Boasting breathtakingly beautiful coastlines, lush forests and deserted beaches, all just a 2-hour direct flight from Chennai, the all season Andamans in the Bay of Bengal are the perfect place to either ramble or stretch out on the sand and read a book.
Best known for their palm-lined sandy beaches, twisting mangroves and tropical rainforests, the coral reefs surrounding this stunning Indian archipelago support a huge variety of marine life including sharks and manta rays, providing incredible diving opportunities.
Whilst indigenous Andaman islanders inhabit the more remote islands like Barren and Narcondam, rendering them inaccessible to travellers unless by special permission, government-run ferries and faster private catamarans run from Port Blair to the major islands, and upmarket resorts arrange private transfers via speedboat.
Repeatedly voted one of the world’s best beaches, you haven’t really experienced the Andamans unless you’ve visited picture-postcard perfect Radhanagar Beach on Havelock Island. Here, vast expanses of champagne-coloured sand are gently caressed by white foam necklaces and emerald blue waves. Needless to say, experiencing a sunrise or sunset on Radhanagar is an utter delight.
Luxurious new Taj Exotica Resort is the first luxury property to arrive on one the world’s few remaining unspoilt beach destinations. But, inspired by indigenous Jawara huts, the hotel has been built on stilts so as to minimise its impact on the natural landscape. Occupying a 46-acre site, the hotel’s 75 individual villas start at 144m2, are decorated in contemporary yet classic Taj style and each boasts a private plunge pool.
The hotel spa floats on a lake. Jungle trekking and turtle-spotting expeditions are among the range of standard activities on offer. And an on-site fine dining restaurant fusing southeast Asian and Bengali flavours, together with an eatery specialising in coastal curries, keep gourmands satiated.