An Indian Summer Every Day, on a Beach Vacation in India

Balmy weather, a warm ocean, and ace seafood—that’s what beach vacations in India are made of. All along its long coastline, peninsular India hosts a variety of beaches, some rich in history, culture, and local hospitality, others serving up water sports like windsurfing and kite-surfing.

In a country of over a billion you don’t expect to find crystal-clear waters and unspoiled beaches, but they do exist. As do tropical fish in vivid colors, and coral gardens; and tranquility you’ve only heard of before. Admittedly there is also plenty of chaff on the Indian beach scene, but with Enchanting Travels experts guiding you, you’re guaranteed the right spot, and a perfect balance of serenity and rocking good times.

About 850 miles off the coast of mainland India, in the Andaman Sea, are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Set yourself up at Havelock and curl up with a great book and an even greater view, or go snorkeling in the day and kayaking at night.

Among the palm groves and rice fields of Goa, are five-star resorts, boutique hotels in Portuguese-style homes, and a vibrant party scene. The food in Goa, like its hospitality, has a reputation that extends far beyond its borders. Ditto for Kerala, a little further south. Beach vacations in Kerala come with the ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda, and yoga sessions overlooking a clear horizon. On that long-dreamed of trip to India, tag on a few days at the sea shore, you’ll find it’s the perfect way to contemplate the colorful and intense India tour you’ve just completed.

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Best Time to Visit

A beach vacation in India offers magical weather and fine, golden sand beaches.

The beaches of India typically experience a tropical climate, with hot summer months, rainy monsoons and cool and dry winters. Whether you want to visit Andaman or Nicobar Islands, the Bay of Bengal on the east coast, Majuli in Assam, Lakshwadeep or Goa, the best travel time for a beach holiday are the months November to March. Click on the link below to view details.

Best Time to Visit India’s Islands and Beaches

Best Beaches in India

Discover the best beaches in India. In the archipelago of the Andaman Islands, choose from pristine strips of sand at Havelock Island, surfing on Little Andaman Island, a rocky paradise beach at Neil Island, scuba diving in the untouched Nicobar Islands or historic Ross Island. In the remote Indian islands of Lakshwadeep, by the shores of Kadmat or Kavaratti, expect white sands and crystal clear waters. Just as beautiful are lesser-known island paradises, such as Majuli Island on the Brahmaputra river in Assam – the largest river island in the world! Follow this link for an overview on what to expect during your beach vacation.

Best beaches in India

India Travel Tips

What are the things to consider while planning a trip? What clothes should you pack for your beach tour? What type of food can your expect? Before you set out on your trip, click on the link below to view details.

India Travel Tips

Top Island Destinations in Lakshwadeep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

In the far-flung corners of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean, lie incredible paradises flanked by lush tropical jungles, pristine shores and azure waters filled with colorful coral reefs. Here are the best islands and destinations for your sightseeing tours.

1. North Andaman – This island is home to Saddle Peak – the highest point in the archipelago, as well as the quaint town of Diglipur. Having fully recovered from a devastating tsunami in 2004, discover a host of marine life in these aquatic waters.

Saddle Peak in the distance at the Andamans
Saddle Peak in the distance at the Andamans

2. South Andaman – Set on the southernmost tip of the cluster, the largest island in the Andamans is home to a variety of beautiful beaches such as Cove Beach and Wandoor, as well as the capital city of Port Blair.

3. Havelock Island – One of the most beautiful, Havelock Island is home to many must-visit beaches including Radhanagar Beach, and the lively Elephant Beach.

Stunning beach at Havelock Island in the Andamans
Stunning beach at Havelock Island in the Andamans

4. Neil Island – Expect coral reefs teeming with colorful fish as well as a reserve forest on the north western side.

5. Ross Island – Discover a beautiful church and historic ruins including war installations from the World War II era.

6. Long Island – Lined by swaying casurina trees, this dreamy island not only boasts tropical forests and virgin beaches but also a wealth of aquatic life in its turquoise waters.

7. Little Andaman – This remote island is to both settlers from Bengal as well as aboriginals. Perhaps the most famous and fun inhabitants of Little andaman though are its colony of sea turtles, of which there are several varieties.

Old bridge in Little Andaman Island
Old bridge in Little Andaman Island

8. Barren Island – Home to the only active volcano in Southeast Asia, this uninhabitated island makes for exciting day tours!

9. North Bay Island – A spectacular diving site, snorkeling and scuba diving site, this popular tourism destination combines well with Ross Island tours.

