Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep): An island for adventures and some tranquil time
Not all the beautiful destinations remain in their original form, especially with the growing tourist influx. Thanks to the islanders and tourism industry, Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) is an exception. Despite being one of the most popular destinations in the Andaman & Nicobar group of islands, Havelock Island has maintained its serenity. It is still raw and surrounded by nature from all the four sides. For someone coming from an urban area, Havelock Island is a relief as it has still not been commercialised and has a limited population. The postcard-perfect destination with mangroves and secluded white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters displays nature at its purest form and, you cannot deny that you felt refreshed as soon as you stepped on the land. There’s a lot to do in Havelock Island, from water sports to fishing and shopping.
There is a great scope to enjoy romantic candlelight dinner by the beach as well as let your hair down on the dance floor while the DJ plays some great music. Here, you can be active throughout the day by exploring different sides of Havelock Island, or else, you can choose to do nothing but sit by the beach and watch people enjoy freedom. Compared to its other neighbouring islands other than the crowded Port Blair, Havelock is the second busiest yet a charming island. It is a place to enjoy the best of both world’s ― nature and hustle-bustle. For the ones who like to spend some time in tranquillity as well as enjoy a lively atmosphere around, Havelock Island is the place.
How to Reach Havelock Island
Situated 70 km away from Port Blair, reaching Havelock Island is easy and accessible through private and government ferries. But to go to Havelock Island, you will first have to reach Port Blair (the capital of Andaman & Nicobar Island) and then make your way towards Havelock Island. Choose comfort and take a flight from Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Bengaluru to Port Blair or get on a ship for an adventurous journey from Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam. Though the journey on a ship is long, the experience you get is rare.
As Port Blair is the only intermediate point that connects the entire archipelago to the rest of the world after you arrive at Port Blair you will have to take a ferry to reach Havelock Island or any other island from there.
For Havelock Island, both government and private ferries directly depart from Port Blair. You must book your ferry tickets to Havelock Island from Port Blair or any other neighbouring island, in advance. The bookings for private ferries open one month in advance and, for government ferry, the booking counter opens three days in advance closes a day or an evening before the departure. Booking a seat in government-operated ferries is near to impossible as you have to be physically present to book the ticket and your turn will only come after the locals as the government ferries especially run for islanders.
Rely on private ferries to avoid last-minute tension. At Phoenix Bay Jetty / Haddo Jetty in Port Blair, you will find Makruzz, Green Ocean, ITT Majestic and Sea link that departs for Havelock Island. All the ferries have an economy, luxury and royal class seating arrangements to choose from. Catching a ferry from Port Blair to Havelock Island is not that difficult as ferries depart from here on an everyday basis. If you are not in Port Blair but already holidaying in any island then also you can book a ferry ticket to reach the island. Though access to Havelock from other islands is available, Neil Island has more options compared to others.
As you reach Havelock Island, you will realise that there’s so much to explore. The dense forest, rice paddies and waters are seen along the way will make a special place in your heart. From beaches and treks to water sports, there are plenty of activities for you to indulge in and you wouldn’t want to leave the island anytime soon.
Save your time, avoid waiting in a queue and crowd when you can afford a chartered boat or aircraft (helicopter) Andaman Island offers. Charter a speed boat or helicopter with your family or friends and get to your destination in no time and allows six-eight passengers. These arrive and depart as per your booking timing and you can aboard as soon as you reach Port Blair. You waste no time here. Every second is stress-free. You can call it the beginning of your luxurious vacation.
Currently not operating, Seaplane once was the most loved mode of commute from Port Blair to Havelock Island. The seaplane used to fly between Port Blair and Havelock Island and also flies up to Barren Island – the only volcano in India and the passengers can enjoy the aerial view of the volcano. With seating capacity for eight, it could travel up to 250 km in an hour with ground landing as it was configured with wheels. Started in 2011, the seaplane which has not been operating for a few years now might come back and, it’s a must experience to indulge in.
Where to stay?
We know before anything else, your first concern will be finding a good accommodation. Though an island with less population, it has all the facilities one would expect from a tourist attraction. Havelock Island has accommodations to suit every budget. From rustic budget-friendly huts facing the ocean to the deluxe and luxury hotels as well as resorts, Havelock Island offers it all.
Havelock Island Beach Resort, Taj Exotica, Jalakara, Barefoot at Radhanagar, Dolphin resort, The Flying Elephant, Seashell resort, Wild Orchid Beach resort, Munjoh, Silver sand beach resort, TSG Blue, Symphony palms beach resort and Aparupa Sands Marina are a few stays where you can experience the comfort and best view with budget-friendly and luxurious options.
