White Sand, Crystal clear turquoise water, peaceful pace of life – all these are one of the few things that describe this paradise on earth known as Havelock Island . Recently in 2019, it has been renamed as Swaraj Dweep. If you love beaches then you cannot afford to miss this part of our India which is situated in the Andaman sea. Believe me, sometimes placing yourself in the hands of nature without mobile connectivity is the best gift to yourself. Sometimes I wonder as to why people brag about going to the Maldives or Thailand! Andaman is on par with any of them with its pristine, untouched and less commercialized beauty, unlike the Goa beaches
When to Visit Andaman
The best time to visit this place is October-February. I will suggest carrying a branded sunscreen above SPF 50 as I have seen many travelers experiencing sunburns there especially girls having sensitive skin.
Also Read – Andaman Islands- Port Blair
How to Reach Havelock Island
Once you reach Port Blair, you can travel to Havelock Island or Swaraj Dweep by boat. You can sail through the Government ferry which is an economical way but will take approximately 2.5 hours. If money is not a constraint then there are plenty of private ferry services as well which takes you to Havelock in 90 minutes. Below are the ferry services:
1.Government-Run ferries – Govt ferries can be booked 4 days in advance through the ‘STARS’ Ticketing Counter managed by the Directorate of Shipping Services India. Ships leave at Phoenix Jetty or Port Blair harbor. An online booking facility is not available for govt ferries. The seating arrangement is not very comfortable but average given the low price. Moreover, you will not be able to have any sea-view if given a seat in the lowermost compartment. So, we decided to place our luggage on the given seats & went to the open deck. The breathtaking view from there just astonishes you at the magnificence of the vast sea. Unlike in Private ferries where you won’t be allowed to go out in open. I must recommend to book at least one side journey through Govt ferry. In case you are opting for private ferries, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid the hassle.
2.M.V. Makruzz – This is next frequently booked ferry, However prices will be around 1200 INR for one way trip. You can book online from www.makruzz.com
3.ITT Majestic – You can book from www.ittmajestic.com
Wandering made easy
Traveling in small islands is fun and convenient too especially if you are a group of friends or couples. Renting a Bike, Scooty, and Taxis are normal travel options in Havelock. You will be surprised to see many foreigners roaming the island on bicycles which is healthy but can be tiring.
Scooter per day will costs you around INR 550 per day including petrol. In off season like April same will costs you INR 300 per day.
Top places to visit in Havelock
There are many beaches on this island that will make your stay unforgettable. I will tell you the best ones that you just cannot afford to miss.
Radhanagar Beach: This beach is my personal favorite of all time. It has been #1 on the list of Asia’s cleanest beaches. I had the most wonderful time with my friends at Radhanagar beach. Take a morning walk here and rejuvenate your soul in the fresh air. Get soaked in the pure water for hours and you still would not feel like coming out of it. You just want to float in the vastness of the magnificent bluish sea, surrounded by the people you love and away from all the worries of metropolitans. What a L I F E ! 😉
Kala Pathar Beach: You just cannot get over the sereneness of Havelock as it continues to offer you wonderful beaches. The blue water shored by golden white sand and big black rocks creates a mesmerizing ambiance on this beach. You will love the tranquility of this not so crowded beach where many will be bathing under the bright sun and rest trying their best to capture the serene beauty. But whatever you chose to do here, you will fall in love with everything. You will find Coconut in every nook and corner of Andaman, do stay hydrated and do not forget to binge on the nearby food stalls.
Elephant Beach: This beach is named so, as elephants used to roam here once but not today. You can reach this exotic beach either by boat from Havelock dock in around 30 minutes or by trekking. Undoubtedly trekking has the adventure element but I would not recommend the trekking route, especially for kids and elders. Make sure you pre-book the boat at least a day in advance to avoid any last moment hassles.
The green forest on one side and clear water on the other gives this beach such a sacred look that would compel you to sit here for hours or take a walk along the shore and feel the breeze relaxing your mind, body, and soul. There is calmness outside but the beach beholds a vibrant marine life and exotic corals beneath the transparent water. You can enjoy the undersea view by any of the water sports like Snorkeling, Scuba Diving or Sea Walking. You do not need to worry as there are professional divers that will accompany you. A bunch of other activities like jet ski and banana boat ride can also be done here.
