Know All About Exploring Neil Island

Author : Ajay Kumar
Date : 20 Oct 2020
Categories: Travel Guide

Neil Island (renamed to Shaheed Dweep) is popular for its superb biodiversity, uncharted coral reefs, white sandy beaches, and tropical woodlands. If you want to spend some peaceful time in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, then it should be your one-stop destination. With an area of only 13.7 square kilometers and the flat landscape, you can travel across Neil Island in a bicycle with minimal effort. It is soothingly different from its neighboring Havelock Island owing to its laid-back vibes and lucid charm.

If you are willing to spend a relaxed time amid long secluded beaches, then Neil Island is best suited for you. It has a little bustle and a few enthralling activities to try. You can also explore the island’s villages. Neil Island is the Andaman Islands’ rustic masterpiece where you can spend quality time at its serene beaches as well as indulge in water sports in the crystal clear water.

Important things to know about Neil Island

  • This tiny and beautiful island is located 37 kilometers south of Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Neil Island is also known as the vegetable bowl of the Andaman Islands as its land is ideal for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables owing to great climatic conditions.
  • You can reach Port Blair from Neil Island in 1.5 hours and to Havelock Island is 45 minutes via private ferries. From Neil, you can reach Port Blair, Havelock Island, and Rangat Island by government ferries as well.
  • The internet is not available on the island. You can find a patchy BSNL data network on the phone if you are lucky!
  • Neil Island has mainly three seasons- summer, winter, and monsoon. It experiences heavy winds during the monsoon and a tropical climate otherwise due to its location in the Bay of Bengal. The best weather can be seen from early November to mid-May.
  • There are only two ATMs (Syndicate Bank and Cooperative Bank) in Neil Island, and both are in the bazaar.
  • There is no broadband connection on the island. A patchy data network is sometimes available on phone. Only BSNL network is available here.
  • The island has only one primary healthcare center. One has to travel to Port Blair for any specialty healthcare.
  • The efficient Andaman and Nicobar Police take care of the discipline department in the union territory of Andaman. You can get in touch with them in case of an emergency.
  • The small market of Neil Island comprises little shops selling all essential commodities ranging from stationary to common medicines and simple clothing to groceries. The best in the market are fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, most of the fruits and vegetables in Port Blair are from here. In the evening, this part is the busiest part of the town. Visit this place to get a glimpse of the local chatty culture on the island.
  • Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in Neil Island. Bengali is also spoken largely here. English is the least preferred language.
  • Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair is the closest airport to Neil Island. The only jetty on the island is the jetty at Bharatpur Beach, and this is where all private and government ships dock.

How to reach Neil Island?

The capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Port Blair, is well-connected via flights. Direct flights are available from Chennai, Kolkata, and Bangalore. You can opt any of the following options to reach Neil Island:

  • Ferry to Neil Island- There are government ferries plying from Port Blair to Neil Island. Every day, two ferries leave in the morning.
  • Ferry from Rangat- Daily ferry service is available from Rangat.
  • Private Boat- There are two private boat service providers, Makruzz and Ocean Green, that have scheduled and private departures for Neil Island.

Things to do in Neil Island

Go for 3 Point Tour

Going on this tour will take you to three natural wonders of Neil Island. A trip to Bharatpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, and Laxmanpur are included in the 3 point tour. You start by visiting either the natural rock formation or Bharatpur Beach. You end the day with a lovely view of the sunset at the gorgeous Lakshmanpur Beach. If you are spending only one day in Neil Island, then it is a perfect way to explore the island. You can also combine it with the sunrise beach aka Sitapur Beach.

Meet turtles

Neil Island’s untouched beauty makes it a perfect nesting ground for the marine turtles. Head to Sir Hugh Rose Island if you want to see these amazing creatures. They are found in abundance there. Located at the tip of Neil Island, this tiny island is often known as Small Neil in the local language. You will need permits to visit there as it is a protected region.

Try scuba diving and snorkeling

In India, Andaman Island is the best place that provides scuba diving experience and certification courses. Of all the places, Neil Island has the most advanced scuba diving facilities. The crystal clear water of its beaches makes the underwater sighting even easier. The experience of scuba diving at Neil Island is a memorable one. The underwater marine life surrounds you so closely that you can literally touch it (but you are not supposed to!). If you are lucky, then you can spot a Dugong (sea cow), the state animal of the Andaman Islands. The resorts on this island offer scuba training and gear lending as per your requirements.

Enjoy the best ride on a glass floor boat

Neil Island is famous for glass-bottom boating. This activity is perfect for those who do not wish to go underwater. The Bharatpur Beach here is known for the beautiful and colorful coral formation. That’s why the population of fishes is more here. This beach is a must-visit on this island owing to the coral population. The place is a popular spot for fishing and angling as well.