North Bay Island in the Andamans
North Bay Island in the Andamans

Don’t miss these hidden gems on a trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands:

  • Not just water sports, the Andaman archipelago offers fantastic trekking experiences too. At Chidiya Tapu, enclosed by dense mangroves lies a birder’s paradise where you can spot numerous species while trekking in the jungles and in Munda Pahad hills.
  • Jolly Buoy Island is an incredible destination for some world class snorkeling at high tide. Home to incredible marine life and live corals, expect clear blue waters, long sandy beaches and pristine greenery.
  • Baratang Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is known for its mud volcano and limestone caves. This is one of the few places in the world where you can see such volcanoes.
  • Not just beaches, visitors can also take sightseeing tours to see remnants of Andaman’s history as a penal colony. Viper Island, named after the ship H.M.S. Viper, is not just picturesque but also home to ruins of a British-era jail and gallows.

Lakshwadeep Island Tours

1. Apart from the Bangaram Island, incredibly beautiful Great Nicobar Island in the Indian Ocean is famed for its flora and fauna, both overland and underwater. It’s also home to a serene lighthouse, the view from which is considered unrivaled.

2. Minicoy in Lakshwadeep offers one of the largest lagoons in the islands as well as a charming lighthouse. Apart from pristine beaches, you can visit indigenous villages and experience local festivals too.

Tropical resort at Minicoy in Lakshwadeep
Tropical resort at Minicoy in Lakshwadeep

Culture in India's Islands & Beaches

Bathe your mind, body and spirit when you visit India’s beaches and islands

From their cuisine to art, architecture and festivals, beach and island destinations are a fusion of Eastern and Western influences. Close to the city of Chennai, Mamallapuram is home to historic monuments dating far back in time. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, once used as penal colonies far from the mainland, offer a laid back vibe of their own.

While Mamallapuram and Trivandrum are part of the state of Tamil Nadu. Goa is a Union Territory of the country just as the Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands – all of these regions are directly ruled by the central government.

Goa

Portuguese colonial influence is evident everywhere in Goa – from the cuisine – a fusion of Eastern and Western flavors and ingredients, and the clothing, to local culture. Home to a large number of Christians and Hindus, Goa also has many minority communities. Christmas, Diwali, Easter are major religious festivals in Goa and the Goan Carnival attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Goa is known for its vibrant beach parties and nightlife, especially in the northern beaches of Baga and Calangute, while the quieter beaches of the south are a favorite with hippies and backpackers.

The riverine Divar Island near Panaji offers a slice of pristine, offbeat Goa with its lush greenery, picturesque villages, churches, temples and laidback life.

Trivandrum

One of Kerala’s major artistic and cultural centers, the city is well-known for its beautiful paintings and sculptures – from the cave shrines of southern Travancore and paintings and murals, to the paintings of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal which adorn the city’s art museum. The Malayalam film industry is based out Trivandrum and the city also hosts an international film festival every year.

The city is home to a large number of Hindus. Almost everyone speaks Malayalam, but a number of people are also well-versed in English, Hindi and Tamil.

Mamallapuram

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Mamallapuram by the Bay of Bengal is known for its many architectural splendors and was once nicknamed the Land of the Seven Pagodas by European seamen. Just a little distance from Chennai city, the small town stands as testimony to some of the earliest examples of Dravidian architecture and Buddhist influence in South India. As of 2004, when a tsunami hit the region, many more sites were discovered buried underground.

Often referred to as Mahabs, the town is popular with local and international tourists alike and is equipped with several hotels, eateries, and curio shops.

Andaman and Nicobar Island

These Indian Islands are an amalgam of indigenous tribes and settled migrants. The aboriginal population of the islands have no rules when it comes to clothing, and some still prefer not to be clothed. A majority of the population are Hindus with a smattering of Christians, Muslims and Sikhs. Away from the main city of Port Blair, the sparsely-populated smaller islands are home to many an indigenous tribe such as the Sentinelese.

The many islands of Andaman and Nicobar have steadily become a popular hub for visitors since Indian Independence in 1947 and our private beach vacations offer you many opportunities for water sports as well. For popular Andaman packages, must-visits include the popular Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Cove Beach nearby, North Bay Island, the incredible Radhanagar Beach or Kalapathar Beach on Havelock Island, rocky Neil Island and Ross Island.

Five ‘particularly vulnerable’ Andaman tribes reside in islands that are deemed restricted areas by the government. These include the Jarawas, North Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, Onge and Shompen.

Top India Beach Vacation Tips – Culture:

  • The northern beaches of Goa, including Baga and Calangute are famous for their vibrant nightlife while the quieter southern beaches are described as a backpackers’ paradise.
  • Trivandrum is home to India’s only magic school – The Magic Academy Research Centre, run by Merlin Award winner Gopinath Muthukad.
  • Crocodile Bank near Mamallapuram is home to over 5,000 crocodiles!

