Islands & Beaches
Islands & Beaches you can travel & experience with Greaves
Goa, Sandy Beaches, Trivandrum, Chennai, Andaman Islands, Lakshadweeps, Malabar Coast, The Maldives, Mararikulam
Discover and travel to Islands & Beaches of India
India’s seemingly endless coastline boasts a great many palm-fringed golden beaches and small sandy coves, and incredibly has the most diverse varieties of beaches anywhere in the world. Placid backwaters and lagoons, bays and rough lava-rocked seas, marine estuaries with fish, crashing surf, powdery golden sand or palm fringed shores – India has them all. The coasts of India have their own seafood cuisine, relaxing spas, diving and water sports and luxury places to stay for a balmy holiday. Many of them have hotels either on or near the beach and they provide the perfect ‘escape’ for a few days of relaxation at the end of a busy tour.
India’s East Meets West
Goa is renowned for its miles and miles of long, sandy beaches, tropical, palm jungle, before rising up into the Western Ghats. Situated half way down India’s west coast, on the Arabian Sea, Goa is alive with both Eastern and Western culture as a result of thousands of years of Hindu and Muslim rule, followed by centuries of Portuguese colonialism, before being absorbed into the Indian Union. The legacies of the Portuguese can still be clearly seen today in the form of beautiful white churches and cathedrals dotted around the countryside and villages. Towards North Goa is the Taj complex which comprises the Aguada Hermitage (luxurious one and 2 bedroom villas high on a hill overlooking Calangute Beach); the Fort Aguada Beach Resort (a main block with luxurious bedrooms or separate cottages, on the side of the hill surrounding the old fort); or the Taj Holiday Village (charming cottages just a few yards in from the ocean and set in pretty gardens). Close by is Pousada Tauma, a small, stylish hotel in the middle of town but just a 5 minute drive from various beaches. Comfortable rooms with modern Mediterranean style furnishings surround a leafy pool. Further north is the delightful Siolim House, a pretty old Portuguese Mansion with just 7 spacious rooms surrounding an inner courtyard alive with bougainvillea. This can also be rented in its entirety as a private villa. A few minutes drive from the beach, it is quiet and peaceful. Twenty minutes inland from here is the Nilaya Hermitage. With just 13 bedrooms set into the cliff face and a facing out over miles of tropical jungle, the food, furnishings and atmosphere at this hotel are second to none. In Goa’s far north is the recently opened Terekol Fort, a sister hotel of the Nilaya Hermitage and designed in very much the same, chic style. This extraordinary place is perched high on a hill top, overlooking the water. South Goa now boasts two excellent but large hotels. The relatively new Taj Exotica has been very well done and comprises rooms in a low rise main block and a series of 2 and 4 bedroom cottages and villas. A grassy lawn leads directly onto a long stretch of golden beach. Close by is The Leela, Goa another luxury hotel sandwiched between a lagoon and white sand beach. The individual cottages overlook tranquil lagoons with landscaped islands, the scenic golf course, or the Arabian Sea.
Goa is easily accessed by air from Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Bengaluru, Cochin and Chennai (Madras). Also via a long but stunning road journey from the Deccan Plateau, or from a 4-night journey on board the Deccan Odyssey tourist train.
Explore one of India’s greenest states for enjoyable holidays
Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala, one of India’s greenest states which hugs the Malabar Coast on the south-western most tip of India. Here you tend to find the odd long stretch of beach, interspersed with small, rocky coves which are private and sheltered. The beaches here at this popular holiday destination have a more wild and rustic feel to them than in Goa and many are still dominated by local fishing communities. Surya Samudra, close to Kovalam, sits on a small promontory overlooking 2 very pretty bays. This excellent property comprises brilliantly re-constructed traditional wooden Malayali cottages, spread around a palm grove. The cliffside swimming pool, a charming al fresco restaurant, a cliff top yoga pavilion and excellent spa provide more than enough to refresh you in holidays. The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala’s 5-star deluxe resort is perched on a rock-face offering the most panoramic views of the famed Kovalam shoreline. The resort boasts 182 rooms and suites dotted over many verdant acres. For the most discerning of travellers, the Club Wing is the epitome of a ‘luxury hotel within a luxury hotel’ with rooms overlooking the awe-inspiring Arabian Sea. Two infinity swimming pools merge into the westerly horizon, and Dikya is a retreat for those who wish to experience an authentic Ayurveda Wellness Spa. The Taj Green Cove Resort is a retreat of peace and tranquility spread across 10 acres of land offering breathtaking views of the backwaters, lush landscapes, coconut palms and unspoilt beaches. With its exotic tropical beauty relaxing hospitality, this getaway is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.