Go Trekking

Trekking to Howrah Bridge is something that invites all adrenaline junkies to Neil Island. It is among the most popular things to do here. Resembling a bridge, Howrah Bridge is an arch-like structure. Trekkers reach its tip that goes through a small artificial garden and a muddy path. Let us warn you in advance that the route to the bridge is closed during the monsoon season.

Enjoy lazy time at the loveliest beaches

Some of the prettiest beaches in Andamans are located in Neil Island. The scenic beaches boast of white sands and uninterrupted views of the clear blue skies. During monsoon, the sight changes entirely as the sky becomes way too dramatic.

The most popular beaches of Neil Island are:

  • Sitapur Beach
  • Bharatpur Beach
  • Lakshmanpur Beach
  • Sir Hugh Rose Island
  • Natural Rock Formation

You can book your stay nearby Lakshmanpur or Sitapur beach at a fancy resort.

Explore the island on a 2-wheeler or bicycle

Roads in Neil Island are very easy to ride as there are no sharp curves or elevations. It is navigation friendly, and thus you can easily cycle or ride through the island. It would be a great adventure! You can rent mopeds from the jetty. Moreover, many resorts have their own cycles and motorbikes available for rent.

Where to stay in Neil Island?

Neil Island as emerged as a fantastic tourist destination in the Andaman Islands. Several luxury resorts have sprung up over the last few years that offer excellent facilities for all kinds of guests. The island features affordable and basic huts along with lavish resorts that resonate with the warmth of tropical vibes, stunning views, and contemporary settings.

Budget stays are available at Sitapur Beach and Bharatpur Beach ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 800. For mid-range rooms with AC, the price tariff ranges from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000. One has to pay Rs. 5000 and more for luxury hotels with swimming pools and fabulous views.

Top Hotels & Resorts in Neil Island

The scenic beaches of this island boast of white sands and uninterrupted views of the clear blue skies. Some of the best properties are as follows:

1-Star

  • Elephant & four wise men resort
  • Break Water Resort
  • KP Lodge
  • Jayanthi Lodge

2-Star

  • Vacation Village
  • Sunset Garden Resort
  • Moon shine garden resort
  • Hotel Sarthak Residency
  • Nirala Resort

3-Star

  • Pearl Park Beach Resort
  • Tango Beach Resort
  • TSG Aura
  • Hotel Amullya
  • Kingfisher Hotel
  • Coco N Hut Resort
  • Holiday Inn Neil Island

4-Star

  • Sea Shell Resort
  • Summer Sand Beach Resort
  • Silver Sand Beach Resort

How long to stay in Neil Island?

It is tough to specify a timeline for Neil Island owing to its secluded beauty. On their way back to Port Blair from Havelock Island, tourists will little time in their hands visit this place for one day. The island has laid-back vibes and natural enthusiasts and backpackers come here for a longer duration and stay for weeks.

How much will it cost per day in Neil Island?

Neil Island is a popular backpacker destination. It has developed as a tourist destination in recent years with all the investment by entrepreneurs in the island. If you are looking for an extravagant resort experience during your beach vacation, then Neil Island is a great place. A budget-friendly location having basic restaurants and other facilities, this island would be a great addition to your travel diaries. It depends on the kind of accommodation if you want to know how much does it cost in one day. Hotel tariffs begin from as low as Rs. 500 per day.

Local transport in Neil Island

A little island, it is very easy to navigate in Neil Island. The roads are flat and well-built, thus making it perfect to ride a moped or a bicycle. If ever you are unsure about the directions, then you can ask the friendly locals.

The following are the ways by which you can get around Neil Island:

  • Bus- A local bus plies every hour. It starts from the main bazaar and goes till Sitapur Beach.
  • Bike and bicycles- Popular and preferred among tourists, bikes and bicycles are affordable here. You can find them at the jetty. You can also ask for the same at the property where you are staying. There are several resorts that have their own vehicles for renting purposes.
  • Autos- Autos are a great option if you are visiting the island for a short time. You can get them from the jetty and market area.
  • Car rentals- The best and the most comfortable way to get around Neil Island is renting a car. It is suited for everyone including families and group travellers.
  • Private chauffeured AC cars are also available for rent. They are most of the time overbooked as they are limited in number. Thus, it is advised to book a car or hire a scooter in Neil Island in advance.

Where to eat in Neil Island?

There are a number of eating places ranging in Neil Island. Therefore, you will get to choose from many options. To relish the local and authentic food, try out these places across the island. We have covered the best food outlets on the island. These are the most visited places. We have also mentioned their USP so that choosing any one of them becomes easier for you depending on your mood. Check out the best restaurants in Neil Island below:

Best restaurants & food outlets in Neil Island:

  • Hungry Stone Restaurant- Good for groups
  • Seashell Restaurant- Have some finger-licking seafood
  • Ripon Sea foods- Mouthwatering seafood
  • Yatri Dhaba- Taste at affordable prices
  • Full Moon Café- Great seafood restaurant
  • Dugong Restaurant- For a relaxed atmosphere
  • Sea Zaika- Famous among both, locals and tourists

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