Where to Stay in Havelock
Havelock presents you from premium to budget places to stay. This place has a luxurious aura to it that your heart will ask you to stay in the best possible resort. So here are the best ones with basic cost details:
SeaShell: This Resort has individual small wooden cottages whose basic tariff starts from Rs. 9500/- and goes as high as Rs.21500/- with all the luxurious amenities provided. They have a private beach where you can have a romantic candlelight dinner with your partner.
Taj Exotica: Located on the stunning Radhanagar beach, this resort of the Taj group is a perfect blend of the peacefulness of nature and royal accommodation. Before fantasizing about the stay here, you must be ready to shell out over Rs. 33k as per their standard rates.
Silver Sand Beach Resort: This hotel group has 5 luxurious resorts in Andaman including Havelock near Kala Pathar beach. You can book a villa here in Rs.10k and go as high as Rs 40K as per your luxurious requirements. You can ask the hotel desk for renting cycles and two-wheelers as well.
Outback Havelock: This resort in Govind Nagar is a bit pocket-friendly as compared to the above mentioned ones. You can book a room here at Rs. 3K. You will love the innovative Recycled Plastic decoration on walls.
Golden Pebble: This one is also in Govind Nagar and tariffs are around Rs. 3K. I will advise you to take the AC room as it can be hot in Andaman. The staff is friendly and will guide you about the tourist spots and nearby bike renting facility.
Symphony Palms Beach Resort: This is again on the luxurious end where you can book a cottage and villa alongside the beach with all the amenities starting around Rs. 5K.
TSG Blue: If you wish to stay near the Radha Nagar Beach then TSG at a walking distance is a good option for you. It is well maintained and the best offer rate will be around Rs. 6K.
Delicacies of Havelock
Needless to say, sea-food is the primary food source in Andaman. But owing to the travelers coming here, the island offers you a variety of cuisines- Italian, Chinese, North Indian, South Indian- to satiate yourself. Here, I will tell you a few of my personal favorites.
Something DIfferent: Its Location is Along Beach No. 2. Vegetarian dishes, Sea-food, Chinese, Italian, Booze, you just name it, this place has it all. The cost will be around Rs.1000-1500/- for two people which is reasonable once you will see the beachside ambiance of the place.
Anju Coco Restaurant: This restaurant not only offers lip-smacking dishes but is affordable too. The menu is pretty exhaustive and it’s worth every penny of yours. Chicken Tikka platter, Pizza, Pasta are the few things that we tried and found the taste really amazing. This will costs you around INR 1000 for 2 person.
Golden Spoon: This is a must-visit place for all the Sea-food lovers out there. Opposite to the fish market, this small eating outlet is famous for fish, prawns, and lobsters. Don’t get deceived by the appearance of this place as it is not a “hi-fi’ one. Rest assured that you will get mouth-watering food at affordable prices.
Also Read – Neil Island- Andaman’s quiet gem
Few Relevant points to keep in mind
It is quite challenging to find Mobile Network in Andaman even the Cyber Cafes have crawling Wi-Fi speed connection.
The Andamanese at local shops does not accept Plastic money (few due to network issue and rest don’t prefer). So, it is advisable to keep enough cash. However ATMs are available in Island.
Sun’s cream of SPF 50 & above is must if you want to spend more time on beaches.
How much Havelock Trip Costs you
Hotel Charges – INR 2500-3500 per room.
Hotel Charges will vary as I already mentioned there are ample options from budget to luxury hotels. So mid-Range hotel will cost you around INR 3K per night.
Food – INR 1500 per day
As breakfast is mostly included in Hotel charges so Lunch & dinner will not cost you more than 1500 per day for 2 people BUT without booze.
Traveling on Havelock – INR 550 per day
A rented scooter costs you INR 400-500 per day. If you are looking for a bike or car it will cost you more.
Ferry Charges – INR 1350-2100 per person
To & fro Ferry charges from Havelock is approx INR 1300- 2400.
Govt Ferry Charges – INR 700 from Port Blair & INR 658 from Havelock to Neil Island. Total- 1350 Approx.
Private Ferry Charges – INR 2100 for both trips.
Activities – INR 1500 per person
Activities like Glass boat tour, Jet-ski ride & snorkeling will cost you around INR 1500-1800. Scuba Diving is costlier than the rest and charge is INR 2500-3000.
Total Cost – INR 2500 + 1500 + 550 + 1350 + 1500 = INR 7400 Approx
NOTE– I have not included flight charges as they are included in your visit to Port Blair itself, So the above cost is specifically for Havelock Island. The cost can be reduced to INR 5000 if you are a budget traveler.