Trivandrum is easily accessed by air from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi. It is also easily reached by road from Kochi and ‘the backwaters’.
Travel to unexploited beaches and parts of Chennai
Chennai, formerly known as Madras and the seat of power for the British East India Company, lies on the Coromandel Coast, facing the Indian Ocean. The whole coastline here is one long expanse of beach, most of which is still unexploited and remains the domain of small fishing villages. Just south of Chennai is Covelong, a wonderful, windswept beach which is home to the Fisherman’s Cove hotel. Run by Taj Group, this luxury hotel has a main block with views over the pool and out to sea; a selection of small cottages in the palm grove and spacious villas literally on the beach. For those not inclined to lying on the beach, the stunning shore temples and rock carvings at Mahabalipuram are just down the road.
Covelong is accessed by air from Delhi, Vishakapatnam, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Bengaluru, Kochi. It is also easily reached by road from Chennai and Pondicherry.
ANDAMAN ISLANDS & LAKSHADWEEPS
Tour to undisturbed paradise of India
The Andaman Islands lie in the Bay of Bengal, India. They are covered in thick jungle forest and mangrove swaps line the water’s edge. This undisturbed paradise of India is rich with wildlife and easily explored by boat. The Andaman Islands have restricted access with the Primitive Tribal Reserve areas being out of bounds completely. The Hotel we suggest is the Bay Island hotel in Port Blair, the capital. The management is keen on conservation and it is considered the best hotel, although is basic. Transport to the beach is easily arranged and the diving opportunities are endless. The Lakshadweeps are glorious coral atolls lying just off the Malabar Coast. Each tiny island is surrounded by its own, glassy lagoon, some are only a few metres long. As a result of the lack of exploitation, the coral reefs here are thriving and the sea is pristine. Bangaram Island Resort is run by the CGHearth Group and is a gem of an island. The facilities are kept relatively simple to ensure the continued balance of the delicate eco – System.
Fly to the Andamans by air from Kolkata and Chennai to Port Blair. Access to the Lakshadweeps is by air from Kochi to Agatti, followed by a 1 hour boat ride.
Fascinating holidays in the lap of the nature
Nearby to Kochi and Alleppy, Mararikulum stands back in time almost 100 years ago, and life today hasn’t changes much in the past few decades. Men here continue to go fishing in the morning while the ladies perform the essential household chores. Marari Beach Resort is a heavenly holiday retreat where you can unwind peacefully. One can see beautiful swaying palm trees, coconut trees and the vast expanse of the sea in a tranquil environment. Spend a day visiting the small village which is home to abundant soft sand beaches that promise one a fascinating holiday in the lap of the nature amidst vast expanse of land, water and swaying palm trees, or pamper yourself with stimulating ayurveda massages and tropical fruits as you bask on the soft warm Mararikulam sands.
Described by many as a microcosm of South India, Sri Lanka boasts glorious hill country and quirky hill stations, fascinating ancient sites, vast areas of tea plantations and high plateaus, tropical jungle and wildlife reserves, and its friendly people have a very relaxed approach to life. Tucked away in a tropical jungle overlooking Kandalama Lake, The Heritance Kandalama hotel blends perfectly with the natural surroundings and occupies one of the most beautiful sites in the heart of the cultural triangle. Sri Lanka is home to some exceptional beaches scattered around its long coastline. Amanwella is a beautiful, romantic hideaway. This luxury beach resort hugs the beguiling Indian Ocean in resplendent seclusion and tranquility. Being so small, Sri Lanka is an easy place to discover. It also makes a good place to visit after a tour to India as it is so close and has good flight connections.
Access to Sri Lanka is by air from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum and Kochi as well as various international cities.