The stays in Havelock Island start from Rs 500 and go on till Rs 25,000 per day. Hence, finding a stay in Havelock Island is easy for all kinds of travellers. From families, solo travellers to corporate officials.
Havelock Island boasts cosy cafes, dance floor and candlelight dinner
Each café has its unique offerings and, no two cafes are alike. Be it the vibe, menu, view or concept there will be one stand out element in every café which is hard to find in the next café you go.
The cafes in Havelock Island are either standalone properties or part of a 3-star or 4-star resorts offering seafood, multi-cuisine, continental and South-Indian. These cafes are open throughout the day but going to the places when they offer the best is always a smart choice. Like any place, Havelock Island also has some places recommended for sumptuous breakfast, pure vegetarian food, chill time in the evening and a classy or happening dinner to enjoy the nightlife in Havelock Island.
Anju Coco, Something different, Shakahaar, Golden Spoon, Venom Bar, Full Moon Café, Fat Martin’s café, Kathmandu Restaurant, Squid restaurant and Cafe Del Mar are amongst a few restaurants you can visit any time of the to enjoy great food and vibe of the Island. Whereas, Havelock Island Beach Club at Havelock Island Beach Resort a few metres away from the seashore and
Bo No Va at Seashell Resort are the two places in Havelock Island that offer DJ and dance floor. But, if your idea of a beautiful night is to reserve a table by the beach for a candlelight dinner with your partner and then groove to some music, head to Havelock Island Beach Resort. The resort hosts a candlelight dinner at its Nemo Café in the outdoors and a groovy dance floor indoors at Havelock Island Beach Resort. Though other resorts also host candlelight dinner on request, Nemo Café is the best in the island to fulfil your idea of a dreamy romantic dinner. Only a couple of metres away from the beach, this venue boasts the best view.
Commute within island
Here, every resort and hotel will help you with commute within the island. Connect with your property manager or staff and, they will assist you with the best way to explore the island the vehicle to take on rent. Two-wheeler, four-wheeler, taxi and cars all can be arranged easily as Havelock Island has all kinds of transport facilities. You will also come across a lot of transport service while roaming around on the island but taking help from your property manager is a wise choice to avoid being overpricing. Most owners do not only connect you to transport agencies but also try for a discounted price and help you save some money.
Also, if you wish to figure out on your own, it’s not difficult. You can easily find your choice of transport on the island.
Taxi/cab: As soon as you reach Havelock Jetty, you will find a lot of drivers offering you a taxi to show around Havelock Island but, you need to deal with them carefully. If you are not good at bargaining, avoid them and head straight to your accommodation and ask for assistance. The best way is to enquire about the rates beforehand or ask a local for help. This option is good if you are a group of people or more than two.
Bi-cycle: If you are someone who likes to understand a place closely, then bicycles are the best options to bet on. Adventurous, economical and easily-available, bicycles are not just a way of commute within the island but also considered as an activity during sunset. So, hire a bicycle to explore the island while you already indulge in a healthy activity.
Two-wheeler rental: You can hire a scooter and roam around if you are travelling solo or with another person. The per-day cost for a scooter is usually Rs 500 and you can either hire it daily or for as long as you want. Fuel your bike any time of the day as fuel stations are open up to 9:00 pm, until the roads are dark. Bikes are a great mode of commute to explore any island in the archipelago, only if it is not monsoon as the slippery roads are difficult to drive on.
Bus: A bus is the most convenient option to go around in Havelock Island if you are on a budget trip. Most locals and tourists commute by buses and, it is a very safe option for everyone.
Jeep: To commute within Havelock Island and save some money in your wallet, you can also consider shared jeeps and travel to the beaches and restaurants without any hassle.
Auto-rickshaw A bit expensive than bus and jeep, auto-rickshaw is another economically viable mode of commute. For locals and tourists, an auto-rickshaw is easily available at low cost. The minimum charges of an auto-rickshaw are Rs 50 to Rs 200 for smaller distance. To show you around the cost may be a little higher and you can take the service as per your requirement. You can go to a place and come to back or book for a day trip.
What to indulge in?
If you are here for some thrill, then this little slice of paradise has got you covered. Apart from offering the best version of nature through its beaches, white sands and dense forests, Andaman & Nicobar group of islands also offer the best water sports activities and, Havelock Island is famous amongst adrenaline junkies for this particular reason. Havelock Island boasting white sandy beaches and colourful coral life hosts a bunch of adventure water sports. Scuba diving, snorkelling, Kayaking, Jet Skiing, Glass bottom ride, Banana Boat ride and sea walking are the adventure water sports most enthusiasts come to Havelock Island for. Though the island is famous for its beaches and water sports, not many people are aware of the experiences beyond the beach Havelock Island offers. These are the less-discussed sides of Havelock Island.
