Havelock island can simply be described as paradise. Located in the Andaman Sea, 1,370km from the mainland of India, and 150km from Indonesia, it is literally in the middle of no where. It’s remote location means it’s incredibly quiet and peaceful, an absolute haven if you’ve been travelling long term through India.
Here are a few reasons you should visit Havelock Island :
The beaches on Havelock Island are absolutely superb. The best being Radhanagar, also known as Beach 7. Radhanagar is the depiction of paradise, with white sandy beaches, crystal clear, turquoise sea, backing onto undisturbed native forest. It is stunning, and worth a trip to Havelock for this alone.
The entrance to the beach, near the parking and food stalls is rather crowded. This is partially because this is the only area of the beach with lifeguards. Head a little way along the beach, and chances are you’ll be the only one there. Offering you a tranquil, secluded spot to spend the day.
The lack of the development backing onto Radhanagar (beach 7) is part of what makes it so perfect, there are no hotels directly on the beach. For a beachside resort head to Beach 5. Not quite as majestic as Radhanagar, but a nice spot to base yourself during your stay.
Now there is an hourly bus that trundles round the island, not to mention the ever present auto rickshaw taxis. But the best way to see the island is to rent a scooter. The daily rental cost is around 300 rupees per day, and petrol can be bought cheaply from the grocery shop in town. Take it easy, as the roads are poor quality, and enjoy the surroundings as you scoot across the island. It takes about half an hour to scooter from Beach 5 to Radhanagar.
The food on Havelock is more expensive than on the mainland. But this is predominately due to most the restaurants catering to western tastes. Recovering from a horrible bout of Delhi belly, prior to arriving at Havelock, the plentiful western food was a much needed luxury. Being able to sample flavourful (but not spicy) food was a treat, and I regularly tucked into the fresh tuna steak, chips and an Oreo milkshake with glee. My favourite restaurant had to be Fat Martins. This was top quality food, yet still the cheapest along Beach 5. They also offer Indian food as well as their western delights.
Snorkelling and diving
As mentioned my time on Havelock Island was spent recovering from food poisoning I contracted in Delhi. Ultimately I was too weak to do anything to adventurous and was generally content lazing in a hammock. But rumour has it Havelock has excellent snorkelling and diving, and most hotels can hook you up with a trip. Others from my resort went out, and spoke highly of it.
Just a warning – health and safety may not be up to scratch by western standards. There was a sign outside one dive shop saying you don’t need to be able to swim (I assume to try and lure in domestic tourists). My advise is go for it if you’re experienced. If this is your first dive, go somewhere a bit more reputable to learn the ropes first.
To summarise, Havelock is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. I have no doubts that I will be back – hopefully sooner rather than later!