Top 10 Lesser Known Island Vacations in India

There are two kinds of island people. The first kind is those who go to beaches and islands for partying and water sports. The second kind is those for whom beaches are all about relaxing and beach hammocks and the quiet serenity of the blue waters. But whichever kind you may be, you cannot deny that commercial beaches and dirty, murky waters are a big no-no! So if you’re tired of a parade of people always trying to ruin your quiet and relaxing beach holiday, then check out these top 10 lesser known island vacations in India. We promise, there won’t be any party poopers here!

1. Rameshwaram Island, Tamil Nadu.

This beautiful island is also known as “Varanasi of the South”. The few archaeological places over here make it the ultimate tourist spot. Also, this is linked to the mainland by the Indira Gandhi Bridge, one of India’s architectural excellence. The striking beauty of the island, coupled with the cultural wonders make it a must-visit.

Best time to visit: October to April.

Things to do: 

  • Visit the Rameshwaram Temple.
  • Visit the beautiful Dhanushkodi Temple and beach. Although some natural calamity destroyed the temple, it is still a wonderful place to go to.
  • The glass boat ride at Pamban Beach is a must do. You can see the exotic marine life up close through the glass surface of the boat.

2. Chorao Island, Goa.

Mangroves and rivers enclose this beautiful island, next to the bank. The sun-kissed beaches are only 35 km from North Goa airport. The diverse array of bird life, the wetland ponds, rare trails and the breathtaking sceneries make this island a haven for tourists who want some quiet and serenity.

Best time to visit: Any season is beautiful to visit Chorao Islands.

Things to do: 

  • Visit Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
  • Chill out and relax.

3. Sriharikota Island, Andhra Pradesh.

 

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This barrier island is perhaps well known as the only launch centre of the country. It also separates the Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. The lively Pulicat town is beautiful and definitely one of a kind.

Pro tip: There isn’t a place to stay here. So you can always stay at Sullurpeta which isn’t far from Sriharikota.

Things to do: Apart from watching the launch of satellites, you can enjoy the quiet and uninterrupted peace of the place. The village is small and is extremely beautiful to have a wonderful time.

4. Diu Island, Daman & Diu.

The beautiful island of Diu is one of those places which is absolutely enchanting. The blue waters, along with the Portuguese culture and heritage make it a dream to look at and enjoy. The exquisite beaches and architectural beauty will leave you mystified.

Fun fact: Unlike in Gujarat, alcohol isn’t banned here. Just saying.

Best time to visit: November to February.

Things to do: 

  • The golden sand beaches of Ghogla.
  • The beautiful Diu Fort.
  • The Naida Caves, located close by Diu Fort.
  • Nagoa Beach.
  • Visit St. Paul Church.
  • Sunset Point, a beautiful hillock located just beside Chakritirath beach.

5. Majuli Island, Assam.

This is one of the biggest river islands in India. The Majuli island is famous for this breathtaking sunrise and sunsets. This is also the best place to soak in some Assamese culture. The beaches are covered in moss instead of sand and instead of seafood, you’ll be served with traditional Assamese cuisine. How great is that?

Best time to visit: October to December.

Things to do: 

  • Visit the 21 Satras.
  • Check out the Mishing Village.
  • Try your hand at local meshing and mask making.
  • Rent a motorcycle and explore the place.

6. Divar Island, Goa.

One of the untouched islands of Goa, this place is absolute paradise. It lies 10 km upstream of Panjim. You’ll come across the lively culture and countryside feel of Goa here as well.

Fun fact: Dil Chahta Hai was shot here. So don’t forget to recreate some of your favourite movie scenes!

Best time to visit: Mid-November to Mid-February.

Things to do: 

  • Visit the Our Lady of Compassion Church.
  • Visit the Shree Ganesh Sateri Temple.
  • Check out the beautiful European and Portuguese houses and landmarks.

7. St. Mary’s Island, Karnataka.

 

These are a set of four small islands. These beautiful hexagonal shaped rock formations are made of Basaltic rocks, similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. You must visit this place for its clear blue waters and the beautiful rocky beach. It truly is heaven on earth!

Pro tip: Carry your camera as the place is extremely picturesque. Also, there isn’t a place to stay here. But Malpe is not far from St. Mary’s and is also a great place to stay.

Best time to visit: December to January.

Things to do:

  • Visit the coconut gardens.
  • Take lots of selfies!

8. Grand Island, Goa.

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This is the place where you must go for some snorkelling and scuba diving. The beautiful sea and exceptional beaches make it a great site for these underwater activities. The exquisite beauty of the unlittered beaches adds to the beauty of this place.

Pro tip: There aren’t lodging facilities available here. Best stay in mainland Goa.

Best time to visit: October to May.

Things to do: 

  • This place is famous for Suzy’s Wreck dive, Shelter Cove dive, Bounty Bay dive, Sail Rock dive, Spice plantation and Dolphin points.
  • Famous activities here are ship-wreck scuba diving and bait-fishing.

9. Barren Island, Andaman.

This island is the only active volcanic island of India. The astonishing scenery and lava rocks will blow your mind. This pristine island is a must-visit!

Pro tip: Unfortunately, you cannot land on this island. You’re only allowed to circle the island on a ship. So naturally, there are no accommodations here. But, you can stay in Port Blair- it’s not far from the island. Also, you need a special Inner Line Permit from the Forest Department.

Best time to visit: February to May.

Things to do: Diving and underwater scuba are famous activities here.

10. Little Andaman Island, Andaman.

The alluring beaches of Little Andaman Island will surely call to you. If you love nature in its raw, unadulterated form, then this is the perfect place for you.

Best time to visit: December to February.

Things to do: 

  • Famous things to see over here are White surf waterfalls, Whisper wave waterfalls, Hut Bay and Coral reefs in the east of the island.
  • You can also opt to surf. The waves are fantastic over here.

So this was the list of the top 10 lesser known island vacations in India. These beautiful islands are a dream come true for the lovers of the sea. The ocean stirs the heart and brings eternal joy to the soul. If this is how you feel too, then we hope you’ve started packing your bags for a journey to these places! Happy travelling!

Contributor: Archi Sengupta.

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