The andaman islands, paradise lost in the middle of the indian ocean

indian ocean

Who said India doesn’t have beautiful beaches? If, in your mind, the most beautiful Indian beaches are in Goa, well think again, because there is better: the Andaman Islands simply resemble the image that we have of paradise.

Much less touristy than Thailand or the Maldives, this small paradise archipelago will delight fans of turquoise waters, mangroves and white sand beaches who are looking for a bit of tranquility away from the crowds. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 2 hours flight from the Indian east coast (Chennai), the Andaman Islands belong to India, and the culture of Gandhi’s country is very present there: rickshaws, biryanis and Hindi are rigorous!

Why go to the Andaman Islands?

andaman diving If there is a good reason to visit the Andaman Islands, and above all its most famous island, Havelock, it is the diving, which is extraordinary there. There are many diving schools (which charge relatively affordable prices, around 300 euros for your PADI, 70 euros for 2 dives) and there are many – exceptional – sites. You will dive with the feeling of being almost alone in the world, far, very far from the feeling provided by the ” dive factories”like Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, where divers pile into the water and merge with the fish. The waters of the Andamans are also full of fish: you will have a good chance of seeing barracudas, napoleons, moray eels, mantra rays, and even, if you are really very lucky, why not a hammerhead shark.

What if diving isn’t your forte? You can enjoy snorkeling without any problem, also very accessible!

Apart from diving, the island of Havelock has another charming asset: its beaches… and what beaches! One of them, nicknamed “ Beach Number 7 ” or “ Radha Nagar Beach ”, is isolated from everything. It is located 8 km from the nearest village and its view could undoubtedly cause cardiac arrest: immense, with sand whiter than snow and completely turquoise water, it has also been voted the most beautiful beach in Asia by Time Magazine .

beach no 7 Finally, Have lock will offer you all the rest you need: given that the sun rises very early (5 o’clock or even earlier), and sets at six o’clock in the afternoon, the rhythm of life follows… The “ DJ evenings ” offered on the island begin at 7 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. (no, this is not a joke). Little risk of nocturnal disturbance therefore.

beach guard post 7 This is where things get complicated… Unfortunately, there is no simple A/R from France for the Andaman Islands. You will therefore first have to take a flight to Chennai or Calcutta (allow 600 euros for the return trip from France), the only 2 Indian cities that offer connections to Port Blair. From Chennai, the flight costs about 200 euros.

Once you arrive in Port Blair, it’s not over! Direction the port for immediate boarding on a ferry which, in two hours, will take you (finally) to Have lock (if you choose the option of the government ferry, do not be claustrophobic or too fussy about cleanliness: remember you, you are still in India).

On the other hand, the Andaman Islands represent a perfect break if you plan to visit South India. Between Goa, Hampi, Chennai, Bangalore or Pondicherry, a break of a short week will give you all the calm you will probably need after a very likely auditory saturation with the horns!

What budget should I plan for the Andaman Islands?

Life in the Andamans is very accessible, it is above all the transport to get there which is expensive (count around 800 euros from Paris with the internal flight and the ferry included). On site, you can be accommodated in bamboo huts for 3 euros per night and savor the fish or seafood caught the same day for 3 euros per dish in a restaurant. Most of your budget will probably be absorbed by diving… 🙂

What are the best seasons to go there?

The dry season takes place between the months of November and April: these are the perfect months to go to Havelock (little rain, excellent visibility for diving, etc.). Avoid at all costs the months of June, July, August, during which the monsoon is in full swing and during which your holidays could turn into a bad plan…

Heavenly, affordable and calm, the Andaman Islands have many assets. But the greatest advantage of this little lost paradise is undoubtedly the fact that it is relatively unknown to large-scale tourism… So remember to get there as soon as possible, before the archipelago becomes as popular as the Maldives. !

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