Neil Island – A visit to the tiny island of Andaman
Neil Island – Travel guide:
Living in the shadow of Havelock Island, Neil Island has not been under the same spotlight as its counterpart, Havelock. Named in honour of James George Smith Neill, a Scottish military officer of the East India Company, Neil Island is a tiny island with relaxed vibes of an old village and a rather slower life unlike the bustling Havelock Island. The island is so small that it can be covered on foot within a few hours.
How to reach Neil Island:
You can get a direct ferry either Maccruz or the Green Ocean from Havelock Island or Port Blair depending on your schedule. An early morning ferry is recommended as you get the entire day to explore this beautiful island.
How to move around in Neil Island:
Similar to Havelock, Neil island can be explored on a bike or public transportation like auto rickshaw, buses or private cabs (ac/ non ac). If you love adventure, we recommend hiring a cycle. This eco-friendly way of exploring the little villages of Neil Island is aided by the smooth and easy to navigate roads.
Things to do in Neil Island:
The beaches of Neil Island are beautiful and quiet. They are named after mythical characters from the legendary Ramayana. Visit Sitapur beach to witness the beautiful sunrise and chase the sunset hues over the crystal clear waters of the stunning Laxmanpur beach. Bharatpur beach is known for its water sports activities: Glass bottom boats, scuba diving & snorkeling. The beach is great to get an adrenaline rush under the azure blue waters whilst experiencing the colourful marine life. For those who experience aquaphobia, the glass bottom boat is a great way to view deep-sea marine life from within the boat itself.
The popular Natural Coral Bridge in Laxmanpur II is a tall rock formation in the shape of a bridge that is naturally jutting out from a wall. The “bridge” is locally known as Howrah bridge by the Bengali locals. This place can be visited only during low tide. Different species of fish, underwater plants and a variety of corals thrive in the little craters on the shallow reef. All of these are easily spotted from the surface.
Devour delicious sea food:
Being a tiny island filled with humble villagers, the food here is nothing short of deliciousness. Don’t be surprised while strolling on Bharatpur beach if the aroma wafting in the air pulls you to the quaint Full Moon Dhaba. It is managed by a small family making food from locally grown produce and the fresh catch of the day. The flavorful dishes, cooked in traditional style, flying out from the kitchen add to the special homely feeling.
Sit back and relax:
Whether you have traveled from Havelock Island or are planning to go later, I would recommend to do nothing at Neil Island; instead, just sit back and relax. The beaches here are quiet and has its own unique charm. Soak in the tranquility of the quietness and hear the rhythmic sound of soft waves clashing against the rocks, hear the birds chirping with the swaying of the leaves as the salty air kisses them and feel the sand in your feet while the water soaks your soul. Just dive in the moment of magic on this mystical island.
Tourists usually visit Neil Island for a day from Havelock or Port Blair, to save on the cost of stay. However, if time and budgets are not a constraint, consider spending at least two days here and experience the magic of a laid-back island life which would be as memorable for you as it was for us.
Also read: Stay review in Neil Island