Mangroves & Kayaking
Havelock Island is not only a hub for water sports but also offers the best locations. Mangroves here are one of the most beautiful sights to catch. One has to kayak through it as well as can combine kayaking and snorkelling to experience the best. The Kayaking tour at night is the best way to experience the magic and, one need not be a trained swimmer as you will always be accompanied by a certified instructor.
When done with soaking up in the sun and lazing around at the beaches of Havelock Island, head out for trekking if you have a love for it and wish to explore the flora in the wild jungles. Indulge in confluence hunting and find 19°N and 93°E only a couple of 100 metres away from Vijay Nagar Beach, which is also known as Beach No 5. The huge demand for treks is mostly managed by some of the renowned and best-rated resorts in Havelock Island, providing experienced guides and ensuring utmost safety. Havelock Island Beach Resort, Barefoot at Havelock, Wild Orchid Resort and Emerald Gecko Resort organise treks from guests as well as anyone willing to experience the thrill in the jungle.
In Andaman, quite a few destinations are known exclusively for snorkelling and, most famous amongst them is Havelock Island for its variety of beaches hosting excellent snorkelling experiences. Elephant Beach is a go-to place for everyone. As the water is too shallow, the beach is ideal for swimmers and non-swimmers, both. Under the guidance of certified instructors, beginners can snorkel without fear, even at the depth of one metre. The marine life is pretty visible even at that depth. You will find many colourful corals and shoal of fish. The underwater world is much-needed therapy while holidaying on Andaman Island.
Whether you are fond of fishing or not, Game fishing, one of the popular activities in Havelock Island worth a shot. Boat, the mode of commute entices you to the journey as you can go around Havelock Island even if you do not wish to do fishing. The inhabited islands like Peel Island, Inglis Island, Wilson Island, South button and John Lawrence can be explored through boat which is usually organised by Experience Andamans, World Sport Fishing and Andaman Sea Fishing.
Shop till you drop
Head to Seven Heaven store – shoppers’ paradise, to pick some souvenirs for your loved ones back home. The clothes, jewellery and other crafts you get here unique in quality give great satisfaction to shopaholics. Shopping at Havelock Island is a perfect way to spend time post-sunset.
You see nothing but greenery, blue waters and white sands when around
While you step out to explore, you will be stunned by the beauty of the island throughout the path. The narrow roads along the forest and azure waters will leave you in awe. The beaches here are a clean, beautiful and leave a calming effect on your soul. You can sit back and relax, swim, indulge in water sports, walk along the shore or catch sunset and sunrise.
This white sandy beach with clear waters and greenery is a place to relax, swim and watch the sun setting down. Titled as one of the best beaches in Asia by TIME magazine, Radhanagar Beach does stand by what it is crowned for. Once you visit Andaman Island, visiting this beach should be on top of your wish list to fulfil your dream of a perfect beach vacation.
The beauty of the beach is incomparable. It makes you scream in joy as soon as you enter the location. The white sand, blue waters, huts, shacks, wooden chairs all make you forget everything and help you live in the moment. As the beach is swimmers’ paradise, there is also a changing room for the convenience. Surrounded by greenery and huge shade-giving trees, the beach houses great spots from swimmers to relax after a calming swim.
Though the beach is recommended for swimming, it is not advised for new or untrained swimmers to go beyond 10 metres from the shoreline. And the lifeguards are always present at the beach ensuring the safety of the visitors.
You should go for:
Sit back and relax at the shacks, Swim, Sunset
If you think you might spot elephants here or there’s some history that combines elephants and this beach, surprisingly it isn’t the case. From its name to route and vibe, everything about this beach is interesting. Reaching here isn’t the usual way as it’s a secluded beach in the northern part of Havelock Island separated by dense tropical forest and no road facility. You can only reach here through the boat and, the journey is as exciting as the destination. And, if you are adventurer kinds then, you can trek through the forest to reach the beach.
Havelock Island is famous for adventure water sports and, Elephant Beach is the best place for water sports as it hosts Scuba diving,(scuba is not conducted at Elephant beach, scuba is only in Havelock Island), Sky Walk, Snorkelling, Kayaking, Jet Skiing, Banana Boat ride and Glass Bottom Boat ride under the guidance of Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The place to discover underwater wonders, colourful corals, Havelock Island surrounded by greenery on one side and crystal clear waters on the other is the best place to indulge in adventure and then relax when tired.
