Port Blair, Jan 2: The experts of Telegraph Travel has revealed their top 20 picks for the year ahead, from the beaches of Turkey to the rainforests of Nicaragua in its issue dated December 31, 2017. Andaman Islands stands at No. 3 in the list of 20 must visit destinations in 2018. It rates Turkey’s Turquoise Coast in No. 1 and Rwanda in No 2. Sea is a dreamy shade of turquoise. Pure white sands fringe rainforest that is home to a rich profusion of wildlife. It all sounds suitably idyllic to be the Seychelles or Mauritius, but India’s remote Andaman archipelago ticks even more boxes of blissed-out delight.
Harriet O’Brien is an award-winning author, freelance travel writer and contributing Editor to Conde Nast Traveller magazine and Telegraph. She rated Andaman as a beautiful destination to be visited. Her work has taken her from Amsterdam to Amritsar, Belgium to Burma and of course numerous destinations in Britain. She lives in the Cotswolds – which she says ‘ranks in my top five most beautiful places in the world’.
The Telegraph Travel has also published the details about how to visit the Andaman Islands. It reported in its edition that “located in the Bay of Bengal, 850 miles east of the mainland, these 300 little-known Islands are surrounded by fabulous coral (no commercial fishing has been allowed for 40 years) and are barely developed, with only a dozen open to tourism. Over the past 18 months or so the archipelago has become more accessible thanks to an increase in flights to the capital, Port Blair, from four of India’s major cities. So it’s now relatively easy to combine a cultural trip with a beautifully sequestered beach break, flying to the Islands from Chennai (with the nearest mainland airport), Kolkata, Delhi or Bangalore”.
‘The Telegraph Travel’ further reported that accommodation options are limited, but in March the Taj group will open a sensitively conceived beachside hotel here, bringing new levels of luxury. Set on Havelock Island, renowned for its dive sites and lush hinterland, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa has a prime position on Radhanagar Beach, said to be one of the most serene – and pristine – beaches in Asia. Facilities are spot-on, with three restaurants and a signature Jiva spa, and the 75 rustic-chic villas offer five-star comfort. But it’s the activities that guests will particularly relish, from underwater photography to kayaking through mangrove forests and exploring reefs teeming with marine life, the Telegraph Travel reported.
A 10-night trip costs from £3,300 per person with Ampersand Travel (020 7819 9770; ampersandtravel.com), including flights from Heathrow to Chennai and onwards, three nights at Taj Coromandel in Chennai and seven nights at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on the Andaman Islands, it disclosed.