior experience. Enjoy this activity by sailing through mangroves and narrow waterways to encounter the natural beauty of the island. Make sure that you grab your back loop and position the kayak in a way that the cockpit is near the shallow end so that enough water can stand in or else be prepared to get wet in seawater!
Discover the Island
Many bikes and scooter are readily available which can be hired by travellers in per day basis. Since the island is quite small, you won’t require much fuel though. Riding in an open vehicle can prove to be a good experience than riding around the island in cars or buses.
Relax at the beach
This is the best thing I would love to do in Havelock Island. This beach was rated as the best beach in Asia and the seventh-best beach in the world in 2015 as mentioned by Time Magazine. With lush green trees beside the island and crystal-clear water, you will enjoy a barefoot walk or spend idle time in the white sand of the island beaches. Other than above-mentioned beaches, you can opt for Govindnagar beach also which provides a serene atmosphere and an idle place to relax.