You should go for:
Adventure water sports, Greenery, Crystal Clear water
Kalapathar Beach at Havelock Island is the sunrise point
Famous for sunrise, Kalapathar Beach in Havelock Island is a less-explored beach offering calmness and serenity for people to relax after a tiring day. Most travellers come here during sunrise as it is one of the two beaches in Havelock Island popular for sunset.
With dense tropical forest and ocean on parallel sides, the route to Kalapathar Beach looks nothing less than a beautiful painting and, it gets better at the end of the road when white sand and open sea welcome you. The journey to the beach becomes more wonderful if you are on a bike. The cold wind hitting against your face while you fail to decide which side of the road boasts better view is invaluable.
Tucked away at a beautiful corner amidst greenery and white sands, Kalapathar Beach is the best place to relax and spend some time alone. This beach accommodates a lot of local shops offering snacks and fresh coconut water for you to spend some long hours and grab a bite whenever you feel like. If planning to spend some quiet evening time, then Kalapathar Beach should be your go-to place.
You should go for:
Sunrise, Snacks, Long walks, View on the way
Unexplored by a very few tourists, this beach is still an untouched paradise in Havelock Island. Though pretty, for most people it doesn’t appear to be as happening as other beaches in Havelock Island and the same is an advantage for the ones on a lookout for solitude.
You can sit for hours and admire the white sands, seashells and pure atmosphere around you for hours. Most offbeat explorers searching peace land here and sit for hours writing, reading or doing nothing. It is a great place to cut off from all the chaos in the world and admire nature at its purest form.
You should go for:
Peace, White sand, Sea shell, Greenery
Dive sites & centres
Ask anyone who has been to Andaman Island and, they will first talk about water sports, above all, Scuba diving. In Havelock Island, most travellers come to experience the thrill of Scuba diving in the most beautiful sites. Famous amongst Scuba divers, Havelock Island boasts many diving sites like Lighthouse, Elephant Beach, The Wall, Minerva Ledge, Aquarium, Pilot Reef, Dixon’s Pinnacle, Jackson’s Bar and Johnny’s Gorge. All these sites are surrounded by the best view but, to go back home with the best experience you must choose the best. Many dive schools offer Scuba diving and, most of them are decent, but Andaman Dive Club, Andaman Bubbles Dive Centre, Barefoot Scuba, DIVE India and Doongi Dives are the most famous SSI and PADI certified dive centres. With experienced instructors, undergone intensive training, they ensure a safe and unforgettable experience following all the mandatory guidelines.
The essential services
Havelock Island is the place where most tourists come to chill and indulge in water sports and immerse in nature. With a lot of movement happening on the island, it has made itself equipped with all sorts of amenities one would expect from any tourist spot.
Medical facility within island
Be it for kids or, a person of any age, Havelock Island has enough clinics and hospitals to treat the islanders as well as tourists. In Havelock Island, primary health centres, Community Health Centre, Homeopathy and ISM are available to deal with the medical emergency. Most of the resorts/hotels on the island have a doctor on call facility in case of a medical emergency. So, always check with the management before stepping out to find out on your own. To be on the safe side, always keep some basic medicines. Havelock Island also has a well-maintained State Government Hospital and, in case of any causality, one must rush to Port Blair to get treated in Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS) and Govind Ballab Pant Hospital (GBPH).
One minute walking distance from the Havelock Jetty, the police station at Havelock Island is easily accessible. Though safe for tourists, Havelock hardly puts travellers in trouble. In case of any loss of belongings or any sort of issue, you can directly visit the police station to report your problem.
Open till 9:00 pm, it is easy to get the tank refilled. In Havelock Island, tourists either hire a car, a two-wheeler or book a taxi. So, the fuel stations are well-equipped to cater to the demands of islanders as well as visitors. There is one on the way to Radhanagar Beach.
Save yourself from disappointment
There’s a lot to explore in Havelock Island compared to any other island. This island is a combination of nature and comfort. Though Andaman Island and Havelock Island both offer best logistics and accommodation, you might face hardships if you do not plan your trip well in advance. You must book your ferry tickets to Havelock Island from Port Blair or any other neighbouring island in advance as the bookings open one month in advance. Post deciding on your travel dates, lock in your rooms in your favourite resort or hotel to avoid compromising in the end.
To reach Havelock Island, you can take a ferry from Port Blair and then head towards any other island to explore. When in Andaman Island, Havelock Island shouldn’t be a miss.
If you plan your visit to Havelock Island and have a stress-free vacation, we at Andaman Islands Travels Pvt.Ltd. are at your service to help you with bookings.