Enhance your journey with pristine beaches, an electrifying underwater world and tailor-made experiences, and this pristine archipelago may be catapulted onto your travel wish list.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are part of India, extending east towards Myanmar and south towards Indonesia’s Sumatra. After inhaling the colonial architecture and rustic street life in the capital Port Blair the eyes of many travellers might get fixed at what’s beneath the surface.
Join a private diving tour, and the azure gates of the boundless ocean open up to you, with a wide array of sea inhabitants circling around. This region is the scuba diving capital of India. Float with majestic sea turtles, and roam around with white tip sharks, surrounded by vivid corals and large schools of snappers. Don’t forget to cross the fingers for an encounter with eagle rays and manta rays, gentle giants that elegantly play with the current.
Scubalov offers dives accompanied by a marine biologist, who points out the aquatic animals and corals, and their individual tasks in keeping the ocean running like a Swiss watch. They offer wondrous day trips to remote Barren Island as well. Be prepared for stunned senses during three dives, for dolphins, manta rays, and gigantic turtles are Barren Islands’ permanent citizens.
Suggested Dive Sites
- 20.5km, west of Havelock.
- Easy-Advanced level with depth of 8-50 mts.
- Sight Reef fish, snappers, turtles and fan corals.
- 1km, North of Havelock.
- Beginner level with depth of 5-12 mts.
- Sight Reef fish, barrel sponges & red pillar.
- 19.5 kms, North east of Havelock.
- Advanced level with depth of 16-24 mts.
- Sight sharks and sting rays.
- 4kms, North East of Havelock.
- Beginner level with depth of 10-16 mts.
- Sight small wreck, Cardinal fish, Parrot fish and Trigger fish.
A relaxing dinner cruise
A horizon scattered with palm tree silhouettes, acrobatic dolphins and perfectly painted sunsets. These graces will be put upon you after boarding Bella Bay, a magnificent vessel that can be chartered for gorgeous dinner cruises and cocktail parties when the orange sun drops down the ocean’s facet.
Enjoy the breezy outdoor seating area with its teak wood decking on board of Bella Bay, or stay in the relaxing indoor lounges where the nostrils will be indulged by culinary thrills. The experienced chefs are all-around kitchen masters, specialising in toothsome Indian and Oriental buffet dinners. Views of Ross Island, satisfying cocktails and the aromatic artworks from the floating kitchen will make you leave a piece of your heart in the Andaman and Nicobar enclave.
In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands shallow turquoise water, silky white sandbars and picturesque lighthouses are sprinkled along the coastline. The underwater world caters to superb diving. Mysterious mangrove forests add to the magic of the archipelago, making this remote region an island-hopping bliss.
Sailing yachts and boats can be rented in the harbour of Port Blair, the region’s capital. Tours can be tailor-made, with oxygen, snorkelling masks, kayaks and a personal chef on board to meet all your sailorman’s wishes.
Anchor between Ross and Smith Islands, where Sandbar Beach is a pictorial paradise, and the surrounding lush hills beg to be explored. Sooner or later you’ll wash up on Havelock Island, dotted with eye-popping beaches and a leafy interior.
Ross and Smith island are connected by a white sand bar that reveals itself during low tide.
Besides a flawless coastline, Havelock Island is the hot spot to get your wetsuit, grab a regulator and drift amidst fascinating sea creatures and corals. The East Island Lighthouse is excellent for sunsets, while you can relax at the foot of this multicoloured guardian of the sea.
Surrender to a perfect massage
After cruising the sun-kissed skin and sandy feet deserve an aromatic pick-me-up, for example at Silver Sand Hotels & Resorts. For a fragrant treat, one can revel in an Ayurvedic full body massage with therapeutic oils, a foot massage with herbal oils or detoxify the body in 2 hours with a body polishing of your dreams.
Barefoot at Havelock Island specialises in massages, with the oma – ‘life giver’ in Sanskrit – being their signature appeasing method. A divine blend of nourishing oils and coffee extract energises the body and provides antioxidants. The scent of lavender and geranium oil makes you drift away to outer space during a healing hot stone session, that chases away muscle pain and stiffness. Body scrubs and body wraps will make you leave the atolls younger than upon arrival.
A lush resort
Fancy a pool, a verdant garden and a salty sea breeze running through your hair? Taj Exotica Resort & Spa raises the bar for comfortable resorts. The villas in this resort are mostly made of wood, making them blend in with the surrounding trees. The Grand Luxury Pool Villa can host 6 people and has a private pool with deck-chairs and views of the fabulous Radhanagar Beach.
In case you feel urged to burn the food and cocktail calories you inevitably take in on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa has a gym. Slower pace sports such a billiard and mini-golf can be enjoyed on site. From the resort, it’s an effortless stroll to the beachfront, where turtles might be laying their eggs. It’s a symbol of travelling the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; comfort, class and captivating nature go hand in hand. ◼
© This article was first published online in Feb 2019 – World Travel Magazine.