By Seema Wadhwa
Travel is a respite for stressful days. Most of us want to wear our travel shoes and explore newer destinations as often as we can. However, not always does one have the luxury of time to plan and spare. Getaways, a short form of vacation, usually over the weekend help one to explore newer places merely with a short road trip journey.
We put together a list of must-visit weekend getaways near Mumbai to help you Mumbaikars and those visiting Mumbai to enjoy the surprises that await one not too away from the maximum city. Read on…
Over a 1.5 hour (70kms) drive from Mumbai, Karjat is home to mountains, waterfalls and lush green views. The short drive makes this destination ideal for last-minute travel plans.
Places to visit: Bhivpuri Waterfalls, a popular tourist attraction, it is a blissful sight and experience to getaway from Mumbai’s harsh sunny afternoons and enjoy the water cascading from a cliff. Kothalighad Fort, a trek destination located on the East of Karjat has a small temple and large cave located at its foot. ND’s Film World is a delight for film and entertainment enthusiasts at large as it has been the set to some of the biggest movies in India, and continues to offer studio tours allowing tourists to get a closer look at the life behind the cameras.
Where to stay: Forest Club Resort, a contemporary property perched on the hill overlooking the Sahyadri mountains. Some of the amenities like a walk-in room access to the meandering pool and an infinity pool offering a picturesque view of tranquil hill station make it a one of its kind destination accommodation, ideal for leisurely trips.
The industrial hub is also well known as a getaway destination amongst Mumbaikars and habitats of Metropolitan Gujarat cities like Vadodara and Surat. A 3.5-hour drive from Mumbai takes one to Silvassa.
Places to visit: Hirwa Van Gardens, which literally translates to lush Green gardens. The name justifies this place as mesmerising flower beds, dense grass, and waterfalls greet its visitors. Vanganga Lake, located by the island gardens which is yet another must-visit place, the lake offers paddle boats for one to enjoy this beautiful setting and some snackable munchies by the shore.
Where to stay: Khanvel Resort, a laid-back destination with sprawling lawns, a backdrop of the lake, and ample of space for one to stroll, indulge in outdoor games. This is the kind of place that reminds one of a traditional vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city while opening up to a hearty dining experience of freshly prepared home-cooked like meals as opposed to the typical restaurant-style food.
Located at over a 3-hour drive from Mumbai, and 2-hour drive from Pune, Mulshi is popularly known as the quick lakeside getaway for the weekend.
Places to visit: Mulshi lake and dam, the weather is favourable to visit all throughout the year. Enjoying a day out or camping by the lake while enjoying a short trek, some barbeque food is among the popular tourist tractions.
Where to Stay: Atmantan Resort, a detox destination to help one align their physical and mental health goals with wellness activities, spa therapies, healthy gourmet food. It has been among the pioneers of the recently picking trend of spa and yoga retreat culture in India.
The first capital of the former Maratha Empire, Raigad, a district with historic significance is about a 4.5-hour drive from Mumbai making it more suitable for a long weekend.
Places to visit: Raigad Fort, situated 820 meters uphill, a journey of 1737 steps lets one into this fort that stands tall of the Maratha pride and valor. Queens Palace, also popularly known as Rani Vasa is a six-chambered bit of the fortress giving one insight into the historic lives of Shivaji and his leaders.
Where to stay: Forest Hills Tala, a vacation experience away from the mainstream. Creatively built to blend nature and luxury under the same roof, this place blends impressive contemporary spaces with nature. Along with vacation goers, it also welcomes pet making it a pet-friendly getaway destination.
On one of those weekends when one does not have a lot of time to spare but wishes to head out for a quick escapade, Khopoli, a 1.5-hour drive from Mumbai is a wise getaway idea.
Places to visit: Batti lake, Imagica
Where to stay: Novotel Imagica, located at a stone’s throw away from India’s biggest theme park, perfect for family vacations.
(The author is a Mumbai-based travel writer. Views expressed are personal.)