Hey guys! How are you doing today?
For me, today is the sort of day when you feel nostalgic for no apparent reason at all, yet it makes you happy! I have been cherishing my recent holiday get away for our wedding anniversary, and the memories are still fresh, even today.
We went on a 6 nights 7 days, trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from Chennai, India. This included Port Blair (3 nights), Havelock (2 nights), and Neil Island (1 night). We had booked our holiday with MakeMyTrip.com after several sessions with our trip organiser. We chose the destination because it was closer, and We loved beach destinations!!! well, who wouldn’t?!
I am sharing my Itinerary in case you’re looking to plan your trip to Andaman Islands.
Day 1: It was a 2-hour direct flight to Port Blair from Chennai. If you’re coming from any other part of the country, you would need to break your journey and board 2 flights to reach the destination. Veer Savarkar International Airport also known as Port Blair Airport, is a customs airport located 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Port Blair.
Later, we visited the Cellular Jail, and attended the infamous Light Show. The horrific histories about the old prison were narrated in the national language using the effect of lights. This tour of the jail will give you a brief idea about happenings in the jail prior to India’s independence. We retreated to the streets of the Island in search of a nice place to eat, experimented a few and finally settled in a decent Vegetarian restaurant. Our choices were limited due to our vegetarianism! Hmmmmpfff!
Day 2: On the second day, we were scheduled to take a ferry to visit two nearby Islands, The Ross Island, and North Bay Island. But due to rough sea, the trip to Ross Island was called off for the day, and we were taken to the North Bay Island instead. Now this island is surrounded by infinite corals you would never want to miss! You could go for scuba diving, snorkeling or use the glass boats to see the corals underneath.
One amazing feature of this Island is the old lighthouse, hidden within the Island. This lighthouse is the one you would see in a 20-rupee Indian currency bill. Yeah, that’s the one! There are about 100 steps leading to the lighthouse, and it’s quite a view of the ocean from the top! The ferry comes back to drop you back at Port Blair before late evening.
Day 3: This is the much awaited trip. Our ferry, this time a “Makruzz” took us to the Havelock Island which is about 2 hours from Port Blair. Since the sea was rough, our journey took more than the estimated time!
Later in the evening, we visited the infamous Radha Nagar beach, and Man, it could very well be the heaven on Earth! Situated within 7kms from Havelock, the turquoise blue sea and white sand make this beach a perfect spot to bask in the midst of nature’s bounty. They call it the Most beautiful beach in Asia, no doubt in that!
It’s the perfect place to surf the soft gentle waves of the sea. The shore is so clean, that you could lie there for hours for a sun bath, with your favorite book unaware of hours and minutes passing by. You do not want to miss the sunset view on the shore of this beautiful beach, and it’s usually around 4 to 5pm. It gets darker after that.
After the tiresome journey over sea, we checked into our hotel and called it for the day.
Day 4: we dedicated this day to explore Havelock Island and so surfing on the Elephanta Beach nearby. This is a 20-minute ferry ride from the Island. Here is where you could find the corals literally everywhere. Best place for surfing, sea walk, snorkeling, or scuba. After the water activities, we strolled through the streets of Havelock, with a hired bike. Luckily for us, our hotel was located right on the waterfront promenade, and we could visit the nearby shore just by a 5-minute walk.
Day 5: We were scheduled to visit the Neil Islands from Havelock via “Makruzz”, but due to rough sea and bad weather conditions, our trip was called off. That didn’t bother us anyway, we decided to do more surfing on the sea and visit the local beaches like Lakshmanpur Beach. We also opted for water activities there.
Day 6: We leave to Port Blair early via ferry. This day we explore more of Port Blair by visiting the Cellular Jail, Zonal Archeological museum, the Aquarium – Sagarika, Samudrika Marine Museum, and last but not the least Chidiya Tapu. This isolated beach is a hour 2 hour trip from Port Blair. Visitors can use the hired bikes or cars to reach here before 4pm, as the forest officials restrict entry post sunset. Enclosed by thick forests and dense mangroves the Chidiya Tapu Island is a wonderful trekking destination. If you’re coming here, you might as well take your trekking equipment and explore the island deeper.
After a quiet dinner, we retreat with a heavy heart to pack for our flight the next day.
Day 7: we bid our farewell to the Islands that treated us in the sweetest way possible by visiting the local beach and finishing our lunch at the best vegetarian restaurant we found.
Things to remember:
Here are a few things that no tourist guide would warn you beforehand, and you would regret for not having hearing these from a friend or acquaintance prior to the visit.
- The Sunset and sunrise are pretty early in the Island; you might want to rise up early if you’re keen about sightseeing. Most beaches get darker after 5pm in the evening, so plan your beach trips accordingly.
- Sunscreens, lotions, moisturisers, you might need a lot of those if you’re spending much of beach time. There isn’t much of local shops that could offer branded products, so keep them handy!
- Umbrellas are needed, keeping in mind the unpredictable weather conditions of the Islands.
- Bikes, cars are available round the clock for hire. In case your travel agent leaves you early for the day, you don’t have to bother. Just take a bike, and roam anywhere anytime. The locals can be your Google Maps!
- The streets are pretty safe at any part of the day, due to the presence of Indian Naval base on the Islands. If you love to walk through the streets in the dark, this is your perfect place.
- Last but not the least, you do not want to eat much before you start for a ferry ride! You might immediately get sea sick, if your stomach is either empty or very full.
Okay I am this close to plan my next trip to the islands, thanks to my irresistible love for beaches! When are you planning yours?