One of the most spectacular islands in the Andaman Archipelago on the Bay of Bengal, Neil Island is an emerging hotspot of nature tourism due to its dense tropical forest, vibrant coral reefs, and incredible biodiversity. The island is a beach lover’s paradise with some of the most gorgeous and surreally beautiful beaches in this entire region. Still an offbeat place with fewer explored territories, this hidden gem called Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island will take you back in time, offering a serene beach vacation.
Renamed “Shaheed Dweep” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30th December 2018, Neil Island is away from the touristy hustle of Havelock Island despite being only 37 km south of the capital, Port Blair. It takes only a short boat ride to arrive at Neil Island from Port Blair.
With a total area of mere 13.7 sq km or 5 km in length, you must not skip Neil Island because of its breathtaking beauty and peaceful vibe.
In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, reaching Neil Island is easy and quick through ferry rides, helicopters, or private catamarans.
Although helicopters and government ferries are available to reach Neil Island from Port Blair, the private catamaran is the most trustworthy transport medium to reach Neil Island within 1.5 to 2 hours. These ferries usually don’t run after 4 pm. The schedule keeps on changing based on the season.
Like Port Blair, reaching Neil Island from Havelock Island is convenient on private ferries due to the easy booking procedure. The ferry runs once a day, and the standard time is approximately 11 am. However, the time continues to change according to the season.
Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) to Port Blair is convenient on private ferries due to the easy booking procedure. The ferry runs Twice a day, in the morning and Evening and the standard time is approximately 10 am and 03:45 pm. However, the time continues to change according to the season. the best available private cruises are Makruzz, Makruzz Pearl, Nautika, Sealink, ITT Majestic, Green Ocean etc. and Govt. Ferry also available.
Neil Island can be visited throughout the year, but each season offers its natural beauty. However, the most convenient and beautiful time to visit the place is the winter months due to the pleasant temperature.
The different seasons to schedule your trip to Neil Island are mentioned in the following:
Things To Indulge In:
Things To Indulge In
Things To Indulge In
Some of the best and most exciting places in Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island where you can soak yourself in the natural beauty and local culture include:
The most famous beach, Bharatpur beach, is where most of the travellers visiting Shaheed Dweep – Neil island come to enjoy. Your weary eyes will be soothed by the tranquil water, magnificent sandy beach, and pure greens. The vibrant coral reefs and diverse aquatic creatures will add to the pleasant beach feeling.
Blessed with a white shell and a beautiful waterfront, Laxmanpur Beach, or Beach No. 1, is ideal for playing beach games with your friends or taking a romantic stroll with your partner. Children in the group can play with the abundant sea shells found on the beach. Swimmers will cherish the calm and shallow water of the sea. Even photographers cannot control themselves from taking out their cameras.
The local village market in Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island is named Neil Kendra, where you can visit the local food stalls and shops selling locally manufactured items. The market location is a plus as you will witness a perfect view of the beaches in the vicinity of this spot. However, you should expect to buy very fancy things from this market.
Close to the Ramnagar village, this beautiful beach, also Beach no. 3 looks gorgeous with its transparent blue water. However, this sea beach is not suitable for indulging in a swimming session due to the presence of sharp corals. On the contrary, the beach is used for the famous adventurous water sport called snorkelling. The trees in the vicinity provide cooling shadows during the hot daytime.
Sitapur Beach, or Beach No. 5, deserves to be mentioned, especially among all the gorgeous beaches on Neil Island. This beach is also called sunrise beach because travellers flock to this beach to witness a spectacular sunset. Although there is a lack of amenities, you can purchase fresh coconuts from the local shops on the beach. The beach maintains a serene ambience and is convenient for swimmers.
Sir Hugh Rose Island is a conserved marine sanctuary situated right at the last end of Shaheed Dweep-Neil Island. The diverse biodiversity and flawless natural beauty impress visitors with its fascinating character.
Though its original version is a heritage bridge in Kolkata, the namesake on Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island is a pair of natural living corals. The bridge is ideal for taking some snaps and indulging in romantic moments. The sunset view of this naturally formed bridge is also a great attraction.
