If you’re all for tranquil beaches and leisurely holidays, the Andamans are a perfect example to take you away from the bustle of city life. It is a collection of islands, and if you have to pick one that’ll make you feel like you’re in some sort of paradise – let that be Havelock Island (also known as Swaraj Dweep).
Havelock Island offers one of Asia’s best beaches and is equally famous for its swimming elephants and unbeatable reef. It’s actually quite similar to the gorgeous white sandy beaches of Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand minus the backpackers, night parties and internet cafés. It’s ideal for those who don’t mind having no phone connectivity or internet access; it’s the best place if you’re looking to connect with yourself.
There are about seven seven idyllic tropical beaches on Havelock Island, which means beach bums can have a gala time visiting a new one every day for a week. The most you will of a civilisation are the bamboo cottages hidden behind the sweeping coconut palm trees.
Havelock’s most popular beach is the Radhanagar Beach (Beach No.7) – a stroll through a dense forest leads you to the white sand and crystal clear blue water of this beach. There is a treehouse restaurant serving simple meals and drinks behind the beach, as well as a few stalls selling fresh coconut water. The sunset on Radhanagar Beach is said to be surreal.
The Elephant Beach nearby is perfect for snorkelling and water sports and has the island’s best coral. Activities offered include an underwater sea walk, scuba diving, jet skiing, glass-bottom boats and banana rides. You can access this beach by a 20-minute high-speed boat from the east Havelock Island, a boat ride that offers stunning views worth a million bucks.
There are PADI centres around Havelock that help you with scuba diving among Andaman’s rare marine life and enchanting coral reef. They also facilitate sea-walking and snorkelling amongst fish and swimming elephants that will turn out to be an experience of a lifetime for you.
For the adventure junkies, trekking is a must when in Havelock. Trek up the Japanese Hill right next to Radhanagar Beach and explore hidden waterfalls and towering palm trees which are home to exotic birds.