With so many people setting off on globetrotting adventures in an attempt to discover their own personal paradise it is surprising that there are not more mentions of the Andaman Islands in the mainstream travel press.
This stunning archipelago, which is situated in the Andaman Sea (part of the Indian Ocean) is one of the best kept backpacking secrets offering travellers access to a slice of untouched paradise.
While many travellers head for the Thai islands, some find on arrival that the way in which these areas have been tailored to the tourist trade is out of keeping with the expectation of an unspoiled island location – for these people a visit to the Andaman Islands, which are in fact closer to Thailand than to their Indian governing territory, represents the perfect solution.
As Indian islands, the Andaman’s, which require an entry permit issued in India for entry, can only be accessed from the Indian mainland – making them the perfect holiday addition to those taking flights to Goa for their getaways.
Travelling to the Andaman Islands can be complex, but flights to the main town of Port Blair can be caught, or alternatively intrepid explorers can opt to make the two day crossing by boat from the Indian mainland.
Once travellers make it to the archipelago, the Andamans offer the perfect opportunity for a bit of island hopping, with yacht hire a popular choice of transportation for Andaman Island exploration.
The hundreds of islands each offers its own little addition to this amazing and often isolated travel destination, choose from inhabited and uninhabited dots of land, which rise from the stunning blue seas as limestone cliffs or stunning white sand beaches and explore at your leisure.
While it seems impossible that anyone would ever tire of simply soaking up this stunning setting, for those who prefer to stay a little more active, there is always something on offer in the Andaman Islands.
Try snorkelling or diving in the spectacularly clear waters where reefs offer refuge to some amazing marine species – a selection of dive schools offering a wide range of excursion to some of the best undersea attractions in the area can be found on Havelock Island.
Or why not opt for some more land-based adventure with a trek the summit of Saddle Peak in the North Andaman island of Digilpur?
History buffs may enjoy spotting the remnants of the English occupation at Port Blair, which was once, under the name of Chatham Island, used as a British Naval base and penal colony – although present day visitors may find it hard to believe that being sentenced to spend time in the Andaman Islands was any kind of punishment.
The locals in the Andaman Islands are welcoming and cater well to the tourist trade, with eateries on offer in some inhabited areas offering a selection of sumptuous sea foods as well as dishes that bear the culinary mark of these island territories internationally influenced history.