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Neil Island

Discovering the Charms of Neil Island

Neil Island is the ideal place for a much-needed break because of its incredible biodiversity, undiscovered coral reefs, white sand beaches, and tropical woodlands. There are barely 13.7 square km on this island. Given the flat terrain and the tiny area, Neil can be easily traversed on a bicycle. The island is pleasantly distinct from its neighbour Havelock with its relaxed atmosphere and bright appeal. The ideal visitors to Neil Island are those looking to unwind on miles of uninhabited beaches. This island is ideal for individuals who want to explore the island’s communities because there is minimal activity, little to do, and few resorts.

Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep

Shaheed Dweep is Neil Island’s new name. In honour of Subhas Chandra Bose and to mark the 75th anniversary of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands‘ independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi changed the name of Neil Island from Neil to Shaheed Dweep on December 30, 2018.  Bose had raised the Indian flag in Port Blair on December 30, 1943, signaling the end of British sovereignty over the islands.

Understand it more

The breathtaking natural splendor of Neil Island, 37 kilometres south of Port Blair, belies its diminutive size. Neil Island, which is known as the “vegetable bowl” of the Andaman Islands because of its ideal environment, is a paradise for growing fruits and vegetables. It has access to government and commercial ferries that connect it to Port Blair (a 1.5-hour ferry ride), Havelock (45 minutes distant), and Rangat. The only hope for connectivity on Neil is the patchy BSNL network coverage. Internet access is, however, limited to Neil. Visitors can fully immerse themselves in the island’s natural scenery and serene atmosphere as a peaceful retreat from the digital world.

Helicopter & Ferry Available 

Taking a ferry from Port Blair is the only way to reach Neil Island. This island is connected to Port Blair and other surrounding Islands by both public and private ships. The most effective kind of transportation is a private ferry. It is unlikely to obtain a confirmed ticket since the majority of seats on the government boats are set aside for islanders. To avoid last-minute headaches, we advise you to reserve your private ferry tickets in advance online.

Transport Services in Neil Island

Neil Island is a tiny island that is only 7 kilometres long from corner to corner. The roads are level, well-constructed, and simple to use. The island is excellent for riding a moped or a bicycle because the locals are friendly and you can ask for directions whenever you’re confused.

Local bus, Bicycle and bike:

A bus that performs locally runs every hour. This bus travels to Sitapur Beach and departs from the main bazaar. Bicycle and bike rentals are popular and reasonably priced among tourists; you may locate a handful of them at the jetty. Upon arrival, you might also inquire about this at your resort, since many facilities have their own vehicles available for rent.

Automobiles:

If you only have a short stay on the island, automobiles are an excellent choice. You can find them readily in the jetty and market area. Car rentals are one of the most pleasant methods to get around Neil Island; they work well for families and groups of people, however you may also book private chauffeured AC automobiles. However, they are virtually always overbooked because they are scarce.

Unforgettable Adventures and Relaxation in Neil Island

Start your tour with the well-known Neil Island 3 Point Tour, which includes Bharatpur, Sitapur, and Laxmanpur beaches. Continue on to the next location, where you may observe the fascinating Natural Rock Formation or unwind at Bharatpur Beach, and finish your day by viewing the mesmerising sunset at Laxmanpur Beach. Perfect for visitors with little free time on Neil Island.

Scuba diving and snorkelling:

Explore the stunning coral reefs and abundant marine life of Neil Island’s clear seas. The lagoons near Ramnagar and Laxmanpur Beach are suitable for snorkelling, and a number of resorts lend out snorkelling equipment. With dive shops like Indian Scuba Explorers, Dive India, and Scuba Love, you may scuba dive and discover the underwater treasures. The Andaman Islands’ state animal, the elusive dugong, should be sought after.

Glass Bottom Boat trip:

Choose a glass-bottom boat trip if you’d rather keep dry. These rides, offered at the Jetty, let visitors get a glimpse of the colourful underwater environment without getting wet. For between INR 400 and INR 600 per person, take a 20-minute trip and admire the sea splendour below.

Trekking Adventures:

Explore the luxuriant tropical jungles of Neil Island while channelling your inner adventurer. Take part in a guided walk that leads you through charming towns, thick forests and beautiful seaside views. To avoid getting lost in the bush, it is best to travel with a guide.

Lazy Beach Time:

Relax on the sun-kissed sands of Bharatpur Beach and Ramnagar Beach to take in the island’s leisurely pace of life. These beaches provide the ideal getaway from the daily grind, whether you’re lying in the sun, reading a book, or just taking in the serene ambience.

Island Exploration on Two Wheels:

Explore the island on two wheels by riding a bike or a scooter along its easy-to-navigate roads. The road system on Neil Island is convenient for cyclists, making it a fun excursion. For easy island exploration, you can rent mopeds at the jetty, and many resorts also have bicycle and motorbike rentals.

Neil-Island

Best Neil Island Hotels & Resorts

Neil Island is now more than simply a draw for backpackers as a tourist destination. Luxury resorts have proliferated over the past few years, catering to travellers seeking various types of vacations. The island offers everything, from luxurious resorts with breathtaking views and modern decor to modest, reasonably priced huts that capture the spirit of Neil Island.

At Sitapur & Bharatpur Beach, inexpensive lodging options are available for between Rs. 500 and Rs. 800.

For mid-level accommodations with air conditioning, prices range from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 3000.

Prices for the opulent hotels with swimming pools and breathtaking vistas start at Rs. 5000.

Food & Dining in Neil Island

The Organic Khaa in Summer Sand and the Dugong Restaurant in Seashell are the two best places in Neil to sample regional food. These are fantastic restaurants with a wide cuisine and a classy setting.

The bazaar alleyways are packed with shacks for people looking for inexpensive meals, with the exception of some on the beach that have plastic tables and an outside setting. However, because so many residents still work in the region’s farms, Neil is referred to as the vegetable bowl of the Andaman Islands. There are many fishermen as well, so food that is freshly prepared is of excellent quality and tastes as such. The majority of the time, homemade food is excellent.

Due to this, you should plan on the preparation taking a while—up to two hours, depending on what and how much you ordered. Nearly every restaurant offers Indian and Chinese cuisine, but it’s also simple to locate Israeli, Italian, and even French cuisine. Most “resorts” have their own restaurants, and seafood is widely available.

For a dinner of a straightforward fish thali for only INR 100, the Neil Kendra market is always a great choice.

Pro tips to follow

Planning early is necessary for a successful and pleasurable vacation to Neil Island. It’s a good idea to carry enough cash because there are only two ATMs in the town centre and not many places to exchange money. Additionally, as it gets beyond 9:00 PM, public transportation might be difficult to find, so be sure to plan ahead for any late-night excursion. If you’re travelling from Port Blair to catch a flight, save yourself an additional day just in case. Boats sometimes face delays or stalls owing to weather conditions. Book your tickets well in advance to prevent any travel inconveniences. Be warned that mosquitoes are frequently present at night; carry repellents or buy them nearby. 

Finally, ask about petrol availability while hiring a scooter because it is shipped from Port Blair and periodically runs out and petrol stations close before dusk.

So get ready for an  adventurous journey as Andaman is waiting for you.

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