Cuisine in India's Islands & Beaches

Enjoy the coconut flavors of spicy Goan curries during your India beach vacation!

On your India beach vacation, prepare to feast on meat, which is readily available everywhere. Thousands of restaurants cater to every palate at India’s Islands & Beaches – from the gourmet to the streetside.

Goan cuisine is a heady mixture of local ingredients and international influence – seafood rules the roost and tropical fruits are an important part of the local diet.

Trivandrum has plenty of restaurants that serve South Indian fare although North Indian, Chinese and American cuisine are also popular. Much of the food served is vegetarian although most resorts come with chefs who serve you some authentic Kerala-style dishes. The small town of Mamallapuram has plenty to offer the gastro-enthusiast. A haven for vegetarians, the coastal town is also popular for its delicious seafood. Mamallapuram has several eateries that serve international cuisine.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ cuisine is difficult to define – the isolated indigenous people have had very little influence on the cuisine and South Indian and North Indian styles of food dominate. Rice is a staple and seafood and meat are aplenty.

Try these authentic dishes for a delicious dose of flavor:

  • Xacuti: Goanese lamb or chicken curry made with roasted coconut
  • Balchão: shrimp curry popular in Goa
  • Vindaloo: meat curried in a spicy garlic and wine marinade, a Portuguese-influenced Goan delicacy
  • Malabar Biryani: the Kerala version of the famous Mughal dish
  • Paal Payasam: a sweet treat made with rice, milk and jaggery
  • Mamallapuram Thali: an unlimited rice and a chapati served with vegetables and papad (poppadoms)
  • Grilled jumbo prawns: a favorite in Mamallapuram

Top India Beach Vacation Tips – Cuisine:

On one of our private India beach vacations, see the cooking ritual at the Attukal Temple premises – millions of women gather with their utensils on the day of Pongal (a Hindu religious festival), cook their food, and take home the offerings.

See a slice of paradise during one of our private and tailor-made India beach vacations with Enchanting Travels.

History of India's Islands & Beaches

Apart from their pristine natural beauty, India’s island and beach destinations boast centuries old history and myriad influences. From Portuguese colonial heritage in Goa to Megalithic Era ruins in Mamallapuram and untouched, indigenous tribal communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there is much to be discovered.

Goa

Goa’s history dates back almost 30,000 years and some rock carvings suggest that some the earliest humans of India lived in Goa! Early Goan culture is a mix of Indo-Aryans and Dravidians and the region has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties, including the Mauryans in 3rd century BC and the Vijayanagar Empire in 14th century CE.

From the 16th century onwards, Goa was firmly under Portuguese rule for almost 500 years! After a successful military operation in 1961, Goa came under Indian control. On one of our tailor-made India beach vacations, the healthy mix of Portuguese heritage and Indian culture in Goa is sure to enchant you!

Trivandrum

Legend has it that King Solomon sent his ships to the port city of Trivandrum, which has been a flourishing center for trade and commerce ever since! Trivandrum’s early history is nothing like the rest of India. Until the 18th century, the city was ruled by the feudal kingdoms, following which it became a center of art and architecture under the rulers of Travancore. Two years after Indian independence in 1947, the city became the capital of Kerala.

On our private India beach vacations, you can see several units of the Indian Space Research Organization and India’s first IT park, in Trivandrum.

Mamallapuram

Once a center for global trade, the town of Mamallapuram is famous for its many burial urns and jars from the Megalithic Age. It was the center of the Pallava kingdom as early as the 3rd century CE and found mention as a wealthy settlement in 8th century Tamil texts.

The temples in this town depict many major scenes from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. The famous Shore Temples, one of seven from Marco Polo’s time, stand even today. See various shrines dedicated to several different deities to this two thousand year old historic town – now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The quiet Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to several tribes and served as a strategic naval base. From 1858 until Japan occupied the Andaman during World War II, the British were used to keeping political prisoners in the infamous Cellular Jail of Port Blair.

In 2004, these Indian Islands suffered through a devastating tsunami but have recovered remarkably well.

You will not be disappointed with the unique history and culture that the islands have preserved for centuries during one of our private India beach vacations to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

As of 2018, foreign travelers no longer need a restricted area permit to visit the islands.

Top India Beach Vacation Tips – History:

  • The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa is home to the remains of the revered St. Francis Xavier – the patron saint of the region. Once every ten years, his body is revealed to the public.
  • The famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Trivandrum reportedly has more than USD 20 million of gold and jewels in its vaults, which explains why custodianship of the temple has been hotly contested in court.
  • The Five Rathas of Mamallapuram, five detailed temple structures, are believed to have been carved from a single rock!
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands once a penal colony still has abandoned gaol houses in Port Blair.
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