Mumbai is truly blessed in many ways. Spoilt for choice, since there are so many destinations within reach for a short getaway.
From nature to history, from pilgrimage to relaxation, from hills to the ocean, from amusement to trekking, the options are endless! Sometimes the buzz of the city get to me and I just have to quickly bounce.
All you need is a weekend, your choice of vehicle (mine you obviously know of), your backpack and off you go!
Here are my go to destinations when the city get a bit too much for me and I need a break
India’s tiniest hill station, quaint and picturesque. 2516 Feet above sea level, it is the perfect weekend retreat since its only about 83 Kms away from Mumbai. Lush greenery, tranquil environment and pure nature is what Matheran is all about. Do take a horse ride and jump aboard the toy train while you are there.
Lonavla – Khandala
For those living in Mumbai or Pune, the twin towns of Lonavla and Khandala are a blessing indeed. Just a hop, skip and jump away, whether you want to get away for the weekend or just for a day trip, these beautiful green hilly towns are just what the doctor prescribed! Dams, caves, little villages, beautiful sunset points and all that chikki and fudge is what keeps bringing me back to these places. Avoid the main road, and check out the new resorts and treks beyond Tiger Point.
Don’t have the time and enthusiasm to go all the way to Goa? Just head to the next best thing then- Alibaug. Relatively less crowded, dotted with small home stays and resorts with their own beach attached, which allow you to kick back and relax. If you are a water sport enthusiast, those options are available as well. There is the Alibaug Fort that you could go explore. The fresh seafood is such a bonus and real reason why I keep going back to Alibaug!! Skip the ferry that could sun-bake you well and drive down instead. Its really scenic.
The Gunner has enough space for my weekend stash!!
If you are a history buff a visit to Aurangabad is a must. Daulatabad Fort, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Panchakki, Bibi ka Maqbara which is a Taj Mahal replica and the beautiful hills that surround this city make is a very viable option. It was the Capital of India for a brief period of time, which makes this place an interesting one to explore. The new roads have made biking to Aurangabad super fun.
Wine tourism Ahoy! Interested in knowing all about wine, including the taste and well then look no further and head to Nashik. Home to some of the country’s best vineyards, I would recommend everyone to take a two day break and seriously educate themselves on the nuances of wine making and wine tasting. It is an added bonus that Nashik itself is a picturesque town with a good amount of history and religious importance attached to it. It is one of the sites for the Kumbh Mela and boasts of some beautiful waterfalls and forts in and around so try and go there at least once, definitely a bucket list item! I’ve often just biked around the vineyards for hours. Obviously – don’t drink and drive!
Another hill station duo which is a must visit from Mumbai. Strawberry central is what I would christen these towns. Located on the Sahayadri range, these towns were the summer retreats for
the British and therefore have some great cottages converted to hotels and home stays. With beautiful look out points, you could sit all day and look at the scenery below or you could head to one of the jam factories and get your fill of goodies. This is also a place where I keep my bike aside, letting the natural non-polluted air fill my lungs is just exhilarating.
While these are my top picks for a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai, what about you? I’m really interested in Harihareshwar, Lonar, Kaas, Bhandardara, or even Saputara in Gujarat.
Tell me about your favorite spots!