The Natural Rock Formation Beach or the Beach No. 2, is a rocky beach just beside the Howrah bridge. In low tide, you can take a slow-paced and careful walk through the dead corals and rocks. Some of the colourful and unique sea creatures that you can observe here include sea urchins, starfishes, sea cucumbers, etc.
Some of the fun activities that you should try out to make your travel experience at Neil Island worthwhile include:
Those who want to dive down into experiencing the marine flora and fauna of the Bay of Bengal must try snorkelling. It can only be done during the high tides as some beaches have shallow water and sharp corals during the low tide.
India Scuba explorers and Dive India are two diving centers in Neil to offer diving experiences and courses. Travelers who are up for some adrenaline rush should take advantage of snorkeling on Neil Island.
Cycling is one of the most popular activities and budget-friendly modes of transport on Neil Island. Due to its flat terrain, unlike other Andaman Islands, cycling is the most convenient and fastest way to roam around this tiny island, its beaches, villages, forests, etc. This all-time available transport can be rented from your stay resort, the local market, or the Lakshampur main road near Tangoresort.
The rental cost of a new and well-functional bi-cycle is approximately 100 rupees per day, whereas the old ones come in at around 50 rupees per day.
The jungle trek is an enthralling activity on your trip to Neil Island. An experienced local guide takes you on an adventurous trek through the dense tropical forests of this island. The guide introduces you to these forests’ diverse flora and fauna during the trail. Also, you are told some of the essential survival tricks in case of being lost in the jungle. If you are a lucky traveler, you may also come across various species of animals like wild birds, insects, snakes, and land crabs.
If you plan to try out some fishing options on Neil, you can opt for either big game fishing or line fishing near the shore. Locals can help you with shore fishing, whereas big game fishing needs professional assistance. Robin Sports Fishing is the most reliable fishing assistance center on this island.
Besides cherishing the natural aura of Neil Island, you can also indulge in some cultural activities if your stay here is for a more extended period. Tabla is one of the most popular instruments used in India’s folk and traditional music. Mr. Mahindra Mallick in Ramnagar village is a famous Tabla player who offers basic to advanced courses in Tabla for locals and tourists.
The top 5 accommodations that you should check out for your stay options at Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island include:
Summer Sands Beach Hotel and Resort offers a serene ambiance and unmatched service standards compared to all the hotels in Neil Island, with gardens, barbecue grills, banquet, spa, bar/lounge, etc.
Price: Starting from 5,000 per night
TGS aura is a luxury villa on Neil Island which offers a comfortable stay with amenities like multi-cuisine dining, seafood, air conditioning, a pool, etc.
Price: Starting from 5,000 per night
Located in Lakshmanpur Beach or Beach No. 1, this beautiful hotel cum resort offers attractive facilities like WIFI, multi-cuisine restaurants, a children’s mini park, airport pick up and drop, snorkeling, diving, etc.
Price: 3,499 INR per night
This comfy wooden Andaman cottage with a view of the gorgeous sea is an ideal accommodation to create a memorable sojourn experience. The perfect combination of greenery and beach is the perk of this property. Activities and amenities such as candlelight dinners, restaurants, bars, scuba diving, relaxing gardens, and lawn make this accommodation appropriate for couples and friends.
Price: Average price range is from INR 7,500 to INR 12,500 per night.
Situated at a one-minute walking distance from the beach, Silver Sand Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts on Neil Island, perfectly suitable for honeymoon couples. Indulge in comfortable facilities like complimentary breakfast, restaurant, parking, swimming pool, 24 hours running water, etc., in this magnificent property amidst lush green coconut groves.
Price: Beginning from approx INR.7,500 per night.
If you are tired of the crowded markets and polluted air of city life, Shaheed Dweep – Neil Island is the perfect place to enjoy the serenity of nature for 5 to 6 days. The village locals on the island are welcoming and friendly to the tourists, making their experience more precious. So, treat the nature lover inside you with greenery, beach sunsets, and a mild breeze on your next trip to Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep).