Mumbai is a city that never sleeps but city dwellers need and deserve a break to unwind. Fortunately, it is surrounded by numerous weekend getaways just a few hundred kilometers away, providing a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle. We have picked 10 destinations for you which will offer a respite from the routine city life.
1. Lonavala- 82.7 Km
The popular weekend getaway for Mumbaikars, Lonavala consistently draws large crowds. Embraced by vibrant greenery, it’s especially enchanting during the monsoon, yet it retains its charm in other seasons too.
Make sure to indulge in the sweet treat of chikki and explore attractions like Rajmachi Point, Lonavala Lake, Tiger’s Leap, Duke Nose, Bhushi Dam, Karla Caves, and Lohagad Fort.
2. Matheran- 83 Km
Nestled in the Karjat district, Matheran is a quaint hill station, translating to ‘forest on the forehead.’ Just 80 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune, what enhances its charm is being Asia’s sole automobile-free hill station. With no pollution or noise, it offers a tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views.
Concerned about transportation? Hop on the toy train to reach, and once there, explore the surroundings using hand-pulled rickshaws and horse carts. For adventure enthusiasts, Matheran is a must-visit, offering activities like paragliding, horse riding, and valley crossing.
3. Kolad- 114 Km
Although a small village in the Raigad district, Kolad captivates nature and adventure enthusiasts alike. Nestled against the scenic backdrop of the Sahyadri Ranges, it is renowned for its milky-white waterfalls, majestic valleys, and lush meadows. Kolad, especially during the monsoon season, transforms into a breathtaking landscape with vibrant greenery all around, showcasing milky-white waterfalls amidst the verdant surroundings.
Key attractions include Tamhini Ghat Waterfalls, Devkund Waterfall, Ghosala Fort, Tala Fort, and Kuda Mandad Caves. For those seeking excitement and adventure, Kolad is a haven. Engage in activities ranging from white water rafting, kayaking, and rappelling to paragliding, parasailing, and trekking—ensuring there’s no shortage of thrilling experiences.
4. Igatpuri- 120.8 Km
Igatpuri, situated in the Nasik district, adds an extra layer of charm to your journey through the Wine Capital. Alternatively, you can embark on a scenic drive to Igatpuri and explore its captivating attractions, including the Ghatandevi Temple, Bhandardara, and the Dhamma Giri Meditation Centre.
As a historically rich destination, Igatpuri attracts adventure enthusiasts with a range of activities such as zip-lining, rappelling, trekking, and camping. The optimal time to visit is during the monsoon season and the period between November and March.
5. Bhandardara- 165 Km
Bhandardara, nestled in the Sahyadri Ranges, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering lofty mountains, lush landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil lakes and dams. A perfect retreat for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace, this scenic hill station boasts attractions like Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake, and Umbrella Falls, perfect for idyllic picnics. Adventure seekers find their haven in Kalsubai Peak, the highest point in Maharashtra, attracting trekkers with its challenging ascent.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to the nearby Ratanwadi Village (13 km away) is a must. A trek to the 400-year-old Ratangad Fort, perched on a hilltop, provides awe-inspiring views of the Sahyadri Ranges. The trek, rated as easy to moderate, unfolds a scenic route that keeps trekkers motivated. The ancient Amruteshwar Shiva Temple in Ratanwadi Village is a revered destination for devotees.
6. Daman- 172 Km
Daman, a quaint city on the west coast of India, is renowned for its tranquil beaches, picturesque landscapes, and verdant surroundings. With a history spanning over 2000 years, Daman boasts numerous historical monuments and places of religious significance, offering a glimpse into its rich cultural heritage. Key attractions in Daman include Jampore Beach, Devka Beach, Mirasol Lake Garden, Cathedral of Bom Jesus, and St. Jerome Fort. The city is home to the revered Somnath Mahadev Temple, an ancient Hindu shrine drawing devotees of Lord Shiva. For a day of excitement and enjoyment, Devka Amusement Park, Vaibhav Water World, and Mirasol Water Park provide fantastic options.
7. Silvassa- 173 Km
Silvassa, the capital of the Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli, holds significant historical importance, showcasing distinctive Portuguese architecture through its churches and ancient houses.
This charming destination boasts various points of interest, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Shri Jagannath Temple, Nakshatra Van, Madhuban Dam, and the Silvassa Museum. For those with extra time to spare, a visit to the Lion Safari Wildlife Park promises an enriching experience.
8. Lavasa- 188 Km
Lavasa, a newly developed hill station near Mumbai, is a picturesque blend of natural beauty and exquisite infrastructure, mirroring the charm of the Italian town of Portofino. Featuring hills, valleys, lakes, restaurants, hotels, resorts, and shopping destinations, Lavasa offers a diverse and captivating experience.
The meticulously planned lakeside promenade provides a serene setting for leisurely walks, cycling, and boating, complemented by an array of eateries and dining options. Lakeshore Watersports beckons water sports enthusiasts with activities such as kayaking, pedal boating, and jet skiing. The hill station is also a hub for adventure activities like biking, hiking, rappelling, and more.
9. Panchgani- 244 Km
Just 19 km from Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani stands as a serene hill station renowned for its lush berries, verdant valleys, and numerous vantage points for both sunrise and sunset. Named after the five surrounding hills that form an idyllic backdrop, Panchgani becomes a visual delight in February and March when its strawberry farms are in full bloom.
With roots dating back to the British era, Panchgani served as a favored summer resort for the colonial occupants. Today, remnants of this historical period still grace the hill station, attracting visitors to these well-preserved colonial establishments. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra’s own Valley of Flowers. The plateau transforms into a breathtaking spectacle in August and September, adorned with a myriad of colorful flowers.
10. Mahabaleshwar- 163 Km
Renowned for its breathtaking valleys, undulating hills, cascading milky-white waterfalls, and succulent strawberries, Mahabaleshwar provides a delightful escape from urban clamor. Nestled amidst the majestic Western Ghats, this hill station is surrounded by verdant forests and offers an array of scenic trekking trails.
While in Mahabaleshwar, a visit to the iconic Venna Lake is a must, where activities like boating and horse riding beckon. Indulge your taste buds with the berrylicious treats at Mapro Garden for a delectable experience. It boasts numerous vantage points that provide charming views. Wilson’s Point, Kate’s Point, Sunset Point, Parsi Point, and Lodwick Point are popular among nature enthusiasts and photographers.
This hill station is also adorned with ancient temples, with Mahabaleshwar Temple and Krishnabai Mandir being the most frequented. For adventure enthusiasts, a sunset trek to Pratapgarh Fort adds an extra layer of delight to the experience.
So, there you have it ! Next time when you plan a getaway, consider these places which will surely bring a breath of fresh air in your busy life.