Havelock Island’s 7 Beaches: What to Expect and Where to Find Them

Havelock Island’s 7 Beaches: What to Expect and Where to Find Them

From gaping at the azure blue waters lapping into the white sandy bays, to snorkeling between clouds of tropical fish all the colours of the rainbow, to hearing the showering rains slowly move towards us from a distance and then feel it over us while we drift in our kayaks through the mangroves…exploring Havelock island was a string of pinch-me-am-I-dreaming moments.

Havelock island is part of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which are part of India but much closer to Thailand. It’s a small piece of tropical paradise – just over 100km2 – but is blessed with seven of the most idyllic beaches that stretch all around its coast, the fine white sand picking up where the thick mangroves end. This island really is the best place for the perfect beach hopping holiday or even long weekend.

So here is a low-down on the seven incredible beaches of Havelock island – what to expect and how to get there:

BEACH #1

This is basically the stretch of beach around the main jetty of the island, where you’ll get in from Port Blair or Neill Island. It’s not a super popular beach to visit, because of all the boat traffic, but if you plan on kayaking through the mangroves (which we highly recommend) you’ll take off from the stretch of beach #1 that extends to the left of the jetty, where lots of smaller boats are moored to the shore. While still beautiful and worth checking out, it’s not the best beach to relax at – hop on your scooter after checking it out and head out to the next one!

BEACH #2

Just down the coast from beach #1, beach #2 is really a collection of fine white sand bays in between mangroves. It is very popular for snorkelling and shallow water diving courses, and is usually busy with dive and/or snorkelling instructors and their apprentices. However, it is still easy to find a quiet spot away from all the water sports, because of how secluded the mangroves make each bay.

Havelock Island Beach #2

HOW TO GET THERE

Just a short drive south from the main jetty you will find the helipad on your right. It’s not very assuming, so look out for a field and a wind pipe. You can reach the bays of beach #2 from here, by following any of the little footpaths on the left towards the ocean. Park your bike (Havelock island is 100% safe) and follow the narrow roads through coconut trees and in between resorts and/or private residences.

Havelock Island Beach #2

BEACH #3 – GOVINDNAGAR BEACH

This is a long stretch of pearly white sand that is broken up into many different bays by the island’s jungle, along which resorts are built. In this way, beach #3 acts as a ‘private’ beach to many hotels (even though it’s a public beach completely free and accessible to anyone). It’s the perfect spot to enjoy some sunbathing or a quiet sunrise over the Andaman seas, as it faces eastward and is generally pretty quiet, with only a fisherman here and a tourist snoozing in a hammock there.

HOW TO GET THERE

If you aren’t staying at one of the resorts along beach #3, take the opportunity and go to the best restaurant on the island – the Full Moon Café – and enjoy the access to one of the beach #3 bays while you wait for that fresh pressed pineapple juice or mouthwatering banoffee pot.

BEACH #5

Beach no 5 is a long stretch of white sand along the Vijay Nagar village and the resorts and hotels that line this part of the coast. This beach seems to be most affected by the tide, so be prepared to walk quite far to be able to actually take a dip. But, for this reason, this is the perfect beach for a long stroll along the mahua and coconut trees that thickly line the sand – venture towards the exposed shallow sea bed during low tide for an up-close look at the multitude of little sea creatures. We spent hours just looking at all the different crabs running around, catching fish and steering clear of those big orange epitome crabs that sometimes stick out a long pincer from their deep holes. Watch out for those pinching crab arms when you’re walking though the shallow water!

Havelock Island Beach #5

Havelock Island Beach #5

HOW TO GET THERE

You can reach any beach no 5 via any of the resorts on this stretch of coast. We stayed at Munjoh Resort and noticed that they are quite happy to accommodate day-visitors who want to visit the beach and make use of their beach bar.

KALAPATHAR BEACH

The water here is a striking cyanic blue, tinting into a deeper ocean shade as the depth increases. The blue waters and contrasting pale white sand are protected by the leafy jungle on either side, and the waves rolling in provides a bit more of an active splash (as opposed to the placid Radhanagar beach). This was definitely one of my favourite beaches (full disclaimer – it might have something to do with the fresh coconuts from the market and the kitten on purring on my lap). We just bundled up our things under a palm tree and dove in and out of the waves until the afternoon shower clouds started to appear on the horizon. On this note, the Andaman islands are probably – even statistically – the safest place we’ve been to. 

Havelock Island Kalapathar Beach

kittens and coconuts

HOW TO GET THERE

Kalapathar beach is about 3 kms drive south from beach no 5. The drive between these beaches is absolutely worth it in itself, with a single lane road winding though those magnificent jungles and then momentarily cutting back to hug the coast with a view of that bright, bright blue Andaman seas. Just drive until you reach the clearly marked Kalaphatar market, which is right across from the beach.

ELEPHANT BEACH

You have to have to have to go to elephant beach if you find yourself on Havelock island. It is one of the most unique and beautiful beach destinations I’ve ever seen. Again, it has that classic azure-blue Andaman seas crystal-clear waters that washes onto the finest white sand, which is enough to make it one of the best beaches ever. But then Elephant beach is also 50% mangroves, 50% beach so it feels like the place where the jungle marries the seas. On top of that, if that’s not enough, it has an easily accessible reef with some of the most diverse sea life we’ve ever seen out snorkelling.

It is one of the two most popular beaches in the island, and was also one of the two most crowded, with a fair amount of water sports going on – so, not the most peaceful spot on the island. It has a small market where you can buy some fresh fruit, and some lockers that will run you 50 – 100inr.

Havelock Island Elephant Beach

HOW TO GET THERE

Elephant beach can only be reached via boat – which departs from the main jetty – or via a 2 kilometre jungle trek. The road to the beach ends in a mangrove, through which you’ll have to wade if it’s high tide, before you can get to the beach. DO NOT ATTEMPT this trek after heavy rains or during the monsoon season – it will be crazy sludgy thick get-stuck sort of mud for most of the way.

Havelock Island Elephant Beach

Havelock Island Elephant Beach

RHADANAGAR BEACH – BEACH #7

After TIME voted Rhadanagar Asia’s best beach in 2004, it has become the most popular beach of Havelock island. Silky white sands stretch for over one kilometre while the sea gently hugs the sore – the waves only crash right on the sand so it makes for a particularly enjoyable and relaxing swim with small swells bobbing you up and down every now and then. Rhadanagar beach is also the best sunset spot on the whole island.

There is a very small market right before the beach where you can enjoy some fresh fruit and sea food, and, of course, slurp up some fresh coconut water. There’s also a little restaurant on the beach that does traditional meals buffet-style (vegetarian, no alcohol). The lockers here are a bit cheaper than Elephant beach and will cost you between 20 – 30inr for an hour.

HOW TO GET THERE

Follow Road #4 to its conclusion, after turning right by the circle (if you’re heading south) where the island’s two roads converge.The road to the beach is quite hilly, especially towards the end, so I wouldn’t recommend it on a bicycle. Scooters are perfect for getting around, or if you’re brave you can jump into the rusty public buses.

Havelock Island Rhadanagar Beach

Havelock Island Rhadanagar Beach

Havelock Island Rhadanagar Beach

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